We’ll be honest and admit that when we started thinking about wedding styling and flowers we were a bit overwhelmed. Some wedding blogs go crazy featuring over-the-top and extravagant wedding styling. The high standards set by blogs, Pinterest, Instagram and social media in general can put a lot of pressure on couples to keep up with the latest trends. After being in the industry ourselves for a few years now we’ve seen many impressive set ups, and we didn’t want to disappoint anyone either!
What it comes down to (and we keep emphasising this) is what your priorities are. What do you value? Whether it be a birthday party or a wedding, the question is what kind of mood or atmosphere do you want to create for your friends and family? This is what’s important to us. Not what’s on trend right now, or what theme every little detail neatly fits into. It’s your wedding and there are no rules. Make your own!
Wedding flowers and styling are two separate categories in their own right, however these days it’s not unusual to find a business who offers both services. We’re working with the amazing florist and stylist Nicole from Folklore & Co for our wedding, so it made sense for us to combine this article into one neat package!
Welcome to our fifth blog post in our series on planning a wedding. We like to start out every post by acknowledging that there is no right or wrong way to celebrate your decision to spend the rest of your life together. We want to make it clear that our opinions about our wedding are a reflection of what we value and what’s important to us. You can read the other blog posts in our planning a wedding series here.
Ainslie Arts Centre wedding reception venue, Canberra
Styling depends a lot on the venue you’ve chosen. If you’ve gone for a more traditional wedding venue, then they will likely provide more items. One of the disadvantages of traditional venues is the time restriction. Often they require you (and all your styling) to be in and out on the same day, which makes it more difficult for you to set up yourself. They also often have more strict rules on things like using confetti, or hanging foliage and greenery from the ceiling for example. If your wedding is at an alternative venue then you’ll likely need to source more things yourself. Although you do get the benefit of having endless choices for styling because you’ve got a blank canvas to work with.
For us wedding styling is not just about the decorations, it’s also about practicality. We thought about lots of things like: what kind of large umbrellas we’d like for shade, what bar tables for the cocktail-style canapes, lighting, and how we’d like to keep the drinks cool. There are 3 main options when it comes to styling: hiring items, buying items yourself, or working with a stylist. You can also combine these options like we did!
HIRING VS BUYING WEDDING ITEMS
When hiring items for your wedding you need to think about either the cost of delivery, or whether you’ll be available for pick up and drop off yourself in between the dates of the hire period and your wedding. You also need to account for the time involved in setting up and packing down your hire items, and whether you want to delegate jobs to friends and family. Some hire companies might have bits and pieces of what you need, and you have to be willing to coordinate hiring from multiple different suppliers if necessary. WedShed wrote a very consise and informative article on the average cost of wedding hire items here.
Sourcing and buying items yourselves can be time consuming, but if you enjoy it then go right ahead! There are so many sources with facebook trading groups, etsy, ebay, gumtree, op shops and auctions. You’ll need to consider where will you store them and how you will transport them to the wedding. If the plan is to save money by selling the items after the wedding, you need to consider whether you’ve got the time for that and if there will be a demand for the items.
HIRING A STYLIST
We wanted to be pretty hands on with creating our wedding, but we also wanted to be realistic about about what we, our family and friends could achieve. We’ve mentioned in an earlier blog post that we’re all for pitching in and helping out to pull together an event. Sometimes if the task is too big though or if it needs professional expertise, the time spent doing that thing can cost more than the money you would need to hire a professional to do it for you.
We had lots of help from family and friends, especially Lyndon’s mum Vickie from styling business Go Girls. We collected over 100 bronze vases and bottles from op shops, and designed a dedicated kids space with tipis and games. We hunted and gathered tablecloths, pillows and cushions for our canapes area, and hundreds of metres of fairy lights and festoon lights. We plan to keep the styling minimal, and let the beachside property and tipis from Kata Lane speak for themselves. For the items we weren’t able to source ourselves, Folklore & Co had an impressive range of hire items that we could use.
The type of flowers you choose for your wedding depends a lot on the time of year and what’s available. It can also depend a lot on the location of your venue. Initially our idea was to hunt and gather our wedding flowers at local farmers markets. We soon realised that sourcing flowers in the middle of summer in a small coastal town was going to be a logistical nightmare. That’s when we enlisted the help of our florist! While Folklore & Co source our flowers, we’ll be foraging for greenery on the venue property with the caretakers permission.
Lots of traditional florists make beautiful round posy style bouquets, so you need to know what you’re looking for when you decide which florist to work with. The style we wanted was wild, textured and unstructured. Naturally we chose a florist that specialised in this exact style, which is the best way to guarantee that your ideas will line up with each other. We found our florist through our photographer Lauren Campbell because they did a styled shoot together. We knew Folklore & Co were just over an hour away from our venue, and she was familiar with the area as she had worked at the venue before.
We wanted to be hands on in the process, and we also wanted to trust the professionals in the industry. To strike this balance we asked Folklore & Co to run a workshop with the bridesmaids the day before the wedding to make our own bouquets. We also wanted to style our own tables with flowers supplied by our florist. We asked our florist to do anything that needed to be installed on the day including hanging greenery and florals.
You can certainly buy your own flowers direct from wholesalers, but we’d highly recommend doing a test order as it can be risky if you don’t know the supplier. We recently had one bride who went to the Sydney flower markets at 5am the day before her wedding to purchase her own flowers. We also had a couple who ordered their own flowers and on delivery they found that the quality and quantity didn’t meet their expectations. In saying that, sourcing your own flowers definitely can be done. You just need to do thorough research and be prepared to invest time in the process.