As florists and cut flower growers one of the ultimate aims of the garden at Honey Pot Flowers is to have a wide variety of country garden flowers that we can incorporate in our wedding bouquets and venue arrangements.
A couple of years ago we were asked to provide bouquets and hair flowers for a wedding ceremony in the Orangery at the wonderful National Trust Hidcote Gardens. Perhaps a slightly daunting prospect sending flowers to Hidcote but an exciting challenge all the same. We also provided DIY buckets of our cut flowers for the wedding party to decorate their wedding venue at nearby Mickleton Hills Farm.
The cutting list
The brief was for relaxed bouquets of fresh country flowers in blues, pinks and whites with a pop of yellow. This style has proved popular with many of our couples over the years. For this design we used the following flowers:
- Astilbe (Pink & White)
- Larkspur (Pink & Blue)
- Ageratum (Blue)
- Limonium (Blue)
- Gladiolus nanus (White)
- Solidago (Yellow)
- Dahlia (Pink)
- Pinks (Pink)
- Veronica (Pink & White)
- Sweet William (White)
- Cornflower (Blue)
- Campanula (Pink)
- Phlox (Purple)
- Achillea (Pink)
- Clary Sage (Pink)
- Asparagus Fern
Also popular are our buckets of flowers for decorating the tables, bar area and entrance at the wedding venue. These are typically delivered the day before the wedding and allows family and friends to meet (possibly for the first time) and decorate the venue in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.
Mickleton Hills Farm is a lovely barn conversion and the couple decorated the tables with small bottles and jars filled with our cottage garden flowers. The flowers provided included many of those used in the bouquets with the addition of Ridolfia, blue Clary Sage, drumstick Alliums, Cosmos, Shasta daisies, Antirrhinum, Amaranthus, green teasels and Liatris along with a variety of different Hosta leaves and Lonicera nitida stems for foliage.
Planning and preparation
Typically our weddings will have an agreed colour theme. However, we grow all of our flowers outdoors and are therefore at the mercy of the British weather. Seasonal flowers are by their very nature, seasonal, and so the flowers that will look at their best on a particular date will vary. I think all the Brides we work with appreciate this and it is very much part of providing wedding flowers that are locally grown and ‘of the moment’. We work closely with other growers and suppliers to ensure everything comes together on the day.
Our planning for each wedding usually starts in earnest two weeks before the event. A walk around the flower garden identifies what flowers will be available and ideas for the bridal party bouquets begin to form. Initially we will be looking to identify our feature flowers, the spikes, balls, umbels and discs in appropriate colours and then the fillers and foliage that will complement the design. Detailed bouquet and buttonhole designs are then developed and a full list of the flowers required is created. From this schedule we identify what additional flowers and materials we may need to order in.
For a Saturday wedding we will usually cut and condition on the Thursday, carry out all the arranging on the Friday ready for delivery on the Saturday. Cut flowers for venues are typically delivered in water the day before.
One of the major challenges for a mid-summer wedding is keeping all the flowers (and the florist!) cool. All our bouquets are kept well hydrated right up to the time of the wedding so that they remain at their very best.
For this wedding the Bride wanted individually wired fresh hair flowers for herself and the Bridesmaids. These have to be prepared at the very last minute and the blooms selected very carefully. Fresh flowers out of water on hot heads in the summer heat is definitely not ideal from a florists perspective but it all worked out in the end!
Credits: Photography by Maria Farrelly (www.mariafarrelly.com)