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Friday, 8 April 2011

Coming up roses: Seasonal wedding flowers for the novice

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.

Whilst I'm not going to hector or plead my inner hippy, prancing Stevie Nicks-style with a flowery crown, tambourine in hand and goat following - it has become increasingly natural to wish to not only go local with suppliers, but to try (as much as British clement weather permits) to stay seasonal. And with such great beauty available on any budget with our traditional seasonal flora and fauna, why wouldn't you?
Flowers not only add a heady dose of tradition and wild ostentation to proceedings, but sully the air in the sweetest perfumes. Tastes and timbres have changed over the past few years from conventional piles of lusty roses to more indigenous blossoms, delicate blooms clustered together to gain ethereal structure, and my favourite, the renaissance of using herbs with their dark, woody scents and poetic analogies.

There are a host of breathtakingly accomplished and cool florists out there, but if you can it's worth getting yourself to one of these just for a posy-round (sorry) and inspiration:
Scarlet & Violet, Chamberlayne Road, London http://www.scarletandviolet.com/
LK Lily, Essex (but willing to do events nationwide) http://www.lklily.co.uk/
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/
Jamie Aston, London - also runs a fantastic day course in wedding flowers for the green fingered (£185)http://www.jamieaston.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.

Year Round


- Calia Lily
- Carnation
- Dill: symbolises 'lust' (oh-er), and has an olive gold burst of blossom in summer
- Freesia: comes in a cocktail of colours, symbolises 'Trust'
- Gardenia: bountiful soft white blooms, signifies 'You're lovely'
- Hydrangea: the luscious heads of tiny blossoms in pale cerise, mauve, cream/green
- Lily: Symbolises beauty
- Mint: fresh, sweet perfume litters the air with this hardy herb, symbolising 'virtue'
- Orchid
- Ranuculus: Pillowy soft millefeuille layers in washed out rose, or milk tinged with green hearts.
- 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

Spring
- Cherry Blossom
- Cow Parsley: Dainty white fronds of flowers, technically a weed, but a pretty one.
- Daffodils: symbolise chivalry
- Dogwood: dusky pink clusters 

Top: Peony laced bouquet;
Bottom:Elderflower

- *Elderflower: a denser, prettier Cow Parsley in appearance, symbolising 'zeal'*
- Forsythia: buttery flowered branches
- Hellebore: Graphic, strong blooms
- Hyacinth
- Lilac: brooms of miniature mauve flowers
- Lily of the Valley: delectable fragrance, swells of soft amber tinged white blossoms
- Muscari: bluebell-like
- Peony
- Tulip
- Quince
- Sweetpea
* 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
Valentino 

Summer
- 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'
- Cosmos
- Dahlia
- Daisy
- 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
Autumn
- 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'
- Sunflower

**You might also want to look to pears, which symbolise 'affection', and look particularly decadent decked in gold leaf.
For added autumnal spirit, scatter burnt gold, firey hued crisp leaves underfoot, use conkers as table adornments,and don these 'Asteria' corkers from Sergio Rossi, £710, under your gown, http://www.sergiorossi.com/.


Winter
- Amarylis: Lily-like petals with hot paprika centres fading out to pink, or snow white.
- Anemone: richly coloured in purple, ivory and poppy red
- Evergreens: For your very own Narnia
- Ivy: the dark horse of plants, sinking green leaves that symbolise - aptly - 'wedded love' and 'fidelity'
- Mistletoe: for the soppy ones
- Poinsettia
- Snowberry: little moon-like berries on branches
The darkest winter months are also ample opportunity to run wild with a snow festooned theme, warming mulled wine or spiced cider and a seriously red lipstick such as Tom Ford's Private Blend in 'Smoke Red', £35 at Selfridges and House of Fraser http://www.selfridges.com/,  http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/

9 comments:

  1. The colors are so bold, the wedding planner flowers make such a statement. I also love the striped ribbon that was incorporated into the flowers. Beautiful.

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  2. Very informative! I learn a new thing every day. Hope for more. Will be coming for more Florist in Manhattan.

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