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Monday, April 15, 2019

The Wedding Flowers


The flowers always play a huge part in any wedding decor and you need a lot of them for any kind of impact, especially in a bare paddock. We are not professionals by any means and I think this goes to prove that with some help and YouTube tutorials, almost anyone can pull off some pretty floral decorations. 


Firstly make sure you know what style the bride is expecting; casual, cottage, field or formal, colour specific and traditional. 
Next really take a mental snapshot of the time of year and what will be growing then. Start assembling some lists of flower contributors and don't forget the very important green fillers.
One of the tools I found useful was to collate pictures of in season flowers on a pintrest board and share this with the bride so she has the story too.
Start putting some flowers together in arrangements to see how the colours and textures sit together and more importantly see how they fare over the next few days for their durability after being cut.


Before the big week it's time to make checklists and start assembling the vessels, lighting etc.
If you are decorating a marquee you will need a very tall ladder; the six footer is not going to cut it. Some of the more obvious equipment will include but not limited to: secateurs, gaffer tape, chicken wire, florist wire, cutters and oasis foam but don't forget a staple gun, impact drill, batteries, rubber bands. cable ties, needle and thread and a spray bottle of water. A folding trestle table will be invaluable and take insect repellent!


I was fortunate to have the the back of the ute to work with when I was packing the flowers, otherwise, set up a table to save a lot of back breaking. Cutting started at dawn and you need to allow yourself a good couple of hours or more for this job. These "Pierre De Ronsard" and "Naheema" roses were the key flowers in all the ceremony arrangements; that is the bridal arch, the signing table and the large urn backdrop. It's good to bear in mind not just the "prettiness" of the effect you are creating but also backdrops for the photos.


Sedums were the huge hero of the day and coped quite well with the 39C heat and wind when all else was flagging. They filled arrangements elegantly but be warned, the bees LOVE them and several varieties of bees came from everywhere to sup at their cups.
Top right is the lovely silvery velvet of Dusty Miller, also durable and a great contrast. Down in the bottom left is the old alium heads that were great structural additions in tall arrangements as were the dried towering russet seed heads of the giant ruby rhubarb that I grow, pictured below.


These looked amazing in a really large spectacular dimension arrangement in my urn on a column. You'll have to take my word for it as there are no photos because just before the happy couple arrived at the ceremony, the wind captured it's magnificent proportions and propelled it to the ground where the urn smashed. All we could do was quickly kick it to one side out of view. We managed to salvage most of the pieces and Craig has glued it back together and it looks a vision of antiquity and will live another day at another event some time I'm sure.


In the absence of a van, the flowers had to travel in my car as they would have been devastated by the wind on the back of the ute. Very tall bucket meant I could travel with water in the bottom but a few bumps in the road would not cause spillage. I have a huge ream of wrapping paper that I bought from a florist supplier years ago and it really came into it's own. Every bunch was wrapped in neat cones to protect the flowers during travel, limit their expiration and make packing into the buckets safe and easy.


Greenery is just as important as the pretty stems too. I had a whole bucket tightly packed of ivy: IMPORTANT- this is highly irritating so wear long sleeves and gloves (also another vital to add to your packing list) when working with it. I had two buckets of lovely hardy spinning gum cuttings and a great sheaf of twisted willow. I also had large stems of agapanthus (flowers spent) which I cut the seeds from creating balls of green globulous sticks. Very striking.


I had been watching the long term weather forecast avidly and it became more and more apparent that we would be in the middle of a scorching heat wave. That is why I decided to add in some dried elements. This massive bunch of Love-In-A-Mist gone to seed would become the central feature in the marquee with woven bud lights through it. I knew a massive fresh ball of floristry was going to be problematic.


I had the car absolutely packed as tight as a sardine can and boy was I glad to get to the other end. Two hours inside a closed car full of flowers and greenery was overpowering! The shearer took all the hardware on the ute along with the ladder and urns etc. 
At the other end the buckets were placed in a cool dark part of the house where they remained from Thursday until Saturday morning when they were taken to the site. 
IMPORTANT - Check their water during this cool store time and top up. You'll be surprised just how much they'll go through.
On Saturday morning at dawn we picked more roses, dahlias and the gorgeous lemon ginger flowers seen above from my daughter's garden. Everything arrived at the venue in tip top condition and we worked fast and furiously for a few hours. It was so unfortunate that we had such unseasonable weather. There is not much you can do about it but be ready to adapt and be fluid with your ideas.


By doing the bulk of the flowers ourselves we saved a substantial amount of money but more than that....
and I hope I can express this right...
The flowers came together by the giving from family, friends and neighbours and I certainly saw a creative side of my other sin-in-law who helped us with the many arrangements. I'm sure they thought they were simply pitching in but more than that...
When I look at these photos and remember the day and the flowers, those family, friends and neighbours wove themselves into the very fabric of the memories of that day. I can't help but look at the bridal arch and think of Dino and his beautiful garden that I am privileged to wander so often. Of Rae so generous and vibrant, delivering a whole ute load of spinning gum branches. Of Leslie and her twisted willow and I see her smiling face. Of mum, delaying the cutting of her ivy so we would have long stems for the day. Of Susie who sat with me for five hours, she at her machine and I at mine and we made metres and metres of bunting.
And on and on....
Thank you to so many for all their love and support, It really makes a wedding when so many people are intimately involved.

Here are some really great tutorials for event flower decorating...

this one is long but a beautiful thing to watch - 






2 comments:

  1. What lovely arrangements, and congratulations on surviving that heat. Working together on something like a wedding is magical.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well done, way more memorable and meaningful making the day full of love, generosity and creativity. ..just the way things were done before we could buy anything and everything. ..even family gatherings

    ReplyDelete

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