Whether you’re planning your bridal bouquet or wanting a little pick-me-up to fight the mid-week blues, getting seasonal flowers are always the best way to go. Not only is going seasonal less expensive, but you’ll also be drastically reducing the carbon footprint of your purchase! In spring and summer - the most popular times of the year to get married due to the weather - flowers are abundant. However, many people don’t realise that there is also a large variety of autumn and winter blooms as well, especially if your florist works with local growers - not to mention the lovely berries, herbs, and flowering foliage available all year round. To make it easier for you to discuss the more sustainable floral options with your florist, here is a New Zealand seasonal flower guide for you to peruse.
Aquilegia flowers, or more commonly known as granny’s bonnet or columbine, are some of the less well-known blooms used for floral arrangements. The spurred petals of many aquilegia variants add a visual component of interest, whereas the double-flowered hybrid variants are perfect for adding that romantic ruffled look to your arrangement with flowers of a smaller size.
Image by Seattle Wholesale Growers Market
Clematis aren’t at the forefront of many people’s minds when they think about the kinds of floral arrangements they’d like at the wedding. However, this beautiful flowering vine is found in many a floral masterpiece. Its availability in numerous shades including white, pink, burgundy, and dark purple means it’s an incredibly versatile flower that can be used to construct any aesthetic you want, and its longevity makes it as practical to use as it is pretty.
Cornflowers are one of those flowers that evolution engineered perfectly for the ‘just-picked’ garden or wildflower bouquet - they strike the stunning balance between wild and formed. The most common cornflower colour is blue, however less common colours such as lighter pinks, lavender, white and dark maroons can also be found.
Much-loved members of the olive family, lilacs are a fragrant, stunning option to include in your wedding arrangements. They are known for their iconic purple colouration, but if it’s just the texture you’re in love with, they’re also available in a bridal white.
It’s a prolific scrub-type plant in New Zealand, and definitely one we could be using more in our wedding floral arrangements. Branches of manuka look stunning as bouquet foliage that doesn’t just take the role of ‘filler’ - manuka not only occupies space but steals some of the limelight too. It offsets ruffly flowers like roses with the hardier bristly character, but its white/pink colouration keeps things looking gentle and romantic overall.
Nigella damascena goes by a few other names, including the whimsical ‘love-in-a-mist’ and the not-so-whimsical ‘devil-in-a-bush’. A member of the buttercup family, this flower most commonly comes in various shades of blue - ‘Blue Midget’, ‘Cambridge Blue’, ‘Oxford Blue’, ‘Dwarf Moody Blue’ - but can also be white, pink, or pale purple.
A regular best-seller in florists worldwide, peonies are gorgeous quintessential wedding flowers that brides can’t seem to resist including in their arrangements. They can be used either when the petals are tight and snug, or when they’re wider and more open for a slightly more relaxed, carefree feel. Available in shades of white, off-white, yellow, and numerous pinks and reds, there’s a shade that would complement any style of bouquet.
Pretty and happy-go-lucky, the charms of poppies as wedding flowers are hard to miss. The most iconic shade would be that of bright red poppies, but these flowers also come in orange, yellow, white, and purple. One shortcoming of these delightful blooms to keep in mind is that they are very short-lived out of water and in warmer temperatures, so your floral designer will have to make any arrangements including poppies soon before their use.
A posy of sweetpeas exudes youthful simplicity ideal in wedding bouquets. But these flowers also look fantastic mixed in with other blooms. Their frilly petals come in a rainbow of colours from pastels to vibrant plums, as well as white if you want to opt for that classic bridal palette.
Amaranthus is one of the key players in constructing the perfect cascading bouquet - their trailing, gentle figures evoke a sense of love, overflowing. But they’re not just great for the bridal bouquet - their ‘tails’ of floral clusters draping downwards will add a sense of dimension to any floral arrangement. Make sure to ask your floral designer about ways you could incorporate this plant, especially if you’ve planned a bohemian or rustic wedding with a focus on lush natural aesthetics.
