white wedding flowers

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It can be daunting when you begin looking for a florist, a quick search online will bring up hundreds, some with shops, some studio based and some with rather dodgy looking websites.  How do you know which florists are any good? How do you decide which ones are worth meeting?  This guide will give you a few hints and tips to help you find your perfect florist.

When searching the web for things like florists, be sure to include the area your wedding will take place in, such as wedding florist Cheshire.  You don’t want to set your heart on a florist only to discover they are 100 miles away, after you’ve drooled over their beautiful bouquets for half an hour.

Don’t be tempted to book your flowers online with a company that says you can just book your flowers online and they will post them to you.  It might seem like a cheap and easy option, but these types of companies are often churning out bouquets production line style with little care or skill.  Wedding flowers also do not travel well by post; your flowers should be perfect on the morning of your wedding not turning brown because they were bashed about in the post for several days.

Once you have found a website that seems promising have a look around, does it look fresh and up to date? If the florist takes care to ensure their website stays current and looks perfect hopefully that will be reflected in their work.  A good florist will provide examples of their own work and probably a gallery of wedding flowers.  Do you like their work and the style of their designs?  If they specialise in funky exotic flowers but you want a soft romantic look for your wedding, then move on to the next florist.

maroussia rose

Many florists will have a price list or guide to their pricing on their website, this will give you an idea of costs before you book a consultation.  Price guides can be very helpful if you have no idea how much things cost.  As a rough guide brides spend on average around 10% of their overall budget on flowers.  Of course some people don’t want many flowers so that figure may be less.  The plant and flower association website has a useful guide to the average costs of wedding flowers.

Once you have found a few florists you like the look of check how they advise you to arrange a consultation, some may ask to you fill out a form online or some may prefer you to phone them.  As you are arranging a bespoke service you might want to book appointments with several florists to compare what you are offered in terms of design ideas and costs.

Part two will be posted later this week covering your consultation and looking at quotes afterwards.

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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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Zara Phillips

The Queens granddaughter married rugby player Mike Tindall at the weekend.   The ceremony took place on 30th of July at Cannongate Kirk in Edinburgh.  Thousands of people gathered along Edinburgh’s royal mile to a catch a glimpse of Scotland’s first Royal wedding in almost 20 years.

The bride looked very elegant in a full length ivory Silk Faille gown designed by Stewart Parvin, who is the Queen’s couturier.  The dress features a duchess satin hem and bust and a chevron pleated bodice.  Zara complemented her gown with cathedral length veil in fine silk tulle and the Meander Tiara loaned from her mother Princess Anne.  The maid of honour, Dolly Maude also wore a Stewart Parvin dress.  Her dress was a knee length cocktail dress in dove grey silk duchess satin. The bridesmaids and flower girls wore ivory dresses with grey sashes.


Zara’s flowers were designed by London florist Paul Thomas; she chose a classic theme of ivory and green.  The bridal bouquet was a hand tied bouquet of ivory calla lilies, green thistle, lily of the valley, hydrangea and silver senecio cineraria.  The bridesmaid’s bouquets were smaller versions of the bridal bouquet, accented with blue thistles.  The groom wore an ivory rose buttonhole with senecio foliage.

The outside of Cannongate Kirk was decorated with a huge garland arrangement made using hundreds of ivory flowers and foliage including roses, carnations, stocks, hydrangea, eucalyptus and green thistles. Inside the church there were four large urn arrangements placed behind the altar, of all ivory flowers and foliage.

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Lily of the valley Close

Common name:  Lily of the valley, May lily, May bells

Botanical Names: Convallaria Majalis

Origin: Northern Hemisphere, Asia and Europe

Colours: white and more rarely pink

Lily of the valley is also known as May lily which comes from the Latin convallis meaning valley and majalis for May-flowering.  It is said to symbolise purity, humility and the return of happiness.  It has long been associated with May and is said to bring good luck or protect your garden from evil spirits.  Lily of the valley has been the national flower of Finland since 1967.

This pretty plant is a herbaceous perennial that spreads it’s rhizomes (roots) underground to form extensive colonies.  It grows up to 20cm in height and has tiny bell shaped flowers up to 10mm in diameter.  The flowers have a beautiful sweet fragrance.  The plants offer good ground cover and thrive in shady areas.  Although after several years they can take over large areas or other plants if not divided and kept on top of.  All parts of the plant are poisonous including the berries.

The herb is used medicinally for various conditions.  In the First World War it was used to treat victims of mustard gas to lower blood pressure.  It contains cardiac glycosides which are used to treat heart problems.  The roots of the plants are used by herbalists to make an ointment that treats burns.  It should only be used by a qualified medical practitioner as the side effect can be harmful if used incorrectly.

Lily of the valley bouquet

In floristry Lily of the valley is used predominately in wedding work, as it’s petite stems are not long enough for normal bouquets and it is one of the dearer flowers.   It’s main season is March to May as a cut flower.  It is available in some other months, but it is usually more expensive out of season.  It’s delicate flowers look beautiful in hand tied bouquets or shower bouquets, and it’s sweet fragrance has a gorgeous old fashioned quality.   The delicate flowers are so petite a vast number are needed for bridal bouquets of only lily of the valley.  It also works well mixed with roses for an elegant vintage look.

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We usually have lots to take into the reception,  so we park as near to the wedding suite as possible, or use the trade mans entrance to get everything inside to set up. Typically we have a top table arrangement, table mirrors, table centres, cake flowers and vases as well as toolboxes and fabric.  The reception often requires the most work to set up all the designs and time is always precious by this point in the day.  We always have our fingers crossed that the table linen has been laid so we can start positioning arrangements straight away.

white wedding

Sometimes there are a hundred single flowers for favours to be tied on napkins with ribbon, sometimes floral chairs backs or garlands at the entrance. Not forgetting arrangements that don’t travel well, such as candelabras or tall vases that are top heavy.  So we finish off some designs at the reception, whether it is filling lily vases with coloured water and placing the flowers in them or putting roses in greened up candelabras. When we are all done we do a final check of the room and if there is time take a few photos.  The flowers always look much better in the church or reception than our untidy leave strewn work room.  If any vases or props are hired we speak to the wedding coordinator about where they will be put for us to collect the next day.  It’s lovely seeing a wedding reception finished with crisp linen, perfectly laid tables and all the personal touches like themed table names and special details on the table plan.  We are then homeward bound for a very late lunch, happy in the knowledge the reception room looked beautiful.

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