Ruby Harte (a.k.a Mags Riordan) has been a professional florist for over 12 years and has completed a course in horticulture and worked in garden centres, wholesale nurseries, and private gardens. Ruby runs a family owned nursery, Bumble Bee Farm in Castledonovan, Drimoleague and is deeply concerned about the protection and cultivation of nature and its habitats.
The snowdrops are singing, crocuses and primroses are appearing, spring is definitely on its way. I love this time of year it’s so full of promise and new beginnings it’s no wonder so many couples choose this time of year to get engaged. With that in mind this month we are going to talk about wedding flowers and choosing them.
Every bride is unique so we advise choosing a style that suits you and incorporate something that reflects your own personality. If you are a vibrant and bubbly person then go for bright colours, even clashing hues in the hot spectrum like reds, oranges, purples and even pinks with a bit of lemon to help tone it down and marry all the colours together.
If you are a soft spoken, shy and demure lady then we would suggest romantic scented garden roses, ranunculus, anemones and sweet peas in soft feminine tones.
If you are a sporty tomboy, consider bold masculine flowers like eryngium, succulents, orchids and sun flowers.
For us here on the farm seasonality is the most important consideration but this applies to processed imported flowers also – you will always get the best quality blooms at the most reasonable prices by choosing varieties that flower naturally in the season you are planning to get married in.
The style of dress will also be a huge consideration, for example if your dress were a full ballgown then we would recommend a hand-tied bouquet. On the other hand an A-line or empire-line would suit a shower/waterfall bouquet; while a bohemian style dress would cry out for a floral crown and a loose full slightly wilder looking bouquet.
These types of bouquets have been with us forever but are constantly evolving with new twists and variations appearing regularly.
Trends for 2016 are for the fuller more flower heavy bouquets; foliage is still a critical element but the emphasis now is on more unusual types focusing on texture and confining it to a supporting role. The lush romantic look of scented old-fashioned garden roses, ranunculus, sweetpeas and scabious and so on are really gathering momentum with the addition of food elements like pea vines, tomato trusses and runner bean clusters. Sedums and succulents are still very popular and also make great durable buttonholes.
If the long shower type bouquet is a favourite of yours but you are only five feet tall then adapt it by having a loose handtied with a little elegant trailing foliage such as jasmine or honeysuckle and tie off you bouquet with long trails of luxurious ribbon, you’ll get the extension and create the elusion of height without the heaviness of a full shower bouquet.
Budget is almost always a consideration so the style of bouquet and flower choices will play a large part as will your venue. The number of bridesmaids will be a critical factor because you will be multiplying the cost of each bouquet and this will soon add up.
The venue and types of displays will need careful consideration also. While most hotels will include table flowers in their price, sadly its usually no more than the tired overuse of a single lily stem with a bit of bear grass. If flowers are not important to you then this is a great way to save money and will suffice but if you want beautiful floral abundance then your venue will, to a degree, dictate the most suitable designs. For example low ceilings and long refectory style tables are very conducive to foliage table runners with (depending on budget) the addition of flowers bringing the garden inside. Equally, potted plants grouped together on a bed of moss can look fantastic and these can be planted in your garden afterwards as a memento of your special day or given to guests as an alternative to the more traditional favours. On the other hand, high ceilings can take large top-heavy arrangements on pedestals giving a breathtaking view as you enter the reception room but by being placed high they won’t interfere with conversation among guests.
There are ways of achieving this without breaking the bank. If you or family and friends have some floristry skills then those tall lily vases could be used to create a more elegant fuller display by using a single or three large leading ladies like Amaryllis surrounded by full foliage like berried ivy and if you scrunch up clear cello it gives a wonderful crushed ice effect to the vase while still transparent.
The example in the photo contains nine ivy branches, five hellebore stems, three hyacinth blooms, three large birch branches and one amaryllis.
We strongly recommend doing a dummy run to get a feel for the arrangement, calculate stems used and multiply by the number of tables and lastly an estimate of how long it took you to do each one, which will give you a great idea of time needed and how many helpers.
Equally reusing church flowers, created with your venue in mind and transferred there afterwards gives full value and you get to enjoy them for the full event, not just the fleeting moment in the church.
Whatever style, season, florist or floral designer you will choose for your wedding day we wish you all the best and wholehearted congratulations on your pending nuptials and we hope this will have helped you in some small way.