Category Archives: Wedding

Best Tips on Selecting your Bridesmaids’ Dresses

If you’re a bride deciding on what style and design of bridesmaid dresses will be worn at your wedding, there are some fundamentals you’ll need to consider. We’ve listed and explained the most popular tips below:

Bridesmaids in aqua strapless dresses with bride in white from behind.

Make Sure They Look Great
Despite what you may have heard, it is absolutely in your best interest to find gorgeous bridesmaids gowns. Your bridesmaids, and therefore, your wedding party will look fantastic. They’ll also appreciate your making them look great, and will more likely have great attitudes in the lead up to, and during, the wedding. Don’t even bother worrying if they’ll outshine you- you’ll be the natural centre of both visual and social attention on your big day!

Size and Shape
It’s easy to forget that your bridesmaids will most likely come in different shapes. If they’re all wearing the same dress, ensure that the cut is universally fitting. Sweetheart necklines, A-line skirts and medium- tick straps tend to suit most women.

Suit the Scene
When shopping for dresses, it is essential that the gowns you purchase match the theme of the wedding. If the motif for the occasion is red and gold, the dresses should either be red or gold, or have both hues. Clarify with your bridesmaids whether you want both hues on the dresses, or if it’s okay for the dresses to at least be red, or at least be gold – this is if you don’t plan for the bridesmaid dresses to be made in uniform style.

Be Kind to your Bridesmaids’ Wardrobes
It would be pretty irksome to have to buy an expensive dress that you know you’ll never wear again. Try to help your bridesmaids avoid this situation by picking a dress you know they’ll wear again. Remember that they dont have to necessarily be able to wear the same dress exactly as is, but something which can be made more versatile with some talioring, such as taking the hem up or removing the sleeves.

Tonally Useful
A big part of what renders a dress reusable or not comes down to its colour. Darker and neutral colours tend to be more versatile. This doesnt necessarily mean that you’re restricted to blacks, browns, greys and navys, but even any dark version of your wedding colours. If your main wedding colours are red and yellow, for example, a burgundy or deep yellow dress will manage more miles than a cherry red or a canary yellow.

Keep their Preferences in Mind
A great idea is to devise a list of your bridesmaids’ ‘absolutes’ and ‘preferences’. An ‘absolute’ request could be nothing above the knee for a religious friend, for example, whilst a preference could be a cut which shows off her waist. Consolidating this information in one spot could enable you to find a cut which suits everyones tastes, which you love.

Get Communicative
Rather than taking all of your bridesmaids shopping- which can be an absolute nightmare- get an email conversation going. Let everyone give in their input, and consider what they want as a group before going shopping.

Cover Them
If you find a dress that you love that is out of your bridesmaids’ price range, offer to pay the extra cost. That way, everybody wins.

Get Flexible
If youd like to distinguish each of your bridesmaids from eachother, consider having each of them wear different versions of the same dress. This could mean each of them wearing the same dress in different colours, or wearing different dress cuts made in the same fabric. This way they can all play to their strengths whilst simultaneously being uniform.

Comfortable Dresses are Musts
Weddings take hours and if your bridesmaids aren’t comfortable in what they are wearing, they might not be able to perform their duties well. Skin allergies, breathing trouble – these are some of the things that could result from uncomfortable wedding clothes and could ruin your wedding.

Dress length should be appropriate
Generally speaking, bridesmaids dresses tend to be worn on the longer side (but this depends on the formality of your wedding). The main consideration is to have the dresses be classic and tasteful- not something you know you’ll cringe over in years to come. If in doubt, go long! The more casual the wedding, the lighter weight the skirt material can be. This also has the magical effect of suiting just about every wedding type- ranging from the casualty of a beach wedding to one held in a beyond- formal cathedral.

