Beautiful Wedding Flowers from Devon

PUBLISHED: 01:15 02 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:00 20 February 2013

There is more to planning wedding flowers than bouquets and buttonholes.<br/><br/>Choosing your flowers is one of the most wonderful elements of planning your wedding day, giving you the opportunity to let your personality shine through.

Blooming Lovely

There is more to planning wedding flowers than bouquets and buttonholes.

Choosing your flowers is one of the most wonderful elements of planning your wedding day, giving you the opportunity to let your personality shine through. So, once youve decided where and at what time of year youll be getting married and chosen your wedding dress, its time to get stuck into some floral thinking.

Begin with an informal chat with your chosen florist about ideas, looks and what flowers will be in season at the time. Compile a mood book of cuttings from magazines to show how you want your day to look, as this will provide them with an invaluable source of guidance and inspiration.

Next, youll need to plan that all-important bouquet, and that means looking at your dress. Take along photos and a swatch of the material if you have it to assist your florist in finding colours, textures and arrangement shapes that will suit your gown as well as your complexion and personality. This also applies to the bridesmaids dresses, so take along pictures of those too.

After this meeting your florist should outline your discussion and put together an initial estimate of the costs, so before you go any further make sure that what you have in your head ties up with what you have in your purse

Visit the venue

The next stage is to have a consultation at your wedding venue. Here, your florist will help you to decide where to place arrangements and how to use your budget most effectively. With all this gathered inspiration and expertise, you and your florist can now start to create your dream floral design, so its a good time to take a look at current trends in bridal floristry.

Floral fashion

Autumn, winter and early spring trends are being led by vintage-inspired looks, so think antique roses, classic hydrangea and ribbon. Classic looks are an ongoing vibe whether youre getting married in a country manor house or a boutique hotel, so dont think theyre only an option if youre having a marquee.

Meanwhile, contemporary displays are getting a vintage makeover. A classic over-the-arm lily bouquet can be softened with grasses or even white lilac in spring. Blending classic varieties of roses, ranunculus and anemones with more contemporary flowers such as calla lilies, anthuriums and steel grass creates a modern but timeless look.

If youre having an autumn or winter wedding, thistles, berries and deep-coloured flowers such as amaryllis look amazing in gathered abundance and infused with seasonal foliage, or simply group bold colours together to create a stronger but equally effective theme.

Another modern spin on traditional displays is to keep varieties clustered en masse. Why not have vases, jugs and terracotta pots filled with all white flowers in the same variety to create a winter-white theme? Think frosted meadows and misty moorland. With all good-quality products, less is often more, so let the flowers do all the work. Dont overcomplicate or be too clever: flowers have so much natural beauty that theres no need to, ahem, gild the lily.

Common mistakes and how to avoid them

Unrealistic budgeting and expectations: be prepared to adjust one or the other.

If your budget is small then focus on key floral elements such as the bouquets and large statement displays.

Ask your florist to use as many seasonal flowers and types of foliage as possible as this will reduce costs and allow you to maximise quantity. Flowers that are not in season may also suffer from lack of availability and quality.

Avoid mixing trends

When youve decided on a theme and colour scheme, stick to it. From your bouquet to your table arrangements, keep it co-ordinated. Mixing trends and looks can make for a chaotic result.

Top floral tips

  • Dig out your mums and even your grandmothers wedding albums as you may find unexpected floral inspiration there.
  • Add fresh or dried herbs to your arrangements for a heavenly scent.
  • Borrow or hire vintage crockery, vases and jugs for your displays.
  • Do your research: bridal magazines are a good source of information and inspiration for up-to-the-minute floral trends and styles. Also investigate books and websites, and ask friends/family for recommendations.
  • Churches will often have a team of volunteers who arrange the flowers. Ask them if there are other weddings taking place on the same weekend as yours. Often you can share the cost of the church flowers with other brides.
  • It is important to look at examples of your chosen florists work and choose carefully so you can trust them to interpret your ideas. There is no guarantee that the varieties you have discussed will be available at the time of your wedding, so allowing your florist to substitute alternatives to create the same look is extremely important.
  • See if you can use arrangements multiple times by visiting the wedding and reception venues with your florist. For example, if youre having champagne with your guests on arrival at the hotel, the flowers used to decorate this area could be moved by hotel staff for the wedding breakfast in another room.
  • Ask your florist where your flowers will come from. Are they local? If not, what country were they grown in? Consider the environmental implications of transportation, packaging and storage.

After the day

Dont let those gorgeous arrangements go to waste with these great ideas for making the most out of your wedding flowers:

Recycle them! Dry the petals and use as confetti at your sisters wedding; have the bouquets preserved then use as decoration for the house; or press to make Christmas decorations and cards.
Use potted plants for table decorations, and then give them away as gifts at the end of the day.
Hand-tied table arrangements can be given away at the end of the day as gifts to family and guests or delivered to a local hospice or hospital.

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