perfect wedding flowers - getting married abroad

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Perfect wedding flowers. Sigh...

That was the dream when I started planning my wedding. I wanted my wedding flowers to be absolutely beautiful. So choosing a florist and flowers from the opposite side of the world was extremely difficult.

When I first started my wedding journey I didn't even want traditional flowers. Instead I hunted high and low for a spot just like this with sakura trees, to match my Japanese theme. Unfortunately for me summer in New Zealand doesn't produce many cherry blossoms, so I desperately needed a florist who could turn my vision into something beautiful and realistic, without even speaking to me...

Now, 10 months later I can confirm I struck gold. If any one reading this post is planning a wedding in New Zealand I would thoroughly recommend Helen from Hellebore Design. When she hand delivered my bouquet to me on our wedding morning I almost cried. I'm not a tearful person by nature, but the flowers were so beautiful.

Ending up with the 'wedding flowers of my dreams' wasn't without hard work. Taking a leaf from my day job I wrote a 'flowers brief' for Helen, which included all the things you need to consider when choosing your wedding flowers...
  1. Your budget. How much can you afford to spend, and what flowers are your priority? To save our pennies we used the bridesmaid bouquets to decorate our table at our reception. 
  2. Colours. Do you like soft, feminine tones or flowers that are a bit brighter? Think about the setting of your wedding, what colours will match your location, wedding theme and dress?
  3. Size and shape. Make sure you also consider the size of the individual flowers you choose and the shape of bouquet you want. I chose classic round bouquets for my wedding, but have a friend who went for a gorgeous cascade for hers.
  4. Think about the 'role' flowers will have on the day. Do you want table settings as well as bouquets? If you're getting married in a garden like I did, then you might not need any extras... 
  5. This probably goes without saying, but consider the season you're getting married in. Choosing seasonal flowers means your costs will probably be lower. There's also a wealth of inspiration online for anyone tying the knot in Winter or Autumn.
  6. Consider your stems and any other details. I had some spare lace from my wedding dress that my florist used to bind my bouquet stems. The flowers matched my look perfectly.
  7. Think about how you want your bouquet to be different from your bridesmaids. It's your special day right? You should have something a bit extra special.
  8. An lastly - if I could give just one piece of advice it would be start using Pinterest today! Create a mood board of everything you like. Here's my Wedding Inspiration Pinterest board to start you off. 
Wondering what my wedding flowers brief looked like? Here's a small snapshot...

Claire's wedding flowers brief

1x bride bouquet
2x bridesmaid bouquets
1x groom buttonhole flowers
2x groomsmen buttonhole flowers
flower petals for the aisle
6x simple table displays

Wedding themes:
Lavander, pale blue

Outdoor garden ceremony
Indoor natural wood interior reception

Some flowers I like the look of:

I really love the colours in this bouquet, and how there's a few different shades of purple. 
Not particularly fussed about the flowers themselves though.

Love the colours here - how there is a mix of complementing purples, with the odd white and pink. Love the mix of flowers, textures and colours. So pretty!

As above. Possibly too pink, however I'm keen for your ideas on how I can make my bouquet different from my bridesmaids. I'd like theirs to be simpler and slightly smaller. I do like a bit of pink.

Love in this photo how the bright pink complements the lavender dress (same colour as my bridesmaids will be wearing). Again, like the mix of flowers.

Added this image for the buttonhole mostly. Great match of colours. I do also like the mix of colours in the bouquet, but there’s a bit too much green/white for my liking.

A very pretty mix of flowers. Our wedding has a slight Japanese theme – we used washi (hand printed origami type paper) for the invitations in blues and purples.  
I like this bouquet as the smaller flowers reminded me of cheery blossom.

So... you might this is overkill - but it's actually only a small selection of what I sent Helen for ideas. The images really helped her understand my tastes, and she was able to reply with flower suggestions and arrangements. I still squeal on the inside and get warm fuzzies when I think about how beautiful my wedding flowers turned out. Here's a few pics...

my bouquet

wedding cake flowers

Like the idea of a wedding brief? I also wrote a wedding cake brief you might want to check out.

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  1. I simply adore how your bouquet turned out! Stunning! xx

  2. ooooh what a beautiful bouquet and gorgeous cake!

    1. Thank you. I'm glad you like them :)

  3. Stopping over from the linkup. Your flowers are gorgeous! It's great that you had something specific in mind. I think that always helps.

    1. Thanks Janelle. I didn't really at the beginning, but the time I spent on Pinterest searching for ideas really helped me to pinpoint my likes and dislikes.

  4. Oh wow those are incredibly beautiful! I love your bouquet and the flowers on the cake! So so so pretty!

    I'm planning from another state, so while it's not across the world I understand your brief! I sent one similar to all potential florists and went with the one who said, "I can do that in your budget!" The other were jerks and told me to stop looking at Pinterest lol! I can't wait to see them - in less than three months!

    1. Thanks Mary :) Really? You had florists tell you not to look at Pinterest? Sounds to me like they need to get with the times - it's just a more modern way of looking through wedding magazines. I bet you are in count down now!!! Not long to go...

  5. This is really useful as I'm currently at the stage where it's time to pick a florist and flowers so thank you!

  6. lovly image and lovey post on weddings so i very impress read your blog ....Planning a wedding abroad ? How to choose a wedding planner abroad.

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