Wedding flowers - hints and tips

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  At The Balloon Lady we understand that every wedding is unique and we work hard to create floral displays that reflect the individuality of each couple.

Some people have fixed ideas about the colours or flowers that they want used and some need more help and guidance. We will sit down with you and discuss your requirements and ideas, look at your inspirations, pictures of your dresses, your colour scheme and work with you to create the look you want to achieve within your budget.

We understand that your flowers, the look of the bouquets, the ceremony and the wedding breakfast is hugely important to you and will always try and add the finishing touches to make each area reflect your ideas and personalities. We will incorporate diamantes, pearls, butterflies, feathers and any other detail that you may like – or indeed keep it simple and understated, if that is what you prefer.

We know how daunting booking a wedding florist can be and have been asked to write various articles for bloggers and wedding websites to help you plan your big day. Some of those and lots of extra advice is below for you, including information about colour schemes – bouquets, ceremony and reception advice and information about us. But if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Budgeting for your flowers

  Some people have large budgets for their decorations, and some want something a little more modest and both can and do look stunning.

The cost of your flowers will depend on what you choose, whether they are seasonal, whether they can be locally sourced, or whether they are tropical flowers flown in from abroad.

It can be difficult to know what flowers will be in season for your wedding – flowers such as freesias, roses, lilies, lisianthus, gerberas, alstromeria, carnations and chrysanthemums are available throughout the year, although prices vary each month.

For spring inspired bouquets in late winter/early spring we can add daffodils, tulips, muscari, iris, hyacinths and anemone to this list.

And then for the late summer and autumn consider large bloom chrysanthemums, amaryllis, hyperricum berries, dahlia and asters.

  However just because a flower is in season, please don’t think that automatically makes it a ‘cheap’ flower, it just means that it is more cost efficient then than at other times of year.

When florists refer to seasonality in flowers, what is often meant is ‘available that week’ as the flower market prices do change every single week. Some couples are therefore happy to leave the actual choice of flowers to us – providing that they fit the overall scheme, which helps you get bigger decorations, on a lower budget.

Also remember that there are times of year when a wedding is wonderfully romantic, such as on Valentines Day and around Christmas, but because of the excess demand for flowers at this time, prices do unfortunately rise in the flower markets.

The size and quantity of decorations needed will also affect the price – Its important to remember to set a sensible budget for each table arrangement, as well as considering the number of bridesmaids bouquets, buttonholes, thank you gifts for the Mothers etc, that you will need.

The average wedding will consist of a bridal bouquet – 2 adult bridesmaids – 2 flower girls – 8-10 buttonholes – ceremony decoration – A top table and 8 guest tables – 2 + thank you gift bouquets. Obviously the cost of these decorations varies hugely - but an average would be from 750 - 1500.

  However, there are people on a limited budget and we are always creating decorations and styles to suit them, but it’s important to be realistic if you have a smaller budget. Choose simpler styles of decoration that aren’t as time consuming to make and less expensive flowers and we will do our best to ensure that your day will still have the WOW factor.

Your Colour scheme

When you are thinking about your flowers – please try and remember that they are a natural, growing, living organism and as such they can change in size and colour from one week to the next. Each particular variety of flower grows to an approximate colour, but just like people, no two flowers will ever be exactly the same.  

  If a 100% match between flowers and dresses is vitally important to you and you are concerned that the flowers you like might not grow in matching shades, then you might want to consider sticking to a neutral colour palette or even a more mixed colour palette of various shades of different flowers.

Your Bouquets and the bridal Party

       As featured on

  Choosing your wedding bouquet is often one of the most exciting and daunting things you have to do – you want a bouquet that enhances your dress and compliments your colour scheme, without distracting from someone very important…..That’s you…The Bride!

How you look on the day is so important and accenting your dress with the right flowers will help you feel and look beautiful. There are so many popular styles of bouquet to chose from, with simple hand tied posy bouquets, over the arm bouquets as well as tear drop and trailing shower bouquets.

