This week at Belles HQ we have set the task to our lovely florist teams to send in photos of there 2014 favourite wreaths and to give us a bit of advice on what works and what they can’t live without in the world of wreath making. An inspiring read full of gorgeous festive photos and words of wisdom from the professionals who know best, a little treat from us to you… ‘Merry Christmas All!’
I asked all florists the same two questions: One piece of your best advice for making a ‘festive’ wreath and, one item or piece of equipment you couldn’t make your ‘festive’ wreath without and this is what they said.
Tigers to Lilies
1. Best advice for wreath makers would be… to forage in the garden or woods for garden foliage, twigs and seed heads. And also to think outside the traditional – I love to make a new design for a wreath every year and this year it was adding succulents and “Honesty” seedheads to wreaths.
2. I couldn’t make a festive wreath without… Eucalyptus pods – I love the silver grey colour, shape and texture it adds to the wreath.
Katherine Gibbons Flowers
1. Best advice for wreath makers would be… to gather as much natural foliage as I can from my own garden; this year I have used viburnum which has a great flower which will last in your wreath throughout the festive season, senecio which has a lovely silvery leaf, I love using berries such as ivy, fatsia berries and skimmia to add some colour. This year I have added some small sweetheart red roses and some pink carnations.
2. I couldn’t make a festive wreath without… (for those who don’t want the hassle of making a wreath from scratch) it’s much easier to pick up an oasis ring from your local garden centre or florist and then you can’t go wrong with the basic shape. Make sure you cover all the oasis with greenery then add whatever you like, pine cones, cinnamon sticks, orange slices and berries all look great along with a real mix of all evergreen foliage. It’s great fun foraging in the woods for things to put in your wreath.
1. Best advice for wreath makers would be… Go out and gather lots of greenery, foliage, berries, rosehips.
2. I couldn’t make a festive wreath without… Essential item - Snips (secateurs)
1. Best advice for wreath makers would be… I couldn’t do without additional foraged goods in any wreath to make it stand out from the crowds
2. I couldn’t make a festive wreath without… If you have florist wires you can make pretty much anything out of twigs.
Sussex Cutting Garden
1. Best advice for wreath makers would be… Wire on an even coverage of long-lasting and firm foliage i.e. conifer to your base. Keep it cool i.e. outside and spritz with water to help it last.
2. I couldn’t make a festive wreath without… sharp snips to cut the foliage into suitable pieces, and to also trim the wire used for attaching everything to the ring.
Wild Willow Flowers
1. Best advice for wreath makers would be… Think outside the Christmas Box.. use lots of other pretty bits ..I love using alternatives to Holly and baubles.
2. I couldn’t make a festive wreath without… wires!
Thank you to all the lovely ladies that have helped make this blog look gorgeous and feed our minds and inspirations for our own creative wreaths this Christmas; your advice is invaluable.
After this blog, Belles will be signing off for a bit of relaxation time, don’t worry we wont be gone long, we are back in February with our first fair of 2015 at The Worthing Dome; day after Valentines day; look out for more information and regular shout outs on our Facebook page.
Happy wreath making!
If you are getting married in 2015 this is the time of year when you don’t have a minute to think about it, it’s Christmas next week so why would you be thinking about it? The thing is Christmas will be over in a flash and you will wake up on New Years Day, the first day of the year that you are getting married…oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!!!! ‘WE’RE GETTING MARRIED THIS YEAR AND WE HAVEN’T EVEN STARTED!’.
These tips are in no particular order, there’s just 10 of them…and they are not your average wedding tips.
#1 Don’t panic, it’s a party after all. Treat it like ‘the best party you can throw‘ and you will enjoy it more.
#2 Use Pinterest and search engines but don’t obsess over other people’s weddings, it’s not healthy! Use blogs for inspiration but don’t get confused about which blogs are ‘real weddings’ and which are ‘styled shoots’.
#3 Book the venue well in advance, there’s no way around this, give yourself 12-15 months. Choose the date you want to get married on, if 100% of the guests can’t come, so be it.
#4 Make a list of priorities for you two and your feelings about the day, for example; We want the best photos we can get that will capture amazing moments. (see photo by Victoria JK Lamburn) We want everyone to feel relaxed. I don’t want to worry about Dad feeling like he has to stay to the end. We want the children to enjoy it but don’t want to have to worry about entertaining them. We want to have a proper party and if that means people that don’t enjoy dancing until 2am then we will make it clear that we won’t be offended if they leave after the meal.
#5 Then make a list about the aesthetics/decor/theme, for example; We want to be surrounded by bright colours, laughter and music. We want to eat Moroccan food and have a bonfire. We know some people don’t like folk music but we do, so there! We want our guests to DJ (see above photos from Stick It On) I want that dress I used to draw myself in when I was little. We want to make lots of decorations ourselves. We want a weekend away with a few friends instead of hen and stag do’s.
#6 Spend a few days wearing your wedding shoes around the house, just because it’s your wedding doesn’t mean a ‘shoe pain fairy’ will appear from the sky.
#7 I know it’s boring but budget like your life depends on it because guess what, it does. It’s very annoying that most of us plan a wedding when we are also planning on buying a house and starting a family so get your priorities right, do the bridesmaids really need those Prada shoes? Up cycle some plain pumps from Primark, be creative or ask a creative friend to help you do this sort of thing. BUT if there are things you can’t do, like your own nails, treat yourself, it’s all about using your talents and getting the balance right.
#8 Consider this question – Will people notice if…? Don’t worry about things like favours…in my eyes, no need! You’re entertaining these people all day and they want to see you having a ball, most of them will leave them on the table anyway and think to themselves ‘god, these must of cost a fortune, I would rather they spent it on more booze’.
#9 Do you really need to cover the chairs? If the chairs are non-offensive chairs then don’t cover them with something that makes them into hideous looking ‘wedding chairs’. Alternatively if they are hideous chairs choose something that will make them look awesome, not worse! (see below Doris Loves chair covers by Velvet Storm Photography)
#10 This one is a bit harsh – are you ready? It might not be the best the day of your life! Just so you know, it might not be as good as that day you spent with all your best mates watching your favourite ever band, laughing about things that nobody else would laugh at, the day without your uncle Bob moaning about the under cooked beef, your cousin who you’ve met 5 times since you’ve been an adult and without spending money on people that your Mum wants to be there, just saying ok.
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