how to choose flowers for your wedding day

The day of your wedding is going to be one of the most memorable of your life, and making sure that everything is perfect requires a little planning and preparation. After choosing your dress and outfits for the bride and groom, best man and bridesmaids, the next thing to check off your to-do list is the wedding flowers.

have a clear idea of what you want

Before visiting a prospective florist, you should work out your budget and be honest about what you can afford. A good florist will be happy to work creatively with you and will be able to suggest ways to cut costs if necessary, such as keeping more expensive flowers for the bridal bouquet and using inexpensive foliage to fill in less prominent arrangements.

You will also need to think about bouquets for the bridesmaids, the numbers of buttonholes and corsages you might require and table decorations.

what to take with you

At your first appointment with the florist, give them an idea of the style of flowers that will suit your wedding. Is your special day going to be elegant and traditional, romantically pretty or perhaps quirky and alternative?

Many brides collect their ideas into a file, including pictures of flower arrangements that they find appealing.

A picture of the wedding dress will also help the florist design a bridal bouquet that is in keeping with the style.

Fabric swatches from the bridesmaids' dresses will ensure that your chosen colour theme is consistent throughout and some pictures of the venue will also help the florist to design table decorations in keeping with the size and style of the room.

seasonal ideas

It will save you money to choose flowers that are in season. If your knowledge of flowers is limited, ask your florist's advice as to what seasonal blooms will be available that match your wedding colour theme. For example, if your theme is red, in winter you could choose amaryllis and roses, in spring freesias and tulips, in summer gerberas, peonies and alstroemeria and, in autumn, dahlias and daisies.

questions to ask your florist

- What will you use as a substitute if the flowers I have chosen are not available?
- Do you offer other decorations, such as candles, lamps and table linen?
- Can I save on costs by using the bridesmaid's bouquets as decorations for the top table?

To reassure you as to the quality of their work and help you decide, a florist should be able to show you some examples of her work, either on display on the shop or on a portfolio.