EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about flowers & bouquets

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Surrey 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 editor@yoursurrey.wedding

Beautiful Blooms

Beautiful Blooms

Q Our venue's a blank canvas so we can add our own styling, but we're not sure where to start. Can you give us any décor tips to create the perfect summer backdrop?
A Annabel Grange says: Many venues have lovely outside areas with greenery and flowers in the summer so there are a few tips to try and bring that summer garden feel into the venue.

•Arches and hoops – decorated with greenery and flowers create a wonderful focal point. These can be used at an entrance, behind a top table or as a photo backdrop. At many venues they can be moved from the ceremony to the reception depending on the height of the doors. I usually use a mixture of high-quality artificial garlands and fresh greenery to keep them cost effective.
•Pedestal flowers – These can be used for the ceremony and then moved to any location within the venue. They immediately create an impact and are a fantastic way to create that summer feeling.
•Pew Ends – A posy of fresh greenery or faux flowers on the ceremony chairs or church pews is a very pretty touch, especially if scented flowers are used such as lavender.
•Staircases, mantlepieces, columns, beams – Using greenery décor on features within your venue is a great way to soften the look and add a garden type feeling.
•Bouquets – Opt for stunning country-style bouquets with lots of classic summer Roses, scented freesias, bubbly Gypsophilia and wild greenery. After your ceremony these can be used around the venue. The bridal bouquet looks fab on the cake table and bridesmaid's bouquets can be put on the top table or gift table or bar.
•Table centres – Tall vases brimming with a selection of seasonal flowers and greenery immediately create a wow factor when you walk into a room. They decorate the venue as well as the tables and in summer there are so many wonderful blooms.
•Ceremony and top table flower arrangement – Packed full of flowers with greenery flowing down the front of the table look amazing and you can rese them later on in the centre of the buffet table

Annabel Grange, Butterflies and Bows

Freshly picked ideas

Freshly picked ideas

Q What should I ask a florist before booking?
A Annabel Grange says: Before booking you should find out how long the company have been in business. It's essential that your supplier has a high level of training and experience to make sure your day runs smoothly.

A good florist will usually have a website as well as social media pages. These should include reviews and recommendations from previous clients and photos of their previous work.

Make sure they are local and don't have to travel hours to your venue. Be very wary of companies online that don't show their location or are based hours away.

Find a knowledgeable and understanding supplier. They should listen to what you would like and put your ideas into reality.

Have an initial phone call, then meet up or video call to give them a detailed list of your requirements. Provide the supplier with any pictures that you like or colour samples and ask what they would suggest, and see if their ideas are what you're looking for.

Provide details and pictures of the dress you have chosen – this can affect the shape and style of your bouquet.

Ask what flowers are in season to keep the cost reasonable, and if you have an unusual colour scheme, ask what the florist recommends. I recommend mixing silk flowers that are not in season with those that are to help keep the cost down.

Annabel Grange, Butterflies and Bows

Fall in love

Fall in love

Q What flowers and colours would you suggest for an autumn wedding?
A Annabel Grange says: As the summer fades into autumn, the variety of fresh flowers change, and the new, seasonal colours allow us to create fabulous floral displays.

If you'd like an eco-friendly bouquet, dried grasses and leaves with pampas grass and some silk flowers are on trend at the moment. If a particfular flower is not in season, I would use silk and add it into the other fresh flowers – no one ever know they are not real.

Tall martini vases are fab when decorated with a variety of seasonal flowers. Alternatively, look for shorter decorations made using various greenery and flowers in a more relaxed design. Black, iron candelabra with deep autumnal flowers and bronze or gold table runners, with a slight sparkle will create a rich, sumptuous look.

Pumpkins in all shapes and sizes can be used to line the aisle or they can be scattered along the tables.

Place garlands along the top table or down the centre of any long guest tables. Opt for just greenery or add pops of colour with candles or LED lights.

Incorporate arches into the ceremony or behind the top table draped with seasonal greenery and amaranthus flowers.

Make the most of any features in the venue. Decorate a staircase with a flower garland or swags of organza and ribbons.

Lighting is critical, so think about LED lights placed around trees outside or bannister rails. Uplighters in an orange, purple or red tone creates a great atmosphere.

Annabel Grange, Butterflies and Bows

Seasonal romance

Seasonal romance

Q What flowers are popular for spring weddings?
A Monika Cruse says: Spring brides are blessed with beautiful blooms to choose from. Five of our favourites are:

- Daffodils are the quintessential spring flower! This trumpet-like bloom is available in shades of white, yellow, coral and orange.

- Nothing says spring like a big bunch of tulips. These versatile beauties are known for their distinct shape and vibrant colours. Heritage versions such as double tulips, parrot tulips, peony tulips or those with gorgeous frilly edges work well in bouquets, arrangements and buttonholes.

