How to find your perfect wedding florist

The venue’s booked, the date’s confirmed and it’s time to plan your wedding flowers.  After all, what’s a wedding without flowers?  They set the mood and are the single most important factor in bringing colour, fragrance and texture to your day.  For most of us, our wedding is the first and possibly the last time we’ll ever spend or order beautiful blooms on such a large scale, unless you’re Elton John or a florist like me and I get how daunting it can be.  

However, whether you know everything or absolutely nothing about flowers it doesn’t matter – the right florist will ensure you feel comfortable and that the process is relaxed, fun and enjoyable.  After all, choosing your wedding flowers is the most exciting part of planning your day, right? 

I think there’s more choice out there now than ever before when it comes to choosing your florist and it pays to take a little extra time to find your perfect match.  Most wedding blogs have supplier directories and have already done the legwork for you by curating their favourite wedding suppliers in one place. Instagram is a great shout for browsing examples of previous work and getting a good feel for the florist’s style.  Have fun looking for someone whose work strikes a chord with your own taste and sense of style because taking the time to find the right fit now will pay dividends later on.

It sounds obvious but try not to leave it too long to make contact.  Florists only have room for so many bookings so once you’ve found your dream florist make contact.  I promise you it’s never too soon, I’m already securing bookings for next year!

It can be awkward and embarrassing to discuss money but it really doesn’t need to be and it makes such a difference if you’re open about your budget from the start.  Some florists have a minimum spend but aside from that we can work to pretty much any budget but by you sharing the numbers early on we can focus on creating realistic & beautiful ideas tailored to your budget rather than spending time working on and suggesting ideas that simply won’t add up when it comes to it. There’s nothing more disappointing for me than quoting for a dream job only not to get it because I came in over budget and wasn’t given an opportunity to work with the couple to create a proposal within their budgetary comfort zone. We won’t judge you, I promise! Some florists have price guides available on their website so you can get an idea of how much your wedding flowers might cost before even making contact. If you can’t find one online, send an email and ask for one.

As with all relationships communication is key.  Take along as many visuals as you can and if you have an inspiration/ mood board all the better – be it blooms (obvs!), cakes, colour inspo, fabric swatches or table settings it all helps to visually communicate the essence of your day.  Don’t be scared to be experimental, a mood board is there to capture your dreams for your wedding so be creative.

Brainstorm the key words that come to mind when you picture your wedding to share with your florist such as boho, romantic, vintage, classic etc.  Tell them what you like and what you don’t like.  Your florist can then work with you to drill down on your ideas and bring your vision to life – exciting stuff!

Ok.  I’ve gone there with the whole mood board thing so I’m going to be straight with you here – please don’t expect your florist to recreate an exact replica of a bouquet you’ve seen on Pinterest.  It’s not an easy thing to do and if you’ve chosen your florist because you loved their portfolio then please trust them to use their skill & expertise to create your bouquet of dreams. You won’t be disappointed.

On a final note - If you want to maximize your budget and to have the best blooms possible you simply can’t beat the natural beauty and incredible fragrance that freshly grown seasonal flowers possess.  If your florist buys from local growers: even better.  If something you want isn’t in season your florist will be able to suggest and find you an alternative. During the summer months I source as much as possible from a couple of gorgeous growers in Sussex who are chemical free. I love the natural look and freshly gathered style they bring to my work.

Not only are seasonal flowers the best value for money, look better and last longer but they also reflect the season your wedding day falls in and in years to come those blooms will forever capture the essence of your special day and bring back magical memories not only for you but for your friends and loved ones too.  Priceless.

Caring for your cut flowers

If there’s one thing we can be sure of this week, it’s that a considerably large number of well deserving mums the length and breadth of Britain will be on the receiving end of the glorious gift of flowers come Sunday. That’s right it’s Mothering Sunday! A far better gift than the other ill thought out coincidence of the clocks going forward and losing an hour’s sleep.

So, be that a jolly hand picked bunch of fresh daffs and tulips direct from the garden or an elaborate rose filled bouquet - knowing how to treat your cut flowers will ensure you reap as much enjoyment as possible for the longest possible amount of time. After all, flowers are the gift of slow nature’s beauty in an increasingly hectic and busy digital world so who wouldn’t want the pleasure to last?

Regardless of if your flowers arrived in or out of water the first step is to give them a long refreshing drink in a “clean” vessel. Whatever you’re using to display your flowers in, be sure to give it a good scrub beforehand with detergent to kill any lurking bacteria from the last inhabitants. Fill your chosen vessel with room temperature water, remove any leaves that will sit below the water line and using a sharp pair of scissors or secateurs cut a couple of cm diagonally off the stem and pop into the water immediately. If the cut isn’t sharp you could damage the stem and restrict the flow of water. If you have any droopy heads, try cutting a good 5cm off.

The majority of bouquets still arrive with a sachet of flower food so do use it. If not, you can add an acidic ingredient such as lemon juice of vinegar to help neutralise the alkaline in the tap water and reduce the bacteria. There’s an old wives tale about adding lemonade to flower water. My mum always did this when my dad bought her flowers on a Friday. I know I’m biased but he was a bit of a winner because when I was little he bought me a little bunch of freesia every Friday as well :) If we didn’t have any lemonade I remember us adding vinegar and and a spoonful of sugar to the vase. Bleach is also a popular add to flower water but I hate the stuff and avoid having in my home at all costs. However, if you’re more tolerant than me you could add a splash.

When it’s time to decide where to put your flowers so you can see and enjoy them every day, be mindful of drafts, avoid direct sunlight and don’t be tempted to put near the fruit bowl! Believe it or not ripe fruit gives off a natural gas that’s actually harmful to flowers. It will shorten their vase life, prevent any buds from opening and can even impact the colour of delicate petals….. not good.

Keep an eye on the water and top up regularly. If you want your flowers to last for as long as possible it’s imperative to change the water and give a fresh cut to stems every few days. Always remove wilted flowers to keep your arrangement fresh and above all else, sit back gaze awhile and enjoy. You deserve it.


Bespoke Christmas wreath workshop

Next month I will be moving to Hove permanently which is super exciting! Firstly, because I love the sea and secondly, what’s not to love about Brighton & Hove??

One of the first things that struck me was the generosity and openness of everyone I met whilst planning our move. Such a hub of creativity and inspiration, I love how supportive local businesses appear to be of each other and I am excited to become part of their community just in time for Christmas!

To mark the start of our new working lives in Hove, R and I have a busy first week. He has an open studio event at his new studio space and I will be hosting a bespoke Christmas wreath workshop December 3rd, 7pm to 9.30pm upstairs at the igigi General Store on Western Rd.

Upstairs is where you’ll find the new permanent home of family run Chard and their seasonal fresh menu. Their ethos resonated with my own love of using fresh seasonal ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible and when I met the lovely Mae, the deal was sealed. I am so excited to be renting their beautiful space and to be making new friends over a glass of fizz and arm fulls of fragrantly fresh seasonal foliage!

If you would like to join me in creating a spot of door envy for the festive season, please see link below for tickets.