Were you planning on peonies for your wedding bouquet? and now you're getting married in October... do not fear, there are amazing flowers available in the UK in the Autumn, so embrace the season and don't panic!
This is such a crazy unprecedented time for everyone, but I think for the wedding industry as a whole it is rather surreal… as a florist, I am still talking to couples about their weddings but suddenly everything has been put on hold, delayed, postponed and dare I say, in some extreme cases, cancelled until further notice
However there is a sense of calm in the air, those moving or changing their weddings are strangely relaxed, going with the flow in many cases since it is all out of their hands… there are cases where some venues or suppliers are being difficult for their own reasons, but on the whole, the community seems to be pulling together
ALL CHANGE… OR NOT?
For those couples who are moving their weddings from March/April/May to later in the year, as well as the logistics and practicalities of moving such an event, there is the issue of colour, style and overall feel
I would advise those couples not to throw their existing plans out of the window just yet… I’ve done white and green weddings in April and October (photo right and below) and I’ve also done jewel coloured bright celebrations in June and December
What you can do is add a few seasonal elements in to a pale scheme to give a nod to the winter months like a dark accent colour or perhaps some berries and twigs
If you are going from Spring and June/July into autumn and winter, the main flower that won’t be around is the Peony… surreal, ethereal, glamorous and yet soft and fluffy too, there really is nothing like it. It is the one flower most brides will ask for at the first discussion!
Unfortunately, it has a relatively short season and can’t be relied upon for quality or availability outside of this
However, there are gorgeous garden roses, British grown as well as those under the widely known David Austin brand... beautiful Dahlias, Scabious, Nerines and Astrantia, Waxflower, Hydrangea and Chrysanthemum… this latter one often suffers from a bad press like the humble Carnation but both flowers have been developed for florists in some amazing colours
For some moving to the end of the year, early spring flowers will be coming back into season in late autumn/winter – Anemones and Ranunculus for example. There will be gorgeous, colourful Dahlia, Rudbeckia, Zinnia and Cosmos (see right)
I think the important thing is to stay open minded, leave it a while before you start to redesign your flowers with your florist, then look through images and visuals from last year to see what is possible
A wish list for Autumn through to Winter would have to include Roses (year round), Stock (pretty widely available most of the year), Dahlia, Alstromeria, Anemone, Ranunculas, Hyacinths, Amaryllis, Paperwhites or scented Narcissi, Freesia and then the seasonal lovelies like berries, twigs, grasses, masses of lovely foliage (see left for a December stunner)
MIX IT UP
If you are moving seasons, discuss with your florist (and wedding planner if you have one) about priorities… will you need more candles/lanterns for the darker evenings in the Autumn and Winter months, perhaps rethink the outside drinks reception that would have been great in May but may not work in November….
Think fireside tipples instead? Maybe have some rugs or blankets around for guests to use if your venue is a little on the old side and may not be draught-proof!
I currently have no idea about prices for next year’s flowers… Brexit has already had some effect this year and we are braced for some changes, that is most likely
Now this may not make too much difference depending on where and how your florist gets their flowers... but talk it through and perhaps lock in what is most important with them so they can prioritise for you
I’d probably suggest having large statement pieces rather than lots of smaller displays - these will be seen more by guests and will create more impact and if you are moving towards darker months and having more candles that may work in your favour too
WORKING WITH THE SEASONS
There are wonderful bare branches and foliage around in the winter that I always try to make the most of... pine, conifer, luscious berried ivy, pittosporum, eucalyptus of course and pistache plus there are loads of plants like ferns and hellebores, jasmines that can be incorporated into larger displays and even potted up on tables
By all means, start to look up and research what is around….Get lost in Pinterest but do remember those images are from all over the world, are often colour edited and not everything may be available where and when you want it!
If you haven’t yet found a wedding florist, then search for some on Instagram and LMD blog, follow those you like and look back at what they were doing in previous years at the time of your new wedding date, then make contact with the ones you like
If you do have a florist, it is a perfect opportunity to Skype, Zoom or Face Time them to talk things through… it will also make you feel more connected and in charge of your destiny!
But mainly, don’t panic… enjoy this bit of extra time and think about what is most important – you are getting married!!