Although many couples have a rough idea what sort of cake, dress or band they want, people often feel a bit lost when it comes to the their wedding flowers. Couples frequently apologise to me when we first speak saying they don't know the first thing about flowers, and it can seem a daunting task choosing your wedding flowers. I would argue that you don't need to know much, if you know the season you are getting married in and some rough colours your florist should be able to guide you from there.
I often build the concept of the flowers around the bridal bouquet as the key piece to all the other wedding flower designs. Once I have this worked out everything else follows. So how do you choose your wedding bouquet? What style of wedding bouquet should you go for? Fashions change over the years and you only have to look at flowers from your parents' or grandparents' weddings to see how different things are now.
I've put together a few things to consider before meeting your florist. These are not exhaustive and not designed to freak you out, they are just the sort of things I try to tease out from couples when I speak to them. You may not care about any of these aspects and just say to the florist "I like what you do, just make me something nice!" I actually love it when brides give me that freedom so don't be afraid to step back if you've got a million other things to plan.
Your wedding dress
Do you have a rough idea of your outfit? Its colour, shape, detailing? If it has a big skirt this will affect the stem length of the bouquet, if it is a bohomian floaty number this will suit a a wilder more natural bouquet than a more structured gown would.
The colour of the wedding bouquet
Do you want your wedding flowers to contrast your gown or blend in? What are the other colours in your wedding? Do you have a theme? Often flowers are a key part of bringing colour into your wedding and can really transform a space, so think about the mood you are trying to create, is it going to be a bright fun riot of colour – a real party? A romantic pastel blousy affair? Scandi style minimal whites and greens?
The shape of the wedding bouquet
What is your body shape (be honest!) if you are petite a giant trailing bouquet will look bigger on you than other people. This might be the effect you are going for but make sure your florist knows your height so that they can create something in proportion to you. Will you be comfortable carrying a shower bouquet or would you prefer a posy? Don't assume that a small bouquet is cheaper, if it's full of luxury flowers it may well be more expensive than a big foliage filled number!
Your personality and the style of your wedding
Are you (and your wedding) relaxed and easy breezy? Do you hate structure? Or does organisation rule the roost? Would wafty ferns and stray stems stress you out? One person's "wild" look is another person's "hot mess" so think about what best represents you and the style of your wedding. It is important you feel comfortable with your bouquet. If you don't want anything traditional make sure your florist knows that. Whether you like texture, clean lines or fragrance think about what is most important to you. If you are getting married in a tipi or a barn something wilder might suit, if you are getting married in a castle or a cathedral that might suit something less rustic and more romantic or ethereal. An art gallery? Something off beat and unique...
It doesn't matter if you don't know a dahlia from a daffodil, your florist will and will also be able to suggest what is in season. Think about the shape of flowers you like, do you like big headed blousy things or small frilly things, or wild flower meadow things? Do you like clean lines? Do you like textures and berries, would you be up for some seed heads or feathers or even plants in your bouquet? Are you allergic to anything? Do you have a significant flower? Perhaps there was something in your mother or grandmother's bouquet you would like to include?
To trail or not to trail? At the moment pinterest and bridal blogs are full of images of trailing ribbons and boho brides but does this suit you and your wedding? Should the ribbon be silk to catch the breeze or thin streamers? Should it contrast the colour of the bouquet and your dress or match it?
Are you bothered about where you flowers come from? I grow my own flowers and buy from a Scottish grower and my aim is to use about 75% Scottish or British produce. It is important to my style but I also like to support other small businesses and help reduce the impact on the environment of flying flowers around the planet. I try to compost all my green waste and recycle cardboard. I do still buy from Dutch markets too as there is a limit to what can be grown in various seasons, but if you are keen to go British this will affect what flowers you can use and when. People are often surprised by just how many different flowers you can grow in Scotland and there is a real movement towards supporting local growers. Check out Flowers from the Farm to see where you can buy locally grown flowers near you.
The types of bouquets I make are on a sliding scale of "wildness", have a look at my wedding flowers gallery to see some examples. They are each totally unique and even when asked to recreate them I could never make something exactly the same twice. Unlike a traditional bouquet of all roses or gyp it is very difficult to replicate a wild flower bouquet and this is one of the things I love about them, they are truly special and only exist for that moment in time.
This might all sound a bit overwhelming but if you follow your florist on social media you will see what style they work in and their posts should give you confidence that they will turn out something beautiful for your wedding whatever colour or shape of wedding bouquet you choose. Don't forget you can follow me on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook to see what I'm up to.