The Independent’s Wedding Guide 2012

16 Feb

We have a feeling that 2012 is going to be a fantastic year (although let’s hope that we haven’t jinxed it by saying that!)  It started promisingly – lots of bookings and already some enquiries for 2013.  But today – and wait for the drum roll ladies and gentlemen – The Independent Newspaper’s Wedding Guide has included a small feature on us.  In case you missed it, we’ve attached it below for you to coo over:


If you own a business yourself, you’ll understand how exciting it is for us to feature in a national newspaper.  We are incredibly excited – well it’s fair to say I think, beyond excited, if the truth be known – and more than a little proud!



New Year’s Resolutions

26 Jan


OK – so we admit it, we are pretty rubbish at keeping New Year’s resolutions here at Floral Accents HQ.  We have all the best intentions at the very start of a new year and by mid-January (or sometimes even earlier), we’ve blown them all out of the water.  It’s not that we don’t try – we do, (we really, really do) – but other things come along and suddenly all those great ideas fall by the wayside.

And what does this have to do with wedding flowers and this blog I hear you ask?  Bear with us – we’re slowly getting to the point…….

…..which is that one of our 2012 New Year’s resolutions is to blog more regularly and update it with gorgeous photos of our work.  Regular followers of this blog will know that we have been pretty rubbish at doing this – although in our defence, our annual report from WordPress did say, and we quote, that the number of posts “were not bad for the first year!” 🙂

So, we just wanted to let you know that we will do our absolute best to blog more often this year.  Needless to say, over the frenetic wedding season our halos may of course slip off – or perhaps even earlier given our record on keeping resolutions (!) – but rest assured, we will instead be spending all of our free time making sure that our petals are as perfect as possible for our couples, so we can make their day even more memorable.  And you wouldn’t want us to stop doing that, would you??!

Sunflowers – Great for Late Summer Weddings

16 Aug
Mixed sunflower handtied bridal bouquet - with orange carthamus and deep red spray roses

Mixed sunflower handtied bridal bouquet - with silvery eucalyptus, orange carthamus and deep red spray roses tied with raffia. Copyright of Floral Accents -

We love sunflowers – they’re bright and summery, and generally make people smile when they see them! They’re a very happy flower – and they’re becoming more and more popular for Brides getting married in the late Summer/early Autumn months. Why? Well, not only do they look amazing in either contemporary designs or more rustic settings, but they are also relatively inexpensive during their peak growing season – and the sheer size of the head, means that you need less stems to create an impact, making it a perfect bloom for Brides and Grooms on a tight budget.

Although bright yellow is perhaps the colour that most people associate with the word “sunflower”, there are also varieties in different shades of reds (such as Prado Red and Ruby Eclipse varieties), softer lemon (Sunrich Lemon), brown-black (Moulin Rouge), and deep egg-yolk yellow/orange varieties (such as Prado Gold) amongst others. The “Sunbright” and “Sunrich” varieties have been specially cultivated to shed less pollen – making these ideal varieties for bridal and bridesmaid bouquets.

Use sunflowers on their own to create a dramatic, bold, contemporary look – or mixed with other flowers and foliage for a more rustic, country garden feel, ideal for more informal wedding receptions in barns or marquees. Brides often favour the bright yellow varieties to add a splash of colour to a black and white colour scheme – but they look equally stunning as a contrast to blues and turquoises. And if you’re looking for something different, the brown seed heads of sunflowers can also be used without the petals – they add a lovely texture to table centres and designs and are favoured by many top London florists.

A few geeky facts about sunflowers:

  • The botanical name for sunflowers is Helianthus – originating from the Greek “Helios” meaning sun and “Anthus” meaning flower, hence “sunflower”;
  • The sunflower dates back approx. 3000 years ago – it was worshiped as a symbol of the sun by the Aztecs and the Otomi of Mexico, Incas of Peru, and later by North American Indians;
  • A sunflower head is made up of between 1000-2000 individual flowers (florets) that are joined together by a base. The large petals surrounding the base are sterile – and are designed to protect the individual florets and the seed that they subsequently become;
  • Sunflowers commonly grow to between 1.5m (5ft) and 3.5m (12ft) high – but the tallest sunflower was 8.03 m (26 ft 4 in) according to the Guinness World Records (August 2009);
  • The sunflower is the national flower of Russia, Ukraine, and Peru, the state flower of the US State of Kansas, and one of the city flowers of Kitakyūshū in Japan.


