Growing and arranging wedding flowers really is the best job in the world. I grow flowers to bring a smile to someones face, to make someone happy and bring the colour, textures and scent of the garden into your life and special day. Last year I had the honour of growing flowers for some very special couples and here is a look back at my best bits from their weddings.
My job is to grow some amazing flowers for local customers, florists and weddings. The flowers I grow for weddings can then be taken away in buckets for you to arrange yourself or I offer an arrangement service too.
Buying buckets of flowers has become more popular as people like to gather the day before the wedding and get creative with their friends and family. It can be therapeutic, relaxing, fun, and as long as you leave yourself plenty time stress free. My couples have talked about what a special experience this has been. To gather together your friends and family the day before the wedding, spend some quality time together and have fun arranging flowers, with a glass or too of something fizzy is a happy special time. The great thing is you can do as much or as little as you like. You might want to do everything yourself and order a large quantity of buckets for this. Or you might want to order some buckets to arrange the table flowers yourself and ask me to arrange your bouquets and buttonholes.
The flowers in the buckets change as the season and months move on and each wedding will have a unique combination of flowers. The flowers in the buckets above were from mid summer last year.
If you prefer to have your flowers arranged I can do this too and last year I had a lot of fun creating some unique and special brides bouquets.
My style of wedding bouquets are loose, natural, textured, scented and with a feel to them as if you have walked through the garden and gathered a bunch of your favourite flowers. Last year I loved growing grasses to include in my bouquets to add texture. One of my favourite flowers to use in the bouquets was larkspur as it provided spikes and trailing elements with beautiful delicate flowers.
I am being asked more and more to make flower crowns for weddings both for brides and flower girls. Flower crowns can vary so much in their appearance from delicate, right through to statement pieces with larger flowers. I enjoyed developing ‘my style’ of crowns last year and after using a variety of flowers I have built up a good idea of what I think is the perfect combination. I like to use herbs, grasses, heathers and foliage I have grown, as well as my flowers. Flower crowns have to withstand a day and evening out of water, they have to survive the weather and the Scottish wind and need to made on the day of the wedding, as close to the time of delivery as possible. Flower crowns are always the last thing I make after the bouquets and buttonholes are all done and I just love them.
Flower crowns are not for everyone and many of my brides and bridesmaids have enjoyed having individual flowers I have grown styled into their hair or had a hair comb made up. The hair comb below was for a wedding in Oban and needed to travel there two days before the wedding. Normally I would make any hair pieces on the day of the wedding as they need to withstand being out of water. I trialled a lot of the flowers I grew and settled on a combination of cornflowers, heather and statice. It lasted brilliantly throughout its journey and the wedding. Below you can see a photograph of the hair comb just before delivery on the Thursday and then a photograph on the day of the wedding on Saturday, still looking amazing.
Photo credit for photograph of hair comb, above right, Sansom Photography
A wedding wouldn’t be a wedding without some beautiful biodegradable real petal confetti from the garden. Last year I was constantly making new batches as all my brides wanted to use some on their big day. Some of my couples liked to have it for their guests to throw and others like it for decorating their tables. I hope to keep making as much as I can this year as I just love it, for its colour, sense of fun, beauty, eco friendliness and compatibility with venues wanting you to use biodegradable products.
Photo credit for photograph of confetti, above left, Sansom Photography
I love making jar table arrangements for weddings as I can use the best mixture of flowers growing in the garden at the time. I try to give them different textures, colours, heights and scent so they can provide a talking point as people spot the flowers they grow in their own gardens or spot new ones they like. My jar arrangements are a nice gift for a couple to give away to guests to take home and enjoy at the end of the night. Many have said how long they have lasted after the wedding.
