Floral Vibes

Photo Credit – Peter Mackey Photography

Last month I gave you a few insider money saving tips when planning your big day!  This month focuses on all things floral for your wedding in 2019, along with some ideas on how to save a few pounds on your wedding flowers!

My knowledge on flowers is limited to growing a few weeds on my back patio – a skill in its own right considering the lack of soil…!  So, I’ve enlisted the help of an industry expert to pull this piece together for you and luckily was able to pick the brains of an incredibly talented florist.  This lady can create any look or theme you can imagine along with honest advice on what looks best and most importantly – what is the most cost effective!  Tracy from willow and Twine NI is not only an award-winning florist, but an absolute dream to work with!

If you’re interested in reading her top tips for planning your wedding flowers – read on!

Q1. Tracy, the one questions all Brides want to know, how do they have the type of flowers they have always dreamed of, plentiful and stay within budget?


This is one of the biggest issues when planning floral décor!

My advice is always to invest wisely…. the bridal bouquet and main ceremony arrangement/ top table arrangement will be the most visible of the florals, so make these 2 areas count. Think about how you can channel your budget into less, yet more aesthetically effective, pieces, that way resulting in a richer, fuller and more plentiful appearance. If budget is a priority, then ask yourself what you can do without in order to have that one ‘wow’ piece that will serve you the entire day through and be prevalent in your photographs. Most brides on a budget choose to eliminate smaller pieces, like pew ends, from the design in order to create that beautiful ceremony focal point which is so much more visible in the professional photographs.

The bridal bouquet is an area which is soo very important and one which will be in almost every image. Some brides tend to allow less for the bridesmaids in order to channel more into their own bouquet (which is understandable)… however think about how this will affect your images and over all look. I would always advise that couples invest in the bridal party flowers….they will be on show all day, they need to reflect the theme and opulence of the day. You do not need a welcome arrangement if budget is narrower, the bridal party need to shine!

A good wedding florist will be able to guide you with regard to floral choice, pricing and budget alternatives if needed. The price of flowers do vary massively, garden roses, for example, are at the top end of the scale, whereas seasonal blooms tend to be more reasonably priced. Foliage also is not a cheap option….there is a misconception that this is a budget option, but unfortunately it isn’t in reality….we always need more than you would think to create that rich, beautiful foliage heavy look.

Photo Credit – Gather and Tides

Photo Credit – Tracy @ Willow & Twine NI

Q2.  They say that seasonal flowers are easier on your budget, is this true?  And if so can you give us some examples of seasonal flowers that really work for weddings?


When flowers are in season they will be available in abundance (in theory! Nature can throw us a curve ball sometimes!) hence making them more reasonably priced. Locally sourced seasonal florals are always best when we can get out hands on them, however we have a limited number of growers in our little country so we inevitably have to turn to the Dutch Auctions for supply at times. Transport, conditioning and a percentage for damaged goods is part and parcel of the cost involved with imported flowers, including those in season.

The answer is generally yes… flowers in season will be more reasonably priced than off season, and on  another more important note, they will be in much better condition.  Some types of foliage also have a seasonal peak and trough….eucalyptus, for example, is out of season April – May time, making it hugely expensive and a much lower quality.

Seasonal flowers perfectly and naturally capture the essence of the season they are best in. Just think of now, and how the yellows, blues and whites of Spring are so evocative of the season…tulips are fantastic currently and we are starting to see the start of the imported peonies creeping in. The end of winter’s finest, like anemones and ranunculus are still in full swing and look amazing! Summer abundance gives us the most gorgeous of hydrangea (into autumn), peony roses, clematis, astilbe and many other much desired wedding flowers.

Wedding flowers can be confusing, trust your chosen florist, try not to let pricing affect your decision on who to book….each will offer a unique service. A dedicated wedding florist will do so much behind the scenes before he/she even sees a flower! Whoever you book with, you must have faith that they can see your vision and bring it to life.  Take their advice and let them guide you to the most suitable of seasonal flowers. Your whole bridal look (and bank balance!) will thank you for it!

Q3.  To give newly engaged couples an idea of budgeting for flowers for their big day, what is the average cost a bride will spend on flowers and what should they expect to get for that price?


It really does depend on the importance of flowers to the couple. For some brides they are ‘up there’ with the photographer and venue, and consequently they will book with me at the same time as confirming their date, some wait until most other vendors are booked.  As a general guide, you should budget 10-15% of your overall budget for flowers. Good flowers are expensive, great flowers are an investment… you will be looking back at photographs of them hopefully for many years to come!

Budget around £500-600 minimum for the bridal party flowers, including buttonholes and corsages…. the rest is very personally dependent. The essentials include a ceremony arrangement, budget around £200-300 min here. Do not forget to factor in the florist’s time, set up is usually not included (but should be clarified at the time of receiving your estimate).

Table centres, aisle decoration are all individually priced for each couple I meet and vary wildly depending on their choice.

Photo Credit – Hannah Julia Photos

Photo Credit – Paul Acorn Images

Q4.  What are the 2019 trends in terms of types of flowers and foliage brides are choosing, wedding décor styles and anything else they are tending to go for?


Foliage is still very popular for 2019, with the majority of brides choosing a more natural, unstructured look. However, the key word is unstructured, not messy! Lol! The rustic look we are seeing increasingly less or carried out in a much more refined style. Bouquets are becoming more elongated (oval, natural cascades or asymmetric, think lines and reach) with larger feature flowers, such as large headed roses incorporated. Shape is winning over size for 2019. Bouquets are still on the larger side, but shape is definitely leading the charge in the design stakes!

Coral is the Pantone Colour of the Year and has many variations from the palest of powdery peaches to the deepest of rich, almost rust, tones. Other popular and timeless shades, like ivory and blush, are still super popular, alongside more unusual colour combinations like deep red and pink, lilac and rust with a hint of coral. With fresh flowers these unusual combinations just work!

Backdrops and ceremony styling are huge for 2019. Having that one impressive feature piece is becoming ever more popular and has really taken off this year. We love a huge ceremony installation at Willow & Twine! Whether it be an unstructured arch, Moon Gate or a bespoke creation, we love love love this trend and hope its here to stay!


The most important piece of advice I can give to any couple planning their wedding flowers, or any part of their wedding, is to stay true to your vision of the day, to your personalities. It is YOUR DAY! You can do whatever you want (within reason! Lol!)….. you should love every decision you make, enjoy it all! It is the best day of your life!

Absolutely loving the advice from Tracy… who knew there was so much to think about – more than we mortals would have even considered!

Check out Willow and Twine NI herehere, or here, or even better, get in touch with Tracy to discuss your ideas or get a free quote!

Next month is all about wedding food!  What’s hot, what’s not and how to please your fussy guests!

Love xx