The language of flowers
07 Feb 2014
The language of flowers
Whether it’s a great armful of alyssum or a single iris, a riot of Caribbean colours or a subtle mix of creams and pale pinks, choosing wedding flowers is as much fun as selecting a dress. It can be just as tricky, too, so we asked the experts for help.
Some brides can picture their bridal bouquet and reception flowers down to the last frond of ivy, others can’t decide on the colours, let alone imagine the style of the arrangements.
In both cases, this is where professional florists will help.
The experts at Elizabeths the Florists in Norwich, said the colour of the flowers was usually decided by the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses.
Some brides do choose flowers and then aim to match the dresses to the flower colour, but need to remember that because flowers are living things, the colour of a particular pink rose, for example, may be subtly different throughout the season.
When visiting the florist, try a number of different bouquet styles before deciding. The florist will typically have various colours and designs ready made in silk, so the bride can see how she feels holding various bunches.
As with every aspect of weddings these days, there are no hard and fast rules about flowers. Consider the style of the wedding and work from there.
The traditional bouquet is a shower or a teardrop shape and, while there are no particular flowers for a traditional wedding, brides choosing this style typically look at ivory shades with roses, freesias, gypsophila and spray carnations.
Brides choosing a modern style may consider a black and white theme or a single vibrant colour, such as bright pink, keeping things very simple.
Elizabeths suggest using one type of flower in a hand-tied bouquet, which is carried in one hand and rested over the other arm. The hot pink calla lily Serena, or the ginger bloom, is ideal for a contemporary-style wedding.
Brides looking for something a little different may choose funky flowers in a traditional design, such an anthirium lilies in a teardrop bouquet. Some brides choose an elegant holder for a single bloom, making this a striking accessory to their outfit.
Lots of glitter and sparkle is the idea here. The bouquet can include feathers and diamante, beads threaded on to grasses and stems, a scattering of glitter, little butterflies and dragonflies and coils of aluminium wire. Flowers elsewhere will continue the very fun and feminine theme, and floral table centrepieces can be placed on mirror tiles and mixed with candles for added sparkle.
Pretty cups and saucers, bunting in the marquee and trestle tables. A country theme is fun, and easy to interpret. Florists suggest a freeflowing loose bouquet, and how about moving away from conventional ideas and incorporate herbs into the flower bouquets and arrangements instead? That’s rosemary and coriander, lavender and other attractive herbs. Do make sure you like the smell though!
Anything goes. If you’ve a favourite colour or special request – such as ears of corn in every arrangement or only blooms and absolutely no greenery – simply ask your florist. One of the more unusual things Elizabeths have been asked to include in a bridal bouquet was a Brussels sprout, so don’t be shy.
Brides are increasingly taking away a bouquet of silk flowers for weddings abroad. This means they can choose exactly what they would like to suit their character and outfit, as often you cannot specify particular flowers or colours for overseas ceremonies.
Spring colours are traditionally the soft yellows, pinks, creams and greens associated with a country-style wedding. Why not make the most of spring bulbs, which unlike most flowers that are now available year round, are only out in the spring. That’s blooms such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and ranuncular. For something a little different, how about cherry blossom or apple blossom, suggested Elizabeths.
Holly, pine cones, ivy, blue thistles and rich red roses are the obvious choices for winter weddings. Consider pussy willow in late winter, too, plus the pretty berries of hybericum. Mix evergreens with winter whites for a dramatic look.
Elizabeths the Florists, 87/89 Unthank Road, Norwich, 01603 623937, www.elizabeths.co.uk.