Celebrity Wedding Flowers

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Common name: Dahlia

Botanical Names: Dahlia

Origin: Mexico, Central America and Columbia

Colours: all except blue

Dahlias were first discovered in Mexico in the 16th century and noted as a medicinal plant.  They were brought to Madrid in 1789 and grown in the botanic garden. They are named after Swedish botanist Anders Dahl, and pronounced DAY-lee-a.  Since 1813 commercial growers have bred dahlias and produced thousands of types, including pompoms, cactus and waterlily varieties.


Dahlias are prized by gardeners for their magnificent flowers and often exhibited in horticultural shows and competitions. As Dahlias come from tropical regions they are not suited to temperatures below freezing.  It is recommended to lift the tubers and store them over winter in a frost free place.  The plants can range in height from 30cm for dwarf varieties up to 6m for the giant Tree dahlia. Some varieties produce flowers as large as a dinner plate.

They are popular as a cut flower and available mainly from June to October. Dahlias come in many colours and lots of them are vibrant or two tone shades.  They should be bought in a mature stage and handled with care as the open flowers are delicate.  They have a vase life of up to a week. They are also available as a British grown flower in late summer.


They are popular for weddings flowers as their peak season is through the summer.  The perfectly uniform flowers look lovely used en masse in compact bridal bouquets or table arrangements.  The British grown dahlias are often sold in bunches of gorgeous mixed jewel colours.

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Giovanna Falcone and McFly guitarist Tom Fletcher recently tied the knot at One Marylebone in London.  The theme was a romantic, woodland glade; the couple wanted the decorations to give the venue a magical feel.  London florist By Appointment Only provided all the flowers for the day, they created designs in a palette of soft pinks, lilac and papery blues with lots of natural looking foliage.

The ceremony took place in the Soane hall, the vast space was dressed with lots of floral displays and fairy lights were hung with ivy wound through them.  The alter was decorated with a long woodland style arrangement using stocks, lilac, viburnum, roses, hydrangea, spray roses and peonies in pinks blues and creams, with green viburnum and moss.  Behind the alter two large pedestal arrangements were placed with summer flowers and delphiniums for added height.

The beautiful bride wore an ivory Phillip Lepley gown with a vintage lace overlay and bead detailing.  She carried an informal teardrop bouquet of garden roses and peonies in shades of pink and cream, with trailing variegated ivy.

Giovanna’s bride’s maids wore full length dusky pink Kelsey Rose dresses.  They carried small hand tied bouquets of white sweet peas and roses in shades of pink and cream.  The men wore grey suits, with green ties and pink rose buttonholes.


blue hydrangea - Grey Wulf Flickr, lilac - Marisa DeMeglio

The room was transformed for dinner with a combination of low centrepieces and tall canopy arrangements.  The low designs featured summer blooms and candles.  The tall arrangements rested on twisted willow bases and featured lots of summer flowers and natural foliage.  The tables were dressed with paisley cloths in moss green and the napkins were tied with ivy.  For favours the guests were given personalised guitar picks that featured the couple’s initials and the date of the wedding.

The couple also had a magnificent floral arch that many of the photos were taken in front of.  It was packed with summer flowers in soft shades of pink, blue, lilac and cream, with lots of foliage including asparagus fern, photina, ivy and French ruscus.

I think the flowers achieved the magical woodland look perfectly, the bouquets and the venue looked truly wonderful.  Full photos are in OK! Magazine issue 829, May 29th 2012.

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roses and peonies

Any good florist will have a vast amount of knowledge about flowers.  They will know all sorts of useful info like which flowers are in season, what flowers look good together and they will be able to give you ideas for designs that keep within your budget.

If you are meeting with a few florists there are a few things you can think about to help you choose the right one for you.  Florists will show you photos of designs to give you an idea of different styles available.  Are their photos current and up to date? Some florists have a very definite style, do you like their style and their ideas? Pre-made design books and magazines are fine for getting ideas, but be sure you see some pictures of the florists own work as well so you can see the standard of their work and style.

When asked about your budget you should be upfront about what you want to spend.  Wedding flowers can go up or down hundreds of pounds dependent on the types of flowers you choose for your designs, some designs don’t contain many flowers but are very labour intensive and therefore cost more.  If you give your florist an idea of your budget they can suggest the best flowers and designs for you and you won’t get a shock when you receive your quote.  If you don’t know what you plan to spend, take a look at the flower and plant association website.  They have a guide to average prices compiled from UK florists, and a list of  flowers that are reasonably priced and flowers that are more expensive.

gloriosa, viburnum, peony and lisianthus

When the florist discusses your colour scheme and ideas, do you feel like they listen to what you want and understand what you are looking for?  A good florist will take in your ideas and translate them into designs that will work with your budget.  If you have orchid ideas but a chrysanth budget they should also be able to offer alternative flowers or designs that will provide a similar effect but be more cost effective.  If your budget won’t cover all the items you originally wanted, the florist should be able to suggest which items to spend the majority of your budget on to get the best impact.

