Credit Crunch Bride

Archive for the ‘Flowers’ Category

For a scented bridal party, try herbal bouquets

In Flowers on September 21, 2009 at 9:34 am
Handtied bouquet of white roses surrounded in sage

Handtied bouquet of white roses surrounded in sage

Here’s why you should opt for herbal bouquets:

1.  Instant wedding memories at every Sunday roast.

Imagine this. If you have herbal bouquets, then every time for the rest of your life tha you have a nice roast lamb stuffed with sage or a juicy roast chicken stuffed with rosemary and thyme, you’ll be transported back to dizzy wonderfulness of your wedding day.

2. Unbreakability.

Herbs are easy to play with if you’re doing a DIY bouquet, and set off roses nicely. However bad you are a floristry, they still wont wilt or snap.

3. You can make the boys buttonholes herbal too.

Leave your ushers smelling sweetly with rosemary and rose buttonholes like these:

Rose and rosemary buttonholes for the gents

Rose and rosemary buttonholes for the gents

4. Herbs symbolise all manner of positive things.

Rosemary symbolises remembrance, love, loyalty and fidelity. And apparently it can improve the memory.

Sage symbolises wisdom, long life and immortality.

Thyme symbolises activity, bravery, courage and strength.

Sedum symbolises welcome and traquility. Technically it is a herb,  not an edible one, but still a herb, and a good filler.

See more herb symbolism here.

5. Herbs are cheaper than flowers. Innit.

You can get a huge two-handed bunch of mixed herbs from New Covent Garden Market for a tenner (if you’re prepared to get up at 5am two days before your wedding).

Me with a small forest of herbs and mixed roses in my hands

Me with a small forest of herbs and mixed roses in my hands

So normally I don’t like to show my mug on my blog, but here’s a once-in-a-blogtime exception, so I can show you my bouquet. It’s a mix of pink tipped roses, hot pink roses with green tips, ivory roses and pink roses mixed with sage, thyme and rosemary. I felt like a walking bouquet garni (in a good way).

My best woman and flowergirls with a selection of the finest herbal bouquets

My best woman and flowergirls with a selection of the finest herbal bouquets

These are my lovely flowergirls and best woman – each has a different colour rose and a different type of herb (except the sedum, which is technically a herb, but not the sort you’d put in a dressing). The ribbons are all different colours, matching with their mismatching outfits. But more about this in subsequent posts…

Advertisements

Supersize your wedding flowers

In Flowers on June 6, 2009 at 8:10 pm
Supersize your wedding flowers

Supersize your wedding flowers

Your budget may be sorrowfully paltry, but you flowers don’t have to be. Avoid your centre pieces looking sparse and your bouquets looking sad by choosing the right flowers.

Use Hydrangeas for bulk. They can be a little tricky in bouquets as the stems need to be kept short to stop them wilting, but for centre pieces they really work. A single stem is the size of about four roses, so despite being about £4 a stem they can work out fairly cheaply. They come in pink, blue, green, purple, aqua and white mainly, are in season from spring to autumn, and can even be dried if you really need them in your bouquet. Plus, there’s half a chance you’ll know someone who has an enormous bush of them, so you might even be able to snip them for free.

Add hydrangeas for bulk.

Use hydrangeas for bulk.

Fill with baby’s breath. Florists everywhere use baby’s breath (gypsophilia) to bulk up bouquets.

Forget the other flowers and just go with Baby's Breath

Forget the other flowers and just go with Baby's Breath

Shrink your vases. It’s the same principle as dieters use when they eat off smaller plates – the smaller the vase, the bigger the flowers look. Go Lilliputian if you so wish.

Apothecary bottles make ranunculus look giant

Apothecary bottles make ranunculus look giant

Big up the foliage. Bear grass, pittosporum, eucalyptus or even ivy can help supersize your flowers.

Weddings Save Or Splurge

Ivy only displays in wine bottles

Vases to outshine your flowers

In Decoration, Flowers on May 7, 2009 at 2:39 pm

The cost of wedding flowers is an outrage. It’s a science fact. Luckily though, you can make up for any paucity of flowers, dodgy DIY centrepieces or lack of floral complexity by  the clever use of containers. Here’s the Credit Crunch Bride’s guide to vases to outshine your flowers:

1. The single stem vase. Elegant AND built for those with a very tight flower budget? This is as good as a baby without the childbirth.

Put single tall blooms in single stem vases for maximum dramatic effect

Put single tall blooms in single stem vases for maximum dramatic effect

2. Apothecary bottles a.k.a chemist’s bottles. These are perfect for the shabby chic look. For proper collectibles go here or here, otherwise you can pick them up on eBay for about a pound a pop.