Delegate!
Chances are that once you’ve picked the dresses, you’ll be busy with other aspects of your wedding to organise. Delegate all bridesmaids- dress related tasks, such as having the dresses dry cleaned and fitted properly, to your maid of honour and/ or other bridesmaids. Let them know, however, that you’re always available for any serious issues or questions

More Information About Bridesmaids’ Dresses Glossary

A-line: a dress with a skirt that flares out towards the bottom, mimicking the appearance of the capital letter A. A-line dresses suit pear shaped women as the flare of the dress balances out the width of their hips.
Apple shape: apple shaped girls are usually big busted with small hips and a rounder tummy. Wrap style dresses that direct attention away from the stomach area are great for apple shaped bodies. If the bride isn’t 100% set on floor length dresses, knee length dresses look great on apple shaped bridesmaids as they usually have killer legs which are worth showing off.
Basque waistline: a dress with a U shaped or V shaped waistline which sits closer to the hips than the waist.
Boat neckline: a neckline which curves near the collarbone on a sleeveless dress which usually features quite thin straps at the tip of the shoulders.
Chiffon: a very delicate, transparent fabric which is often incorporated in the outer layers of a dress to add detail. Always check with the bride first about how much chiffon is appropriate for the bridesmaid dresses.
Dropped waistline: a waistline which sits towards the hips rather than the waist and is suited to women with an inverted triangle shaped body who want to draw attention away from their shoulders and towards their slim hips and legs.
Empire waistline: a dress which features a high waistline, just below the bust. An empire waistline suits almost all body types so may be the perfect choice for weddings where the brides wants her maids to dress uniformly.
Hourglass figure: hourglass shaped women have a large bust, small waist and large hips. Think Marilyn Monroe. If you are lucky enough to have an hourglass figure, show it off with a tight fitting yet classy dress but don’t be shocked if the other bridesmaids aren’t willing to wear exactly the same dress.
Inverted triangle shape: women with broad shoulders and narrow hips have an inverted triangle shaped figure. V neck dresses suit this figure because they draw attention away from the shoulders and towards the waist. A ruffled dress will also give the appearance of wider hips.
Maternity bridesmaid dress: most bridal stores stock lovely bridesmaid dresses for expectant mummies. Go dress shopping early to be sure to find something flattering which will match the colour and style of the other maids’ dresses.
Pear shape: pear shaped girls usually have a small bust, big hips, big thighs and a big butt that would make Sir-Mix-A-Lot proud. Wrap style dresses with an A-line suit pear shaped ladies. Capped sleeves will also give the appearance of wider shoulders and a V-neck helps to balance out the small bust.
Scoop neckline: a dress with a U shaped neckline. The scoop can be shallow for modest bridesmaids or deeper for bustier gals who want to show off their goods (within reason).
Sheath: a case to hide a dagger if you have a bridezilla on your hands or a closely fitted dress without a waistline. This type of dress is best suited to hourglass figures and petite frames.
Sheer: transparent material. Always check that your bridesmaids’ dresses won’t turn sheer with flash photography (or the camera won’t be the only thing flashing).
Silhouette: the outline or general shape of a dress, including the bodice and the skirt. Some examples of silhouettes include A-line, ball gown, mermaid and trumpet style dresses.
Tea length: a tea length dress is a dress with a hemline that is approximately midway between the knee and ankle. Tea length is just a fancy word for ¾ length, really.
Tulle: a netting-like fabric which is often featured as an outer layer on the bride’s dress. Bridesmaids, try not to go overboard with tulle dresses. You don’t want to look like ballerinas and you definitely don’t want to out-tulle the bride.

Tips to Choosing a Dressmaker

For many women, fantasies of the perfect wedding gown date back to their days of reading about Cinderella and fairy princesses. Your dress may be the most expensive part of your wedding budget and, depending upon how much you care about fashion, may also be the thing you spend the most time debating, discussing with loved ones, and gathering information about. Hiring a dressmaker, rather than buying off the rack, can be the first step toward getting a one-of-a-kind dress that perfectly matches the dream dress in your imagination, but you’ll need to ensure you choose the right dressmaker.
The Role of the Dressmaker
Dressmakers come in two broad categories. Retail stores offer sample dresses and then tailor the dress to suit your measurements, while independent dressmakers can make a dress for you from scratch. The right choice for you will depend on your needs and budget. If you’re looking for something specific and one-of-a-kind, you’ll probably want to go with a dressmaker who can make your dress from scratch. You’re paying for the dressmaker’s time and experience, though, so having your dress custom made will cost you. But if you just want a dress that looks great on your body, your local dress shop should have plenty of options.
A dressmaker is an entirely different animal for a tailor. Tailors make minor alterations to clothes to help them fit better, while dressmakers can fundamentally alter the dress itself by removing or adding a train, changing lace, or changing the shape or style of the neckline. At retail stores, dressmakers often act primarily as tailors, making adjustments to the dress to ensure it fits rather than making a completely new dress.

