Wedding Flowers Part II: Which Flowers Are In Season?

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Images by Rebecca Goddard Photography.

If you missed the first instalment of this three-part floral series then it’s a definite must-read and you can find it here. I urge you to take a peek if you want to learn all about wedding flower budgets! It’s an eye-opening piece and one I wished I had read when planning my own floral story.

Jay Archer is the author of this series and she’s beyond incredible in so many ways. Honest, creative and just a little bit magic, I had the pleasure of working with this lady at Pynes House last month on our latest editorial and it was such a joy witnessing this floral genius in action. What Jay doesn’t know about flowers probably isn’t worth knowing!

But what is worth knowing is today’s meaty topic – seasonality.  What do the seasons actually mean to florists and how will this influence your choice as a bride…? Read on to find out, oh and don’t forget to pin the relevant seasonal bookmarks so you can return at a later planning date.

Notes from Jay Archer Floral Design

Jay:

Seasonal does not mean British grown or local, nor does it mean cheaper. That is the biggest misconception when it comes to wedding flowers – all flowers I suppose.

Using seasonal quite simply means something is in ‘season’ – it is at it’s best now. English grown roses, for example, are at their best June – September whilst Peonies thrive in May – early July.

You can get most flowers out of season nowadays; Norway grows and stores peonies in snow but they definitely won’t look their best! These flowers will be poorer quality and probably won’t smell quite as beautiful. It’s like strawberries at Christmas which are often grown in Peru or Spain – they cost more and just don’t taste like a sweet, sticky, delicious strawberry so why would you..?!

Being clever with your budget means you can watch the pennies and have seasonal produce at the same time. If you love roses but cannot afford to use them throughout your scheme (at £3 per stem and up to £5 for David Austin’s) then consider using these in just your bridal bouquet.

Before seeing your florist, you need to work out what’s important to you. Write a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves, work with the seasons and ensure your floral ideas are complimentary to their natural surroundings and the choice of wedding venue. Being clear about your budget will mean your florist will recommend the right flowers for you.

British flowers are generally sold in smaller ‘wraps’ or individual stems, so if your florist doesn’t use British grown then this might mean they’ll be buying your flowers in bulk. Imports can come in ‘wraps’ of of up to 50, for example ranunuculus and anemones are always sold in large quantities so this will have an impact on your budget as you will need to pay for the full ‘wraps’ rather than just one or two stems.

Buying flowers in bulk can be cost effective when they’re in season – Spring bulbs, autumn foliage, aummer cornflowers/scabious, winter branches and amaryllis are all good, purse friendly options. So have a chat with your florist and make sure you’re armed with all the questions you might want to ask.

So, what’s is in season when..?

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Spring

Ah, Spring – the most scented month! Think striking little spears of pale blue and ice white muscari, multi-tonal almost pearlescent hellebore and the tiny nodding heady scented bells of lily of the valley! This particular specimen is one of the most desirable wedding flowers and available all year from a chap in Holland at about £2 per stem!

Also in Spring:

  • Blossom – apple, quince, cherry, magnolia, prunus, spirea and others.
  • Tulips – French tulips are a real treat, with their long stems and peachy heads. Parrot tulips and English tulips are available in every colour you can imagine!
  • Wallflowers – available from local growers only usually. Their petals have the most amazing colour variations which remind me of a Turner sky!
  • Ranunculus – peonies are not quite about yet so ranunculus are the next best thing and beautiful in their own right.
  • Anemones – the much-desired navy eyed variety are more expensive than their white centred counterparts. I think the white ones are pure and classic.
  • Narcissi and paper whites – The scent of these little flowery fireworks is quite something! Strong and heady, they can be overwhelming when used in table centres but good for bouquets.
  • Forget-me-nots – tiny, delicate dots of sky blue. Dreamy.
  • Fritillaries – beautiful little nodding heads of dusky purple with a chequered pattern.

Working to a palette of pastel pinks, creamy whites, vintage dusky pinks and soft blues, I’d suggest mixing spring flowers with catkins, twigs and senecio foliage.

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Ross & Lynsey’s Inchyra Wedding

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Images by Photos by Zoe.

The last two weeks I’ve been surrounded by the most glorious and unexpected Spring flowers on not one, but two styled shoot editorials! And yes folks, we’re also right on the cusp of peony season. So this surprising blast of autumnal gorgeousness has me craving crackling fires, cosy blankets and a marshmallow or two.

Ross & Lynsey chose The Byre at Inchyra for their wedding celebrations; hidden in the heart of Perthshire, Inchyra is more than a relaxed wedding barn venue, because you can make their 150-acre private estate your own.

Notes from the Photographer

Zoe:

This is the story of Lynsey & Ross’s wedding day.

There was so much hustle and bustle in the morning, with all the girls getting ready at the beautiful Inchyra House. I truly madly deeply LOVED Lynsey’s dress, and oh, that autumnal flower crown by Myrtle & Bracken… I adored it.

The amount of thought and time that Lynsey & Ross had put into their wedding day was evident too – all the wee pumpkins and little apples strung up along the backs of their guests chairs were such a delightful detail.

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Chiswick House & Gardens Spring Wedding Showcase

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Image by Kate Nielen Photography.

We’re swinging by on this bank holiday Monday with a rather beautiful styled shoot by B.Loved all in honour of the upcoming Chiswick House & Gardens Wedding Showcase on Saturday 22 April, 11am-4pm.

Join this stunning London venue at their very first Wedding Showcase dedicated to inspiring you to create the wedding of your dreams, whether at this beautiful location, within London or further afield.

The team are thrilled to be opening the doors to their West-London gem with an interactive and exciting event dedicated to helping you design your wedding day. With the help of award-winning wedding planner, The Bespoke Wedding Company, they’re creating anything but your regular wedding event.