Start by looking at the shape of your dress and the detailing on your dress. A simple dress can look stunning with an elaborate bouquet, whereas a heavily detailed dress, often needs something simple next to it, that won’t distract from its beauty.

As a general rule Posy style hand tied bouquets will suit all dresses, but are particularly good against slim figure hugging dresses, whereas traditional dresses and princess line dresses look fabulous with tear drop and trailing bouquets.

Whatever you choose, the most important thing is to choose something that you like and will feel comfortable holding.

  When thinking of colours to go with your dress, some brides will chose to be traditional and have ivory flowers against an ivory dress, as could be seen at the recent Royal Wedding. But lots of brides will choose to take the colour from their bridesmaids’ dresses and put some flowers in these colours through their bouquet.

Firstly consider what flowers you like most and perhaps write a list of them, Equally important is to think of what flowers you don’t like. Then it’s important to sit with us and work out ways to incorporate all your favourite flowers into the style of bouquet you like, creating the right design to compliment your dress, your shape and your colour scheme.

It has been very fashionable in recent years to mix shades of colours together – so that rather than just having purple and ivory flowers in a brides bouquet, you might mix shades of purple from deep purples, through to lilacs and finally ivories, creating a less stark colour scheme. This has the added benefit of being able to give the bridesmaids pretty mixed flower posies to match, as the ivories and lilacs will look pretty against purple dresses.

Often bridesmaids’ bouquets will be simpler than the brides, and if you choose a trailing tear drop or shower bouquet, then perhaps consider a hand tied bouquet of matching flowers for your bridesmaids. If you are having a hand tied bouquet perhaps they might like something a bit smaller and simpler than yours.

Your bouquet should be as unique as you are and every one we make is always designed around each individual bride.

Decorating the ceremony

  Once you have decided on your bouquets and your overall theme for your floral decorations, you need to decide how to decorate your ceremony.

Whether you are in a church or having a civil ceremony you still want it to look absolutely stunning. (Although if I could offer a small bit of advice, if you are working on a tight budget, remember that your ceremony is only a maximum of an hour long and during it everyone should hopefully be concentrating on the two of you, so if you decide to cut your budget anywhere, I would always recommend here, rather than at the reception, where you will spend the majority of your time).

Churches are often cavernous spaces and can swallow enormous flower arrangements, so its easy to get carried away, decorating everywhere. So before you get start, sit back in the church and look at the areas that will be seen on the day.

Its nice (depending on the size of the church) to have one or two pedestals at the front, not only will these show in pictures with you standing at the front, but also when you have readings etc. These can then move to your reception and go in the entrance, or either side of the top table.

It can be lovely to have some decoration coming down the aisle, but you don’t need to allow for every pew end – most people find that every other pew is more than enough. There are lots of choices for ways to decorate the pews, from floral arrangements, to single flowers, to bows. Perhaps consider your budget when deciding this as floral arrangements are normally expensive, by comparison to bows, and normally there isn’t anywhere at your reception that they can be re-used.

  The extra decorations in the church that are most popular are flowers on the font, in the entrance and on windowsills. These are all terribly pretty and if budget permits can look fantastic, however equally lovely are scattered t-light candles and lanterns.

If you are having a civil ceremony then your decorations can always be used twice, the most popular thing that we make is a long and low arrangement of flowers that sits on the registrars table. After your ceremony this can be moved to sit in front of you both on the top table.

Like a church, a pair of pedestals at the front of any room always looks really pretty and again these can move to your entrance or top table.

Formal floral arrangements that work in churches don’t really work for civil ceremonies, but small hand tied bouquets and bows look stunning decorating the aisle.

The final option for a ceremony and one that is becoming very popular is to have it outside, Many venues now have temples and pergolas that you can be married under and then your guests can sit out in the sunshine. You can then choose not to decorate the garden you are in, or lots of people will have flowers and foliages running around the pillars of their arbours, as these make fantastic locations for your photos after the ceremony.

