Monthly Archives: November 2016

Should Know About Flowers on A Budget

Flowers are an essential part of most weddings. Sure, they look pretty, but they offer much more: their fundamental function is to help create the joyful, romantic, and transportive atmosphere that every wedding tries to achieve. So, the fact that most wedding planners advise that only 10% of your overall budget is spent on them is- to put it delicately- a pain in the bud (seamless, I know.) But the sad fact is that for the vast majority of brides, they’ll be working within a pretty tight allowance while choosing their dream floral arrangements. So, here are some general budgeting tips when it comes to flowers.

Be absolutely honest with your florist about your budget from the get-go. Irrespective of your specific allowance, they should be able to help you pick out some great options. Also, any misrepresentation of your allowance can cause headaches and disappointment (for both parties) down the line.
If you are on a budget, create a ‘must have’ and a ‘wish’ list- that way, you know what to add on if you have a little extra dosh, or what to pare down if you overspend.
Use expensive flowers sparingly, such as in your bouquet and centrepieces.
The cost of centrepieces add up notoriously fast. Consider less elaborate, or even non- flower centrepieces to keep your costs low.
Get creative with how you collect your flowers: don’t be afraid to raid your garden to supplement the flowers you’ve already bought. The key thing to remember is that the flowers match and that they’re in great condition (so pick them the day before your wedding and store them in the fridge!).
Use particularly fragrant flowers to give the impression that there are actually more flowers. Some of these highly perfumed flowers include: lilies, hyacinths, jasmine, sweet pea, and frangipani.
An increasing alternative to real flowers are silk ones. These wedding flowers will last a lifetime and are generally cheaper than the real thing, but still look fantastic.

Your flowers can be used more than once on the day! Use your ceremony arrangements as centrepieces for your reception.
Where possible try to select wedding flowers that are in season as this will help to save you money. A note to remember is that flowers are usually in higher demand during special occasions such as Valentine’s or Mother’s Day. Try to avoid these dates and you will be surprised how much you can save. Ask your local florist what’s in season around your wedding date, as varieties can vary month to month.
Centrepieces do not always have to be flowers. You can still achieve a classic, elegant look by using candles or plants. This will allow you to have lush foliage without breaking the bank.

Instead of having a bouquet of expensive flowers, consider using cheaper plants and foliage to fill out, or even solely constitute your bouquet. You will have a cheaper bouquet that still looks fantastic.Consider using varieties like carnations, anemones, hydrangeas, Majolica roses, goldenrod, mimosa, and passion vine.

Your bridesmaids can each carry a single flower instead of a bouquet. This will not only save you money, but can make a simple and elegant statement.
If your wedding is in a garden, take advantage of the flowers and greenery already surrounding you. This should allow you to cut down substantially on extraneous floral decorations.
Don’t overlook smaller and independent florists as they will often charge less than large chain stores.

If you are intending to use cheaper flowers for the majority of your arrangements, save the pricer flowers for the greatest focal points- your bouquet and centerpieces, for example.
For beautiful and unique boutonnieres, layer cuttings of ‘filler’ flowers with herbs and fruit. A great way of keeping this look consistent is by matching them with centerpieces, corsages, or even your bouquet. To make the boutonnieres, cut each flower to around 8 cm, then stagger the clippings at different heights, bind the stems with floral tape, cover the stems with ribbon, and clip the ends to even them out.
Make colour, rather than flower variety, your guiding principle. This allows you to easily mix less traditional flora together, such as fruit, grains, herbs, leaves and vines along with flowers. Great sources of popping colour, volume and structure for your centerpieces can be found in navel oranges, clementines, and kumquats, lemons, starfruit and the like. You can also cater fruit to suit your wedding style as easily as you can flowers- from traditional, to decadent roman feast and everything in between (Note: palm-leaf- fanners optional, having someone feed you single grapes is not).
Create a tablescape. Not only does this allow you to use less flowers as you’re essentially creating a single line of them, but you’re also creating cute keepsakes by which the guests can remember the event. Also, using tall, thin vases creates a huge impact whilst using minimal flowers. Map out the assorted shapes of vases to keep the tablescape looking consistent. Place the tallest vases in the centre of your display, use medium sized ones throughout the edges of your display, and spread the smallest vases throughout. Place one or two stems in each vase, using the biggest flowers in the biggest vases. Long stalks such as caspia and agapanthus work best for this.
If you have access to it and you like the look, pick your own wildflowers! A bit of higgledy- piggledy brings fun, interest and effortless beauty to an otherwise simple colour scheme.
Create a unique ceremony path by lining the aisle with flowers attached to a wooden flower frame (a great idea is to again match the flowers to those of your bouquet). This tends to look best with huge amounts of flowers (wildflowers being a popular choice here). BONUS: You can then use these runners as the backdrop to your name card display (have your friends place the runners on a table for cocktail hour). At the end of the night, recycle them again to use in your backyard as trellises.
Go rustic! Use wheat or similar grain (found in craft stores)as a cheap alternative centrepiece that celebrates autumn.
Create a statement ceremony marker- an entire curtain of flowers. To do this yourself, you’ll need monofilament, a large needle, and about 1,000 carnations. Make the strands a day or two in advance and store them in the fridge. After the ceremony, use them to decorate the bar or main table at the reception.
Alternatively, you can achieve a similar look for less effort with a flower archway. Go minimalist or decadent, this look is bound to make a lasting impression.
Make fewer flowers go a longer way- use a few flower heads in a fishbowl. If you’re using flowers like roses, ranunculus or peonies, where the head is the focus, cut the stems off and place into a fishbowl partly filled with water (play around until you acheive the desired effect). If you’re using long- stemmed flowers, such as calla lilies or orchids, forego the water.