How Much Time?
If you’re having the dress made from scratch, plan on ordering it no later than six to eight months before your wedding. Whether you have the dress custom made or simply buy and alter an existing dress, you’ll usually have one to two fittings after the dress is complete. Leave at least two months between your first fitting and your wedding day, because this gives you plenty of time to make significant changes to the dress. Your final fitting will likely be a week or so before the wedding. This is the chance to see the finished product, not to make big changes, so don’t count on giving your dressmaker a bunch of new requests right before your wedding!

Of course, different dressmakers and stores have wildly different policies, and the time it takes to actually get your dress depends on your dressmaker’s workload and working speed, as well as the complexity of your dress. Rather than relying on blind faith or a general guide, call a few dressmakers as soon as you get engaged, and ask them how quickly you need to order your wedding gown.

Choosing Your Dressmaker
Before you pay a deposit or sign a contract, you’ll need to do the legwork of vetting your dressmaker. Don’t just go on blind faith or based on a sales pitch, because you only have one chance to get this right. Instead, determine whether your dressmaker meets your needs and is qualified by doing some of the following:

• Asking for photos of previous work, as well as the sketches from which the work was produced. This gives you an idea of how closely the dressmaker’s made-from-scratch dresses match her initial sketches.

• Asking for references.

• Reading online reviews, and checking the dressmaker’s Facebook and other social networking pages to ensure there have been no complaints.

• Asking your dressmaker about her training and experience. Dressmakers who have been in business for years usually have a healthy track record of satisfied customers.

• Ensure that the dressmaker’s previous work matches your style. A dressmaker who specializes in modern, understated wedding dresses might not be the best choice if you’re hoping for a lace-filled vintage confection.

Saving Cash
If you’re hoping to save cash, having your dress custom made from scratch is not a recipe for a happy bank account. Instead, try picking a dress at a store and then having the in-house dressmaker alter it. You may also be able to save money if you buy multiple items from the same place. For example, some stores offer a discount to brides who purchase bridesmaid dresses, veils, and shoes at the same time as the dress.

Dressmakers with years of experience typically charge more, so plan on dropping some serious cash if you’re choosing the best seamstress in the business. You’ll also have to pay for the dressmaker’s supplies. Costly materials such as intricate lace, pearls, and beading can drive up the cost. If you’re on a budget, you may be stuck straddling the line between cost and quality, so be prepared to scale down your expectations, choose a new dressmaker who has a small but impressive portfolio, or stick to buying the dress off the rack and then making alterations.

Fairy princesses never have to contemplate budgets, but real women do. If you can’t afford everything you want, remember that the most important thing isn’t the dress. It’s the marriage that follows! By planning ahead of time and ensuring you carefully interview each dressmaker you consider, you have the opportunity to get the best of both worlds by minimizing costs and grasping for the dress of your dreams.

Should Know About Dressmaker Checklist

For millions of women the world over, The Dress is something they’ve been fantasising about since they were little girls. For millions of others, it hasn’t been quite decided on, irrespective of the date creeping towards them. Whatever your case, If you’re like most women, you’ve been dreaming of your wedding dress since you were a little a girl. Even before your fella popped the question (or perhaps before you’d even met him) you had probably already decided on the style, material and hue. This checklist will help you to plan the timeframe that you need to convey that vision to your dressmaker, so that they can turn your dress dreams into a reality.

Keep in mind that this guideline isn’t the be all or end all of checklists- everyone’s timeline will differ depending on the style of dress you want , the amount of detail involved, and will of course, vary from dressmaker to dressmaker. It is a fantastic general point of reference, however, as it includes a generous timeframe and dictates the typical order in which dresses are created. In other words, we’ve tried to keep it as simple and foolproof as possible!

One Year to Go
• If you haven’t been doing so since you left your mother’s womb, start collecting some pictures of dresses you like, as well as material samples, to explain your wedding dress vision to a dressmaker.

10 Months
• Head to a bridal store and try on some off-the-rack dresses. There’s no need to tell the sales assistant that you have no intention of actually purchasing one, but trying a few on will give you an idea of what style best suits your body type.

