Flower decorations for a civil partnership

Decorating the venue with flowers is a major part of expressing the style or theme of your gay wedding.

Make up a scrap book, of all the ideas you like, such as colours, designs of rooms and photos of flowers. Also keep a record of things you don't like.

Most venues have a few florists who they work with regularly and who will also know the best way to decorate the space. Don't be afraid to have two or three consultations with florists to get different quotes and ideas. Ask to see their design book so you can see what they have done for other weddings.

It is best to visit the venue with your florist to check what colours will suit the décor. They should also know what would fit the size of the venue.

flower arrangement

If possible, let the florist see your outfits or at least give them an idea of colours. This will help your florist to design the perfect look for your day. Try to choose flowers that have a special meaning. It could be a favourite flower or a reminder of a special time you have spent together.

The first consultation should be a free no obligation consultation where you discuss everything from the type of flowers through to the styles required for wedding party and venue. The florist should then provide a written estimate to confirm everything so you can look at areas where you may like to add or possibly reduce costs.

Try to have a set budget in mind and find out what the florist can do for that sort of price. Be prepared to be flexible but if your initial ideas turn out to be expensive, a good florist should be able to come up with a few stylish alternatives. Keep in mind when booking your date, that flowers are always more expensive around Valentine's Day, Mothers' Day and Christmas. Also ask your florist about the price of flowers in certain seasons.

When deciding where to display flowers, take a look at your main photographic areas first as this is where the money will be well spent and seen for many years to come in your photographs.

bouquet

Create a big wow factor as soon as people enter the ceremony with a huge floral display, which you can then have moved into the reception room. If you want to be really extravagant, decorate with orchids, cala lilies or exotic plants. If you want an expensive look without costing the earth, go for contemporary, minimalist styles or consider incorporating less expensive flowers in the arrangements.

Another option is to hire topiary trees with lights, either dotted around the venue or used to form an aisle. You could also form an archway of flowers, using a wooden trellis as the base.

Warning

If anyone in your wedding party suffers from hay fever avoid lilies, jasmine, freesia and hyacinths, as these have a particularly high irritant effect. Spray any flowers that are destined to be worn or held with scent free hair spray, which will seal in any small pollen particles.

flowers


Top tips

Find out when florists are attending any wedding fayres so you can view their work.
Even if you have loads of money, set a budget so the florist knows their boundaries.
Make sure flowers are delivered in time but are not arranged more than a day in advance or they may start to wilt
Don't have huge table arrangements that people can't see over or round - they get in the way of conversation and food.
Be aware of certain flowers that have pollen that can stain, such as lilies.
Odd numbers of the major flower in each arrangement is better than even.
You can incorporate vegetables in to your arrangements, or perhaps just single flowers in vases.

Money saving tips

You can use flowering plants in attractive pots as a centrepiece, for example, poinsettias, lavender or miniature roses and then give them away to your guests who played a special role on the day.

You could share the cost of flowers with other couples having ceremonies in the same venue that weekend.

Often venues or registry offices will have some floral displays, check this out before duplicating effort and cost.

Fill out your bouquets or arrangements with cheaper flowers, green sprigs, herbs, pine cones.

Buy your flowers from local markets if you are doing your own arrangements or even New Covent Garden Market in Battersea, south London. It is a wholesale market so it is up to individual traders if they want to sell to the public but if you are going for large quantities they probably won't refuse. There is a charge for parking.

Places where you might want flowers

For ceremony:
- bouquets
- posies
- hall and table displays
- garlands
- button holes
- corsage

For reception:
- top table
- table centres
- pedestal arrangements
- presentation bouquets
- cake table decoration

For wedding car

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