As a celebration of one of the most important days of a couple's lives, flowers are one of the most important elements, and a key component of a wedding ceremony. Whether you decide to exchange your vows in a church, a hotel, or a garden, flowers are the perfect way to make the wedding ceremony the centre of attention.
Before choosing your ceremony flowers however, you need to chose the setting. I know I’m biased, but I do believe that flowers are an essential part of the decoration for the aisle, the altar, and other areas. Whatever flowers you do decide to have, remember that as a couple you are the centre of attention. Your ceremony flowers should enhance the setting, not take over and overwhelm you. Well chosen arrangements should help focus the attention of your friends and families on you during the the ceremony.
The wedding ceremony venue will be the place where your marriage will actually take place, so it deserves some carefully thought out plans.
For a church wedding there are some important questions to ask before you get carried way in a floral fantasy! Many churches welcome outside florists with open arms, and are happy for you decorate as much as you like, but some aren’t. Over the years I’ve had many dealings with “the ladies who do the church flowers”, and some of them can be very territorial! They definitely don’t like the idea of an outsider coming in, so you may get a flat refusal, or be admitted grudgingly (as long as you make donation to the church funds).
If you are allowed free reign, there are many options for floral decoration. As a rule of thumb though, there are two main areas to focus your attention. The first is the altar, where large arrangements on either side should be large enough for everyone to see, and be seen from afar. The second is the aisle, where pew ends flowers can define it. These can range from single stems of flowers to large bouquets, but you need to check the fixings! Church pews don’t come in “one size fits all”, and I know from experience that the shape of some pews can make attaching flowers much more difficult than others.
If you are having a civil ceremony in a register office, these may already be decorated with flowers. Some register offices do however allow you to bring in your own floral decoration, as long as it’s removed immediately afterwards.
For couples who choose a licensed venue for their ceremony and reception, this is where you floral decoration can be multi purpose. To be honest, it’s rare for me nowadays not to be asked to move arrangements from the ceremony area and reposition them for the wedding breakfast. Depending on the venue, moving flowers can be logistically challenging, but in general it’s far easier to transfer the flowers from one room to another than move them from a church and reposition them during the drinks reception. Think about arrangements that will suit both rooms, and which could possibly double up as table arrangements.
If you decide to have an outdoor celebration, make the most of the scenery! If there is a particularly beautiful tree, why not consider dressing it with flower and foliage garlands. They’ll make an amazing backdrop to your ceremony, and can be used to dress the reception tables afterwards.
Whatever style of wedding ceremony you choose to have, religious, civil or humanist, take time to look at all the potential your venue has to offer. Do check to see what you’re allowed to do, and do take the advice of your florist who’ll be able to come up with some amazing ideas!