9 Months
• Once you’ve got a pretty clear picture in your mind – and some clippings to explain your ideas – it’s time to consult a dressmaker or two.
• Don’t be upset if your dressmaker tells you that some of your ideas aren’t realistic. She/he is an expert and knows which materials can be used with which styles, as well as which ones will suit your body shape.
• Ask the dressmaker about purchasing material – is it your responsibility or theirs? If it’s yours, make sure that you are clear on what type of fabric will best suit the look that you’re trying to achieve.

8 Months
• Once you’ve found your fabric, deliver it to the dressmaker and have your measurements taken while you’re there.
• Put down your deposit and sign the contract.
• Ask about when you should come in for your first fitting and mark the date in your calendar.

3 Months
• This is probably about the time that you’ll be going in for your first dress fitting. Don’t forget to take along the lingerie that you’re planning on wearing on your big day, as well as any accessories you’ve already purchased, like shoes and jewellery.

1 Month
• Continue having your dress fittings until you’re completely satisfied with the alterations.
• Whenever you have a fitting, don’t forget to move around a bit. Sit down, walk around, give a twirl (never underestimate how much dancing you’ll do at the reception), and even do a few squats (this ensures that the dress isn’t going to tear while you’re on the loo).

2 Weeks
• If you haven’t already done so, go and pick up your dress, girl. Keep it somewhere safe, where it’s not going to wrinkle.
• Pay the final amount, if you haven’t already.

The Big Day
• Put those bridesmaids to good use and have them help you into your dress.
• Stand in front of the mirror and gaze at your beautiful bridal glow.
• Now go show off that gorgeous dress to your groom!

Know More About Dressmaker Glossary

Bespoke: a dress which is custom-made. In other words, tailor fitted to the bride’s individual needs.
Boning: One instance where the reality is just as extreme as it sounds. When corsets were first introduced (early 16th century), the look of the tight and supportive top was achieved by sewing whale-bone into the garment. Until the 19th century, wood, ivory and baleen were also used frequently in corsetry. Nowadays, however, these items have been replaced with steel rods or hard plastic in the bodice, and is designed to support the weight of the skirt without the dress drooping in unsightly places.
Chiffon: a fine gauze-like transparent fabric which is often layered on the skirt of a wedding dress, especially ball gowns.
Duchesse Satin: a fabric which is made of blended silk and rayon. Duchesse satin is often chosen by brides because it is much lighter and cheaper than regular satin.
Major Alterations: major alterations on a custom fit dress include taking in or taking out the fabric to adjust the size. Adjusting the length of the hemline, train and sleeves as well as altering the neckline are also considered major dress alterations.
Minor alterations: once the dress has been custom fit, minor alterations include adjusting the sleeves and the way that the hemline sits. Adding decorative details and adjusting puckering fabric are also considered minor dress alterations.
Organza: a transparent fabric which is similar to chiffon but a little stiffer. Organza is often used in the skirt of a wedding dress as well as the sleeves.
Preservation: after spending so much time and money on the perfect wedding dress, it is worth preserving, even if you don’t plan to pass it down as a family heirloom. After the wedding, brides should have their dress dry cleaned and wrapped in acid free paper. Most dressmakers or wedding dress dry cleaners can supply brides with a satin-lined wooden box to protect the dress from mould and moths over the coming years.
Satin: a heavy fabric of woven silk with a glossy surface on one side. Satin is a very popular fabric choice for the bodice of a wedding gown.
Swarovski Crystals: tiny beads that are sewn onto a wedding dress as an embellishment. It is not uncommon for thousands of Swarovski crystal beads to be hand-sewn onto a dress.
Train: Let’s hope you aren’t on such a tight budget that you are arriving at your ceremony by train. The train of a wedding dress is the fabric that extends behind the bride in a trail, brushing the floor. Trains can be of various lengths depending on the formality of the wedding.
Tulle: a netting-like fabric (often used in ballerina tutus) which is often incorporated into veils and the skirts of ball gown style dresses.
Veil: a piece of transparent material to hide the bride’s face as she walks down the aisle. The veil can be lifted by the bride’s father as he gives her away or as the bride and groom are pronounced husband and wife. If you intend to wear a veil, make sure to discuss this with your dressmaker, at the initial consultation, to ensure that the fabric of the dress and the veil match perfectly.

