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Ask the professional - Wedding Flowers with Sally

Flowers are a big part of your day, they can dictate the colour scheme, be pride of place as bouquets and button holes and even make up centre pieces. Archways are becoming more popular with foliage and can double up as photobooth backgrounds. I sat down with Sally from Phoenix flowers to get a professionals take on how to go about choosing your wedding flowers.

What is the most important tip you have for couples planning their wedding?

Know your budget! Instagram and Pinterest are brilliant for ideas but don’t have a price tag attached. Find a florist you know and trust and they will be the best person to advise you on what you can have without breaking your budget!

What is a rough cost of flowers for a wedding?

This is always the first question I get asked but there isn't really an answer! Cost is so dependant on flower type, whether it is in season and the quantity required. A wedding with one bridesmaid and one best man will obviously be cheaper than one with 10 bridesmaids and lots of groomsmen. Go to your florist with as much information as possible including the number of bouquets and button holes, an idea of how many centre pieces or venue decor items you'd like and a photo or two from instagram or pinterest to show the look you would like. Then they'll be able to give you an idea of costs.

What tips do you have for sticking to a tight budget when it comes to wedding flowers?

Give your florist a colour palette to work with rather than listing specific species or varieties of flowers. Getting a specific rose for example will mean suppliers pay more to guarantee that variety of rose rather than finding stock of something that is a similar colour but half the price. Giving us more control over the flowers included means we can maximise your budget by choosing an alternative variety while still keeping within your colour scheme.

Recycling your flowers from church and taking them to your venue is also a great money saver. Bouquets can double up as centre pieces and make the flowers you buy multi-purposed across your day. Even if you are having your reception at the same venue as your ceremony, think about moving the ceremony room flowers into the reception room rather than doubling up.

What about DIY?

Buying your own loose flowers and DIY arranging isn't necessarily a money saver when you add the time and effort it takes to organise them at the venue and the vessels to display them. It's a lot of extra work and stress for something that will never look quite as good as a professional arrangement. We also know all the tricks for keeping your flowers as fresh as possible and making sure they don't wilt before your big day.

Do I need to choose seasonal flowers?

Flowers are not only cheaper in season but the quality of the flower will be better.

While new growing environments mean that some flowers are available all year round even those will be better quality if grown in their natural season. Some flowers just can't be made to grow out of season, peonies and hydrangeas are particularly fussy. If you have your heart set on a certain flower set your date with its season in mind. If you have over a year to plan your wedding the best thing is to visit your florist the year before so you can see exactly what is available at that time of year.

If I have a very specific colour scheme can you work with it?

Complimentary colours for bridesmaid's dresses and venue decor are always best. You will never be able to guarantee a perfect colour match. Flowers are a natural product and even 2 roses cut from the same plant will not be the exact same colour. Try not to get fixated on a colour that will exactly match a dress and go for a range of the same colour palette to compliment the look.

How does my wedding dress affect my choice?

It's worth knowing your dress before choosing your bouquet. If you have a long train a looser trailing bouquet is ideal to compliment the shape. If you have a large princess dress a smaller bouquet will not make much of an impact and if you have a lot of detailing on your dress you won't want to cover it with a large arrangement.

What about a flower crown?

With crowns you need to be realistic on cost. You could spend as much on a crown as a you do on your bouquet as they are really intricate to put together. Remember you are paying for the florists time and skill as well as the flowers themselves. Loose flowers are much more cost effective and can be wired to twist into your hair giving the same sort of effect at a fraction of the cost.

What else do I need to considered?

Flower sizes. Larger flowers cost more but require fewer, smaller flowers you will need more to make an impact and both will give very different aesthetic.

Venue size. If you have a very large hall or barn smaller arrangements may feel a little lost in the space. In the same way a very modern style of arrangement will look out of place in a rustic historical venue.

Set up times. Check with your venue when we can have access to set up. If we can only get in an hour before the wedding some arrangements such as moon arches or hanging arrangements may not be possible due to the complexity of the set up. Similarly if there is a wedding in the same venue before or after yours then there will be set collection and set up periods. Knowing these before you talk to your florist will help them steer you towards what is achievable on the day.

Any final thoughts?

Trust your florist, be honest with your budget and they will give you the best flowers they can.

Find Sally and the team at:

Phoenix Flowers

24c High Street Ruddington



NG11 6EA

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