EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about flowers & bouquets

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Glos and Wilts 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@yourgloswilts.wedding

Blooming Lovely

Blooming Lovely

Q What sustainable options are available for our big-day flowers?
A Silvina Martinez Yañez says: Clay wedding flowers make a great alternative to fresh ones because they're durable, lightweight, and can be customized to match any wedding theme. They can also be crafted in advance, which allows for better planning and organization leading up to the big day.

Clay flowers do not require any special care or maintenance, making them a stress-free option for busy brides. Another advantage is that clay flowers are not dependent on seasonal availability meaning that you can pick any flower variety you like, regardless of the time of year.

My designs that feature realistic flowers made from clay include necklaces, bouquets, centrepieces and place card holders. Not only are they fab floral finds for weddings, but they also make great gifts!

Silvina Martinez Yañez, The Glam Bijoux

Darling buds

Darling buds

Q How can we make sustainable choices when it comes to our wedding flowers?
A Susanne Kennedy says: : In our sustainable floristry workshops we have a very hands-on approach where participants will make their arrangements using traditional methods like the Japanese Kaizen (better known as Flower Frog), moss, wood or chicken wire as a base, and also traditional flower arranging vessels with metal cut-out lids that you can often pick up in charity shops. There's a small theoretical part in our workshops where we talk about where our flowers come from and what socio-economic and environmental impact the international flower trade has. We discuss the pros and cons of floral foam and how it impacts not only the environment but also your health. Another fun part of our workshop is learning about seasonality and the availability of English flowers. We love showing our participants the abundance of an English flower garden which proves there's no need to ship the blooms in from 6000 miles away. Forage, grow and shop local!

When helping our couples select their wedding flowers, we aim to implement sustainable principles as much as possible. We encourage choosing local, seasonal blooms but we're not going to turn away a winter bride who wants roses in February. We don't want our couples to feel pressured to have the perfect eco-friendly wedding. Instead, we are suggesting constructive ways that they can reduce the environmental and ethical impact of their big day. This can mean avoiding single-use plastic and floral foam; re-using church arrangements in the main venue or donating them to a charity after the celebrations so that the blooms can be admired for longer.

At Milston Flower Barn we offer a selection of courses and workshops that teach a range of different skills required for wedding flowers, events and church decorations. All our classes can be personalised for a group of friends and family, making it a fun-filled evening in your own home or at Milston Flower Barn.

Susanne Kennedy, Milston Flower Barn Wedding and Event Florist

A sustainable day

A sustainable day

Q How easy is it to prepare homegrown, sustainable flowers for our big day?
A Sarah Raven says: Growing and arranging your flowers for your wedding can be so rewarding but it requires plenty of planning. Decide what varieties you want on the day, what purpose they'll serve and what your sowing and cutting schedule is to ensure they'll be ready for cutting ahead of the wedding. Each couple will have their own taste and preference, some will prefer light and delicate flowers while others will lean towards more architectural shapes and sturdy blooms. It's important to choose varieties based on what will grow at the right time of year and not get fixated on any one individual type because they might not be in their best shape on the day so focus on colour and shape first and foremost.

I always pick a range of dominant flowers as central pivots for displays and bouquets, like dahlias, sunflowers, zinnias, echinaceas, roses and lilies. Don't be afraid to use contrasting colours or break the rules and use the opportunity to grow your wedding flowers to bring your personality to the palette. Use foliage and foraged items to bulk out displays and bouquets. Foliage can be useful for weddings early on in the season providing a beautiful display while lines of foxgloves and lupins give them a structural interest.

The scent is so important and sweet peas offer this. You'll never regret growing these because they'll make a fantastic addition to any flower arrangement. For buttonholes, lilies and sprigs of heather are great options. If you're set on having a rose or dahlia in the buttonholes, wrap the stem in cottonwool followed by cling film and buttonhole tape.

A wedding day isn't complete without confetti and natural confetti provides a wonderful touch and is often preferred by venues. Fresh rose petals and marigolds as well as dismembered cornflowers all work well, plus the petals of larkspur and delphiniums too. Consider catching the dropped petals that have fallen off the other flowers you're growing for the wedding and keep those as supplementary confetti.

When it comes to picking day, put the stems straight into cool water (removing all leaves on the stems first) which will make a big difference to the vase life of the flowers and keep them looking fresher for longer. If any of your blooms start to droopy before the big day, sear the ends in boiling water (five seconds for softer stems and 45 seconds for woodier varieties).

The most important thing to do once your arrangements are complete is to enjoy the day. Your venue will be brimming with the scent of your favourite flowers and you'll take immense pride in seeing the fruits of your labour as beautiful, natural decoration on your wedding day.

Sarah Raven, Sarah Raven

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