Getting our wedding flowers right was a big deal to me as I used to work for the Flower Council of Holland earlier in my career. However, flowers can quite easily become expensive so it was an aspect of our wedding budget that I couldn’t splurge on either.
Two bouquets heavily influenced my choice of wedding flowers.
Firstly, I remembered being bowled over by this stunning pink bouquet when watching the BBC series “Mistresses” a few years ago. It was carried by one of the key characters, Jessica, at her wedding.
Whilst I am very fond of white flowers, I loved the contrast of this bouquet with the wedding dress and the coordinating groom’s pink button hole and was eager to have a bold bouquet.
Secondly, when researching florists and wedding flowers, I stumbled across this bouquet designed by Anna Sawle. It made me think of sea foam and the kind of wispy wild flowers you find on cliff paths and I thought it would be a perfect starting point for the table arrangements in our waterside marquee.
I chose Fleurtations of Bodmin as the florist for our wedding. She came highly recommended by a friend of ours. The shop is run by Caroline Crabb who won Silver Medal’s at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in the florist of the year competition in both 2010 and 2011. She was very easy to work with and really took on board my ideas and added her creativity to bring them to life.
Bouquets and buttonholes
After initially discussing a pink bouquet with the florist, we had to have a change of plan once we choose blue bridesmaids dresses.
I heard her intake of breath when I called to say I wanted a blue bouquet.
But she came up trumps with a stunning bouquet of hydrangeas, scabious, gentians, cornflowers and agapanthus.
Unfortunately I left my bouquet on the boat we travelled to our reception on and by the time I got it back again, all our group photographs had been taken. So my beautiful bouquet makes plays only a small part in our wedding photos.
After discussing different options such as decorated hoops and baskets, we set upon mini posies for the little bridesmaids of a single hydrangea.
Our older bridesmaid, Katy, carried a simple ivory bouquet to contrast with her blue dress.
Richard and our ring bearer wore blue gentian buttonholes whilst the best men, ushers and our fathers wore white roses.
Decorating the Church
I dislike the standard pedestal arrangements that are usually used in churches as I find them quite morbid. So instead our florist, Caroline, suggested Grecian style pillars with candles and ivory flowers.
I ordered three pillar arrangements and the genius of them was the fact that they were easy to transport so we took them to our marquee after the service so we could enjoy them for the rest of the day.
The mother of two of our ushers, Carol, who regularly decorates the church in a nearby parish offered to help me to decorate the church.
This kind thought developed into an afternoon of ladies flower arranging on the Thursday afternoon before our wedding rehearsal.
In addition to the florist’s pillar arrangements, Carol together with two of Richard’s aunts and Lyn, my old boss from Sydney, (with a limited amount of help from me!) decorated the window sills and altar of the church.
It was very special for me to spend those hours in the church before the wedding. I loved the fact that their arrangements had different styles. And it meant that the church looked beautiful and full of flowers.
For the table arrangements in our reception marquee, we took inspiration from the wispy blue and white bouquet I admired above and the florist created handties of ivory roses, ivory thistle, scabious and blue cornflowers which were placed in simple glass vases.
The day after the wedding, these handties turned into perfect ‘Thank You’ gifts for people who had helped us make the wedding such a special event. We handed them out during impromptu speeches at our relaxed Sunday party.