Apothecary bottles

Apothecary bottles

3. Vintage bottles – Perfume bottles, old coca cola bottles, whatever the junk shop offers really.

4. Teapots. If you’re hesitating over doing that Alice in Wonderland theme, this could be the tipping point.

Teapots give flair to any floral arrangement, not matter how messy

Teapots give flair to any floral arrangement, not matter how messy

5. Jam jars. No country wedding is complete without wild flowers in jam jars.

6. Tin cans wrapped in pretty paper. An ultra low budget option for the baked bean eating bride.

7. Tureens and silver cups.Not necessarily cheap, but certainly cool.

No rose can look average in a silver goblet.

No rose can look average in a silver goblet.

8. Mismatching vintage vases. See Style Me Pretty’s eBay finds.

The clutch bag as bouquet

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys, Dresses, Flowers, Uncategorized on April 9, 2009 at 11:43 pm
Clutch from Viabella at Etsy

Clutch from Viabella at Etsy

As a bride, it is very likely your duties will include walking down an impossibly long aisle very slowly. Meanwhile a hundred or so guest will scan you up and down. You will be nervous. All eyes will be on you. Your hands will be shaking. This is where the bouquet comes in. It gives you something to do with your hands, other than fidget or flap. In that way, it makes sense.

However, bouquets can be eye-wateringly expensive. So what on earth do you hold in your shaking hands instead? Well, what you normally would, of course. A clutch.

Boden floral clutch

Boden floral clutch - comes in 4 colours

Clutch from Etsy

Clutch from Viabella at Etsy

The clutch-instead-of-bouquet option has the distinct advantage of giving you a place to hide your lipstick etc.

From L to R: The Spring Fling; Pinch Puff Clutch; Satin Wedding Clutch with Flower; Georgia Navy; Olivia Ivory; Peacock Feathers Clutch

All from Etsy: From L to R: The Spring Fling; Pinch Puff Clutch; Satin Wedding Clutch with Flower; Georgia Navy; Olivia Ivory; Peacock Feathers Clutch

This clutch with a luxurious bow is a wonderful bouquet replacement (again, Viabella at Etsy)

And if you’re going to have a clutch, why not replace the bridesmaids bouquets with clutches too. No truly fashion-loving bridesmaid would prefer a bouquet to one of these Nelle clutches.

Nelle handbags

Nelle handbags

June wedding? Roll out the peonies.

In Flowers, invitations, Stationery on April 6, 2009 at 5:39 am
The peony is the classic wedding flower: indulgent, romantic and terribly thirsty

The peony is the classic wedding flower: indulgent, romantic and terribly thirsty

Peonies are sensitive souls, flowering for 4-6 weeks between May and July. However June is their big moment, so if you’re planning for June nuptials the peony is within your grasp. Yay. In fact, what with global warming and the early onset of Spring, peonies could even work for an April or May wedding. Double yay. Post-a-rose is already advertising the arrival of its peony season, starting mid April. Triple yay.

Post a rose's pink peony & green alcimilla robustica bouquet

Post a rose's pink peony & green alcimilla robustica bouquet

Indeed, June is a good bet for an environmentally-friendly wedding, as you can source home-grown English peonies and avoid flying out hothouse flowers. The rest of the year you might be better settling with David Austin St Cecilia roses, which are basically like longer-lasting, counterfeit peonies and can be sourced from the UK.

David Austen St Cecilia rose - the counterfeit peony

David Austin St Cecilia rose - the counterfeit peony

If you’re full of beans or bridal ambition, you could even grown your own. Or not, because that would, on second thoughts, be a ridiculous and highly stressful plan.

Which peony?

Sarah Bernhardt, Sarah Bernhardt and maybe a couple of stems of Sarah Bernhardt? All the florists advise using this one as it’s big, pink and fluffy, just like your dreams. And it’s perfick for cutting.

Sarah Bernhardt peonies - the ideal peony for cutting

Sarah Bernhardt peonies - the ideal peony for cutting

Peonies come in reds, pinks and whites

Peonies come in all the romantic hues - red, pink and white

Making it all about the peony

For the clever bride, you can think backwards and make your wedding iconography all about the peony. Then everyone will assume you have terribly joined-up thinking, not that you’re just retro-fitting the flower that happens to be in season into your wedding.

Luckily the peony seems to be the motif du jour amongst the trendy bridal magazines.

The classic peony invitation - by Papeterie

The classic peony invitation - by Papeterie

And if you want to go matchy-matchy mad, you could even have peony stamps.