Vintage-Inspired Roses

11 Aug

“Classic”, “romantic”, and “vintage” are excellent words to describe Carol and Steve’s wedding – fitting for their lovely ancient church setting and romantic old country house reception at Horsley Towers.

Soft pink Sweet Avalanche roses, ivory cream Avalanche roses, Cafe Latte garden roses and dusky pink Dark Hypnose roses

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Carol’s bridal gown was simple and classic – and very Grace Kelly – so we chose a selection of beautiful roses to complement both the colour of the dress and the elegant look. Soft antique-pink Sweet Avalanche roses, deep dusky pink Dark Hypnose roses, vanilla cream Avalanche roses, and a beautifully fragranced mocha-coloured garden rose called Cafe Latte (also known as Julia Baby) were fashioned into a handtied bridal bouquet accompanied a scattering of variegated pittosporum foliage, with the stems simply bound with an ivory cream ribbon and studded with pearl-headed pins.

Handtied bridal bouquet of soft pink Sweet Avalanche roses, ivory cream Avalanche roses, dusky pink Dark Hypnose roses, and Cafe Latte garden roses with variegated pittosporum

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The bridesmaids held smaller handtied bouquets of soft pink Sweet Avalanche and ivory cream Avalanche roses accompanied by variegated pittosporum – which was a nice contrast with their stunning mocha-coloured dresses.

Handtied bridesmaid bouquets of soft pink Sweet Avalanche and ivory cream Avalanche roses and variegated pittosporum

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Carol and Steve got married in their local church in Merrow, Surrey – and Carol had asked for a large dramatic pedestal arrangement which we designed in ivory creams and soft pinks to lighten up the dark space. Gerbera, Sweet Avalanche roses, alstromeria, stocks, and snapdragon all featured – creating an eye-popping treat for guests and the happy couple as they entered the church.

Church pedestal arrangement - of cream Gerbera, soft pink Sweet Avalanche roses, white stocks, white snapdragon, pale pink alstromeria and assorted foliage

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This soft pink and ivory cream theme was also followed through in the pretty pew ends – tied simply with ivory chiffon ribbon so as not to damage the old wooden pews.

Pew ends - with soft pink Sweet Avalanche and ivory cream Avalanche roses, tied with an ivory chiffon ribbon

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Having set-up in the church and delivered the bridal bouquets, we rushed back to Horsley Towers to complete the venue decor – placing rose- studded bay trees either side of the main door to welcome guests on their arrival to the wedding reception (and we crossed fingers and toes that they survived the wind – they seemed to, as they were all in once piece the following day – phew!).

Bay trees - studded with soft pink and cream roses - outside the front door of Horsley Towers

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To add to the romance of the day, Carol and Steve decided upon table centres with candles for the wedding breakfast – with the soft pink and dusky pink roses, wax flower, sedum, fragrant white stocks, and foliage – that they gave to some of their guests to take home with them the following day……

Candle table centres - of pale pinks, greens, ivory and dusky pinks

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….and opted for a (very long) traditional and classic top table arrangement with long variegated ivy trailing down either side of the old fireplace. We were very impressed to learn, that Carol’s Uncle managed to fit the top table arrangement in his car after the reception without dismantling it- we’re not sure quite how he achieved this, as we almost struggled to get it to the venue in one piece!!

Traditional long and low top table arrangement of pale pinks, creams and dusky pinks

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Despite the rainy start to the wedding day, the sun managed to find it’s way out to help Carol and Steve celebrate. Which only goes to show that the ancient proverb is right: “A misty morning does not signify a cloudy day”. Congratulations to you both. X

A Country Village Affair…….. (Part II)

11 Aug

A few weeks ago, we blogged about a fab country village wedding in Shere set deep in the Surrey Hills countryside – and we are now lucky enough to share some of the official wedding photographs with you courtesy of our lovely Bride and Groom, Lucy and Steve and their fab photographer, Kathryn Lacey.