Weddings have challenges and the biggest one for me is to fulfil a brief for a particular colour scheme. Growing flowers and not importing them means I have to work with what my flower patch provides for me. I can have an idea of what will be likely to flower in a particular month, but you cannot guarantee a specific colour or variety of flower to a couple. My most challenging wedding flowers last year were for my October weddings. The brief for both that month was pale pastel colours at a time of year when bright colourful in flowers such as dahlias, rudbeckia and helichrysum were more likely to be abundant. On top of this the weather was a lot worse than the year before and the flowers were slowing down much faster. The flower patch did not let me down and I was so happy to create the bouquets below for my brides full of cosmos, scabious, achillea, astrantia, nigella, larkspur, eucalyptus, herbs, grasses and pale helichrysum.
Another wedding that provided a different challenge was Emma and Gavin’s at Hartree Estate near Biggar. Emma wanted me to see if I could decorate lace armbands with flowers for herself and her bridesmaids. I was unsure how well the flowers would attach to the lace but found a hot glue gun and using robust flowers that were unlikely to wilt worked well. The result was beautiful and unique.
One wedding that was great fun to do was Samantha and Andrew’s in St Andrews. The large majority of my brides ask for pastel, pale colours but Samantha’s brief was bright and colourful. I was able to grow and arrange flowers I had not been able to before. She also wanted extra buckets of bright flowers to decorate parts of her venue and asked for sunflowers if possible. As with all my weddings I had to say that I couldn’t promise particular flowers as you just don’t know what will bloom that particular week, but I was determined to give it my best shot. I think Samantha was destined to have sunflowers at her wedding as despite the lack of sun and poor weather my sunflowers bloomed for her. They were amazing and my only regret is I completely forgot to take photographs of those buckets of flowers. Samantha’s bouquet lasted so long she has managed to dry it and keep it at home!
Every year I like to learn new skills and different ways of displaying my homegrown flowers for weddings. This year my flowers were used to decorate wedding cakes and I also taught myself how to make wrist corsages.
I love making pinned buttonholes and corsages. I can use some of the lovely shorter stemmed flowers I grow and combine them with seedpods, herbs, grasses and foliage to bring them to life, full of texture and scent. As well as fulfilling large orders I really enjoy making them one or two at a time for local customers attending a wedding. Please get in touch anytime you would like me to make you one. You might spot the kraft tags in some of the pictures. These have magnets attached to them so that a lady can attach the corsage to her bag or outfit without having to put a pin through it.
Here are some of my favourite bridesmaid bouquets this year. How are they different to the brides bouquet? I make them slightly smaller with similar themed flowers but I do always reserve a few extra special ones to put in a brides bouquet. Its important to make it that bit different and the star of the show with the bridesmaids bouquets to complement it.
I cannot do my weddings without the fantastic support of my family. Peak wedding season is also right across the school summer holidays and my girls are so good at being my helpers when I need them. Whether its holding a bouquet so I can see it from a different angle to add or remove a flower, trying on new hair flowers I am practicing, delivering flowers on a wedding day or knowing that mum just has to work those long hours on the day before a wedding but we will do something nice together in the days after. Robert and my mum and dad are so good at helping out with childcare or driving if I need an extra pair of hands at a city centre delivery without much parking. So this is a chance to say a big thank you to them for all their help and patience last year.
A big thank you as well to all my wonderful couples from 2017 and their friends and families. You were fantastic to work with and I loved the opportunity to grow some amazing flowers for you.
Looking forwards I am expanding the flower patch again and getting itchy feet to start growing my 2018 flowers. I am growing old favourites such as larkspur, cornflowers, ammi, phacelia and sweet peas and trying some new varieties this year too. I am excited about the future and my flowers.
And just to finish off are you getting married or know someone that is? Are you a person like me that loves nature, flowers, the great outdoors and beautiful gardens? Do words such as beautiful, wild, natural, locally grown and scented pop into your head when you think of what you would like your wedding flowers to be like? If this sounds like you and you have a flexible approach to colour and varieties of flower then I would love to give you more information on what I can grow and arrange for you and your special day.