Use locally grown flowers for your centrepiece- use a tin pot, watering can, small barrel, white paper bags (slipped over the containing pots) or small wooden crates to embrace the home-grown and organic feel of the pieces! Use flowers with contrasting colours and textures to keep the displays individual and interesting.
Bulbs make a great display piece, and are usually less expensive than their bloomed counterparts. ‘Plant’ the bulbs in some pebbles at the bottom of a wide vase or any plain pot to make a creative and beautiful focal point.

Make your ‘vases’ as much a point of interest as the flowers themselves. Use vintage tureens, candelabra, teacups or whatever else catches your eye to create a quirky vintage look.

Use a collection of tiny potted flowers, herbs or plants in the centre of each table instead of a more traditional centrepiece. BONUS: Instead of table numbers, you could organise the seating chart according to flower colour or herb.

Information About Flowers Glossary

Aisle flowers: Floral arrangements which mark the aisle at regular intervals. Small arrangements can be attached, with ribbons, to the sides of aisle chairs or can be displayed in tall vases or vessels. In a church wedding, aisle flowers are also be referred to as “pew flowers”.

Autumn flowers: Flowers which only bloom during autumn months (March – May) such as: agapanthus, aster, clematis, daisy, hydrangea and passion flower.

Bouquet preservation: Brides who want to preserve their bouquet as a keepsake of their special day may do so by hanging it upside down and drying it for several weeks. There may be specific preservation techniques for certain flowers so consult your florist if you are planning to preserve your bouquet.

Bouquet ribbon: The ribbon wrapped around the stems of the flowers in the bouquets. Satin is a popular bouquet ribbon choice but many brides also request extra fabric from their dressmaker and use it as bouquet ribbon in order to keep a consistent colour scheme.

Boutonnieres: Also known as buttonhole flowers. These are small floral arrangements which are displayed in the button holes of the groom, groomsmen and other men in the ceremony, such as the father of the bride. The flowers in the boutonnieres usually match the bride’s bouquet and may contain small clippings of her flowers.

Bridal bouquet: The flower arrangement which the bride carries as she walks down the aisle. This is usually the largest arrangement of the wedding and often contains the most expensive and striking flowers.

Bridesmaids’ bouquets: The flower arrangements held by the bridesmaids as they walk down the aisle. The bridesmaids’ bouquets are usually considerably smaller than the bride and may contain different flowers of the same colour scheme.

Cake flowers: Real flowers which are placed on the wedding cake to enhance its appearance and unite it with the decorations and wedding theme. These flowers are not edible so are removed during the cutting of the cake.

Cascading Bouquet: Also known as a shower bouquet or trailer bouquet. This is a large, formal bouquet, featuring flowers which flow downwards in an upside-down teardrop shape. The flowers are attached to a handle which the bride usually holds with two hands, as the flowers elegantly spill over her hands.

Corsage: A small floral arrangement, much like a boutonniere, which is worn on the wrists or pinned to the shoulder of the women in the ceremony. Mothers of the bride and groom usually wear a corsage as do any special relatives, such as aunts or grandmothers, whom the bride and groom would like to make special acknowledgement of.