Freestyle country garden bridal bouquet - of white roses, white hydrangea, chamomile, rosemary, fountain grass and white scabious.

Freestyle country garden bridal bouquet - of white roses, white hydrangea, chamomile, rosemary, fountain grass, white scabious and ivy. Copyright of Floral Accents -

Country garden bridal bouquet and bridesmaid posies of gypsophila

Lucy and her bridemaids at home before departing for the church - all looking beautiful! Copyright of Floral Accents -

Church ceremony flowers

You may now kiss the Bride - awwwh! Copyright of Floral Accents -

Bride and Groom standing underneath the foliage and gypsophila garland surrounding the church door

Stealing another kiss - this time underneath the foliage and gypsophila garland surrounding the church door. Copyright of Floral Accents -

Table centres - glass jars filled with a variety of white and green flowers

Cute, rustic table centres - glass jam jars filled with a selection of white and green flowers to match the colour scheme. Copyright of Floral Accents -

Bride and Groom - just married!

The happy couple! Copyright of Floral Accents -

Close-up of the bridal bouquet

Bridal bouquet detail - white scabious, chamomile, fountain grass, Akito roses, white hydrangea, rosemary and ivy. Copyright of Floral Accents -

Many congratulations to Lucy and Steve – you both looked absolutely gorgeous.  Good luck for future and stay in touch! xx

A Country Village Affair……. (Part I)

2 Aug

Well, a country village wedding to be more precise – in a beautiful archetypal English village in the depths of the stunning Surrey countryside – but the whole village pitched in to help in the wedding preparations of local girl, Lucy and her fiancé Steve.   Shere – famed for its appearances in many a Hollywood film (e.g. The Holiday, Bridget Jones, The Wedding Date) – set the scene for this July wedding.

Table plan decorated with gypsophila

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As the wedding reception was being held in a marquee in her Mum’s garden, Lucy wanted a country-garden look – and asked us to source the flowers from British growers as far as possible.  So with this in mind, we designed Lucy a freestyle bouquet of white roses, white hydrangea, chamomile, fountain grass and white scabious – accompanied with rosemary and hoops of variegated ivy.  We kept the stems unbound and slightly longer than usual to add to the “just picked out of the garden” look that Lucy wanted.  Informal, relaxed, but still gorgeous.

Freestyle "just picked" garden flower bouquet

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Lucy also wanted to incorporate gypsophila (also known as baby’s breath) into the wedding celebrations – and as it’s one of her Mum’s favourite flowers, this was really important to her.  So we created posies of gypsophila for her three bridesmaids to carry – a modern yet pretty twist on a flower often used as a “filler” – simply tied with a white chiffon ribbon and bow………..

Bridemaid bouquet - fluffy mounds of gypsophila

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…..and even incorporated a little accent of it in the scabious corsages for the ladies which pleased her Mum who wore hers to decorate her small handbag.

Ladies corsages of white scabious with a small accent of gypsophila

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Although the couple were having a traditional church ceremony, Lucy was keen not to have the traditional, formal look of pedestal arrangements for the church.  So instead, we used very tall galvanised metal buckets which we placed on some freestanding plinths…..

Galvanised metal buckets of white hydrangeas, snapdragons, Akito roses, fountain grass and assorted foliage

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…and created simple pew ends of assorted foliage and gypsophila tied with pretty mint green chiffon ribbon (which doubled up as marquee garlands around in the inside of the tent after the ceremony, tied simply with more trailing mint chiffon ribbon)…….

Rustic gypsophila and foliage pew ends - tied with a mint chiffon ribbon

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….and decorated the entrance of the church with a foliage and gypsophila garland framing the church door.

Foliage and gypsophila garland framing the church door

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Detail of the foliage and gypsophila galand around the church door

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The country garden theme continued into the wedding breakfast – with simple glass jam jars decorated with a band of mint green ribbon (and hats off to Lucy for patiently sticking these on!!) filled with a selection of garden flowers.  These pretty jars of roses, hydrangea, scabious, rosemary, fountain grass, chamomile and gypsophila were arranged in a circle on each table with a scattering of table crystals………….