If the florist has decorated your venue before they should be able to suggest designs that will suit your venue and any focal areas to decorate.  Ask them if they can provide a transfer service to move any items from your ceremony to use at your reception venue.  Florists will charge for this but the fee is normally far less than it would be for extra designs.

avalanche, peony and gloriosa bouquet

If you have looked into wedding flower costs, you should have a rough idea what your quote will say when it arrives.  If you have got a few quotes spend a little time to go through them, check all the details and that your total price states all the delivery and set-up costs.  If any quote stands out as drastically cheaper than others, you should consider why.  You don’t want to trust your wedding flowers to an inexperienced florist or someone who will let you down the week of your wedding because they have under-priced your flowers.  This also includes friends of friends or aunties who ‘do flowers’, only a highly skilled and experienced florist should do wedding flowers.  I have had to fix several attempts at wedding bouquets on the day of the wedding, made by people who are not florists with poor quality flowers, just because they were a cheap option.

Ultimately go with your instincts when making the decision on your florist, pick the one that you trust to turn your ideas into beautiful flowers.

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Breaking Dawn wedding ceremony

Image source Wedding Inspirasi

In the previous blog we had a quick look at the stunning flowers used for Edward and Bella’s wedding.  The designer Tammy Polatsek went to town with the natural woodland theme .  Thousands of flowers were using to make the wedding set, but don’t despair you can re-create the fabulous look without a big film budget.  To help keep your flower costs sensible try to use ivory flowers that are in season when you get married.  The flowers used in the film included roses, delphiniums, stocks, sweet peas, hyacinths, ranunculus, freesia, cherry blossom, wisteria and viburnum along with umbrella ferns, and lots of moss.

Bella's wedding bouquet

Image source Twitter

Bella carried a simple hand tied bouquet packed with beautiful ivory flowers.  It must have smelt truly scrumptious, it contained hyacinths, freesia, stocks and ranunculus.  Freesia and ranunculus also make beautiful buttonholes with a couple of simple leaves.  Although you can’t currently get married in a forest in the UK, you can get around this by having a legal ceremony in register office, and then having your ‘real’ big day with all your friends and family at a later date in your favourite woodland. Or you can of course bring the great outdoors inside.  Create a woodland feel by lining your aisle with tall branches with mossed arrangements at the base and flowers arranged to look as if they are growing.


The floral arch in Breaking Dawn was breath taking; it was very tall and packed with flowers.  It featured delphiniums, cherry blossom and other white flowers.  The arch in the film was so full with flowers, it would be budget busting for most brides.  A scaled down version could still feature lots of gorgeous flowers but with a bit more foliage and moss.  Many florists will have an arch structure that they decorate and hire out for weddings.


The reception tables had a very natural organic looking design on them, but they were quite tall and sprawling, so the plates and tableware were very close to the edge of the tables.  Things can get knocked over when the table is that full and if your guests can’t see across the tables they may even move your lovely flowers elsewhere.  I would opt for a design with the candelabra at the centre of the table and have the flowers around the base, arranged in a natural style with lots of moss and foliage.

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We’ve had a few glimpses of the amazing Twilight wedding scene.  The trailers promised a magical woodland setting, but only showed the flowers for a split second. But the time has finally come, Breaking Dawn is released today.  The lady behind the wedding set design and flowers is Tammy Polatsek.  She was responsible for designing and sourcing all the flowers for the wedding and reception.  She also designed a porcelain dinner set for the reception that was used in the film.

Twilight wedding scene

Image source Entertainment Weekly

The wedding had a Mid-summer nights dream feel to it, everything was very natural and earthy in a forest setting surrounded by lots of flowers, foliage and moss.  The colour scheme for the flowers was white and ivory with lots of deep green ferns.

The ceremony featured low woodland style arrangements lining the aisle and a stunning floral canopy.  The canopy was made with thousands of white wisteria flowers made into 40-50 feet lengths. White lavender and cherry blossom also featured in the ceremony flowers. There were tree stumps dotted around the ceremony to complete the woodland theme, these were decorated with flowers so they appeared to be growing from the stumps.

The aisle was strewn with white petals and at the end of the aisle there was a magnificent floral arch where Edward and Bella said their vows.  It was covered in white flowers including delphiniums and cherry blossom.

Breaking Dawn reception table

Image source casasugar

The reception tables were dressed with moss green table cloths with fabric leaves attached to them.  The centrepieces were large natural designs with viburnum opulus, delphiniums, sweet peas, hyacinths, ranunculus, umbrella ferns and moss.  The centrepiece incorporated candelabras shaped like tree branches.  Small candles were also dotted around the arrangement.

Breaking Dawn wedding cake

Image source Summit Entertainment

The wedding cake was a large five tier design, simply iced and decorated with ivory and white flowers.  The floral ring surrounding the cake contained roses, viburnum, and sweet peas.

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