Environmentally conscious flowers
Last week I had the privilege of attending a foam free flower workshop, led by the highly talented Linz of White Horse Flower Co., Newbury. It was a long journey down in pretty bleak, snowy conditions but one I felt compelled to make for several reasons.
I am unashamedly a self-taught florist. As many of you know I am a Chartered Accountant,
and to be able to get there I had to go through five years of exams and training. So to call myself a florist without formal training has taken a lot of time fighting my own self imposed feeling of fraudulence (auditor pun not intended)! Attending a course like that last week helped to reassure me that the techniques I have picked up along the way are suitable and sensible, as well as learning some new ones for the wedding season ahead.
But, arguably the most important reason was the topic of the course, "foam free". Many of you will know what Oasis is, that green, foamy material often used in floral arrangements. What you may not know is that it is a non-biodegradable plastic, which means once used will stick around forever. With many of the flowers we use being imported, I'm already hugely aware of the impact that the business has on the environment, so working without foam is something I'm increasingly trying to move towards.
We catch up with a past bride
Sophie's wedding back in February was 100% foam free and here are some of the beautiful moments captured from her day by Donna Murray Photography.
Sophie shares some advice on styling and where to start with flowers. Sophie was such a trusting bride, which is key when working foam free. Trusting your florist will know what will work and allowing them the space to do their creative thing, will pay dividends.
How would do you describe the theme of your day?
The style of our day evolved throughout the planning process and what we ended up having was quite different to what originally dominated the Pinterest board! However, I knew I wanted a soft, romantic style but also to keep it modern and not too fussy. It was also important that we integrated personal touches throughout our day.
How did you set about capturing that through your styling?
By booking a February wedding date, we were taking a gamble on the weather which could set the tone of the wedding. There's surprisingly little inspo for February weddings online(!) and most winter weddings centre around Christmas. Putting bets on it being cold and dark, candles and twinkly lights were firmly on the plan. As fate would have it however, the sun came out gloriously for us all weekend and we enjoyed post ceremony fizz on the lawn with our sunnies on. Flowers were always high up on the agenda and something I was very excited to begin planning for as I wanted them to be the biggest part of styling. In discussion with Emma, the aim was create impact, use texture and be in a soft, unstructured style. I was thrilled with the results on the day and it was so much more than I'd hoped for.
What advice would you give to other couples wondering where to start with flowers?
There were only one or two things I was pretty certain about what I wanted for flowers. I had an idea of the style/colours I was aiming for and I had a wee request for some roses in my bouquet. Apart from that I just wanted Emma to do her thing and I'm so glad I did. What she came up with exceeded my expectations and showed how she had not just considered my wishes, but built on them with her experience and creativity. There was texture, movement and fragrance and gorgeous seasonal influences.
I don't think tackling wedding flowers with a really fixed mindset of one particular flower, in a
very particular type of arrangement, will allow couples to get the best out of their florist. The arch we had was an investment, but so worth it. It was the most beautiful focal point throughout the day; in our ceremony, as a stunning frame for our wedding cake and the backdrop to so many photos for us and our guests as the party got started. To be more economical, we also reused the pew ends from the wedding ceremony, repurposing them in smaller bunches for bud vases.
What was your favourite moment of the day?
The string quartet kicking in, my dad taking my arm and seeing my wonderful husband to be with the biggest smile in that beautifully decorated, sunlit room. Pure magic.
Top wedding planning tip
Prioritise your areas of higher spend in the budget from the outset. Remember that the elaborate weddings you see on Pinterest and the 'gram usually cost hundreds of thousands. Acknowledge that things probably will go wrong and you cannot control this, but these somewhat stressful moments become wee stories that make your day yours. Oh... and book Paper & Petals of course.
Photographer Donna Murray Photography | Home