Rustic jam jars filled with gypsophila, chamomile, scabious, rosemary, fountain grass, roses and hydrangea

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and were re-distributed the morning after the wedding by Lucy and her Mum to all the neighbours who’d helped make the day so special.  A sweet little “thank-you” left on various doorsteps around the village – which we thought was a lovely touch indeed for what was a truly inclusive country village wedding!

Garden flowers in jam jars decorate a marquee table

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Part II of this blog post – with photos of the Bride and Groom – might also be of interest.  Click on “A Country Village Affair….(Part II).

Marshmallow Pink & Cream Loveliness For An Early Summer Wedding

20 Jul

One of my favourite venues in Surrey is the fantastic Horsley Towers – not that I’m biased at all, as this is where I had my own wedding reception some six years ago!  And we recently had the pleasure of designing wedding flowers for the very lovely Vicky and Jason who got married there in early June – and who chose a colour scheme of pale pink, cream and white.

Bride and Groom

Photo courtesy of the lovely


As Vicky’s stunning wedding dress was fairly detailed with a lace overlay studded with tiny pearl beads and sparkles, Vicky opted for a handtied bouquet of textured pink Sarah Bernhardt peonies and cream Duchesse de Nemours peonies with a small collar of baby blue eucalyptus to complement her look.

Cream and pink bridal bouquet

Photo courtesy of the lovely


And we incorporated tiny clusters of pearl beads in her bouquet and decorated the stems of the bouquet with a pretty pearl trim to echo the pearl detailing on her dress.

Cream and pink peony bridal bouquet with clusters of pearls

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Vicky’s Maid of Honour had a smaller handtied bouquet of Sarah Bernhardt peonies and eucalyptus to tie in with the bridal bouquet…….

Bridesmaid bouquet of pink peonies

Photo courtesy of the lovely


…..whilst the little flower girls all carried a small posy of pale pink hydrangea edged with Galax leaves……..

Pale pink hydrangea posies for the flower girls

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…..and their “usher” had a pale pink hydrangea corsage which was simply tied around her wrist with a matching cream ribbon.

Pale pink hydrangea wrist corsage

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Jason’s buttonhole – as with most of our Groom’s buttonholes – we made a little different from the rest of the buttonholes and bridal party corsages with the addition of a floret of pale pink hydrangea with the cream Maroussia rose to bring in the pink colour to match the bridal bouquet.  And we even made a small rose buttonhole for Vicky and Jay’s little son to wear – and although he didn’t initially want to wear it, Vicky assured me that it looked great when he and his twin sister, who was a bridesmaid, walked down the aisle holding hands!  Awww – cute!

Buttonholes, Ladies' Corsages and Groom's Buttonhole - a cream Maroussia rose with pale pink hydrangea florets

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Although Vicky and Jay were having a civil ceremony at Horsley Towers, we made the aisle for Vicky to walk up a little special with the addition of soft-pink Sweet Avalanche roses tucked in the chair ribbons……..

Aisle flowers - single soft-pink Sweet Avalanche rose

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…..and additionally placed a single pink peony in the back of the Bride and Groom’s chair at the front of the room to echo the beautiful freestanding candelabra that Vicky had painstakingly painted and we had decorated with ivy and peonies.

Bride and Groom's chairs with pink peony and two freestanding candelebra decorated with ivy and pink & cream peonies

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The wedding breakfast itself was held in the majestic Great Hall at Horsley Towers – it has an incredibly high vaulted ceiling, so Vicky and Jay chose a mix of tall lily vases and low-level fishbowl designs for the table centres to draw the eye to different levels.  The tall vases held a sumptuous mix of pale pink hydrangeas, cream Maroussia roses, scented white stocks, and soft-pink Sweet Avalanche roses with silvery grey eucalyptus – and we covered the stems in pretty lace and suspended pearl beads in the vases.

