May 4, 2009

Wedding flowers 101- First lesson: The bridal bouquet

Jessica from Periwinkle here- Yet another bridal appointment began with the bride to be uttering the words “I don’t have any idea about flowers for my wedding…” This happens often, and has spurred me to this- the Periwinkle guide to what you as a bride need to think about when thinking about your wedding flowers in order to get the perfect mix for you.

First up, let’s do as we at Periwinkle do in our wedding consultations and start from the top with the bride herself. The very first thing we as a florist want to know is what the dress looks like. This always gets the bride talking, which is great and we usually get way more detail than we need. Essentially, what matters is the colour, the style and if there is any ornamentation. So let’s tackle these one by one.

The colour:

Very seldom do we get brides going with an actual colour over a shade of white, but when they do it opens up a world of possibilities for the bouquet. But neutral still reigns for the bridal gown, and so what we need to know is are we talking true white, natural white, off white, ivory, cream….you get my drift here. Because the dress is the background for the bouquet, the flowers need to compliment it while actually showing up in front of it, so if it is a true white and you have your heart set on only the purest white flowers, we will recommend having a greenery collar at least, probably mixing some greenery into the posy itself. This is because if you don’t, all your photos will show you holding basically nothing in your hands as the white flowers will be indistinguishable from the white of your dress. Choosing an off white heading into the creamy tones means we will try to avoid using too much pure white in your bouquet, as this can often make the colour of the dress seem “dirty” or “muddy” against the pureness of the flower colour.

The cut:

Again, we get a lot of detail about this, but what we want to find out is how full the gown is and if it is following a particular era in styling. For example a gown with a full skirt and sleeves will need a fuller fancier bouquet, perhaps getting into a teardrop or cascade even, to balance out the visual weight of the skirt- a delicate posy of lily of the valley would be totally lost. A slender, body skimming fit lends itself more to elegant architectural bouquets, such as three stems of calla lilies left long and simply bound. If the gown has a princess feel we will know you are heading for a different look overall in the wedding than the bride that has chosen the 1930’s art deco gown.

The ornamentation:

Is there some delicate beading around the waist band? Embroidered vines all over the skirting? Your florist needs to know if the dress is calling attention to a particular area so the bouquet doesn’t take away from that- A too full posy will block that beading from view entirely, and we’d want the posy for the embroidered dress to have some echoing of the vines within it, without making it feel like the whole look is overgrown!
Ornamentation can also give some great little details that we can then pull through the rest of the wedding- One Periwinkle bride had a beautiful coloured sash around her waist- this was repeated with similar satin ribbon at the necks of the centerpiece vases and was a wonderful personalization of the event.

You chose your gown because it makes you look how you want people to see you, even if this wasn’t a conscious part of your decision process, so a good florist can glean a lot of information about what your want in flowers from hearing about your dress. Breaking down the elements of colour, cut and ornamentation is a great way to help guide you in your bridal bouquet choice, even if at first you really do feel you have “no idea ” about the flowers.

In my next installment we will tackle the bridesmaids and flower girls so stay tuned!

No comments: