Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Sussex Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
To view more expert advice on a different topic, please select one from the list below.
Winter's natural beauty
Q. We can't wait for our winter-themed wedding, but the flowers are worrying me a little. What's available at this time of year and what would you suggest to tie them in with our theme?
A. Kate Lindsay says: Having access to wholesalers widens our variety of flowers in the winter, if the seasonal options aren't enough. So there's really nothing to worry about for a winter wedding. Although, I do tend to use seasonal flowers and foliage from here in the UK, because I love the changing of the seasons and all that nature offers us. It's also much more eco-friendly to use what's available locally rather than relying on imports.
In the winter months, we have many options available. Anemones are stunning and are only available from November, meaning they beautifully reflect the time of year. Hellebore (Christmas rose) is one of my favourites and they come in beautiful colours. I love to use the lime green variety in a lot of my designs, as it's so fresh and vibrant. Berries too are abundant and sweet-smelling winter jasmine and viburnum are great additions. Thistles bring a wonderful winter feel, and are excellent for buttonholes since they're so hardy.
If you have your heart set on roses it's not a problem as the wholesalers offer a huge range all year long in a wide range of different colours. They're a staple of nearly all of my clients' wedding flowers. Foliage brings a lot to any arrangement and eucalyptus is at its best in the winter months, along with English ivy. But again, the wholesalers will have a huge variety of all sorts of textures and shapes.
The first question I ask my clients is: “What's the feel of your wedding?” We'll then talk colours and style before I put together a moodboard to sum up the overall look and what's available for that time of year. Trusting your florist is key. With all of the necessary information to hand, they can work their magic!
Kate Lindsay, The Natural Florist
Q. I've always longed to have peonies in my bridal bouquet, but we're getting married in the autumn and I understand they won't be available then. What would you suggest as alternatives that will have a similar look and impact?
A. Petra Beaton says: Peonies are such a beautiful flower, but they have a very short growing time and are only available in the early summer months. Luckily, there are a number of alternatives for an autumnal wedding. I'd go for some gorgeous garden roses, which are available all year round and have the same ruffled, fluffy and full look that gives the peony its scrumptious volume. Some varieties are also scented as an added bonus!
If you're looking for something with the wow factor when it comes to size, dahlias are the perfect alternative thanks to the impact of that majestic bloom. Best of all, they'll be in season at the time of your wedding. They do tend to come in stronger colours though, so if bright and bold isn't for you, another sizeable flower to consider could be a hydrangea. They have the same lovely roundness and fluffiness and come in pastel hues.
Remember to check with your florist, as we always have something up our sleeves to create the look you're after.
Petra Beaton, Sussex Florals
Sky's the limit
Q. I love flowers! What creative ways can we include them in our wedding outside of bouquets, buttonholes and centrepieces?
A. Kelly Hardings says: All of my couples have heard me preach that anything is possible with flowers. They're not just accessories for the bridal party to hold or the groom and groomsmen to wear, they're a timeless and essential part of your décor. Flowers can be suspended, draped, submerged, floated and attached to almost anything.
Ceiling displays are proving to be a favourite in the shape of floral chandeliers or elongated trailing displays, which can really set off a marquee interior. We've all seen flower arches, but how about pillars of luscious foliage entwined with big blousy garden roses and sweet-scented peonies. I've secured flowers to many things: cars, trees, goal posts and horses to name a few.
If you're having a rustic wedding, how about a wheelbarrow bursting with blooms and overflowing with trailing ivy and soft eucalyptus? Or what about a tropical summer paradise? We've been known to fill a watermelon or two with striking tropical flowers surrounded by bold displays of palms and rich greens.
Whatever your colour palette, style or theme flowers can create a wonderland of texture and buckets of wow factor for your special day. Don't be afraid to ask for your dreams, that's what we florists live for!
Kelly Hardings, Bella June Flowers
Q. How can we reflect the wonderful feel of springtime in our wedding flowers?
A. Rachel Matthews says: Letting nature shine through your designs by using blooms only available during the spring will really give you that sense of the season. From the palest of pastels to bright and bold oranges and yellows, the best part about using spring flowers is the glorious scent they bring. Let your florist be creative with their design within your colour palette using textures and varieties that complement each other.
Just by adding pops of delicate narcissi and brightly coloured anemones the hint of new beginnings becomes apparent. Also, dotting dainty planted spring bulbs around the venue, so full of promise, will keep your theme flowing.
Rachel Matthews, Greenfingers
Underneath the arches
Q. We've seen that flower arches are a growing trend. Can you tell us more?
A. Steph Willoughby says: We're making everything from rustic birch arches to amazing hanging floral rings for 2021. It's the pure romance of getting wed surrounded by beautiful blooms that's creating a buzz around floral arches of all shapes and designs. They've never been more popular! There's such a wide choice to tie in with any theme – boho arches dripping with foliage, or full blousy scented blooms for the modern-day princess. Alternatively, how about a moongate full of symbolism, with its shape representing the circle of life and the wedding rings.
To get the very best value from your arch, ask your florist if it can be moved. Then you can reposition as a fabulous photo backdrop for your guests after the ceremony. Many couples like to move it behind the cake or band for fabulous feature shots.
Steph Willoughby, Chirpee Flowers
Best of british
Q. I'm keen to stick to British blooms for my bouquet and displays to reduce air miles. What domestically grown flowers would you suggest?
A. Arabella Timbrell says: I absolutely love using British-grown flowers, so much so I have started my own micro cutting garden (@woodshillcuttinggarden). Firm favourites include antirrhinums, cosmos, larkspur, ammi majus, daucus carota, calendula, nigella, roses, lavender, sweet peas, scabiosa, dahlias, zinnias, salvias, clary sage, just to name a few. There are local flower growers everywhere, many of whom are florists too, so your best starting point is to head to www.flowersfromthefarm.co.uk to find your nearest and see how they can help.
Arabella Timbrell, Arabella Floral
How to pick your W-day blooms...
Q. When it comes to your wedding flowers, think about the season in which your wedding day falls.
A. Sue Sturges says: Try to use flowers and foliage that work well for that time of year. For example, ranunculus and anemones in spring, blousy garden flowers in summer, mixed foliage and berries for autumn and winter.
Give your flowers priority in the planning process. Remember, they'll be seen in many of the photos, so it's important to sit down with your florist to discuss your needs and budget to achieve your desired look. A good starting point is the bouquet, which should reflect you in its style and personality. It can then provide the inspiration for the other floral designs, enabling the same look to run throughout.
Match your flowers to your venue. A relaxed rustic look with garden flowers is ideal for an informal barn wedding, or for a more formal affair in a lavish manor house, you may prefer more structured blooms in high arrangements.
Sue Sturges, Bramble and Belle
Q. How can we make our venue flowers less formal to reflect the chilled-out vibe of our day?
A. Steph Willoughby says: You can start by recycling and upcycling containers for your flowers. The choice of design will be super-important. On-trend ideas include everything from using vintage surrounds from old books with the centres removed, to old-fashioned tea canisters, and re-used catering tins. Old board games also make for quirky centrepieces. Use scrabble letters to spell “love” or use the board itself to hold a small bucket, terracotta pot or basket of flowers.
Less formal flowers will include dried and wild blooms, as well as foraged materials. Trestle tables covered in natural elements such as moss look like a beautiful meadow has sprung up looking pretty, and relaxed.
Commercial flowers can be stiff and unyielding, they're grown to be perfect and have straight stems. Ask your florist to use locally grown seasonal blooms and grasses, with lots of movement, which will have unusual shapes, textures, and growing habits.
Steph Willoughby, Chirpee Flowers
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