My name is Kim and I am from the Bridal Workshop.
This a brief guide to help you choose your bridal flowers and accessories for the big day. This can be a duanting task for many people and even terrifying to others! I hope to ease this a little for you and offer some sound advise to make choosing your flowers a joy rather than a pain.
Ok, lets get going. The best place to start is right at the beginning.
- Setting the date - its important to have the date fixed where ever possible. Its important to your florist to know how much time she has to make your order up. Some flowers will need to be ordered in specialy and can take a few weeks to organise. So try not to leave everything to the last minute. If you do have a very short time until your big day make sure you inform your florist of this before making your order so you dont get left without your flowers
- Colour choices - This is very big factor in your flower decisions. Try and remember that not all flower types come in every single colour and not all flowers will look nice in certain shades. There are no strict rules on what colour ratio's will work with which type of dress but there are few rules on what shapes will work. ( we will cover that next) As an example - bride is wearing ivory and maids are in burgundy with gold trim. I would suggest that the bride has burgundy roses with gold pearls accents and the maids have mainly ivory with a few burgundy roses and matching gold. This will make the brides flowers stand out against her dress and the maids flowers tie in all three shades used in the wedding. If you have a colour swatch this will help enormously. Most colours will work fine together and varing shades of the same colour help provide depth but there are always exceptions to the rule! Its not always best to try and get the flowers the exact same shade as your dress otherwise the colours may just disappear into each other. Ask you florist if your not sure.
- Brides bouquets - handtied or shower? Modern floristry allows for so many choices now in bridal flowers. You may get overwhelmed by all that is avalible to you. I would follow a couple of simple rules. If your a petite lady ( under 5ft 5) go with a handtied posy or very small shower or you are in danger of looking like you a carrying a sheild! If you are a tall lady then you are better off with a shower bouquet or large handtied. Dress type can also play a part. If you have a straight dress with no patten then you can carry most shapes of bouquet, if you have a big flouncy dress with bodice pattens you dont want to hide all that behind your flowers so have something simple and plainer.
- Ok, so you are now armed with your date, your colour and you know roughly what style you need. Now you have to choose your florist. If you are shopping on ebay or a web site have a good look. Find a seller you like then have a look at all the other flowers your seller is offering, this will help you to find one who is matched to your style.Check your sellers feedback or web site reviews. See how long they have been trading. Most importantly, ask if they are qualified. Most quaified florists would be happy to show thier qualifations. You would ideally need to be NVQ 1 and 2 or City in Guilds to have a standard needed to provide quality flowers. If you cant see what you like in that sellers shop then email them. Most florists would be happy to provide you with a quote and make you private ebay listing.
- Silk or fresh flowers? Fresh flowers are normally dearer and normally can only be provided if you are in the same area as your florist but always check as some florists will work out of there own area. They need to be delivered by hand on the morning of your wedding. Your florist will call at the brides house with the bride and maids flowers, take the buttonholes and corsages to the groom at the church and deliver and set up any church and reception flowers for you. Silk flowers can be sent anywhere by post and as long as they are packed correctly will arrive safe and sound. Silk will keep forever or can be resold after the big day to recoup some of your spending.
- Deciding what you need - Here is a rough list of what you may need for your special day. These days nothing is set, every wedding is different and some brides will want every item on this list and more where as other brides will just want a simple bouquet for herself and grooms buttonhole.
Brides flowers - Im sorry to say boys, the brides flowers are the important part of your floral items so you need to take a back seat! You need to choose your flowers first and have the rest of your wedding flowers built around your bouquet.
Bridesmaids to match - a smaller version of the brides is usual or you could consider a maids handbag, wands, baskets or hoops
Flower girls - this would normally be a tiny posy, hoop, wand or pommander ball
Grooms buttonhole - this is down to individual taste but we would recommend a double rose buttonhole with any matching trim to tie him into the bride for example, this will set your groom appart from the rest of the men in the main wedding party and make him feel a little more special
Ushers, best man and fathers - a single flowered buttonhole to match groom
Mums corsages - this is normally a pin on flower arrangement consisting of 3 -5 small flowers with decorative trim. This can be tied into the wedding colours or matched to mums outfit. These can also be made to wear around the wrist.
Guest buttonholes - a single rose or carnation is traditional.
Thank you flowers - baskets or handtied gift bouquets normally given to mums or any special ladies that have helped to make your day special
Table decorations - vases, posies, topairy trees, candelabras or candle posies are usual for the centre of each guest table
Top table - a large oval arrangment to sit infront of bride and groom, a smaller posy for each end of the table and a garland to swag the front of your table
Cake flowers - small floral arrangement to sit on each tier and a garland to go around the cake table
church flowers or registras table - Church flowers normally consists of pew end flowers and pedestal arrangments. If you have a registra then you would just need a small arrangement for this table. I would normally advise you get a helpful guest to move church flowers to your reception to avoid having to buy two lots of flowers.
Car flowers - Small oval flowers to sit on the back parcel shelf
Budget - Flowers are quite a big part of your day and the right choice can go along way to making your event the fairy tale you want it to be. The cost of flowers is going to be very important to you. Try and remember that buying very cheap flowers can end up working out more expensive as you may need to send them back and go elsewhere . For example, for good quality silk or foam flowers made into a brides 10 inch handtied bouquet, as new shouldnt be less than £25 and shouldnt be more than £50 depending on the flower and triming contents. Obivously your budget will dictate what you can afford but always try talking to your florist as items can be altered to suit.
Last few points I want run past you - If you have already bought your flowers and you are unhappy with your items just contact your florist. Sometimes one persons ideas relayed through email can appear different at the other end, a quick phone call or email can resolve most issues straight away.
A small list to check for to make sure you have recieved good value for money and a good quality items
- A good florist wont stock poor quality silk and components so have a good look, do your flowers look nice, are the colours good?
- All components of any wedding bouquet should be individually wired to hold the perfect shape. So check from behind and make sure your stems are sturdy and straight and you should see green or white florist tape on the stem.
- Nice soft satin ribbon or organza voile should be used.
- A florist should never use paper ribbon in wedding work.
I hope this has been some help to you and you need any further advise we are always happy to help. Good luck with your wedding plans and best wishes for a happy future together.