The summer months naturally reign supreme as the chosen season for weddings to take place. It (hopefully!) goes hand-in-hand with warmer weather and alfresco celebrations. Outdoor settings often play a big role when influencing the style and theme – wedding florals frequently take on an altogether more natural style – imagine a June garden in full bloom. Sourcing locally has become a huge priority for couples when researching their suppliers – with summer bringing with it a wealth of British flowers – and our wedding team relish the chance to work with these homegrown stems. We sit down for a chat with our Head of Events, Gina Hardy to find out how to incorporate a garden-infused feel into your wedding florals and advice on which varieties to choose
What would you recommend as key elements for a garden-style bridal bouquet?
Firstly, make sure to have some foliage in the bouquet, whether it’s by keeping leaves from the stem of your chosen flower or by incorporating additional greenery, bouquets featuring solely flowers can look too “arranged” - foliage will instantly add a more natural and less structure silhouette. A combination of different sized and shaped flower heads also help achieve that 'gathered-from-the-garden' feel. When selecting flowers, make sure you are choosing flowers that you would naturally see growing together – so flowers that have a similar seasonality, and are grown in the same location/climate – this will naturally create a bouquet that will appear as though it's been freshly picked from a garden, no matter what the season!
What floral varieties work especially well – what should brides be asking for?
It's about building on this idea of different sized and shaped flowers for an organic appearance - for instance, delicate and frilly sweet peas look wonderful against round-headed peonies then further combined with smaller, daintier flowers such as forget-me-nots and cosmos. I would avoid using anything too tall and straight in a bridal bouquet – such as foxgloves or delphiniums as it’s easy for their beauty to be too hidden amongst the other flowers in a hand-tied bouquet. Save those enchanting varieties and proudly display them in large urns or table centers where there will be more air around the individual blooms to really give them their moment in the spotlight.
When would be the best time to have a garden-style wedding, using locally grown flowers?
Locally grown flowers are really in abundance from May to September so this is the best time to take advantage of using local blooms. In May, you will have access to the exquisite Lily of the Valley, as well as having the pick of peonies – everyone's favourite flower, and for good reason too! Whereas in the later months of summer, such as August and September Dahlia commences - and they just to-die-for! Throughout the season there are plenty of smaller wildflower type varieties available such as Nigella, Cornflower, Scabious, Freesia, Cosmos which really add that quintessential cottage-garden feel.
Is it possible to achieve a garden-style floral look in the winter?
Of course! But what you will need to think about is “what does a winter’s garden look like”, and “typically what is growing in my garden in the winter months''. Most importantly - there are beautiful options for flowers – Hellebores, commonly known as Christmas Rose, is a beautiful example of a stunning garden flower that blooms in winter – but you will also want to include berries, nettles, seed pods and foliage that make your design look and feel hand-picked, garden-inspired - and true to the season.
How would you envision a luxurious wedding using wild, garden florals?
For me personally, luxury means an abundance of the season! Long gone are the days where it was luxurious to have exotic blooms imported from every corner of the world to showcase in your wedding designs – for me, true luxury is having a room filled with the best-of-the-season flowers, all in their truest form of beauty, fully bloomed and fragrant! Many heavily cultivated, out-of-season flowers lose their scent – being able to walk into a room and be overwhelmed with the scent of flowers is a truly luxurious feeling that evokes memories of being in a garden, seeing and smelling flowers that are naturally growing. Creating this experience for your guests will be truly unforgettable.
Any final tips or recommendations?
If you are planning your wedding a year in advance, I would suggest taking the time with your partner to spend some time in the great outdoors, visit local gardens or the gardens of loved ones and look around at what is growing, what inspires you and if there are any flowers that evoke a special memory for you. Take pictures – and if you can, cuttings of the flowers and foliage to show your florist.
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