Pick of the Bunch
One of the five love languages, giving gifts – and more specifically, giving flowers – is a deeply intimate and romantic act. On a day as significant as your wedding day, it is important to embody your unique connection through floristry for all to see. Seeking to explore native blooms, rustic arrangements, and other pops of greenery, Emma Warner Allen meets with Sandra Wallington and Cate Mansfield from Lull Floral and Events to discuss how to choose the perfect, rustic bouquet and floral arrangements for your wedding day.
Photography by Yulia McNeill
Since the dawn of time, flowers have long been given as a token of love and affection. Dating back to ancient times where bundles of wheat were given to mark fertility, the humble bouquet has evolved to symbolise love and acts as a representation of the special bond held between two individuals. Serving as a celebration of this unique relationship, your wedding day reflects the love you share for your partner and, accordingly, every element of your big day should represent the cherished union to come. Your flower selection is no different and should paint a picture of you and your partner’s love story.
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not
On your wedding day, aside from your sparkling new ring, the most important accessory to accompany your gorgeous bridal gown – quite literally front and centre – will be your bouquet. While certain flowers may hold special sentimental value, or be a particular favourite of yours, knowing which flowers are wedding-appropriate is imperative to ensure you feel confident as you journey down the aisle.
For the experienced Lull Floral and Events duo, there are a certain blooms to steer clear of on your wedding day. “We recommend brides don’t use too much hydrangea in their bouquets – especially on warm days, as they are very fragile and do not look their best when not hydrated,” Wallington and Mansfield explain. “Also, strangely enough, bougainvillea whilst tough in the garden wilts very quickly once cut.” The florist duo also cautions, “in terms of allergies, some people can have contact dermatitis to grevillea, or may develop hay fever or asthma to some high pollen flowers, so it can be a good idea [for florists] to check with the bride regarding any sensitivities or allergies.”
Roses are often the bloom-of-choice for brides, but the pair explain that it is actually garden roses that they are most intrigued by. “Underutilised flowers that we would love to use in our event work are locally-grown garden roses with beautiful scents. Whilst they may not last as long as the roses bred specifically for the floristry industry, they add a real garden-like charm to the bouquets.”
When seeking to extend your floral arrangements to create magnificent tablescapes, it is wise to steer clear of any poisonous foliage such as laurel – particularly if there will be small children in attendance. As with your bouquet, “we would steer clear of using bougainvillea as it does not last well and droops very quickly. Some of the grevilleas can cause contact skin allergies so we would not use them,” the pair states. Aside from this, “there aren’t really any plants we would never use; however, we find a rigid, structured style of arrangement isn’t suited to our [personal Lull Floral and Events] style.”
Though if something very structured tickles your fancy, Wallington and Mansfield advise choosing “the correct flower choice for the season”. “Purchase good quality, fresh blooms, prepare and process the blooms well before using them, keep the blooms well hydrated in a cool environment for as long as possible up until the wedding time, and mist the bouquets and arrangements once made,” the florist duo add. Such measures will extend the flowers’ shelf life and guarantee a magnificent floral array.
In Native Terms
Australia is renowned for its unique and beautiful native flora and fauna that is unlike anywhere else on Earth. “Native blooms have become more popular as there is beautifully locally grown produce available and it also suits the more rurally located weddings.” Wallington and Mansfield elaborate further, “most of what the brides refer to as native is, however, native to South Africa – as the proteas and leucadendron flowers that are very popular are not native to Australia. However, they do complement our native gum and acacia foliage beautifully.”
Lull Floral and Events’ top three favourite native Australian flowers and plants to use are “eucalyptus foliage, acacia foliage, and banksia”. Luckily for couples seeking to incorporate native blooms and greenery into their floral arrangements, many of the “native plants are available for a lot of the year”, however there is still seasonal availability. As the pair explain, “eucalyptus can be tricky to get in winter and early spring” due to suffering winter damage. “The king proteas tend to be less available in September and October and the smaller protea blooms are not available much between June and November. The leucadendrons are available most of the year except for the hotter summer months,” Wallington and Mansfield note – an important consideration for those wanting to take advantage of Western Australia’s arid summer months.
While no wedding planning process is ever seamless, Wallington and Mansfield explain that the issues of reduced supply and seasonal availability are “best dealt with by ensuring good communication early on in the planning process and advising what the likely availability is”. “We also remind the couple that flowers are a gift from nature and subject to changes in weather conditions [however, this] means that substitutions are always possible and will be communicated to the couple as required.”
Back To Nature
As laid-back weddings become increasingly popular, rustic and boho themes often accompany these relaxed affairs, and selecting flowers that will complement these themes is an important aspect to consider. To create a boho look, the florist duo tend to use “soft, neutral tones, blush pinks”, and even add in some dried and preserved floral ingredients. “A rustic theme can lend itself to the more robust flowers like banksia, protea, leucodendron, and eucalyptus and acacia foliage as well as the use of some preserved florals. However, if the location is filled with natural charm [and] soft-toned aged timber the soft, romantic cottage-garden-style flowers such as fragrant roses, love-in-a-mist, spring flowering bulbs, foxglove, sacbiosa, and delphiniums are stunning to use.”
On your wedding day, the choice really is yours, and whether you choose to venture down the native road is completely up to you. “We find it isn’t just the choice of flowers that affect the theme and ambience of the wedding. The style and shape of the arrangements and vases also really affect the ambience – a tight, neat arrangement might be more suitable for a formal wedding whereas a garden-style loose arrangement in a rustic pedestal vase might suit a rustic garden style wedding.”