We work with some wonderfully talented florists, and i'll be highlighting some of them over the coming months, but this week i've been going through the wedding enquiries that have been coming in, AND, looking back at some of the email conversations that i had with some of last year's brides, and my Question this week is
"Should you DIY your wedding flowers?"
It's a big trend at the moment and Georgie Newbery's new book "Grow your own Wedding Flowers" will i'm sure encourage even more to try.
But if you have your own wedding happening in the next year or two, or you've been asked to grow flowers for your son, daughter or friend, there are a few things to take into account.
Have you grown flowers for cutting before?
If you have, and you know what date you've sown seeds, and what date they've flowered, then great. It also means that you've probably already got a greenhouse/ polytunnel / growhouse to get seedlings going in, and you've already got fleece/environmesh / cloches to protect crops, and maybe some already self sown seedlings coming up from last year.
Is the Wedding in the 2nd half of the year?
Weddings from late July onwards are a lot easier to grow for. An April or May wedding will need Bulbs and Biennials that have been sown/planted the summer/autumn before. A June or early July wedding will need Hardy Annuals, and Biennials sown the previous May to September. However from late July onwards, it is possible to sow Hardy and Half hardy annuals in the spring and have them flowering later the same year
Is the bride willing to have any choice of flowers in her bouquet?
To get perfect flowers you need to grow lots, (think of the greenhouse full of Chrysanthemums for the showman to get 3 perfect blooms.) To get perfect flowers for a date in a year requires previous knowledge of flowering dates, and successional sowing so that there is a row of blooms at the right time. If the bride is willing to have whatever flowers are looking wonderful on the day of the wedding, then that makes things a lot easier.
Have you arranged bridal flowers before?
3 years after starting the flower farm, after making many bouquets each week, going on lots of workshops, and having one to one sessions with trained florists, i'm just about ready to make displays for brides on the most important day of their life. You may have arranged wonderful flowers for the house, and the church, but have you done it under pressure before?
Is your idea of an ideal evening crafting with friends?
If you want to spend the last evening of your single life without a care in the world and with a glass of wine in your hand, then it might be a good idea to delegate some of your preparations, because the day before the wedding is when the flowers need to be made up. The more decorations you have to prepare, the higher the likelihood that it will infringe on the relaxing and enjoying time.
But if you answered Yes to all of the Questions, then I think you should DIY your wedding flowers, - you have a lot of ideal skills, and i'm sure you'll have lots of fun and create lots of memories doing it.
I will however leave you with a Quote from one of my last year's brides.
She had done 2 grow your own cut flower workshops with me, she'd bought a small polytunnel to protect her seedlings, and she'd been planning and planting and weeding for 9 months.
5 days before the wedding I received
"You have helped me so much with your workshops for my wedding so far I'm just hoping you can help a bit more.
My flowers are budding if not flowering I'm hopeful I'll have some but probably not enough. If at all possible I would like to have one of your buckets of flowers to add to mine. "
and 2 days before the wedding, when we were confirming the theme for the flower bucket
"my life has become ridiculously manic!!! If anyone suggests doing everything themselves for their wedding I would tell them not too!!!!"
If you're ignoring this advice then here is some additional information that you may need