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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 - http://www.floral-accents.co.uk

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.

 

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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 http://www.victoriab.co.uk

 

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 http://www.victoriab.co.uk

 

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

Copyright of Floral Accents - http://www.floral-accents.co.uk

 

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 http://www.victoriab.co.uk

 

…..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

Copyright of Floral Accents - http://www.floral-accents.co.uk

 

…..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

Copyright of Floral Accents - http://www.floral-accents.co.uk

 

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

Copyright of Floral Accents - http://www.floral-accents.co.uk

 

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

Copyright of Floral Accents - http://www.floral-accents.co.uk

 

…..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

Copyright of Floral Accents - http://www.floral-accents.co.uk

 

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

Copyright of Floral Accents - http://www.floral-accents.co.uk

 

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

Copyright of Floral Accents - http://www.floral-accents.co.uk

 

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.

Mini-fishbowls

Copyright of Floral Accents - http://www.floral-accents.co.uk

 

The stunning wedding cake – designed and made by the fantastic Sue of www.jesshillcakes.co.uk – 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

Copyright of Floral Accents - http://www.floral-accents.co.uk

 

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

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