Tall lily vases

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The fishbowl designs echoed the tall vases – each with a floating pink peony, cream Maroussia rose, soft-pink Sweet Avalanche rose, and pale pink hydrangea florets – and had grass threaded with pearl beads to provide further interest.

Fishbowl designs - with floating peonies, roses and hydrangea florets

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The top table itself, featured mini fishbowls in keeping with the rest of the table centre designs keeping the look contemporary.  Each mini-fishbowl held one of the flowers used in the other table centre designs accompanied with grass threaded with pearl beads – and we lined them up along the front of the table interspersed with beautiful antique style votives and rose petals.


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The stunning wedding cake – designed and made by the fantastic Sue of – was complemented by a small posy of fresh flowers echoing the remainder of the wedding flowers, and a couple of rose heads and petals.

Wedding cake with fresh flowers

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Many congratulations Vicky and Jay – it turned out to be a beautiful day after a week of rain –  and the best of luck for your future lives together! xx

Stunning Bridal Gowns, Beautiful Wedding Flowers & Much More At Our Bridal Showcase Event

5 Jun

Early May heralded our regular Bridal Showcase with some of our key local “partners in crime” in the wedding industry.  Floral Accents, Grace of Wescott Bridal Boutique, Wedding Hair by Leanne and Simon J Pope Photography all got together and laid on an event for our Brides-to-Be and their partners (and Mums).  Stunning bridal gowns, pretty accessories, jewellery and shoes were all showcased by our gorgeous models – along with different wedding hair styles and bridal bouquets – and we were all there to offer our expert advice and help.  Take a look at some shots of the event captured by (thanks Simon!).

A Royal Wedding Romp!

3 May

In the true spirit of celebrating the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton last Friday, our lovely friends at Grace Bridal Boutique in Wescott, Surrey ( ), decided to take the bull by the horns and go in search of their own “Prince William”.

I suspect that there were a few surprised faces when three gorgeous models walked into some of the pubs and garden parties dressed in stunning bridal gowns complete with veils, tiaras and bridal bouquets……

Photo courtesy of

….but all seemed to enjoy it!   So much so, that Barbara even pulled a pint for a lucky gentleman…….

Photo courtesy of

…..and one passer-by actually took a photo for his own album!

Photo courtesy of

Leanne did a fantastic job with the model’s hair ( ), we of course, provided the lovely pastel coloured bridal bouquets ( ), and  Simon, as always, took some great photos of the jaunt around Surrey ( ).

Photo courtesy of

But sadly, I’m not sure that the girls found what they were looking for as Prince William and Prince Harry were a little preoccupied in Westminster Abbey – so they borrowed a bike……..

Photo courtesy of

and cycled home alone instead.   Oh well – always next time girls!

Photo courtesy of

AN INVITE TO OUR BRIDAL SHOWCASE EVENT – 8 MAY.  Not found your dream dress, unsure about the flowers for your bouquet and venue, need inspiration about what hair style to have for your wedding, or confused about the different wedding photo options?  Come along to our informal and relaxed Bridal Showcase on 8 May between 12-4pm and meet us all over a glass of bubbly.  We’d be delighted to hear all about your wedding plans and to offer you advice on achieving your dream wedding.  Please see the Floral Accents website – – for more information and to RSVP.

The Perfect Bridal Bouquet – 6 Tips On How To Get It!

12 Apr

You’re getting married and want the very best for your wedding day.  As the happy couple, you are undeniably the focus of the wedding day and flowers will play a large part in your overall look and subsequently the look and feel of the rest of your wedding day. So where do you start when it comes to getting the bridal bouquet and wedding flowers of your dreams for your big day?  There are no hard and fast rules – gorgeous wedding bouquets can be created with practically any flower – but here are some things to think about when contemplating what flowers will work best for you and your wedding:


STYLE AND THEME OF YOUR OVERALL WEDDING –it’s important to decide upon the theme of the overall wedding before selecting a bouquet style to ensure that the flowers suit the style of the wedding.

TIP 1: scribble down some words that describe your perfect wedding day to help focus on the style and theme you want to create.  A good florist will be able to suggest suitable flowers and styles that will complement the look and feel that you want from your wedding day.

