Autumn wedding flowers

autumn wedding bouquet in pastel

Autumn is our favourite season for wedding flowers. There are often days in September and October where the weather is good and the backdrop of autumn coloured leaves in the trees make for some stunning wedding photos.

The colour palette for autumn flowers allows for some richer and deeper tones. You can still get some gorgeous whites and pastels but the availability of  richer colours make it the ideal time to get married ( in our opinion!)

 

There are certain flowers that are at their absolute best in autumn and are great in wedding bouquets.

The first one to mention is the Dahlia.

This flower originates from South America and was originally grown for its tuber as a food source.

The Dahlia comes in a range of colours from the giant blush Cafe-au-Lait and other whites,creams and pastels to bright oranges and pinks and purples to deep maroons like Nights-of Arabia.

The Dahlia is available from the end of July with their peak season in September.

autumn wedding bouquet in blush and white
autumn wedding bouquet in blush and white

This wedding bouquet  is an autumnal blush and white one.

It’s a combination of roses and lysianthis, which are available year round, with Dahlia Cafe-au Lait, hydrangea and lots of silvery foliage. The olive branches are available in the autumn with little olives attached.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next flower that’s great in autumnal wedding flowers is a two-tone rose.

These aren’t neccerarily seasonal and available all year round but work so well in autumn wedding flowers.

Some of my favourite are Cabaret, a cream rose with a peach tip and Cherry Brandy, a burned orange rose where the outside of the petal has a pink hue.

A paler version with a muted salmon colour is a 3D rose.

Here is an autumnal wedding bouquet with Cabaret roses and 3D roses. This one also has Dahlias. Lysianthus and Hypericum and Ivy berries in the bouquet.

 

 

 

 

 

The next flower that is at their best in  Autumn is the English Hydrangea.

With lots of tones from pale green and white to soft pinks, blues and purples to bright pinks and maroons. The English Hydrangea is a great filler and great value for money compared to the Dutch greenhouse Hydrangeas. The coulors are more muted and a bit more dirty than the bright Dutch ones but they give a great vintagy feel to your wedding flowers and are great value for money.

Below is a blush wedding bouquet with English Hydrangea. (If you are reading this and don’t live in England please read an outdoor grown Hydrangea). There are also some snow berries in there that is a great autumn filler and some Helichrysum or straw flower. These everlasting flowers are making a huge comeback and are a great way to give some texture to your wedding flowers. They come in a range of colours from blush and pale pastels to deep reds and burned oranges.

autumn wedding bouquet in blush and peach
autumn wedding bouquet in blush and peach

A great colour palette for autumn are the Sunset tones.

I am talking about reds, pinks, oranges and peaches and maroons mirroring an amazing sunset/ dawn or the turning of the leaves at this time of year.  These colours are widely available and look great in autumn weddings. You can also add some blues and deep purples to the mix if you are brave enough or a pop of bright orange or red, it’s all good!

Examples of great sunset tone flowers are Love pearl, Pink Lace and Esparance Roses, Salmon Dahlia, English Hydrangea, Hypericum, Ivy and Pyracanthus Berries and lots of dark foliage such as Cortinus, Jasmine, Amaranthus and Virginia creeper.

toptable arrangement in autumn colours
toptable arrangement in autumn colours
bridal bouquet in autumn colours
bridal bouquet in autumn colours

 

This bridal bouquet has some hot pink spray roses, peach Dahlias and Vuvuzela Roses with pink and peach Lysianthus and Senecio and Eucalyptus leaves.

The bride wantyed the silvery foliage but it would also look really good with dark foliage such as Cortinus or hard jasmine thats has a deep red hue at this time of year.

 

 

autumn bouquet with berries and seedpods
autumn bouquet with berries and seedpods

This wedding bouquet is an autumnal mix of berries, seedpods, thistles, sedum and crocosmia. The bride wasn’t too keen on flowery flowers and autumn is the perfect time for structural bouquets like this.

 

 

 

 

More autumnal flowers that didn’t get a mention are Crabapples, Nigella Seedpods, Asters, big autumnal Chrysanthemums such as Tom Pierce or Avignon, Amaranthus, Chocolate Cosmos, etc

Inspiration v Budget, what to expect from a wedding florist.

We do a lot of weddings here at R&M, and get enquiries for wedding flowers in all kinds of budgets.

