So the first of my blog posts for Wonderful Wedding Suppliers is with the lovely ladies at The Lavender Hill Company , a florists and purveyor of quirky and vintage wedding venue accessories who are based in Farnham.

Here is a little about what they do and their advice of everything floral – enjoy!

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Tell us a little about your company and your approach to helping a couple on their wedding day.

Hi, we’re Sue & Rachel, part of the team at Lavender Hill! We thoroughly enjoy the process of supporting brides in developing a theme or style that reflects each individual couple’s day, whether it be delicate and dramatic; bewitching and bedazzling; fairy-tale and fabulous!

We start with a cup of tea and then talk about what the couple would like for their big day. We want everything to be absolutely right, down to the smallest details.

What advice can you offer on choosing flowers for the wedding day? Do you consider the style and fabric of the dress?

Remember that there is no right or wrong when choosing your bridal bouquet. A good florist will work with your dream bouquet requirements and tailor it to you!

• Hand tied – these are created in the hand by spiralling the stems and then binding the flowers together. They are very varied in styling; they can be compact with all the same flowers, through to mixed flowers and foliage’s. Hand tied bouquets suit all brides and all styling from modern chic, simple elegance, cottage garden or textured bohemian.
• Cascade, shower or teardrop – these can be created either in a hand tie or in a holder with foam. Again this design can suit all brides if you have your heart set on it, however bear in mind that if you are a slim or petite bride a larger bouquet will overpower you and your gorgeous dress so go with a slim-line peardrop. If you have a fuller dress or you’re taller, have the courage to hold a Cascade or shower on your big day!
• Buttonholes and Corsages – Buttonholes are for men with the grooms generally being more special then all others. Corsages are for ladies, don’t just think about your mums, why not your Grandmothers, Godmothers or Witness’s? Buttonholes and Corsages help your guest recognise key members of the bride and grooms family and entourage.
• Colours and Fabrics – florists just love colours! Do your research before meeting your florist and work out your colour palette. If you’re unsure pop into a paint store and pick up paint swatches, give one to your florist and keep one in your file. Same with a swatch of your dress fabric, or if you are having your dress altered why not bind your bouquet in the left over fabric, it’s a lovely way to tie in and personalise your bouquet.

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What works best when decorating your wedding venue or church?

When thinking about your ceremony flowers it’s really important to think about the key areas that will give you the most in your wedding photos. These are generally the aisle and either side of where you take your vows.

For Church Ceremonies – Do bear in mind that some churches like something left. Try to take into account that if the aisle isn’t big, it isn’t worth having stuff lining the aisle or having pew ends…last thing you want is to be dragging flowers down the aisle or setting your dress on fire with floor candles! What you could do instead is create an amazing arch outside your church or ceremony room for photos to be taken when you are Mr and Mrs!

If you’re lucky enough to be able to re-use your ceremony flowers, ask your florist where these can be reused at your reception, make the most of your flowers, you’ll then feel like you’ve got good value for money for your blooms! Don’t forget to tell your photographer where your flowers are going to be placed so that they can work out where is best to photograph from, and vice versa with your florist.

A prime example of this is the brides entrance, some designs face either to the front or to the back of the room. Ask your photographer if they are taking more photos from the front or back and get your florist to place the designs where they will show in your photos more, floral memories need to be seen and remembered!

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I am often asked about table center pieces, as they can block the view during speeches, what do you suggest?

This is where the biggest chunk of your flower budget tends to go but do remember it’s also what your guests will see the most. The types of flowers and styling you choose depend on whether your table centres are high or low cost.

• Tall designs – If your venue has high ceilings or if you want to create a dramatic ‘wow’ impact, then you can go tall. Tall table centres are stunning and can be expsensive. If you have your heart set on tall, bear in mind that you may need to make compromises in order to get what you want! Tall designs can be candelabras, vases, pillars or trees.
• Short designs – Shorter designs create a wonderful intimate romantic feel. They are commonly created in vases or florists foam. A fabulous idea is to buy your own containers for your florist to fill, that way you can give away the whole design at the end of your day.

Try and give your florist free range with the flowers that go into your tables within your colour palette and styling, the more you can do this the better value for money they can give you when they order the flowers. The more you stipulate, the higher the cost because we HAVE to get those specific flowers for you.
Mixing tall and low still has the “wow” effect of tall displays but is a bit easier on the budget. Give your florist a table plan and ask them where its best to place tall and short designs so that people can see the speeches and the photographer can have a clear view.

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What do you think about Mother of the bride thank you bouquets, should these be in keeping with the wedding colour theme?

Weddings are getting so much more personalised than they ever have been previously. Thank you gifts can of course be either cut flowers or plants but don’t always have to be in the wedding colours. Some couples had their thank you bouquets created in their mums favourite colours or flowers. Another trend was the rather charming David Austin patio roses such as ‘Golden celebration’, ‘Heritage’, and ‘Winchester Cathedral’ which are a lasting memento of a beautiful wedding day.

What do you see as the popular trends / requests for 2015.

Popular trend for 2015 is making it personal to you! However, there is still a lot of blush colours for this year, soft pinks, creams, mink, cappuccinos….. Ribbons and ribbon trails on the bridal bouquets are a must for any true romantic wedding. Re-using flowers from the reception for the ceremony is very popular and why not we say!

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Are there any flowers to avoid and why?

Unless you have the budget for it try, try to avoid out of season flowers. If they are a must, maybe just use them in your all important bridal and bridesmaids bouquets. All flowers are beautiful and unique, and as florists we understand that you don’t do this everyday! Trust your florists expertise and ask for their suggestions for the best flowers to use for your wedding designs.

Is there an estimated budget a couple should expect to pay? With photography the general industry guide is 10-15% of total wedding cost.

It’s quite hard to define how much budget should be allocated to flowers as every wedding is different. One wedding could have 6 bridesmaids and 20 tables designs and another could have 2 bridesmaids and 10 tables. This is where you need to do your homework well in advance of your wedding day, speak to florists a year in advance and get an idea of your options, this gives you plenty to time to see flowers that are in season at the time of your wedding, make decisions and tweak options.

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I’m just being nosey now, but what was the most extravagant bouquet you have ever created?!

The most extravagant bouquet we’ve ever created was a stunning trailing bouquet of different orchids, hydrangeas and sedum – just beautiful!

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A big THANK YOU to Rachel at The Lavender Hill Company for time and sharing her knowledge!

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