Today’s blog post is on one of my favourite parts of a wedding day- flowers. I’m delighted to share Liz’s advice. Liz is an incredible florist and the owner of Bluesky Flowers. Liz and I first had a wedding together back in 2015 for Katy and Tom at Hampton Court. Below is a transcription of our chat, if you prefer to listen you can do so on the Wedding Sanctuary podcast here >
Over to Liz:
“I’ve been a florist for 20 years. We all have our identities, a style and look. I say I don’t think I have a style, but my freelancers, people that work with me and planners say they know what it is. So that’s very flattering – summed up three words is elegant, lush and natural.
I always put in more than I anticipate. I’m working at the flower market and spot things that look nice. I’ll just put a few of those in too! I don’t like tortured flowers. I don’t like things that are contorted into a certain way and feel like they shouldn’t be together. Things should feel how they work in a garden, so there’ll be lots of foliage and lots of flowers.
It is very trendy at the moment to have dyed flowers- there’s lots of tulips, anemones and things like that that are coming in with sort of very subtle slightly antique’y shades and pale greys. They almost look like they’ve got delicate veins on them. And they’re just not natural colours- you think oh my god how is that grown? Well, it hasn’t. So have a look at that they are in use in the right way subtly.
The overgrown foliage, big statement pieces are always going to be around and hanging statement structures in marquees or in a barn or great big arches or entrances and things like that into certain venues, I think those are still going to be big and stay around.
What is so lovely about being florist I can make people happy. You give somebody some flowers, they smile. It’s just instant. It’s the easiest way to please somebody.
I don’t particularly enjoy the early mornings and winter isn’t great. But there are so many good things about it that overwhelm that side of things. I get to work on lots of different styles and lots of different weddings and meet lots of lovely people.
Is there one? I don’t think there is one look. But I think just flipping it around slightly, if you’re looking at planning your wedding flowers, and you’re thinking about what to have, trying to choose something that isn’t going to date.
It’s like choosing the dress. You look back, that was a 1970s dress, there was a 2020 dress… It’s the same with flowers, there are certain styles that are very much now. For example, the bleached dried flower thing. I think something like that will date, same as great big domes of just roses on roses will date because it will it will look like it was done in a certain time.
So try and choose something that is a little bit more natural, gardens don’t tend to date, they grow in that sort of natural state.
Create an entrance. At the doorway into your venue, wherever that is whether it’s a marquee or a stately home, you’ll all walk through it, but then take pictures out there afterwards. That’s a memorable thing – a special background.
One of the easiest resources is Instagram. It’s fantastic. Our websites are wonderful, but they’re not as fast moving as our Instagram accounts. Start following some on Instagram – as many florists as you can be bothered to look at!
You’ll very soon find the styles that you like that you don’t like, whittle them down, and maybe get to about three or four of them that are very similar. Then start to list things that you think you might need. Go to these people and say this is what I’m looking for.
Give them a little bit more information, is the church a priority for you? If the ceremony and the reception aren’t in the same place, how far apart are they? Can we move things? Do you want us to move things? If the church is a small element in terms of the decoration, then spend all the money at the reception because you’re going to be there much longer.
The main thing is find florists that you like the work of and trust them to do for you what you want. It’s you wouldn’t go to a dress designer and say, I love your look. But I want this and it’s completely different. Go to somebody for what they are best at.
Have a big display in the church, don’t have lots of little things on the windowsills, because they can end up costing the same amount of money as one big thing. When people walk in, they’re not going to notice small things. They would notice a statement piece at the other end of the aisle, because they’re going to be looking that way all the time. It will also be in all the pictures.
If you can do an arch at the church door, you’ll all walk through it and it can be where you do your pictures.
Concentrate on something in particular, a backdrop to the to the ceremony table, a mantlepiece at your table is going to be in front of make something of that mantlepiece. When all the speeches being done, it’ll be there and all the photographs, very important, then the guest tables can be lovely.
One I’ve used in the last couple of years is holm oak. It’s a bit like an olive in that it’s green on one side and white on the other side on the underside. But it’s slightly bigger- it’s really good out of water.
I would say that the main flower that most people talk about and ask for is a rose.
It changes with seasons. I like I like sweet peas when they’re out. Blackberry scoop scabious, I think is my absolute favourite. It’s got a very straight long stem. And then it has this kind of calm soft golf ball on top of it. And it’s like a chocolatey burgundy colour. A big fluffy hydrangea is gorgeous. There’s so many I can’t choose.”