- Hyacinths have fragrant flowering bulbs that come in a wide variety of colours. Brides who would like blue flowers but want the real thing, not tinted blooms, should consider hyacinths. Its smaller cousin, muscari, is a great choice for buttonholes.

- Iris is made up of three outer petals, encapsulating three inner petals which stand upright. Available in purple, blue, yellow and white, it's the inspiration for the fleur-de-lis symbol.

- Ranunculus has dense layers of paper-like petals. These romantic beauties come in lots of gorgeous colours, from bright and bold to soft pastel tones. No matter which wedding colours you've chosen, there will most likely be a ranunculus in a suitable shade!

Monika Cruse, Flowers for Florists

Hello petal

Hello petal

Q I'm getting married next May and want to incorporate seasonal flowers into our décor. Do you have any ideas?
A Annabel Grange says: There are a variety of flowers available in May – both seasonal and those on offer from importers.

Tulips look lovely and are available in a wide range of colours. Ranunculus and roses, with their many layers of petals, are a standard choice for all weddings. Delicate flowers such as freesias, anemones, hyacinths, Lily of the valley and muscari also look wonderful. There are a host of other flowers which can be used with the above, including gypsophila, alstroemeria, carnations, eustoma, gerbera and solidago.

The style, age, lighting and colours of your venue will be very important when discussing the types of table decorations and flowers for your wedding. For example, high ceilings look great with tall centrepieces, older venues may not look good with modern designs, and lower ceilings look nice with shorter displays.

Make the most of any features in the venue, such as decorating a staircase with a flower garland or swags of organza and ribbons.

For the top table and centrepieces, short vases with a selection of spring flowers and greenery in a natural style will create a seasonal feel. Tulips packed in tightly to form a 'box' is effective. Fishbowls can also be used with the flowers standing up out of the bowl in the centre.

There are so many choices - talk to your florist to find your ideal style.

Annabel Grange, Butterflies and Bows

Colour pop

Colour pop

Q I'd love to incorporate Pantone's colour of the year, Very Peri, into my flowers. Do you have any ideas of how I could do this without it being overpowering?
A Annabel Grange says: Periwinkle blue is one of the trending colours for 2022 and 2023. This soft tone between blue and purple means that you can easily incorporate different shades into your wedding flowers. If you want to add just a hint of the Very Peri without it being overpowering, I would use a base of ivory white flowers and incorporate some pale blue and/or lilac tones.

There are several flowers available depending on the season you're getting married in. Hydrangeas come in both lilac and pale blue and are perfect in bouquets and table centres, but remember they are water-loving flowers and will need a lot of hydration to stay looking their best! Alternatively, look for delphiniums, agapanthus, blue grape hyacinth, roses, alstroemeria, freesias, Veronica, gerberas, hydrangeas, agapanthus, eustomas, lavender, tulips and carnations to name but a few.

For a softer look, I would use eucalyptus greenery rather than darker shades, this is a lovely bluey grey leaf and works perfectly with the pastel shades. I also often use artificial flowers mixed into fresh flowers if an unusual colour is required – they blend in and look natural.

Annabel Grange, Butterflies and Bows

Seasonal florals

Seasonal florals

Q We're getting married next autumn and would love to incorporate the season's colours into our flowers. What do you suggest we look for?
A Annabel Grange says: As the summer fades into autumn the varieties of fresh flowers and colours change, allowing us to create fabulous floral displays. Reds, burgundies, oranges, peaches and browns are the traditional colours, but there are various pallets to choose from. If you have your heart set on dusky pink and ivory whites, add some pale brown, taupe leaves and berries to create an autumn feel.

Looking for more unusual deeper tones? Go for red, burgundy, dark pink and some chocolate cosmos or dark aubergine calla lilies with greenery. For a softer feel peach with soft oranges, ivory and greenery look lovely. If your favourite bloom is not in season, I would use silk and add it to the other fresh flowers.

For your centrepieces, tall martini vases with a variety of seasonal flowers and amaranthus flowing down look great. Sunflowers and grasses in tall vases are also a simple but very effective country-style design. Use lots of greenery and flowers for shorter centrepieces, finished with tealights in holders on the tables. Alternatively, black iron candelabra with deep autumnal coloured blooms look stunning.

When it comes to your décor, opt for table runners in bronzes or golds with a slight sparkle. Black runners or table overlays paired with red centrepieces create a wow effect.

Use pumpkins to line the aisle or scatter them on the tables. Place garlands along the top table or down the centre of a guest table. Choose just greenery or add pops of colour with candles or LED lights.

Make the most of any features in the venue. Decorate a staircase with a flower garland or swags of organza and ribbons.

Think about LED lights around bushes, trees, pillars, bannister rails or add them into flower displays. Uplighters in orange, purple or red can create a great atmosphere.

Chair sashes or hoods will immediately add more colour to the room.

Annabel Grange, Butterflies and Bows

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