Some brides nip to the registry office and have a few jam jars on the table at the pub afterwards, some brides want flowers absolutely everywhere. We always place the wishes of the bride first and both can look fantastic, as long as the level of expectation can be met.

The one thing a lot of brides-to-be don’t have is a realistic idea of the costing of flowers. Fair enough I hear you say, it’s not like you shop for wedding flowers everyday and it should be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get it just how you want it, or even better.

With the overkill of beautiful imagery on Pinterest, Instagram and those celebrity weddings it is really hard to set a realistic idea about the cost of wedding flowers and hopefully this bit of writing will help you get to grips with it all.

Above here on the left is a picture of a gorgeous table plan (picture from Pinterest) This fits clearly in the luxury wedding bracket.

How much does it cost?

Well, just imagine that Rose&Mary is an ice cream shop and each flower is a scoop of ice cream. How many scoops of ice cream is in this arrangement? I would say about 100. We at Rose&Mary would charge around £2.50-£4 per scoop of ice cream depending on flavour. Can you see where I’m going here?

Also look at the recepticle the flowers are in. That’s not a standard ice cream cone, that’s a fancy cone so it will be more expensive. Sprinkles and sauce are extra too (as is the cherry on the top).

 

 

Now if you have a budget of under £50 per table that doesn’t mean that you can’t get some nice flowers on there and by all means do show me these pictures to get the flower choice, colour scheme and texture right but it’s not going to look like that. There are just too many scoops and fancy cones to fit into your budget.

The next thing I would like you to consider is how much space needs to be filled with flowers.

The picture above is crammed with flowers and it looks absolutely beautiful but if you had half or even a quarter the amount of flowers on the table it can still look good and cost less money.

A standard round guest table that sits 8 to 10 people would need to have an arrangement in the centre of the table thats big enough to fill the table with lovelyness but not too big so that it takes away the room needed for the plates, glasses and favours.

There is a basic formula and that is that you would need a minimum of about 1-1.5ft in diameter worth of flowers. This can be the base of a tall candelabra with a beautiful large arrangement of flowers for that luxury wedding or a selection of a few budvases/ jam jars for the budget-friendly bride.

Any centrepiece that is smaller in diameter is not going to look good.

Now imagine the space these tables are in. A country barn with low ceilings and beams will make the candelabras look crammed in but on the other hand a few jam jars on the table with huge high ceilings will look lost in their surroundings. The same goes for the ceremony flowers.

A church is a really big space to fill and done well would require a huge amount of flowers. A small registry office might not need any flowers at all as you will have to put your wedding bouquet down somewhere anyway. It is also really not a bad idea to reuse the flowers from the ceremony table on the cake or top table afterwards to save on budget.

I have had lots of enquiries about wedding flowers where there was a breakdown in communication because the bride did not have a realistic sense of what is needed to make the wedding flowers look good.

The visuals of a wedding are so important and that’s what people remember most about a wedding. You only get to do it once and you have to do it right. “You get what you pay for” is something I say all the time during consultations and if they can find another florist who can make a tall candalabra arrangement for £20 then I would highly recommend a sample before the big day as the scoops/stemcount in flower arrangements is so important and needs to make sense.

If you have booked the standard 8-10 seater guest table you and you have set yourself a budget of £25 per table you will not be able to fill that minimum 1-1.5ft in diameter with a single vase of flowers, any florist that promises a good looking arrangement is having you on.

How many scoops of icecream do you think it takes to fill that space without huge gaps or lots of cheap filler flowers?

And if the bride-to-be can think that as its her special day so surely I can just charge a little less on the labour cost and more on the flowers then think again. I am not trying to rip you off, I don’t charge a premium for weddings. I buy the best quality flowers at the best wholesaler in town and charge a certain amount of labour. This earns me a modest income that allows me to feed my children and allows us a roof over our head.

There is a lot of bad press lately about rip off wedding suppliers. The hardest thing in our proffession is to be able to match the level of expectation to that of the brides while working within a given budget.

Competition among wedding suppliers is fierce and will drive down the price of wedding supplies but please please please do your homework and use common sense. Always check out previous wedding work of all your suppliers (check mine on www.instagram.com/roseandmaryuk) Don’t be afraid to ask for samples, check out reviews or ask to be put in to contact with previous customers.

