Whether marrying in the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness (commonly known as cider), high summer, a snow-blanketed Michaelmas or giddy springtime, flowers are an incontrovertible must at any wedding.
Scarlet & Violet, Chamberlayne Road, London http://www.scarletandviolet.com/
Absolute Flowers - the flowers featured in this month's Vogue Wedding special tucked behind Lara Stone et al's ears, Little Venice, London http://www.absoluteflowersandhome.com/
The Real Flower Company, Selfridges London and West Sussex http://www.realflowers.co.uk/
Northern Flower - even if just to see the delightful Rowan in action, Manchester, www.northernflower.com/
I Heart Flowers, Glasgow, http://www.iheart-flowers.blogspot.com/
With this in mind, below is an overview of each season's flower highlights, some of their floriographical symbolism's, and a few little inspirations of the clothing, catering and other wedding ephemera kind...
If you do, however, have a particular fondness for out of season or exotic overseas blooms, then you might consider 'hothouse' flowers, or at least Fairtrade, reduced airmiles flowers from the likes of M & S.
*Soft-core lecture aside.
- Lily: Symbolises beauty
- Rose: can't get more English than these lavish beauties.
- Stephanotis: Creamy star-shaped blooms
- Rosemary: musky sweet scent, with a lilac blossom in summer and narrow bottle green needles
- Cow Parsley: Dainty white fronds of flowers, technically a weed, but a pretty one.
- Daffodils: symbolise chivalry
- *Elderflower: a denser, prettier Cow Parsley in appearance, symbolising 'zeal'*
- Forsythia: buttery flowered branches
- Hellebore: Graphic, strong blooms
- Lilac: brooms of miniature mauve flowers
- Lily of the Valley: delectable fragrance, swells of soft amber tinged white blossoms
- Muscari: bluebell-like
* Why not have a bash at Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall style Elderflower Champagne? http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/chefs/hugh-fearnley-whittingstall/elderflower-champagne-recipe
And spring evening's can cool quickly once the sun has set, stay prettily un-goosebumped with this downright lovely cashmere Valentino shawl, £900 at net-a-porter.com
- Apple blossom: abundant dainty flowers, symbolising 'good fortune'
- Astilbe: towers of punch-drunk hot pink, lilac, scarlet, cinnamon and cream
- Cornflower: virtuoso purple spikes of petals, symbolising 'delicacy'
- Delphinium: a deep purple one for the rockers, looks like a softer Cornflower, symbolises 'fun'.
|A Real Flower Company garden rose bouquet|
- Garden Rose: the rose for those that don't like roses, gentle, velvety textured blooms in quiet colours.
- Gladiolus: symbolises 'generosity'
- Hollyhock: beacon towers of trumpet-like blooms in country garden colours, symbolises 'fruitfulness'
- Honeysuckle: popping pink trumpets that symbolise 'The bond of Love'
- Lady's Mantle: pale sunshine coloured, tiny, tight flowers
- Larkspur: a regal blue, super pretty bloom symbolising 'An open heart'
- Lavender: abiding soft purple coloured country flowers, with heady scent, symbolising 'Love' and 'devotion'
- Marigold: symbolises affection
- Scabiosa: frilled edged petals with a pin-cushion heart
- Snap Dragon: Bassett's Fruit Salad coloured blossom in hot red, clementine and yellow symbolises 'hope'
- Violet: dinky, velveteen inky purple blooms, symbolises 'happiness' and 'love'
** French Connection's Fuschia 1970s redux 'Shelby' gown is practically crying out for a bridemaid to wear it at a summer wedding, £155 from http://www.frenchconnection.com/
Corn sheaves are traditionally associated with fecundity -they made an enchanting embellishment to the Spring/Summer 2011 Alexander McQueen show - harvested in summer, use prodigiously for a puritan, rustic country feel.
- Blue Eryngium or 'Oxford Blue': stormy indigo star-shaped thistley flowers.
- Crysanthemum: symbolises 'abundance', 'wealth' and 'love'.
- Dahlia: Big, ornately architectural, showy blooms signifying 'Forever Thine'
- Heather: highly scented lavender or white fronds, with lilac symbolising 'Admiration' and White, 'protection'
**You might also want to look to pears, which symbolise 'affection', and look particularly decadent decked in gold leaf.
- Anemone: richly coloured in purple, ivory and poppy red
- Evergreens: For your very own Narnia