Once you have chosen your florist, what is the next step?
Split your wedding into 3 distinct areas and concentrate on each but start with You. Your flowers, those of any Bridesmaid’s and Buttonholes etc are known as Wedding Party Flowers and these are where all of your designs should start; ceremony and reception will fall into place afterwards.
This is the design that most florists will concentrate on and it needs to take into consideration your outfits, Bridesmaids dress colour, your individual style, the area that the ceremony will take place in (ie Cathedral, Registry Office or Stately Home?) and your size; getting the right proportion is vitally important. The way you hold your bouquet is also important and I will now ask you to look at Amy who will show you the right way and the wrong way to hold a tied bunch.
My overall advice for the design of Wedding Party Flowers is don’t do art for art’s sake. Don’t let the florist experiment on you and suggest something that will look great on Gwen Stefani if you’d prefer to look more like Liz Hurley; get back to those key words SOFT, ROMANTIC etc.
Do your research
Start to study the magazines and cut out pictures of the shape of bouquets you like ‐ ignore the colours ‐ cut out pictures of the type of flowers you like and if you see any photographs that show the mood of the wedding, cut those out too. If you can’t find anything you like, start by cutting out things you HATE; it’s as good a start as any and I actually prefer this approach!
Do it yourself
If your florist can’t sketch, try and do it yourself. Get a photo of your dress and sketch it roughly. Give the sketch to your florist and see if she will sketch the bouquet onto it showing how long, wide, round it will be? This is so important because your wedding maybe one of four that day and you will not all be the same size. You also may not see the florist after your initial meeting and how on earth can they remember the size of each Bride. The sketch with the dimensions of the bouquet should then be left with the florist (you take a copy) and on the day there will be no last minute panic about it dwarfing you or looking tiny; you will have the time to stand in your dress at your next fitting and see what the size will look like.
I describe an awful lot of tied bunches of being more like a Lulu Guinness handbag than a big bouquet of flowers. This size and style of bouquet is for a Bride who wants chic, fun, small, exquisite and not to hold half a garden full of flowers!
Your bridesmaid’s can carry a smaller version of your bouquet (perhaps leaving out one of the flower types) or they can have a totally different shape and colour. My advice is to visualize the wedding party line up with you and your Bridesmaids. You may have one or many and they may all be adult or a mixture of adults and children. Your dress will be one colour and often theirs will be different; they will always have different styles of dress and often two different dress styles. It is therefore really important to tie the look together and bouquets are an easy way to do this.
Adult bridesmaid’s don’t generally like to have huge bouquets and a Lulu Guinness handbag look suits really well. Children with tiny hands don’t like large, bulky collections to hold onto and a few exquisitely bound flowers look stunning. Baskets have had their day, as have pomanders or circlets and nearly always end up at the back of the Bridesmaids skirt when the photographer takes the best shot of the rest of you; bouquets are very definitely the best!
Single blooms or a few individually wired flowers look fantastic as they can be added to any hairstyle and are easy and comfortable to wear. Alice bands are not so fashionable and circlets can look good but worn properly and the correct size for the Bridesmaid only; you really do have to get the tape measure out!
Buttonholes for men
Who has them? Both Fathers and any Stepfathers or whoever gives the Bride away, Brothers on either side, Ushers, anyone giving a reading, Best Man and Groom. It also costs very little to make someones day so if you have a Grandfather or special Godfather, include them in your special day by giving them a buttonhole. Gone are the days when you give a buttonhole to everyone ‐ you have better things to do with your money!
Corsages and buttonholes for women
Mothers often require a corsage and this should be small and pinned through her outfit onto her bra strap which then takes the weight of the flowers. Women who aren’t Mothers should have a larger version of the men’s buttonhole; if the men have a Rosebud, the women should have a double Rosebud. VIP Women are Stepmothers, Sisters on either side, Grandmothers and anyone giving a reading ‐ again make someone’s day by including them if they are really special.