Tips to Choosing Your Wedding Flowers

Picking out wedding flowers tend to be that kind of thing that completely divides brides: either they look forward to it with mounting excitement, or they look ahead with disproportionate anxiety and end up lying face down on the lounge-room floor for 45 minutes straight. In either case, help is at hand! We’ve put our heads together to create the easiest-ever guide to picking out your wedding flowers.

Relax
First and foremost, it is of paramount importance that you remember that there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ choices. Whilst there is absolutely a ‘language’ of flowers, this should be treated as a great additional feature of your choices, if you choose to adhere to them at all. At the end of the day, flowers are there to look beautiful and simply enhance/reflect the atmosphere of the wedding itself. The only thing that will guide your choice aside from your taste is your budget and theme.

Explore
So where do you actually begin? As with just about every other aspect of the wedding planning, the answer is research. But the great thing about flowers is that this should be restricted to glossy magazines and the internet- inspiration is all around you. If, for example, on your way to work you see a flower that you’d love to include, snap a shot of it and document it somewhere. Same goes for any photo clippings or printouts you happen upon. Store all pieces of inspiration in a specific folder for easy access. Whether you know the flowers names or not (chances are you’ll find it in this article, though), it’s worth showing your florist as they may be able to identify it and potentially incorporate it into your arrangement. Additionally, a great approach is to consider getting a private tour of the Botanic Gardens or check out any flower markets to see what they look like in real life.

Divvy it Out
Consider your budget. If you have no idea how much money you should be devoting to flowers, many wedding planners use the 10% mark as a good place to start. This will change depending on how big a role you want the flowers to play: i.e., if you want a minimal look, you’ll probably set aside less than 10% of your overall budget. If your want a total floral paradise, feel free to adjust the numbers again. The most important thing, however, is that you maintain financial balance- if you prefer to spend it up here, some other area will have to be (partially) sacrificed. If you’re working with a fairly strict overall budget, it is absolutely essential that you do not go overboard- once you pick a number, stick with it.

Consider How the Flowers Will Fit In
Once you’ve picked out the core flowers you’re including, you need to think about how they’ll ‘match’ the dress. Generally speaking, the aim is to complement your gown, not have the flowers compete with it. So, if you have a simply gown, for example, you can afford to make your bouquet as ornate as you like. If you’d like the focus to remain primarily on an intricate gown, however, stick to simple flowers with strong lines, such as calla lilies. Similarly, a feminine gown will look best paired with feminine looking flowers, such as baby’s breath and carnations. A simple, strong gown would be best paired with equally stand-alone, elegant looking flowers, such as orchids or roses.

Colour Me Gorgeous
The flower’s colour is probably its most distinguishing feature. But just because you may be wearing white doesnt necessarily mean any colour will look as good as the next with your outfit.

The first factor to consider is your overall colour scheme. If you’re using wedding has yellow accents throughout, then by all means, try to stick to a yellow pallet for your flowers as well. Sticking to one dominant colour will ensure visual cohesion (though using smaller amounts of additional other colours does not detract from the dominant colours and generally looks great). This same principal of having one dominant colour throughout your floral arrangements similarly applies to all your bouquets, centrepieces, decorations and boutonnieres, etc.

Your dress itself should also influence you colour choice. If the dress has cold undertones (such as a true white dress), using cool- coloured flowers- such as blue, greens and whites- will pick up this colour and emphasise the crispness of the dress. Likewise, if your dress had warm undertones (such as cream or ivory), warm- coloured bouquets- like red, orange and yellow- will enhance the undertones of the dress and make the entire outfit look more cohesive. An excellent way to match up your flowers to your dress precicesly is to bring either a photo of the dress (in natural, bright lighting) and better yet, a sample of the material as well. This way, you can optimise both you and your florist’s time, get a professional’s opinion on what will look best, and skate past any avoidable mishaps.

Lastly, the time of day can also have an effect on how your flowers look. In general, bright, cold colours look fresh and crisp during the day, whilst warm- coloured flowers visually pop at an evening wedding.

Note: pinks/ purples and yellowy greens can be used in both warm and cool coloured arrangements.

A basic flower- by- colour guide:

White: rose, sweet pea, camellia, stephanotis, narcissus, gardenia, orchid, lily of the valley, jasmine, and gypsophila.

