by: Carey M. Meredith

Carey'd Away Weddings

One of my favorite topics for a wedding is 'bouquets'. I am not only a wedding planner, but I am a floral designer, I have been designing and doing  floral arrangements over 20 years now. That is where my passion of doing weddings got started as well.  My love of all things outdoors, nature and gardening, came through in my designs. If someone was to ask me what my favorite flower is, that would be hard to answer. There is so much about each and every bloom that makes me feel wonderful. To create a piece that showcases the flowers unique beauty, well to me that is art.

Your bridal bouquet is the icing on the cake, so to speak. It is the accessory most brides fret about the most. We all love flowers, whether it be the fragrance, the exquisite colors of nature, the simplistic lines. Whatever your favorite may be, I have some ideas and suggestions you can take with you when you go to see your florist to pick out the bouquets.

Of course start with your favorite flowers, whether it be roses, lilies, hydrangeas etc.  You can get most flowers all year around. Now here is a side note: although you can get them in most of time, keep in mind the cost of getting them If they are out of season in our area, they might be significantly higher.

Also the availability may raise or lower your cost. For example, if you plan your wedding around a holiday season, you will again pay more for them because florists and retailers have big demands so pricing can go up per stem and per bunch for the flower your wanting. If you cannot get what you want, don't get upset. A good florist can suggest something else that is comparable. As far as size, shape, color, even fragrance. Here is another example, I once had a bride that had her heart set on cherry blossoms. Now we all know that cherry blossoms only last for  a short time in the spring. I loved the idea and premise. Her bridesmaids' dresses were brown and I thought the woody look of the stems of the cherry blossom complimented them well. Of course, we couldn't get cherry blossoms anywhere, (and she wanted all fresh flowers, no silk at all) so we substituted. I used various hues of pinks, from dark to light because that was her accent color. Using roses, gladiolas, spray roses, lisianthus and filled in with a woody stemmed wax flower. It made for beautiful bouquets. On the pews, we used grapevine balls, decorated with a touch of pink gladiolas and sheer grosgrain ribbon. I also used medium sized bubble bowls for centerpieces at the reception, where again we incorporated the woody look that the bride loved, by submerging curly willow pieces wound up in the bottom of the bowls. We filled the bowls with gladiolas and lisianthus. They were very simple, yet very beautiful. The bride's desire to have cherry blossoms at her wedding, although was changed a bit, was fulfilled with the touches of brown woody stems and soft hues of various pink blooms. She was very pleased and satisfied on her special day.

Now another thing that some people just do not like is the use of silk flowers. But with improved quality and wide variety of colors and styles, they are a perfect alternative. The one thing I tell my Brides is to pick flowers that look like they do in nature and are colored the same as though they were fresh from the garden. Not to sound crass, but if you love blue and want blue in your wedding bouquets, then for goodness sake, pick a flower that in nature is really blue. Hydrangeas, delphinium, or iris, for example. I do not like using dyes on fresh flowers, for one they do not look as real, and in some cases they don't last as long either. (That is just a personal pet peeve of mine!)

If you're having several attendants and your wedding party is large, consider mixing your flowers, using silk and fresh together. I have done many, many weddings where the corsages and boutonnieres were in silk. (This way they can be made in advance, saving time and in some cases money.) The bridal party had all fresh and we used fresh on all the centerpieces. I also used fresh Christmas greens with silk flowers at a Christmas wedding to get that wonderful cedar and pine scents would be floating throughout the event. Truly the possibilities are endless when it comes to making your floral choices. Another good hint is if your favorite flower is a very delicate one and maybe wont hold up for the whole event, talk to your florist about a silk alternative. You will be the only one who will know.. well other then him or her!

Also one final thought,  think of the color wheel when deciding colors. Use opposites or complimentary colors. Mixing wide varieties of colors and textures, can make a subtle, to even a 'WOW' statement!  Always use your imagination and creativity, or trust your florist to come up with something creative and unique for you.