Personalisable peony stamps from Zazzle

Personalisable peony stamps from Zazzle

On buying DIY wedding flowers cheaply

In DIY, Flowers, Uncategorized on March 28, 2009 at 8:46 pm
Even the most DIY-allergic bride can manage putting a single rose in a vase

Even the most DIY-allergic bride can manage putting a single rose in a vase

The first rule of sourcing anything wedding-related is ‘never talk about weddings’. Mention the W word and suppliers eyes light up as dollar signs spin through their retinas. The same goes for sourcing your own wedding flowers. Avoid florists, especially bridal florists where possible. They’ll only charge you up the arse.

Here’s some thoughts on how to fulfil your DIY floristry needs:

2. Online bulk flowers – Post a rose does a dozen roses for £19, or even a potted white rose for £17.
potted_white_rose_bush_from_post_a_rose

Then there’s Tesco’s old flower supplier – Postal Bouquets – who do a hand tied bouquet of avalanche roses for £23.

£23 from Postal Bouquets

£23 from Postal Bouquets

Also DIY Flowers does 100 roses for £170.

2. Supermarket flowers – You could save yourself a load of hassle and get all your centrepieces delivered from Asda Flowers at about £22 a bouquet.

 A bunch of 10 roses and 10 freesias for £14 from Asda Flowers

A bunch of 10 roses and 10 freesias for £14 from Asda Flowers

2. Wholesale suppliers. If you happen to run your own company or know someone who does, you can register with your company number to order bulk flowers online at places like flowersforflorists.com.

And for the Yanks, Costco do online flowers at great prices, though they are known to be a little unreliable…

3. Flower markets – If you can deal with a very early morning a couple of days before your wedding, then this could be for you.

New Covent Garden Flower Market

New Covent Garden Flower Market

New Covent Garden Market, near Vauxhall, London is open early mornings every day but Sunday. Expect sneery looks, no advice but a huge range of boxes or big bunches of cheap flowers.

4. Buy silk flowers. They’ll pretty much never droop or wilt. Try Sarah’s Flowers.

5. Get bucketloads of water for when any delivered flowers arrive. They’ll be parched and on the verge of wilting, so make sure you top up the water as they drink it up.

6. Warmth opens. As a general rule to open flowers, give them warmth – so a steamy bathroom and buckets of warm water for closed buds; cold water and a cold room if they’re already ripe and open on arrival.

7. A drop of bleach in vases will keep them alive longer. Just a drop, mind.

8. The days before… For Saturday weddings, get the flowers delivered on a Thursday,make up the centrepieces on Friday, the bouquets later on Friday and buttonholes on Saturday morning.

The green bridal bouquet

In Flowers on March 26, 2009 at 12:13 pm
All-green, textural bouquet with herbs, cockscomb, and mums

All-green, textural bouquet with herbs, cockscomb, and mums

If lavish expense is not going to be a feature of your bridal bouquet, then you need something else to draw the eye. What could this key feature be, that would stop everyone noticing how utterly inexpensive your bouquet is?
Well, how about a green bouquet…

1. Green as in eco – Seasonal, locally grown flowers are environmentally friendly and far cheaper than their hothouse cousins.

2. Green as in foliage – This is a marvellous double-fingered rejection of the classic wedding obsession with petals. And, sexy foliage is far cheaper than any sort of bud.
green-bridal-bouquet-foliage-only-leaves- bouquets-weddings

3. Green as in the colour – The colour, if not the quality of flowers, will encourage amazed gasps.

Green bridal bouquet - fern - weddings - flowers - foliage - no flowers

4. Green as in a herbs – Waft your way down the aisle with a bunch of rosemary, lavender, oregano and thyme. If you believe the old wives’ tales, rosemary is the herb of remembrance, sage indicates long life, good heath, and domestic sweetness and Sweet marjoram spells goodwill. Here‘s what all the herbs signify.

Herbal bridal bouquet

Herbal bridal bouquet with lavender, rosemary, mint, and basil

Herbs make smellicious boutonnieres for your ushers

Herbs make smellicious boutonnieres for your ushers

5. Green chrysanthemums to some are funereal. Poppycock. These bouncy pompoms of limey lusciousness are clearly harbingers of positivity and happiness.

 green chrysanthemums

green chrysanthemums

Alternative button holes (boutonnieres)

In Decoration, DIY, Flowers on February 25, 2009 at 1:14 pm
Found on Thoughtful Day

Found on Thoughtful Day

If you can’t afford to spend on the big things, at least make the little things brilliant. So, you may have a reception in a draughty cowshed, but at least the ushers’ buttonholes (or boutonnieres) will be fabulous. Michelle Ragu made these beauties.

