EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about flowers & bouquets

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your East Midlands 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@youreastmidlands.wedding

It's A Spring Thing

It's A Spring Thing

Q I'm set to tie the knot next spring, and I'd love to include some of the season's most beautiful flowers. What do you suggest?
A Nikki McKinney says: Tulips are the flowers most associated with the coming of spring, made famous in the Dutch Golden Age, and the subject of those gorgeous Dutch Master paintings. As much as I love them, especially the glamorous double ones, spring doesn't always have to mean tulips.

The start of the season is represented by the speckled hellebore in pale rose, pistachio and ivory hues, which are particularly lovely in buttonholes. After this come the early sleepy snowdrops of February, which look fabulous delicately placed in small and low bowls on any wedding tablescape. The blooming of the early spring blossom, blush magnolia, pure white cherry blossom and spirea stems quickly follow these florals and look so light and airy in any spring bouquet.

As the season progresses, think of scented narcissi, frothy lilac and viburnum blossom, delft blue muscari and beautiful milky anemones with their velvety dark centres. April signals the arrival of one of my favourites of all wedding flowers, the plum-chequered tiny nodding heads of the fritillary, which give a sprinkling of fluttering flowers hovering over the top of wedding florals. A feeling of movement in a bridal bouquet creates such a mood of lightness. How about some jewel-like auricles in vintage terracotta pots down the centre of a wedding breakfast table?

All my brides love the last bloom to flower, the queen of the springtime flower, the ranunculus with layered petals like a ballerina tutu. It's a perfect alternative to peonies. Think of a spring wedding bouquet full of anemones, blossom, muscari, ranunculus and tulips.

Nikki McKinney, The Bell Jar Flowers

Pick of the bunch

Pick of the bunch

Q We're looking for the perfect blooms for our wedding; what's new with dried flowers?
A Sarah Ogden says: The world of dried flowers is constantly changing and progressing. Gone are the days of brown and tired-looking blooms as we now see such an array of beautiful colours and endless possibilities. The newest change in this category is using preserved flowers treated with a glycerine solution to capture them at their peak. Preserving the florals keeps them looking soft and fresh without wilting or dying. The most popular flowers to preserve are roses, which come in various colours. Still, there are now more varieties of preserved flowers, including dahlias, orchids, hydrangeas, carnations and much more. Preserved foliage also adds a beautiful touch to wedding bouquets, allowing for more movement than dried flowers and replicating the look of fresh flowers. We love combining preserved flowers and foliage with dried flowers and grasses, especially with a touch of pampas for a look that lasts long after the wedding.

Sarah Ogden, Horseshoe Flowers

Happily ever after

Happily ever after

Q We're having an outdoor wedding and looking for the perfect blooms to match our fairytale style – what would you suggest?
A Sarah Ogden says: There isn't a better colour scheme to match a fairytale wedding than a rainbow of pastel colours.

Go for pale pink and ivory preserved roses, pink preserved gypsophila to make gorgeous floral clouds along with touches of lilac and pale-yellow dried flowers.

What fairytale would be complete without piling on the drama? Include lashings of pale pink pampas grass that flutter in the breeze outside.

Focus on large-preserved flower heads for bouquets, such as roses, achillea and fluffy pastel hydrangeas. Add some pampas grass, bunny tails and ruscus leaves for the ultimate look – all finished with pastel satin ribbons.

Use pampas grass and gypsophila clouds for the venue styling. Opt for a stunning floral backdrop with a pastel rainbow of dried flowers.

With dried and preserved flowers, there are no seasonal limitations. Plus, you'll be able to keep the blooms long after the wedding!

Sarah Ogden, Horseshoe Flowers

Beautifully boho

Beautifully boho

Q My wife-to-be and I are going for a relaxed bohemian theme for our wedding, but we don't know where to start with our flowers – what would you suggest?
A Sarah Fulcher says: It's great that you and your wife already have a shared vision for your wedding day. The boho style can have many interpretations, so a great place to start is by doing your research online or in magazines. You can pull together examples of florals you like to get ideas of the colours and shapes you're after.

When deciding what florists you'd like to approach, check out their social media pages or ask them to send you examples or their work.

My job as a florist is to guide you towards your vision; I'm here to help if you're unsure where to start. I want to get to know my clients and hear about their lives and interests. We can use these as a starting point to inspire the designs for your day. Your wedding florals are a real collaboration, and any florist will want to ensure that your vision is met.

Sarah Fulcher, Serenity Blooms

Blooming beautiful

Blooming beautiful

Q We're trying to decide what time of year to get married but can't make a decision. What flowers are available each season and are there any ways of saving money?
A Kerry Downes says: To save money, don't feel the pressure to put flowers everywhere. Choose a wow-factor design, such as an arch or moon gate as a talking point between guests and for the perfect photography spot. Your florist may even be able to relocate these designs from the ceremony to the reception area.

Resist the urge to place bud vases everywhere or have elaborate table designs; think outside the box. How about renting herbs or small plants for the tables? I also suggest repurposing bouquets for the table centrepieces or even reducing the number of personal flowers. In season, flowers and foliage can be less expensive and of better quality. My favourite flowers for winter include hypericum berries, sea Holly and hellebores. For spring I love the beautiful ranunculus, peonies and freesias, while I love working with nigella, stocks and scabiosa in summer. Dahlias and chocolate cosmos are my favourite in autumn.

Talk to your florist for advice; it's our job to source the best blooms for you as a couple, your venue, the designs and your budget.

Kerry Downes, Florence & Hope Flower Studio

Bloomin' beautiful

Bloomin' beautiful

Q I'm so excited about our winter wedding, but I hate the thought of parting with my flowers. Is there anything you can suggest to help?
A Clare Towers says: Flowers play an integral role in celebrating your special day, and it would be lovely to treasure your precious blooms forever. One way to achieve this is to turn the florals into artwork using a botanical plaster cast.

Using a special technique, you can capture and preserve the intricate detail of each flower to create a keepsake to decorate your home.

Whether you choose to cast a single stem or a whole bouquet to assemble a large statement wall panel, couples can tailor this bespoke service to match any style in a choice of different shapes and sizes.

By taking careful impressions from each flower, I can show all the beautiful textures of every petal and leaf. The final neutral-coloured piece can be left or hand-painted to match any colour scheme or interior décor.

Clare Towers, The Foxglove Tree

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