Teamed with their hand-picked wedding professional partners, come and see your unique wedding day brought to life. Visit their bridal fashion boutique, sample mouth-watering wedding catering and decadent wedding cakes, meet floral designers, paper goods gurus, photographers, stylists and many more.

Their partners include some of our faves; Kate Nielen Photography, All for Love London (both featured in this shoot!), Harriet Wilde and Ellie Sanderson Bridal. You can view the full list of suppliers here.

Experience Chiswick House as you’ve never seen it before set for your wedding ceremony and the Burlington Pavilion dressed and sparkling in 2017’s key wedding trends and designs.

This is a feast for the senses with live talks and demonstrations taking place throughout the day featuring hair and make-up presentations and professional advice on planning your perfect day.

Entry to the show is free. All guests who pre-register for the wedding showcase qualify for a gorgeous goody bag of treats and entry into a prize draw to win four tickets to the Chiswick House & Gardens open air cinema this summer.

This is a must-have wedding planning experience for you and your bridal parties.

Pre-register now!

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Wedding Flowers Part I: The Budget

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Images by Hannah Duffy Photography.

It’s Katrina here (resident wedding planner for Coco Wedding Venues), taking over the introduction reigns from Emma and stepping away from my usual features about budgets, timelines and my love of all things schedule related!

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing the first of a practical and pretty three-part series about wedding flowers and all in collaboration with one of my biggest wedding supplier crushes – the phenomenal, inspirational, award-winning Jay Archer Floral Design.

As a Wedding Planner, I think it’s vital that I’m constantly learning new skills and fully understanding the industry that I work in. In previous years, I’ve freelanced for caterers and worked back-of-house as well as stepping in to support venues with their on-the-day management. Last year, as I stood outside a Church desperately trying to construct an emergency button hole for one of my Groom’s, I realised that it was about time that I added wedding flowers to the learning agenda!

Jay Archer and her Floral Design Flower School was the obvious place to start so off I headed on a road trip to Hampshire (alongside the lovely Hannah Duffy who was there to capture the experience) to expand my horizons and learn more about the ins and outs of wedding flowers.

The result is a three-part ESSENTIAL series breaking down wedding flowers and hopefully shining a light on an area of wedding planning that isn’t often fully understood, especially when it comes to today’s feature – wedding flower budgets (you know I said I was stepping away from my usual features about budgets well, I lied!).

The reason why today’s feature is so vitally important is because very few people understand the true cost of wedding flowers and as a result, allocations for flowers within wedding budgets is very rarely realistic. SO, if you’re in the throes of pulling together your budget or allocating your expenditure then reading the below first is a wedding planning MUST!

Just as a heads up… Part II is all about seasonality and colour palettes and in Part III I get to tackle the practical side of bouquets and buttonholes!)

Your Wedding Flower Budget

Jay:

The flower budget… ‘’do we even have one?!’’ Ugh… where to start.

As a wedding florist, I meet couples everyday who come to me for advice on their wedding flowers – what to have, what’s in season and, more importantly, what it will all cost…?

I try to be as helpful as I can right from the off, giving people advice on typical spends for marquees and, say, the church. But the thing is, and here’s the bit where people think I am being evasive or difficult, there really isn’t an average. There are so many variable factors when thinking about your flowers.

Hopefully, if I do my job right, I’ll wipe out some of the myths with this post and actually provide some information that’s useful for the couple planning their wedding.

Here goes!

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Flowers for Weddings with Jay Archer Floral Design

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Images by Ria Mishaal Photography.

I’ve had a bit of a girl crush on today’s Loved by Coco subject for quite a while. It’s therefore such a ridiculous privilege to have the talented Jay Archer with us for not one, not two but three floral features all for your planning pleasure.

When it comes to flowers, you kind of know you need them for a wedding but if you’re anything like me, when I went to the first meeting with my florist I was a little clueless. I knew what I wanted, but I didn’t know what it would cost and I had no idea what I could and couldn’t have. I was that Bride who asked for Peonies in August. Yep, guilty.

So with this in mind, Jay is going to be guiding us through topics such as budgeting and seasonality but before we delve into these meaty subjects, I thought we’d all get to know each other.

Over to Jay!

Notes from Jay Archer Floral Designs

Jay:

After 6 years unofficially, I have now run Jay Archer Floral Design from my Hampshire based workshop for just over 5 years, working on about 500+ events and weddings. Weddings are at the heart of what we do and I like to say I create flowers for weddings, not wedding flowers.

Last April 2015 saw us launch the JAFD Flower School, and we’ve seen students travel from around the world including from America, Italy, Germany and Chile. I teach all classes myself and offer a range of courses to amateurs and professionals.

Throughout all of our work, I favour using British-sourced flowers and foliage which come from all over the country – some very local in Guildford and Dummer, others further afield from Cornwall and Lincolnshire.

I have a large team available to travel with me – we mainly cover the South East and London but work regularly in Dorset, Kent and the Cotswolds.

Why Weddings…?

Like most, I fell into it. I knew I wanted to work with flowers and was trialling different avenues – retail and otherwise. A friend asked me to do her wedding and that was it, I knew that was my niche.

I continued to build my business within the wedding industry mainly due to the people I have met – clients and suppliers alike. I enjoy meeting new people and bringing their ideas to life in different venues across the South East (although we are available to travel nationwide, and have worked in Devon, Cornwall, Chester and Scotland).

Weddings are high-pressure, and having been a bride myself in recent years I understand the emotion, desire and journey behind that ‘one’ day. To work in a constantly evolving industry with ever-changing clients, be self-employed and satisfy my creative cravings all at the same time is a fortunate, and often enviable, place to be.

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