Choosing wedding flowers is something that seems to divide engaged folk into two distinct camps; those who know exactly what they want and those that really have very little idea.
This is a series of blogs taking you through the process to try to ensure you get the flowers that you want.
One of the first things that needs to be decided is the budget. There is so much variation in the cost of flowers that the choice of the actual blooms impacts greatly on the cost of the arrangement. This year I have decorated candelabras with ivy and very few flowers for £25.00 and I have done fully decorated candelabras using dozens of flowers including dahlias, garden roses, astrantia and sweet peas for £125.00. It is so important to have an idea of what you expect to pay for your flowers before you go to discuss it with your florist. Most florists and flower growers are experts at making sure you get 'bang for your buck' and you should not be shy to discuss this.
Choosing flowers that are in season is an excellent start to ensuring that you get the most for your money. Peonies in season are absolutely glorious, out of season they are less so and about triple the cost - there is always something wonderful in season in British flowers - it makes sense to embrace that rather than insisting on expensive, out of season blooms. A clever florist or flower grower can always suggest a wonderful alternative that will help stick to your budget.
It is useful when considering the budget to have in your mind a list of absolute essentials - most folk would say bouquets, buttonholes and table flowers, and a secondary list of what you would like - ceremony flowers, extra buttonholes, floral crowns.... but it is important that these are your own priorities. I am currently working on a wedding with 22 buttonholes but no bridesmaids bouquets - your wedding is your own and you should never accept a 'package' unless your theme is actually 'generic wedding'!
I often think that the flowers at the reception are more important than the flowers at the ceremony - people stay for longer at the reception and it is more a reflection of the couples personalities than the ceremony venue. Also, at the ceremony, the focus is very much on the couple, the words that are being said and the vows they are taking. Although it is lovely to have flowers at the ceremony they are quickly left behind as guests move to the reception. It is entirely possible, of course, to re-use ceremony flowers at the reception. This is something that can really ease pressure on your budget but the logistics need to be carefully thought through. I find that florists and flower growers are masterful at innovative ways to use, move and re-use flowers. It makes not only economic sense but is also eco friendly and less wasteful.
In summary decide and stick to your budget, be realistic about how to get value for money and work with your florist to ensure you get what you want without breaking the bank.