Flowers play a huge part in the look and feel of a couple’s special day and being in charge of the way someone’s wedding looks is an honour but a huge responsibility. I like to use flowers that have meaning, and I take the picking and choosing process at the flower market incredibly seriously.
Working with flowers is very physical and sometimes an exhausting job, it takes a lot of time, effort and energy to get everything perfect. For weddings, I usually start my prep three days before the event, cleaning and prepping my flower shed, making room for the flowers to come in. When it comes to the floral aspect of your wedding, here's some pointers to think about.
Photographer: Jenn Brookes | Hair: Wildflower Hair Company | Dress: Wilderness Bride | Makeup: Ellie Bebbington | Model: Bethany Suthers
Vases and Centrepieces
It’s so important to think about the vase or container as much as the flowers. Everyone is different, and in my experience of floral design the vases that you use will vary per couple.
A collection of small vases and bottles creates maximum impact with the minimum amount of flowers. I absolutely love old glass bottles and have collected an enormous amount of them over the past two years; it’s not uncommon for me to find a way of displaying flowers in a pickle jar or an empty beer bottle. I find them completely ideal for a single flower or a few small stems - sometimes simple is all you need.
Centrepieces should make a visual impact and be low enough for guests to see and chat over. I really like whimsical and garden-like centrepieces that have lots of greenery and loose flowers in.
For those mindful of the environment, ask your florist to avoid floral foam. Not only does it make designs look stiff, it's toxic and there are more eco-friendly alternatives out there.
What's more beautiful and graceful than a floral crown? I find that bigger is not always better either and sometimes less is more. A simple vine or fern, or small spray roses are a personal favourite, and I can be partial to pink Gypsophila too.
But don’t get me wrong, I also love using the most unique and interesting materials with an array of colours. My favourite type of flower crown is what I like to call ‘summer solstice crown’ which features beautiful and refreshing summer colours as well as the best of the summer blooms such as Peonies, Garden Roses, Dahlias and Sweetpeas.
I love getting creative with buttonholes and call me old fashioned but I particularly love working with Carnations. I think they’re a perfect flower for boutonnieres and yes, I know they’re very traditional but if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. My recipe for buttonholes usually consists of one focal flower surrounded by elements of smaller flowers and foliage. Using dried materials has been a popular trend this year, and will continue to be a favourite going into the next year. For this, my favourite is Lunaria or otherwise known as Honesty, which is fitting for a wedding.
About the Author
Aimee Jay is the owner and floral designer at Bloom HQ, a floral studio based in Manchester. Bloom’s mission is to create bespoke, natural and organic floral designs whilst celebrating seasonally grown blooms and the bounty of nature. As well as providing the flowers for numerous weddings, Aimee was a floral exhibitor at RHS Tatton Flower Show in 2019 creating a floral wall installation, and she frequently hosts workshops across Manchester. Her homegrown blooms of sweetpeas, roses, dahlias and cosmos have often featured in her floral arrangements too.