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Things to consider when choosing your florist and your flowers

Wedding flowers are a prominent feature of almost every wedding, featuring in the majority of photos, adding a certain ambience, a touch of colour and tradition to the day. I recommend brides research photos on the internet or in books before booking a consultation with either a wedding planner or a florist. Once you have booked a consultation it’s great to bring in your ideas (whether loose print outs or in a scrapbook!) along with any colour swatches.

Here are a few pointers and thinking points to help you with choosing the best wedding flowers for you:

• Price: Do you have a budget? Are you able to get the flowers you really want? Can you make any sacrifices or have the space to add on any extras, are you flexible? Can you double up venue and church flowers for example and save on costs? Are there cheaper flower alternatives?

• Style: Do your chosen flowers and their shape compliment your theme, ambience, location and dress? Are buttonholes and bridesmaid bouquets practical to last the day and evening, are they suited to the age and size of all of the wedding party?

• Research: *Top Tip* When looking at photos online, make sure they are real brides in the pictures. Often photo shoots for magazines are misleading and impractical for real weddings.

• Colour: Do you match with your bridesmaids, or deliberately contrast them? Do they suit your dress and your skin tone? Do you want to bring in colour in places other than flowers? The ribbon down the stem, diamantes, feathers, lace or netting for example? This is a particularly nice option for those with a tricky black, brown or blue theme!

• Reputation: If you are going directly through a florist have you checked out your florists’ reviews or seen their work? Can you be confident they are organised, reliable, creative and passionate enough to deliver the flowers of your dreams!?

The Flowers –

1) See the flowers you’re ordering up close It is a good idea to see the flowers close up and in real life! There may be variations due to picture quality; I have found that even the use of a flash can make a flower appear blue rather than purple!

2) Or… ask to see a portfolio of examples For special occasion flowers, nothing can set your mind at rest more than real examples or photos of actual flowers the florist has made. You will be surprised at the difference experience and understanding makes between flower arrangements!

3) Ask about seasonal flowers You may be able to save yourself money or help the environment by choosing seasonal flowers. Although most flowers are now available all year round, they are often artificially grown and imported from places like Holland, Colombia and Kenya. Think green and you could get more from your budget.

4) Confetti Did you know that throwing rice at weddings can be damaging to some local wildlife, in particular certain birds? Make your wedding day green and use luscious rose petals for a totally biodegradable alternative to confetti.

5) Fresh or Silk? Artificial wedding flowers are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to fresh ones. They don’t provoke allergies, they match the most unusual of colour schemes and can be a treasured ‘souvenir’ and even an heirloom passed on to future generations. Yet another option!

Don’t be afraid to be creative! Flowers will be in almost every single photo and the scent of a freesia or a lily will evoke your wedding day memories for years to come, so make sure it is just as you wish. With flowers, it is an area that can be really bespoke to you. Every flower has a meaning for instance – what will your bouquet mean? No two bouquets are the same, just as no two brides are the same, and with the technology and transport links of our modern age there are fewer and fewer limitations!

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