If you are providing images of flowers from pinterest do a quick stem count,how many flowers can you see?

A Wedding of Bird loving-Love Birds

I had the nicest wedding consultation with Helen last year.

The initial enquiry was for yellow roses with white September Daisies which isn’t one of my favourite flower combinations but I did my homework and prepared some lovely images of alternative flowers; Rose domes in greens, creams and lemons or romantic posies made with clouds of september/Chamomile/Gyp. She loved all my images and was very open to new ideas which made her one of my favourite clients!

The wedding venue was the Wetland Centre in Barnes which is a nature reserve on the flood planes of the Thames in West london. This place is a haven for wild life in the middle of an (sub)Urban area and is mainly used by migrating water fowl.

So during our consultation it is becoming clear that the groom in question is a serious bird lover, hence the venue, so we are discussing interesting ways of including this theme into the wedding flowers.

For the venue flowers I suggested to get these lovely kitch flower pots in the shape of a swan (did I mention that they really liked swans?) I had seen them trending on some cool social media site and found some reproduction once from China, complete with fake craqueluer and goldy bits, and they were just perfect!

We filled them with peach and creams fluffy soft summer flowers and wild grasses to relect the amazing view of the Wetlands stretching out of the venue’s windows.

swan flower pot

The next special request was the groom’s buttonhole;  If we can please add a green Parakeet feather into his buttonhole!

“Sure, no problem’ I said, how hard can it be to find one. There are thousands of these green noisy things flapping around all over the neighbourhood. Well, that was a bit of a mistake, I had to spend a whole afternoon walking around the park in search of a green feather (and it was raining!) Turns out that they just don’t shed their feather that easily. Anyway, after about 3 hours of dragging the kids round Bushy Park with the promise of a big treat for the lucky feather finder we managed to find 2 and in the buttonhole they went. The things we do for our bride and grooms……

 

buttonhole with Parakeet feathers

The bridal flowers were a mix of peach and cream tones which included the brides favourite flower, the Gerbera Daisy.

We love a bespoke wedding here at Rose&Mary. Let the bride and grooms personalities and passions shine through and be reflected in their wedding flowers. Eveybody has a favourite flower and we will do our best to incorporate everything that you love and passionate about onto our wedding work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Father of the Bride

Dear father of the Bride,

Thank you so much for coming to the consultation.

It’s always a surprise when the bride brings along her family but since you are going to have to finance her big day I really don’t mind.

What I do mind are the suspicious looks and the gazillion questions on why everything is so expensive.

I have travelled down to meet you, prepared some lovely images to show you and I am even willing to break down the cost (and I don’t get paid for this part!).

I am aware that the flowers I am showing you are more expensive than Tesco’s; these roses as big as a teacup are in a totally different league. (I can see that you can’t tell the difference but your daughter surely can).

I have the expertise to be able to tell you what will be in season in your colour scheme in 9 months time, I am sure the lady at the till will not be able to help you there.

I am also going to spend ages arranging them in beautiful vases. They came from a different wholesaler than the flowers so it took me a while to find those and travel there and back.

I sometimes spend as much as 10 days work on one wedding, from the consultation, quote and the mood board and all the enquiries and second consultation to getting all the flowers, vases and sundries needed.

I condition, wire and arrange the flowers  for you, pack and deliver and install them at the venue.

Then I have to come back (sometimes in the middle of the night), repack and take them all back, clean vases, sort out the rubbish, return the hired goods and a mountain of paperwork on top.

Do you work? Do you get a fair wage for all the hours you spend in your profession?

Do you have a skilled job that (sometimes) pays below the minimum wage?

I mean, if you don’t appreciate the value of a bespoke wedding florist that just “gets” exactly what your daughter wants

(She is rolling her eyes at you behind your back now btw) then by all means just pop over to the supermarket, roll up your sleeves and do it yourself!

Maybe while you are at it bakes a cake, design a dress, write the invites in your nicest hand writing etc etc etc.

I have this conversation in my head while I sit here with you, keep my chin up and smile. I travelled all the way down to see you and you didn’t even have the decency to buy me a coffee….

 

PS: this is a ficticious blog and luckily I have never had to deal with this in person (well sometimes only a little bit!) but it does give you an insight into the life of a small independent wedding florist.

