Wedding Flower Dilemmas Solved
@mondobridal photography by Annie Spratt
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@MondoBridal photography by Annie Spratt
Questions answered by Loveflowers

Hi there! I’m getting married on Fraser Island on the beach at sunset (sort of our honeymoon and wedding rolled into one. We don’t know quite what to do about the flowers (we only need a bouquet and a buttonhole, and perhaps some flowers for my hair).

Destination weddings are a wonderful idea, but a feat of organization. Due to the nature of perishable goods, many remote destinations will not provide a florist, or a wide selection of florists from which to choose. (Brides marrying in their hometown in a remote or country area often have a similar dilemma.) Customs may also forbid the carriage of plant material, it’s wise to check with the authorities in advance. Consider having your bouquet made in quality silk flowers. These days they’re so life-like, you may have trouble convincing customs otherwise!

My bridesmaids are wearing a soft blue. I’m having trouble with their flowers, as my bouquet will be ivory roses, and I don’t want to start adding new colours or different flowers. A florist I asked suggested ‘Blue Moon’ roses, but honestly… they’re mauve!!

Yes – you’re right, blue is really hard to find in the world of flowers. Even the new genetically-engineered ‘blue’carnation is actually purple. Yet blue is currently very popular with brides, as a wedding colour it works well with silver and ivory or white, both calming and contemporary. Consider silk flowers. New advances in manufacturing techniques over the last two or three years mean that it is often difficult to tell quality faux flowers apart from fresh flowers. In addition, colours not available in the natural world can be found in tasteful silk versions.

Can you help? I’m wanting a bridal bouquet of fully-blown David Austin style roses for my wedding. I live in Darwin and no-one grows these commercially, apparently demand exceeds supply even in Sydney, so there’s no hope of getting them flown in.

English style roses are just stunning, but more difficult to grow than the standard commercial roses. They’re actually easier to obtain in silk, and are currently available in cream, cream with touches of mauve, pale pink, light yellow, magenta and red in various sizes. In fact, ‘exotic’ flowers, for example, cattleya orchids, are often far easier and less expensive to find in silk, especially if you require enough for a bridal bouquet as well as bridesmaids.
When you’ve set your wedding date, but have decided on a flower that’s either totally unavailable in that season, or available, but prohibitively expensive, then ‘permanent botanicals’ can come to your rescue too. Just think, you can carry your wedding bouquet at your 25th anniversary party!

I hope you have some suggestions. My wedding is planned for January in Brisbane, which is the only time I can get 3 weeks off work for our honeymoon. It’s usually dreadfully hot here at that time of year. I’m wearing a strapless dress, and the reception is air-conditioned but I’m wondering how my flowers will go? I’m having roses and lisianthus, the florist has already told me I can’t have open roses, just boring rose buds, and some of my relatives have told me to have tropical flowers (which I hate) so that they last. Any ideas?

Anything over around 28 degrees is not generally death to fresh flowers. Your lisianthus will be OK up to a point (it’s not called the desert flower for nothing). The florist is doing her professional duty to advise you against open roses – they just won’t survive the wait in the morning, the thermal fluctuations between your wedding car’s air-conditioning, the hot church, the photos in the sun, the car again and the cool reception centre. Rosebuds, having less surface area, will last longer. Having said this, you still can have beautiful open roses – the posy shown above will last forever because it’s carefully made from artificial materials to look just like the real thing.

I’m getting officially married in Devon, England later this year, and we’re having another ceremony in Sydney, Australia when we get home a month later. As most of my relatives will be at the first, and most of my in-laws at the second, I am trying to be really diplomatic and make sure both weddings are ‘the real one’ and no-one feels like they’re missing out. The invitations will be the same, the dress the same, the colours the same (although the bridesmaids different women) and today I was just thinking about my flowers. Every florist seems to have her own style and interprets requests differently, which I guess is good, but how do I try to get two different florists to make the same wedding flowers in different countries?

Well you could have the same wedding flowers for both weddings. Impossible? Not with silk flowers! Ghastly? Not any more! You’ll be surprised at the accuracy and beauty of today’s quality artificial flowers. And you’ll only have to buy them once, halving your flower budget. This is also a good option for brides celebrating their wedding over several days for cultural traditions.

I hope someone there can help. I’m planning my wedding for next spring, and I was wanting to know which flowers can I choose that don’t smell? I have dreadful allergy problems and although I take a good antihistamine, I’m still paranoid about turning up at the altar with a red face, sneezing all over my guests. Any clues?

Tears are acceptable at weddings, but a runny nose is perhaps not such a good look. Mind you, if you’re looking for unscented flowers, you’ll be pretty much limiting yourself to orchids or tulips. Remember that the bigger the bouquet, the bigger the smell too! If you’d like more choice, take a look at the wide range of flowers represented in silk – there’s freesias, hyacinths, tuberose, stock… all the colour and beauty without the eye-watering fragrance.

What’s wrong with violets? I’ve contacted four different florists and they’ve all been unable to help me! My theme is violets, my bridemaids are wearing stunning purple gowns and my invitations are just beautiful, framed with botanical-type drawings of, yes, you guessed it, violets. I’ve been planning this since I was six, but everyone says they can’t get them and they won’t last. What am I going to do?

There are many flowers which would be beautiful for wedding flowers but are just too fragile to be viable, or just can’t be commercially obtained. Sometimes you’ll see them in wedding magazines, which is a big tease, because some flowers are fine for a professional photo shoot, but just can’t last the few hours of a real life wedding. Fortunately, many flowers such as delicate violets, hydrangea, gardenia, sweetpeas and plum blossom are available in silk. They last forever; you may wish to display them after your wedding day!

I’m getting married the Saturday before Mother’s day… and all the florists I’ve spoken to have either refused to take my booking, or quoted ridiculous prices. I know they’re busy, but… IT’S MY WEDDING!!!!

Often around Valentines, Mothers’ Day, Easter and Christmas, many florists will not accept wedding orders, they’re just SO busy! Which is of course not fair for brides-to-be such as yourself. If you consider silk flowers, you can avoid this problem altogether, as they can be bought many months in advance. This means you can be absolutely sure you’re getting what you ordered and practice holding it beforehand.