Informal handtied bouquets of sunflowers, bright orange "pom pom" flowers, red spray roses and eucalyptus

A "just picked look" is ideal for a more informal wedding. Copyright of Floral Accents.


 FLOWERS YOU LIKE OR DON’T LIKE – have a think about what flowers you are automatically drawn to and what it is that you like about them.  Flower choices may well be influenced by your colour scheme, whether you’d like fragrant flowers (see below), and the longevity of flowers.  Some brides like to incorporate flowers that their mothers/grandmothers had in their wedding bouquets.

 TIP 2: collect pictures from the internet/magazines of flowers and bouquets that you like, to create a “mood board” to guide your wedding florist.

Copyright of Floral Accents. Photo kindly supplied by


FRAGRANCE – some brides like to incorporate flowers that will provide a signature scent in their wedding bouquet to evoke memories of the day in years to come.  Freesias, stephanotis, sweet peas, stocks, and lavender are some of the flowers that will provide that special scent, but be careful not to over-do it!

 TIP 3: foliage such as rosemary, sage and eucalyptus have a more subtle fragrance that works well in wedding bouquets.

Sage and rosemary give a signature fragrance to this bridal bouquet of Sweet Avalanche roses. Copyright of Floral Accents.


COLOUR – almost any colour can be incorporated into your wedding bouquet and quite often, the choice of colour is influenced by the bridesmaid dresses, the time of day you’re getting married, the season, or simply your favourite colour.  Popular colour schemes are simple whites/creams, pastels, monochromatic (different varieties of flowers of the same colour), or vibrant brights.

 TIP 4: if you opt for an all-white or cream bouquet, make sure it’s edged with foliage so it doesn’t seemingly merge into your dress.

Phalaenopsis orchids stand out from the bridal gown simply by adding dark green tropical leaves and steel grass in this shower bouquet. Copyright of Floral Accents.


SIZE AND STYLE OF BOUQUET – these elements are often largely determined by your dress style and your body shape.  Shower bouquets look great with fuller long-length dresses, more streamlined dresses work best with smaller hand-tied bouquets or single stems, and dresses with a lot of detailed embroidery suit over-the-arm bouquets or a beautiful wrist corsage.

 TIP 5: a good florist will be able to advise you on the shape and style of bouquet that will best suit you and your dress – so bring photos or images of your dress along when you meet them.

Over-the-arm bouquet of lilac Avant Garde roses, lisianthus and assorted foliage. Copyright of Floral Accents. Photo supplied by Dress courtesy of Kate Sherford.


ACCESSORIES – wedding bouquets do not necessarily have to be made up of all flowers or foliage.  Your wedding florist can incorporate pearl beads, diamante sparkles or even feathers amongst other things to create something a little different for you.

 TIP 6: ask your florist to wrap the stems of your bouquet with a piece of antique lace or attach a vintage brooch to the handle of your bouquet to make it even more special and meaningful.

Adding a vintage brooch gives this hand-tied bridal bouquet of raspberry-pink Milano roses some added glamour. Copyright of Floral Accents.


Good luck! x

Floral Accents Has Finally Bitten The Bullet…….

7 Apr

…..and set up a blog on all things to do with wedding flowers!

It was a couple of lovely friends who suggested scribbling down some of our ramblings about wedding flowers and flowers in general, gleaned from our experience as specialist wedding florists.  When asked what we might blog about, one of them – you know who you are(!) – commented that, and we quote, “I’m sure chicks Google flowers for a wedding etc. when they are making their plans for the big day…….and might welcome some advice from someone in the know”.  So this is for all those “chicks” (and Grooms) who are getting married out there – or simply for those who are interested in beautiful flowers – welcome!

So a bit of background about us and our credentials….

Floral Accents is a small, independently owned floral design business specialising in bespoke wedding and events flowers with a simple aim – to provide creative and stunning flowers that leave a lasting impression, from vintage inspired looks to clean, contemporary lines.  Based in Reigate (Surrey, UK) we cover Surrey, West Sussex, East Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and London.   If you’re interested in finding out more about us, take a look at

So welcome to our new & shiny blog – let us know what you think!


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