Wow, what a busy couple of weeks! I started with the RHS Autumn Harvest Show in London, and finished off manning a floristry stand at the National Wedding Show in Birmingham. No oversized vegetables to be found at the NEC but instead plenty of fabulous dresses, sparkly tiaras and gorgeous looking cakes.
And if anyone out there thinks that romance is dead and that marriage is unfashionable, well, the attendance figures and sheer enthusiasm of the visitors at the National Wedding Show would soon change their minds. Thousands of brides flocked to the exhibition all looking for the perfect dress, and of course the perfect flowers…
They came from all over the country; I spoke to brides from Devon, Manchester, Ipswich and Wales, some who had even flown in from Ireland. They didn’t come alone either; they brought their mothers, their best friends, their sisters – even the occasional intrepid groom. And in case you wondered, as I did, what happens to the groom when the delicate matter of trying on ‘the dress’ arises, they get whisked off for coffee and/or Champagne by another member of the family, which is why everyone is invited to come along.
And boy these girls are keen – one I spoke to had only been engaged for two weeks, another wasn’t getting married until 2013 and one hadn’t even set a date, although she did have a fiancée (I had to ask).
So what is hot and happening in the world of wedding flowers? Well, vintage and shabby chic are most decidedly ‘in’ with many brides looking for dusky pinks, soft creams and subtle shades of green. I would best describe it as ‘country house garden’ very relaxed and informal but with a touch of style nonetheless.
Purple looks like a colour that is going to be big over the next couple of years. We had a beautiful top table on display of green amaranthus, hypericum, snowberries and purple Vanda orchids which everybody just loved. I even saw one bride take her (purple) bridesmaid’s shoes out of their box so that she could match the colour. They went perfectly.
It was heartening to see so many brides so passionate about their flowers which are after all an integral part of the big day.
This is possibly more than can be said for some of the other services being offered. I’m not really convinced that you need a magician to entertain your guests while the photos are being taken. Neither are waiters who burst in to operatic song half way through the dessert course totally necessary, but then it wasn’t me getting married.
What I am sure about though is that after three days of talking to and meeting some really lovely brides and their families a fairy tale wedding with all the trimmings is still what most girls want. Long may that continue.
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