The autumnal button hole

The autumnal button hole

Make your own fabric boutonierres here:

From Once Wed

From Once Wed

From Once Wed

From Once Wed

And finally, LaLaLaurie from Etsy has some mad aunt inspired boutonnieres, full of buttons, feathers and birds.

Would look a treat on your most butch of ushers

Would look a treat on your most butch of ushers

Button holes which are a little less girly

Button holes that are a little less girly

Finding a boutonniere which isn’t effeminate can be an arduous task. A shell boutonniere is all very well for a beach wedding, and yes, silk boutonnieres will last forever, but they’re not exactly manly. What about a neatly folded pocket square? They set all the chaps suits off, are useful for wiping away tears and might even be used again. Learn how to fold one beautifully here.

The silk pocket handkerchief, perfect for an English gent.

The silk pocket handkerchief, perfect for an English gent.

Supermarket wedding flowers

In Decoration, DIY, Flowers on February 24, 2009 at 1:07 pm

You know it makes sense. If a supermarket stocks them, they’ll be cheap and hardy. Here’s some ideas for those who wish to embrace Tesco’s Finest:

1. Re-doing a mixed bunch. Buy one of those mixed bunches from Asda, bin the excess foliage, remove any clashing colours, cut the stems to length, secure with wire, wrap in ribbon, bang in a few pearl headed pins, and wham bam thank you ma’am – Bouquet a la Supermarche.

Before

Before

After

After

2. Now for table displays, mums and daisies are easily available and work wonders if you’re looks for a sunny yellow theme.

Making the sun shine at Sainsbury's

Making the sun shine at Sainsbury's

3. Meanwhile a mix of irises, statis and carnations kicks ass if you’re doing a blue or lilac theme. There’s a guide to supermarket wedding flowers at Real Simple.

4. Pink carnations, a.k.a Carrie Bradshaw’s favourite are as ever, a winner. Mix them up with copious filler flowers.

Mix carnations up with lavender

Mix up your carnations

How to do a carnation display, according to Martha Stewart:

Hide distracting sepals and stems by clustering the blossoms into a tight dome. Soak five blocks of floral foam in water until saturated. Line up three of the blocks in a shallow bowl. Center another block on top of those three. Cut the remaining foam block in half, crossways, and place half on either side of the stack. Trim each carnation stem to two or three inches. Working your way from bottom to top, stick each carnation’s stem into the top foam block. When you’re finished, trim or rearrange flowers to fill out the dome and fix “bald” spot.

5. Tiny vases – This is a bit like the small plate principle when you’re dieting, except this is more of a floral diet. Even a tulip can look grand and imposing in a miniature vase.

From Toast and Tables

From Toast and Tables

6. No fear. It’s scary doing it yourself, but then so is ending up in years of pointless debt because of an outrageous floristry bill.

Watch this florists’s video on pros and cons of supermarket flowers – she says the quality is fine, the prices great, it’s just the arrangements that can be a little.. well.. common. However, with a bit of DIY rearrangment you’ll have flowers fit for a lady.

Other posts you might like:

The totally cheapest bridal bouquets ever – Part 2

The terribly cheap carnation bridal bouquet

The Totally Cheapest Ever Bridal Bouquets: Part 2

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys, Decoration, DIY, Flowers on February 23, 2009 at 11:41 am

After the enthusiasm for The Totally Cheapest Bridal Bouquets Ever, it seems time to release Part 2. Ladies, put those floral worries aside, here’s some alternatives to the classic bridal bouquet:

1. The dried flower bouquet – it’ll never wilt and you can put it together yourself weeks before. Imagine the aroma of lavender wafting down the aisle.

Californian based Lavender Fanatic

Californian based Lavender Fanatic

2. The origami bouquet – if you are blessed with endless patience, this could be a route for you.

A solution for brides who don't have jobs

A solution for brides who don't have jobs

3. The Wire Bouquet – This one’s more for the rock chick bride. Make it barbed wire if you’re really alternative.

wire bouquet for the 'hard as nails' bride

wire bouquet for the 'hard as nails' bride

4. The Etsy bouquet – there’s always an alternative version of a bouquet on Etsy, which is an online marketplace for independent designers. Try The Storque for recent creations.

$105 for 24 silk roses, each with real branches

5. Balloons as your bouquet. Flower girls with miniature balloons? Whats not to like?

A bouquet of balloons

A bouquet of balloons

6. A fan. Blushing brides with fans are sexy, it’s a science fact.

7. Peacock feathers. A single one, or a fan of them.