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Colour schemes and floral displays: confessions of a feminist bride-to-be

26 Jul 2017

In the fourth edition of Sophie Elliott’s bride-to-be blog, she discusses the importance of colour schemes, flowers, and decorations

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Image gallery

Welcome back to my bride-to-be blog. In this, my fourth entry, I’m going to be talking about how we chose our colour scheme, the nitty gritty bits and bobs we’ve sorted out over the past few months, and our flowers.

So first up: colour scheme. We scheduled an appointment to visit our venue a couple of weeks ago, to discuss flowers and decorations. A few days before we went, we sat down to talk about colours. It was a subject that had been on my mind for a while, because the colour scheme would dictate the bridesmaids’ dresses, the flowers, and the way we decorated the venue. Although it sounds bizarre, the colour scheme is actually one of the most important elements of a wedding.

The lovely Shropshire Petals had sent over a sample box of their dried confetti not long before that, so we pulled out the sachets to see if they could help us decide on colours. While I was all about the pastels, my fiancé Luke was vehemently against using the colour purple, and didn’t want a totally pastel scheme. We settled on blues, pinks, and creams, with the idea that we will use different shades of the colours, from light to dark. I think it’s safe to say that we will be using Shropshire Petals for our confetti, as well: their samples were beautiful, vibrant, and natural.

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So with that in mind, we headed to the venue for our third visit. Unlike last time, the owner and wedding co-ordinator was there to answer all of our burning questions. We talked about the limitations of decorations in the venue, which helped us to narrow down our options. We’ll be going with fairy lights and artificial floral displays, and probably keeping away from the bunting so it doesn’t look too stereotypically ‘rustic’ or ‘boho’. We also talked about flowers. Our venue will do everything for us, including floristry, so it was really important for us to sit down and chat through the choices.

We’ve chosen to have rather wild, colourful flowers. The bouquets will have a mixture of greenery and country flowers, and won’t be a traditional round arrangement. Instead, the flowers will be more natural-looking, as though they’d just been plucked from the field that very morning. Our table arrangements will follow suit, and the gents’ buttonholes will be made up of a selection of the same flowers too. In terms of decorations, we’re determined to find lovely artificial vines and garlands that don’t look too fake, plus we’ll be making a flower curtain to hang on the wall behind the ceremony table.

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Luke enjoying the sunshine in the countryside outside the venue

So what else have we been up to? Well, around a month ago I took a week off work to go and visit various members of my family that don’t live locally. First up were my soon-to-be in-laws, who took me out for a delicious dinner. Luke’s mother and I stayed up late into the night chatting, and she surprised me by presenting me with her old wedding ring. She’s since upgraded her ring but still has her original, engravings and all. When I tried it on, it was a perfect fit, and there’s plenty of room to add our initials and wedding date in there. I’m chuffed to have such a piece of family history that I can keep with me.

I also visited my mother and her partner down in rural Suffolk. They are the ones who took me dress shopping, and who have been looking after my precious wedding dress ever since. So it was only natural that I try it on once again. I’d been exercising consistently for a few months at that point, so was hoping I’d be able to squeeze into it. And lo and behold, it fit like a glove. We have discovered, however, that the zipper is sticky, so they’re going to be taking it to a local alterations shop to either replace the zip for another one, or change it entirely to a corset back.

Talking of alterations, it looks like I’ll be taking a trip to my local seamstress soon as well. Whilst browsing the internet last week, I stumbled upon a bride on one of the Facebook bridal forums who was trying to sell her dress. Upon reading the post, I realised that she was the same size and height as me… not only that, the dress she was selling was by the same designer as the one I have, and featured the same lace patterning. The big difference was that her dress was long and in a slightly different style, whereas mine is a shorter tea-length.  

After deliberating for a few hours and checking our budget, I decided to take the plunge. She was selling it for a fifth of its original price, and it had never been worn, only tried on. My maid of honour came round when it was delivered, and it fit perfectly apart from one small section that needs taking in. So now I have one dress for the ceremony, photographs, and food; and one for the evening and dancing. Greedy? Me? Never.

 

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There are a few other things we’ve sorted out too. I'm booked in for a new tattoo, which I'm getting in September. Luke’s wedding ring, which will be a replica of his father’s, is currently being custom made and I can’t wait for it to arrive. We’ve also bought a few pieces of decoration, along with a couple of things we need for the evening such as a microphone. Another element that is now booked is the evening catering. On the recommendation of our venue, we’ve secured a delicious surprise for our evening guests that won’t just taste great, but will look awesome too.

Despite all of this, we’re still well within budget, which I’m super happy about. It is my worst nightmare to begin our marriage in debt, however manageable it might be. I don’t want to spend years paying off an event that only, in reality, lasted one day. So what’s left to do? We still need to get Luke’s suit and the bridesmaids’ dresses, as well as our accessories and shoes. But there’s not all that much left to worry about apart from some of our DIY decorations, which is good, because there’s not that much time left. Only nine months to go…