Tips for choosing your wedding flowers

Choosing the right wedding flowers can be tricky. How do you pick flowers that suit your personality, fit your wedding theme and the season, and are on trend? Here’s some expert advice from florist extraordinaire, Amy O’Donnell from Jada Flowers, who is known for her beautiful, delicate floral arrangements. Love ’em!Jada Flowers: Amy O'Donnell

1.     What should brides look for when choosing a florist?

Firstly it is important to look for someone who specialises in weddings….the flowers for a wedding can be so different from the everyday arrangements.  Colour and style really are so much more important and it takes experience and planning to get it right.  I think that brides need to look for someone who they connect with and who understands the ‘look’ that they are wanting to create.  It is also really useful for brides to have a look through the past work of the florist they are considering (this is something that Facebook is really useful for – you can easily see examples of past work). Word of mouth is also great – talk to your friends and see who they used.

2.     There are so many beautiful flowers to choose from. Do you have any tips for brides selecting flowers for their wedding?

Look at pictures…..many, many pictures.  Sometimes a bride will know straight away and see one particular bouquet that they must have.  Others have a few they like….but often when you chat to them, it is easy to see what aspects of the bouquets they like.   For those brides that really don’t know (or class themselves as not a flower person) I usually work backwards and talk to them about what they don’t like…often by understanding what they don’t like, I can work out what they do!

3.     What floral trends are hot right now?

The soft pastel shades are still really popular at the moment, so is the peaches and cream colour combinations.  The posy (classic round shaped bouquet) is still the most popular although I am seeing an increasing trend towards the very elegant tear drop shape.Jada Flowers: Yello, peach and cream bouquet

4.     What are your floral predictions for the future?

I would love to see a bold splash of colour but that is just me…..I tend to think that the soft romantic, great Gatsby type themes are going to continue for a while yet.

Jada Flowers: Pink bouquet

5.     What do you think is the most underrated flower? What flower would you like to see more of at weddings?  

I think carnations are underrated – they are often considered old fashioned but to me they are the soft, fluffy, all-year round alternative to the peony.  Many people are often surprised at how good a simple bouquet of all carnations can look.  I also think the good old chrysanthemum (and there are a lot of varieties) are underrated.  They come in a great range of colours and are often great at filling!

6.     Are there any flowers that are inappropriate for weddings?  

Often is depends on your beliefs and your cultures – there are some cultures where certain flowers are associated with negative meanings.  I always take care to ask a bride if there are flowers that they don’t want to have at their wedding for cultural or personal reasons.  Some people also find the meaning of flowers quite fascinating….this dates back to the Victorian era when flowers were often used as a means of communication. Although there is no one agreed list of meanings.

7.     How did you get into floristry?

I studied floristry when I was on maternity leave with my first child.  It was always something I had been interested in and had undertaken some hobby courses prior to this, however I took it on more seriously whilst I was on maternity leave (it gave me a reason to get out of the house and do something for me).

8.     How long have you been a florist?  

I started specialising in wedding flowers about seven years ago.

9.     Describe your style.  

The style I am drawn to is elegant, soft and pretty.  I am a details person and I think that comes out in my natural style.  I also have a love of things a little different – using some textures and different flowers is exciting and lets me add something unique to the bouquets.

Jada Flowers: Pink and grey bouquet

10. Where do you find your inspiration?  

Everywhere…I subscribe to international floral magazines and love looking to the international designers for ideas and trends.  I also follow the bridal magazines and dress designers to keep an eye on current colour and design trends.

11. What is your favourite flower and why?  

I have a lot of favourites….. I love roses for their classic beauty, I love orchids for their uniqueness, I love carnations for their lasting power and I love calla lilies for their sleek lines.

12. What is the highlight of your job?

I love delivering the flowers – I get to see that wedding day excitement (brings me back to my own wedding day with every delivery).

Samantha Shannon