  If you do go for an outdoor ceremony, remember to plan for a ‘worst case scenario’ and decide what you will do IF you have to move indoors!

Most importantly remember the ceremony is about the two of you joining and becoming Husband and Wife and celebrating your love for each other.

Decorating your Reception

The final decorations that you will need are for your reception. Remember to recycle as much as you can from your ceremony and often you can decorate the Top Table, without spending any additional money!

Now we have to concentrate on your Guest tables! With so many different styles to choose from this is where you can begin to get a bit confused with all the choices available.

  If you are going for a country cottage or vintage theme you might like to consider vintage jugs filled with different blooms, or birdcages wrapped with pretty rustic flower arrangements. These work particularly well in marquees and barns, where the decorations suit the surroundings.

If you are in a grand hall, with panelled walls and high ceilings then often you need tall floral arrangements, that take advantage of the size of the rooms and fill the space above people’s heads, you can include here tall vases filled with sweetly smelling lilies, tall candelabra with twinkling candles and pretty floral arrangements, large martini vases with co-ordinating arrangements of flowers and many, many more styles.

Of course not everyone likes tall arrangements and not all venues suit them, and so lower modern alternatives include gold fish bowls wrapped with stems of flowers, cubes filled with roses or traditional round posy arrangements of mixed flowers.

The sky is the limit on what you can spend at your reception, as a general rule, bear in mind that large arrangements with masses of flowers in them are always going to cost more than simple arrangements, and consider this when planning what to spend.

There are simple ways of economising at the reception without any of your guests noticing and that’s by keeping your colour scheme, but perhaps adapting your flowers and perhaps use stems that are less expensive than those used in the bouquets. As long as your tables tie in with your bouquets, I don’t believe anyone will notice if the flowers are all identical or not.

  You can again add any finishing touches like rose petals and diamantes scattered on the tables, but try not to clutter the tables, once there are flowers in the centre and they are laid up with cutlery and glasses and wine bottles, they don’t need masses of extras. Its very easy to buy lots of bits here and there as you are planning your wedding, but if you aren’t careful the table will look cluttered and un co-ordinated on the day.

About The Balloon Lady team

  We are passionate about weddings and flowers and want everything to be perfect for your special day.

As florists we don’t like the ‘conveyor belt’ approach taken by some shops and therefore we always limit the number of bookings we will take over a weekend and therefore believe you receive a better service from us.

At your initial consultation you will meet with Lucinda who is our dedicated florist. She will discuss all ideas with you and help in any way she can. Although in the run up to your big day you may speak to other members of the team by phone or e-mail, nearer the time it will be Lucinda who oversees and makes all your decorations, ensuring that everything you discussed many, many months ago is what is made.

We always use the highest quality flowers and will spend many days getting them opened to exactly the right point to be used in the wedding displays, or sometimes even cutting them at the last possible minute, so that they stay fresh!

We are in the process of putting in a large cuttings border for foliage and seasonal cut flowers, and as of 2012 we will grow many of the flowers used on site. This will guarantee their freshness and minimise their ‘wedding miles’, these will include country favourites such as sweetpeas, cosmos, cornflowers, larkspurs and dahlias and with enough notice if there is something very specific you want we will always try and grow it on site for you.

As another added bonus of using us to provide your flowers for you –we won’t charge you anything to hire any of our our vases, candleabra, mirrors etc and we will include them Free of charge, providing they come back in the same condition that we lent them to you.

With something as important as a wedding I would always recommend that we arrange to get together to chat over ideas for the wedding and if that is something you would find helpful – please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

All consultations are 100% free and without obligation, although where possible we do recommend that you come to our workshop, as we will have everything on hand that you might need to see, such a vases, ribbon samples, display bouquets etc. We can then play around with ideas and make sure that every element is just as you want it to be.

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