Crescent bouquet: A bouquet of flowers which are wired together in such a way to appear in the shape of a crescent moon. Shorter flowers are displayed in the centre whilst longer ones taper down towards the ends. Florists usually fashion this bouquet with a wire handle so that the bride can carry the bouquet single-handedly.

Flower girls: Young girls who carry baskets of flower petals and walk down the aisle before the bride, scattering petals as they walk.

Hair flowers: Floral arrangements attached to hair pins or arranged as ‘crowns’ which are usually worn by the flower girls but can also be worn by the bride and bridesmaids.

Pew flowers: Floral arrangements which are attached to the ends of the pews to enhance the atmosphere of a church wedding. Pew flowers need not be attached to every pew but can be displayed at regular intervals down the aisle.

Pomander bouquet: A small, ball-shaped flower arrangement, attached to a string. Pomander bouquets are most commonly carried by flower girls but may also be carried by the bride and/or bridesmaids.

Posy: A small, round bouquet which is easily held in one hand. Bridesmaids usually carry posies but a bride may carry one to achieve a minimalist look.

Reception decorations: Floral arrangements which are displayed around the room to enhance the mood and atmosphere. Reception flowers can be placed at the entrance, on guest tables, on the gift table, on the cake table and/or near the seating chart display.

Seasonal flowers: Flowers which only bloom during certain months of the year. Consult your florist to find out which flowers will be available at the time of your wedding.

Sheaf bouquet: Also known as a presentation bouquet. This bouquet features long stemmed flowers which the bride cradles in one arm. A sheaf bouquet can be arranged so that only flower heads, and no stems, are displayed.

Spring flowers: Flowers which only bloom during spring months (September – November) such as: amaryllis, anemone, daffodil, ranunculus, stephanotis and sweet pea.

Summer flowers: Flowers which only bloom during summer months (December – February) such as: anthurium, gypsophila, magnolia and peony.

Table centrepieces: Floral arrangements which are displayed in vases, or other vessels, on the guests’ tables. Table centrepieces usually feature some of the more expensive and dramatic flowers of the wedding celebration.

Toss bouquet: For brides who wish to preserve their bouquet, they may wish to have another smaller bouquet made up which replicates the bridal bouquet but can be more easily tossed to the single ladies at the reception.

Winter flowers: Flowers which only bloom during winter months (June – August) such as: camellia, iris, pansy, poinsettia, snowdrop and tulip.

Year round flowers: Flowers which bloom all year round, rather than seasonally. Roses, lilies, orchids, sunflowers, gerberas, chrysanthemums and carnations are popular choices for wedding flowers due to their year round availability.

Tips For Choosing Your Flowers According to Scent

They come in all sizes, shapes and shades, but it’s the fragrance that effortlessly puts that grin on your face. Besides this olfactory appreciation, smell and memory are intimately linked and one whiff can send you back to a time, place or person that you’d long forgotten. Whether eating ginger biscuits powerfully recalls your grandmother’s kitchen, or freshly mown lawn reminds you of summer holidays; smell has the power to stop you in your tracks. You can, in turn, use aroma to bolster future memories of one of the most important days of your life. By choosing your flowers according to scent, you’ll not only create a nifty mnemonic device, but you can actually influence your guests moods and tap into their emotions. To help you pick the perfect perfume, here’s a brief look at the complex world of fragrances, along with their matching floral counterparts.

Scents and Scentsibility
Like many things in life, aromas are subjective and what you love might not appeal to the person sniffing next to you. To help simplify and then categorise smells, numerous classification systems have been created but the most recognised (and consumer-friendly) is the Fragrance Wheel. It was developed in 1983 by Michael Edwards, a consultant in the industry, and because it’s been modified over the years it’s blossomed into somewhat of a perfume Bible.

According to his wheel there are four basic scent categories:
– Fresh
– Floral
– Oriental
– Woody

There are also subcategories including:
– Citrus
– Green
– Aquatic
– Gourmand
– Fruity
– Spicy

While all fragrances are different they also share common traits, and these similar smelling bouquets are grouped into fragrance families. Unbeknown to us, certain smells appeal naturally to us (the nose knows!)- we instinctively choose a group and tend to stick with it for life.

