There can be no more an honour or an accolade than being commissioned by a happy couple to be their designated florist of choice for a wedding or civil ceremony. We, florists, are lucky to have a window into every celebration in life and there can be no more a jolly affair than the union of two people upon the gaze of their family and friends. At McQueens we have well over a quarter of a century creating flowers for special celebrations, so we are very familiar with the drill. The process can start as early as two years before the big day as increasingly, couples are inclined to book venues and reserve the services of their favourite suppliers as soon as possible.
The concept of the wedding and celebration has changed beyond recognition from the cookie cut protocol from a few generations ago. The white wedding expectation which forbids having children out of wedlock belongs firmly in the past. Along with hope that women should marry before spinsterhood kicked in, which, looking back, was about 27 years old or thereabouts. First-time 40-something brides can walk down the aisle with their children without having rocks thrown at them, which has to be a good thing. No?
Social attitudes have changed beyond recognition, and mercifully the ridged expectation of virginal white wedding has blossomed into a more colourful celebration that embraces all. Marriage equality is a luxury enjoyed in many countries around the world now, and this has opened up the possibilities for unique celebrations where the couple make up their own rules and make them up they doth do.
Social media has changed the landscape for us all in every part of life. It is possible to find a wedding gown, wedding cake, stationery and indeed groom with the power a swipe right on an app. We live in an age of information overload, and there is an entire ecosystem of wonderful ideas for every known aspect of a wedding celebration and plenty of wedding day add-ons you never knew you needed. We have been known to gently and tactfully advise the occasional overheated bride-to-be to STEP AWAY from the Pinterest, particularly when they begin frothing at the mouth through sheer excitement. A good florist can edit and filter a wedding theme, using charm guile and the excuse of lack of seasonal availability when things get out of hand. A less is more approach is often the best way.
There is an expectation with wedding planning that differs from couple to couple. On the one side, you will have the swatch-sample, mood-board, flower-variety-obsessed, spreadsheet-wielding couple. Who project managed the affair with military precision and careful choreography on the other side of the divide you can have a couple who take a bus for a casual day out, and there is plenty of scenarios in between. So naturally for a florist creating flowers for the first time for a wedding can be a nerve-wracking ordeal, as Selina Kerley, our Social Media Assistant and part-time Florist recalls:
“In my first year of floristry, I had already turned down two opportunities to do wedding flowers because I was too nervous about it being a disaster. However, when a friend of a friend got in touch with a last-minute request, I couldn’t refuse — I also figured she couldn’t be too concerned if they had left it to the week before the wedding! It was quite a straightforward job (one bridal bouquet, five buttonholes and some hair pieces) but I still managed to lose sleep over it and spent twice the amount of time planning, costing and making the flowers that I ought to have done. Fortunately, the couple were absolutely delighted with the results, and it was the perfect job to lose my wedding flower L-plates to. Having heard plenty of bridezilla horror stories since I consider myself lucky I had such a chilled-out first bride!”