Steam Punk Wedding

Here at Rose&Mary we get a lot of strange requests to incorporate special things into the wedding flowers that have special a meaning to the bride and groom and we always aim to please.

In fact we much prefer to think outside the box when it comes to wedding flowers. So many weddings have lost that individual touch and become one big Pinterest-Top-10 blurr of the same thing all over again, we love a wedding with a difference!

So the lovely Jose contacted me with the request of wedding flowers for a Steam Punk wedding.

She is wearing a black Victorian dress with corset and drapes, blue hair, tattoos, the whole works…

The request was for very soft spring flowers with an edgy use of spikyness to match the Steam Punk Theme.

We used succulents and pine in conjunction with Vuvuzela Roses, Ranonculus, Bleeding hearts, Lysianthus and Hellebores and if you don’t mind me saying so, it looked really nice.

The venue was the stunning Taplow House Hotel in buckinghamshire, a grand victirian Manor House that is now a boutique hotel. It’s crammed with original features and the flowers looked stunning in the light and bright venue.

There is always a risk of bad weather if you get married in March but the sun shone all day and it was a stunning day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wedding colour schemes, and how to fit in those flowers

I have declined to do a wedding once, actually I have said no to a few wedding enquiries over the last few years and it was always for the same reason; the colour scheme.

As a florist I do love a bit of colour, in fact I can tell you quite confidently that I know more about colour than all of those brides put together.

The problem was that these brides were taking their colour scheme a bit too literally; Cadbury purple, royal blue or navy with white.

There are not a lot of those colours around in flower land  and I never use artificially coloured flowers so it isn’t easy to come up with an interesting arrangement.

Now here is a picture I have pulled of Pinterest.

How nice do the flowers look?

Now I’m sure it would look georgeous with all white or blush flowers but why be all matchy matchy?

Also there is no need for all the flowers to be the same all over the wedding. Bridesmaids can have different flowers to the bride. The venue flowers can be different to the bridal flowers. Whatever goes well with the decor of the venue doesn’t need to be incorparated in the choice of colour for the bridesmaids dresses or their flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a picture of flowers I did last year for the gorgeous Kate. Her bridesmaids were all wearing teal dresses. I chose to add some poppy seed heads in their bouquets (and the bottonholes) but I also packed the bouquet out with blues, whites, purples and silver foliage as well.

Kate’s bridesmaids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a picture of the flowers I did for the gorgeous Helen. Her bridemaids were in either dusty pink or a periwinkle.

We spend ages talking about how to find flowers to match the dresses but in the end we went with her favourite flower, an orange gerbera, and some pale peaches and creams with lots of dangling ribbon.

Helen and her bridesmaids

So my message to the bride who chose Cadbury purple as her colour scheme;

Try some lavender shades with cream flowers or a hint of peach. Dusty blues, lilacs and silvers go really nicely if you want to stick within your Royal blue or navy scheme but please add a pop of orange to make the flowers stand out!

How much do wedding flowers cost?

Whether you are having the dream wedding of the season or just nipping to the registry office, it’s always nice to involve flowers on your wedding day and we do a lot of wedding flowers at Rose&Mary.

The cost of wedding flowers can vary hugely, but on the whole we can break it down to 3 areas.

1. Bridal flowers

These are the bridal flowers and include the wedding bouquet, bridesmaids flowers, buttonholes, corsages, flower crowns etc.

If you choose a lot of bridesmaids and groomsmen it will be more costly.

2. Ceremony flowers

Are you getting married at a civil ceremony or a church?

With church flowers sometimes 2 big arrangements and a few pew ends can be enough but a church is a big space to fill so this is an area where the flowers can really add up. There is also an option to reinstall the same flowers at the reception, especially if you are getting married on a  week day.

3. Reception flowers

The cost of the flowers for the reception can also vary hugely but on the whole it does depend on how many guests are coming and how many tables need to be decorated. Are you having a top table and variuos guest tables, or is it a buffet style free flowing kind of reception. If there is a formal dinner and you would like tall arrangements where the guests sit underneath that will be much more expensive than a low arrangement. You might want enormous floral chandeliers hanging down from the ceiling, floral arches or other big budget items. With a free flowing kind of reception all you might need are a few jam jars here and there. It all depends on the venue, the formality of the reception and the size of the guest list. Also don’t forget those thank you flowers!