Making Scents of it All
Do you have a favourite wedding flower? Do you want to know what it says about you? Here’s an explanation of several scent profiles (which sound like the descriptions on a wine bottle), the kind of person who typically wears the fragrance and the flowers that exude it.


Scent analysis: Squeeze lemons, limes or grapefruit and you have the familiar, zesty burst of citrus flavours. It’s the invigorating smell of a dewy summer morning and it’s light and easy to wear.
Personality: Laidback and low key but up for anything, this person tends to be sporty and energetic and lives life to the fullest.
Flowers: Snowdrops, gladiolus.


Analysis: Classic, romantic and effortlessly feminine; this is the most popular fragrance family and it ranges from the smell of a single flower to the heady combination of a mixed bouquet.
Personality: Elegant and confident but also sweet and flirtatious, this playful persona is a hopeless romantic.
Flowers: Rose, jasmine, sweet pea, peony, stephanotis.


Analysis: Feminine with an undertone of exotic sensuality. These are the warm, spicy aromas of vanilla, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg with hints of amber, incense and rare wood.
Personality: This extrovert knows how to make an entrance! Bold and confident, stylish and sophisticated, there’s an air of mystery to this person and a definite wild side.
Flowers: Tahitian gardenia, frangipani, orchid.


Analysis: It’s opulent and warm, like a reading room filled with old books and a worn leather chair. There are nutty and spicy notes infused with amber, cedar, vetiver and unusual woods like patchouli and sandalwood. This distinctive odour is earthy, strong and slightly masculine.
Personality: What you see is what you get. This free-spirited adventurer is confident, charismatic and unpretentious and they also have a compassionate and nurturing side.
Flowers: Poinsettia, poppy, violet, gardenia, marigold.


Analysis: This is the oldest fragrance family and like the name suggests, this smell is like a mouthful of juicy fruit. Think of oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, mandarin and lemongrass. These recognisable aromas are effervescent and intense and leave you feeling rejuvenated.
Personality: Strong minded and decisive, this pragmatic person is confident and elegant and they’re often sporty.
Flowers: Orange flower, magnolia, geranium, pelargonium, wax flower.


Analysis: A summer salad with cucumber, basil and fresh herbs – it’s a crisp and clean fragrance. Nature is the theme with wafts of vines, cut grass, tea leaves and pine needles. While it’s lively and modern it also leans towards being unisex.
Personality: This sophisticated soul is chic but not boring and most definitely loves the outdoors. Their temperament is open, direct and honest.
Flowers: Freesia, hyacinth, lily of the valley, narcissus.


Analysis: The sea breeze on a hot summer day, the cool air after a thunderstorm – this crisp, marine smell is refreshing and revitalising.
Personality: A dreamer at heart, this person is playful, youthful and easy going. They also have boundless energy and prefer being outside.
Flowers: Snowdrops, lotus.


Analysis: Indulgent and sweet, this category is your perfume dessert tray. Comforting and edible, these are the delectable scents of vanilla, caramel, chocolate, pomegranate, honey, almond and apricot.
Personality: Fun but laidback, cheeky but carefree, the Gourmand is always ready to laugh.
Flowers: Lavender, chocolate flower, lilac, rhododendron.


Analysis: When were you last on holiday drinking a fruit cocktail? It’s attractive but not overwhelming with recognisable flavours like peaches and pears, apples and plums, berries and cherries and mango.
Personality: Like a cheerleader with a naughty side, they’re bubbly, optimistic and full of character. They love colour and tend to be ambitious.
Flowers: Osmanthus, amaryllis, apple blossoms.


Analysis: Imagine a Moroccan restaurant with the exotic flavours of clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, star anise and pepper and breathe in the comforting notes of leather, sandalwood and amber.
Personality: Sensual, introverted and intellectual, this unique individual is generally subdued but does show an occasional flamboyant side.
Flowers: Carnation, patchouli, chrysanthemum, stock.

Analysis: For the bride who is either hypersensitive to smells, doesn’t like the smell of flowers, or simply doesn’t want their scent to influence the wedding in any way at all.
Personality: All types!
Flowers: Ranunculus, calla lilies, amaryllis, protea, poppies, tulips, anemones.

Deciding on the flowers for your big day is a very personal decision, but it shouldn’t be overwhelming. Remember that between the heavily perfumed and odourless options, you should be able to find the perfect balance between colour and fragrance. So remember that when it’s time to make the decision, just follow your nose and stop to smell the flowers!