Yellow: daffodil, sunflower, tulip, gerbera, lily, and freesia.

Orange: lantana, fritillaria, blackberry lily, helenium, Iceland poppy, ‘Klondike’ cosmos, Asiatic lily, butterfly weed, and marigold

Pink: rose, ranunculus, peony, sweet pea, carnation, tulip, protea, boronia, and lily.

Red: gerbera, rose, dahlia, poinsettia, and amaryllis.

Lavender: lavender, lilac, anemone, statice, iris, delphinium, and hydrangea

Purple: African violet, crocus, dahlia, pansy, rhododendron, zinnia, toad lily, purple statice, Japanese bellflower, princess flower and meadow rue.

Blue: morning glory, iris, hyacinth, mertensia, ceanothus dark star, blue orchids, english bluebells

Green: Queen Anne’s lace, gladiolus, santini mum, cymbidium orchids, bupleurum, gloriosa lilies, lady’s Mantle; and cockscomb.

For a more complete guide, check out this useful article.

Seasonal Consideration
Of course, flower varieties vary seasonally. The cheapest and freshest flowers will be those within a close geographical proximity to you, so consider what will be naturally available and plan ahead. Flowers can absolutely be flown in from all over the world, but, this will a) make your flowers exponentially more expensive, and b) complicates the whole process- they might not arrive in great condition, and, generally, there’s little time to rectify this. Also, consider the effects on the environment on sourcing local produce vs. international fare. Flowers seem like an appropriate place to reciprocate respect for the environment.

A brief guide of seasonal flowers:

Spring flowers: amaryllis, anemone, daffodil, freesia, gerbera, lily of the valley, orchid, ranunculus, stephanotis, and sweet pea.

Summer flowers: anthurium, carnation, chrysanthemum, gypsophila, lily, magnolia, peony, rose, and sunflower.

Autumn flowers: agapanthus, aster, clematis, daisy, hosta, hydrangea, passion flower, and pinks.

Winter flowers: camellia, euphorbia, iris, nerine, pansy, poinsettia, snowdrop, tulip.

All year round flowers: calla lily, carnation, gypsophila, orchid, protea, rose, and tulip (although this list may vary by region).

Organise Which Flowers Go Where
This pertains to both your wedding ceremony/ reception location as well as who wears which flowers.

Firstly, the location:

Flowers can be as simple or elaborate a decoration as you choose. In all cases, they should of course reflect your individual tastes and personality.
Some flower- placement ideas for your wedding venue:

For indoor weddings, flowers can be placed: At the end of pews/ on the backs of chair; on the altar (depending on your religious leader’s opinion); chancel steps; windowsills; around candelabra; tables at a sit- down dinner, etc. The larger the space, generally, the more flowers needed to be noticeable. Note: If you’re on a tight budget, you many want to consider the option of splitting the cost of the flowers at your religious venue- provided that there is more than one wedding being held that day. Speak to the administration team from your religious centre and see if this is possible.

Generally speaking, registrars or registry office buildings are hesitant to allow personalised flowers, but it’s definitely still worth asking if you can bring in one special arrangement of your own.
For outdoor weddings, your options are much more open. In addition to using the suggestions for an indoor wedding (e.g. flowers on the backs of chairs), you can also play around with your environment more. A decorated bridal arch or arbor makes a simple, yet dramatic statement, as does a carpet of petals, for example. Your imagination really is your only limit.

Secondly, the flowers to be worn by your wedding party

Most importantly, decide on which flowers will make up your bouquet.This should include the key flowers you’re using throughout your venue as well as those worn by all others- it’s the ultimate floral accessory that ties all other flower arrangements together.

You’ll then have to consider your bridesmaids’ bouquets. The point of the bridesmaids’ bouquet, ultimately, is to complement the bride’s bouquet. This can mean that the bridesmaids carry a miniature version of the bride’s bouquet, be made up of different flowers yet still maintain the same colour scheme, or even in a different colour that still reflects the same overall wedding theme colours. The aim is for visual coordination, without sacrificing the bride’s individuality.