We have these 3 tips to keep down the costs of your wedding flowers:

1. Don’t choose a wedding date when flowers are expensive.

Its very romantic to get married on Valentines Day but the cost of the flowers will be sky high. The same goes for Mother’s day (not just the one in the UK but international Mother’s Day as well) and around Christmas. Most flowers we use go through the Dutch auction system and it is a supply-and-demand kind of thing. If demand for flowers is high (like around Valentine’s day), the flowers price will rise. If supply is high, like in the summer, the price will fall. It’s that simple.

2. Choose seasonal flowers.

Seasonal flowers are the best quality and the best value for money. Have you ever eaten a strawberry in the middle of winter? Its a bit like that with flowers; expensive and not very tasty. If you insist on peonies or lily of the valley please find out when the best time is to get married to avoid disapointment.

3. Choose larger flowers and foliages.

A hydrangea might be £10 a stem but you only need a few stems to fill a vase. Same thing for big headed roses, they might be more expensive, but a few in a rose dome  works out more cost effective than a load of skinny ones.

Foliages isn’t always green and can compliment flowers beautifully and is a very cost effective way of filling up your wedding flowers (although some foliage is just as expensive as flowers).

There are dark shades of maroons to lift up the flowers, variageted foliages to compliment rose domes, silvers to compliment cool colours and bright yellow, brown and red foliages to compiment pastels or to accentuate bright flowers.

We typically use around 30% foliage in our wedding work, depending on the wishes of the bride. There are some stunning foliage arrangements on Pinterest to see where the foliage is more dominant then the flowers, but there is a thin line between too much foliage and not enough flowers, the flowers will look a bit lost.

There is also a trend of just greeney weddings where mixed foliages are the star of the show and there is not a flower in sight.

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Pricelist

Here is a guide to the cost of wedding flowers. The cost of the flowers can vary hugely and is always discussed during a consultation. Afterwards an itemised quote is being made which will include a complimentary mood board.

Bridal flowers

  • Bridal bouquet from £65. (The bridal bouquet will be made to the size of the bride, wired and trailing bouquets are more expensive.)
  • Bridesmaids bouquets from £35 (adults) and £15 (childrens)
  • Buttonholes from £5
  • Corsages from £10
  • Flower wands from £15
  • Flower crowns from £50 (adults) £35 (childrens)

Church flowers

  • pedestal arrangements from £150
  • pew ends from £10
  • floral/foliage arch from £500
  • floral chandelier from £250

Venue flowers

  • Table centres from £40
  • Votives/jamjars flowers from £10
  • Top table arrangements from £120
  • Tall lilyvase arrangements from £100
  • Candelabra arrangements from £120
  • Cake flowers from £40
  • Galands from £40
  • Tossing bouquet from £25
  • Thank you flowers from £25

Please note that pedestal and vase hire, delivery charge, installation charge, take down charge, return of hired goods etc are not included in the price. These will be discussed during the consultation and added to the quote.

If there are more things on your list and you would like to have a chat please feel free to contact us!

We upload all our wedding flowers on a weekly bases on: www.facebook.com/roseandmary.co.uk

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summer wreath

To go full circle on the seasonal wreaths I have made a wreath for the summer.

This wreath is decorated with succulents which come in a variety of colour.

I have also used sea shells, moss, nigella pods, cedar leaf roses and preserved beech leaves.

The colour scheme is maroon and green but there are a variety of colour combination as the succulents come in pinks and silvers, as do the shells and the cedar leaf roses come in a variety of yellows and reds as do the beech leaves.

The wreath should last 6-8 weeks but with replacement succulents could go on and on!

Please find more details on this summer wreath in my web shop.
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Kate and Coulter’s Southbank wedding

I was lucky to do Kate and Coulter’s wedding flowers a few weeks ago and she has send me the most gorgeous pictures I would like to share with you. (brides often promise to send me pictures taken by their photographers but not all of them do!)

The colour scheme was blue and white and the bridesmaids wore teal and turquoise dresses.

I used poppy seed heads and globe thistles to match the teal and a little splash of lime Biplurum and Alchimella Mollis to try and match the turquoise. The other blue flowers were Campanula, Clematis and purple-edged Lysianthus, all mixed with white Avalanche Roses and silver foliages.

The venue flowers had a boozy theme and we filled bottles with blues, whites, greens and puples.

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