Would you like me to let you into the secret of successful DIY flowers: well six secrets actually?
- What’s the occasion?
It’s so exciting planning the floral décor for a special occasion. I was lucky enough to be asked by my friend Libby to join her on an all-expenses paid trip up to New Covent Garden Market. Strictly speaking, as I paid for the second cuppa, it wasn’t actually expense free …
Libby recently celebrated her 25th wedding anniversary by renewing her vows at her local church and decided on what we called a “luxury foraged” theme for the day. Back in 1989 Libby carried a fabulous bouquet incorporating mollucella/Bells of Ireland (in celebration of her husband’s heritage), and a pretty floral crown in whites and greens. Fast forward to 2014 and her flower circlet is, once again, bang on trend.
- Decide how many flowers you’re going to need
Libby runs the flower arranging committee at her Church and is well versed in what arrangements work best in particular locations. Accordingly, she knew that she needed sufficient flowers (and foliage) for three pedestals; two at the entrance and one for the stage; two window cill designs and seven table arrangements for the after show party.
Flowers for the bridal party were to be understated. A buttonhole for him and a floral crown for her.
Fortunately for Libby she was able to source her greenery from the gardens of friends and family, so her shopping spree was limited to flowers only.
- What’s the budget?
As Libby was funding her own flowers I didn’t like to pry. She’d set herself a limit and by asking individual vendors to confirm their prices on various items, kept within budget, and paid in cash.
- Stick to your theme
It was Libby’s first time to Covent Garden market and she was super-excited. Being surrounded by an almost limitless selection of flowers it’s easy to get carried away with a buy-buy-buy mentality. I was a bit of a party-pooper and kept asking Libby “are you keeping to your budget?” and “do you really think that goes with your foraging theme?”
As a result we turned our backs on the glorious sunflowers – such a range of head sizes and all manner of white and pale vintage style roses in colours, which didn’t fit the autumn theme. We did however, come away with deep red roses, burnt orange roses, purple clematis, mint, crab apples stems (short), a beautiful purple tight-headed chrysanthemum, molleculla, blue enrgyium, deep pink bouvardia, orange freesia and more …
- Conditioning your flowers ready to use in your flower arrangements
There’s no point in making a huge effort with planning and sourcing your flowers if you don’t look after them properly from the outset. You can check out my blog post on preparing your plant materials for use, or view this YouTube clip.
- Enjoy and celebrate
Back at the church Libby kept her band of helpers topped up with tea and biscuits as they each got on with their designated tasks. She’s a sensible lady. Embracing the DIY vibe can be overwhelming when you’ve got flowers to juggle, hair and nail appointments to keep and you want to be relaxed so that you can enjoy your day to the full. My task was wiring, although working quietly in the background was Libby’s Mum who created the most amazing pedestal for the stage.
Huge thanks to Libby for letting me share some details of her special day and to Richard at Richard Torble Photography for allowing me access to his photos.
Until next time, happy flowers!
If you’d like to find out more about my next flower arranging workshops, you can sign up direct to my mailing list on the home page of my website – or, if you’d rather, just email me at email@example.com
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