Get your groom, groomsmen, page- boys and fathers of the couple’s flowers organised. Although there is less emphasis on the groom’s need for flowers, it’s still an important aspect of pulling the overall look together. These flowers, worn as buttonhole/boutonniere, are normally a combination of flowers present in the bouquet. This is also another place to splash out- more expensive flowers are used to both match the bride’s bouquet as well as used as stand- alone pieces (as few flowers are needed for the boutonniere). Like the bride’s bouquet, the groom’s boutonniere should vary slightly from his groomsmen’s. A nice idea- if you have the time, money and inclimation, is to leave boutonnieres in a dish for all of your guests to wear as they enter the wedding.

Similarly, mothers of the bride and groom as well as close aunts and grandmothers often wear matching corsages made up of the same family of flowers.

Lastly, the flower girl’s flowers need to be considered. Whilst a basket full of flowers or petals is a classic way to integrate her with the floral decorations, flowers can just as easily be tied to wrists with some beautiful ribbon to keep up the flower theme (this is especially helpful if your flower girl is particularly young to avoid any basket- related mishaps). Another variation is to get her to wear a flower bracelet or ornament, or put real flowers in her hair (bonus: she’ll love this special touch). A great idea is to also give girls under five a stuffed toy that’s holding on to some flowers- This will make the flowers easier to carry, and also serves as a thank- you gift for participating in your wedding.

If you wanto to cover absolutely all bases, as your florist if they can organise a mock- up bouquet using your flowers.
This is sometimes available, depending on the particular florist and flowers being used. You can see how this particular piece of the puzzle fits by organsing a mock- up of for your table setting, and bringing the flowers with to compare. This should give you a good idea of how cohesive your overall look is, as well as some idea of how far along you are in terms of your organisation.

Your flowers will make up a large portion of how the overall wedding looks, so invest your time now to ensure you look brilliant on your big day, as well as in the photos you’ll be cherishing for the rest of your life!

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.
(courtesy funflowerfacts.files.wordpress.com)
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.

Fresh

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.

Floral

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.

Oriental

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.

Woody

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.

Citrus

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.

Green

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.

Aquatic

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.

Gourmand

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.

Fruity

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.

Spicy

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.
Scent-less

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!

More Information About Flowers Checklist

The right flowers can add a magical element to any wedding. Finding the right florist, and executing the final arrangements right through to perfection, are easily achieved with a little research and careful planning. There’s no need to feel overwhelmed by the process, if you follow this simple timeline.
One Year to Go
• If you’re super organised and already have your wedding theme and colour schemes picked out, you have the opportunity to drop by your florist’s and take a squiz at the type of flowers that will be in season at the time of your wedding.

• This is the time to start sourcing florists if you’re having a destination wedding.

9 Months
• Start consulting florists, especially if you’re tying the knot during spring or summer (peak season).

• Gather photos, colour swatches, bridesmaid dress fabric, photos of the venue, flower cuttings from grandma’s garden, and any other bits and pieces that will provide inspiration for your florist.

• For those having a destination wedding, you should, ideally, book your florist now and get down to planning – prepare yourself for plenty of email correspondence and perhaps even some Skype calls.

6 Months
• Make up your mind and choose your florist.
• Put down your deposit and start making formal arrangements with your florist at a second consultation.
• If you’re having a destination wedding and want to export flowers from Australia to the venue, look into the country’s import/export laws and go about filing the appropriate paperwork.

4 Months
• Finalise your flowers and settle on a final price. You may have to pay an additional instalment if your final quotation is dramatically different from the initial quotation.

• Make sure that your contract clearly states the due date for your final payment as well as any extra fees, such as delivery or tax.

• Discuss how to go about preserving your bouquet, if you are planning on doing so.

2 Weeks
• The majority of florists require the final down-payment one to two weeks before the wedding. Check your contract for details.

• Make sure that your florist has a floor plan of the venue and a clear idea of where all the floral arrangements are to be displayed.

The Day Before
• Arrange for the maid of honour, or another member of the bridal party, to take your bouquet home from the reception and have it preserved, if you would like to keep it as a memento.

The Big Day
• Greet your florist, as they deliver your flowers to your dressing room, and try to contain your ecstasy as you see your bouquet for the first time (this especially applies to bride’s who have a curling iron in their hair or a make-up artist with brush poised within the facial region).

• Make sure everyone’s corsages, hair flowers and bouttonnieres are fastened properly.

• Take a whiff of those beautiful buds and take a look in the mirror, holding your bouquet.

• Walk down the aisle and show off that gorgeous bouquet to all of your guests.