Anthurium, also known by other names such as the tailflower and flamingo flower, are heart-shaped flowers that are particularly great to use in summer wedding floral arrangements as they endure well throughout the day. The spathe (the single leaf-like structure surrounding the ‘tail’ which is called a spadix) comes in different colours - white, pink, and green being popular shades for weddings.
Cosmos are whimsical flowers with daisy-like petals that bring an ethereal charm to arrangements. There are many types of cosmos with distinguishing features like picotee edges, but one of the most sought-after variants for wedding arrangements would be the chocolate cosmos. With a decadent, burgundy hue, delicious sweet scent, and lush, velvety texture, this particular bloom brings so much to the table. Irresistible.
What flower is more perfect for a bridal bouquet than this enduring symbol of romance? Some brides assume that roses are too cliche for a modern wedding and request for alternative blooms from the get-go, but they’re probably thinking of the kinds available at your nearest dairy. Garden roses have been bred and cultivated to yield lush, ruffly petals that swirl around the centre for an effortlessly romantic look.
Scabiosa, also known as a pincushion flower, are cute and quirky blooms that work particularly well in ‘just-picked’ garden bouquets (think bohemian or garden weddings). They do tend to be delicate, however, making them poor candidates for buttonholes (unless you opt for scabiosa pods instead).
Tuberose is well known for its fragrance; extracts are frequently used for notes in perfumery. However, their charms extend beyond the olfactory domain - the lovely white flowers are commonly used in wedding arrangements as well as for general floral art compositions. A note of caution if using tuberose is to be mindful of the scents of other flowers in the planned arrangement, as not all smells will mix well.
A member of the milkweed family, tweedia are notoriously tricky for floral designers to work with due to the messy sap and irritant effects on sensitive skin. However, the consensus is that these trials are worth it - blue flowers are much rarer to source in the commercial cut flower market, and tweedia come in a variety of stunning shades that could easily work as your ‘something blue’.
Berries can be an excellent bouquet filler alternative to simple foliage - they provide texture, colour, and unique form that makes them visually striking accents. There are many many different types of berries including (but not limited to) hypericum, pepper, berzelia, viburnum, elderberries, snowberries, and tallow berries… so finding berries that will complement and enhance the beauty of your blooms will be incredibly easy.
In the language of flowers, dahlias symbolise dignity. They are the perfect way to add some colour to wedding arrangements. They come in all manner of colours, as well as shapes (there are 14 different ‘groups’ of dahlia flowers identified by the Royal Horticultural Society). They do tend to be a bit more delicate with a tendency to bruise if not handled carefully.
Echinacea is a group of plants belonging to the daisy family. They’re commonly called coneflowers, but the name echinacea originates from the Greek word for hedgehog due to the spiky look/feel of the flower heads. Florists often remove the petals from echinacea specifically so that the heads can be used in arrangements such as bouquets, boutonnieres, and even table decor.
Endemic to Australia, micromyrtus plants are shrubs that often have little, perfectly-formed flowers like in the image above. They’re a graceful addition to provide texture and variation in size to floral arrangements.
Achillea millefolium goes by many names including yarrow, plumajillo (‘little feather’), and thousand-leaf. It’s a useful plant that has many properties such as wound healing for which it has been used in the past, but one of our favourite uses is as a filler flower in wedding bouquets.
The anemone is a wedding bouquet favourite, and it’s easy to see why. The relaxed, flowy petals feel romantic; the structured black centres add an element of the dramatic. The most popular variety tends to be the white petalled anemone with black centres (so crisp and especially perfect for monochromatic wedding palettes), but they do come in a variety of hues including red, pink, purple, and blue.
Pieris is a little bit like amaranthus in that it will add some textural diversity and a more flowy look to your floral arrangements. The trailing clusters of flowers tend to be shorter with pieris, but the flowers have a softer look making it particularly suitable for complementing other flowers in classically romantic looking arrangements.
Hellebores are beautiful blooms that come in numerous colours including (but not limited to): black, purple, pink, white, and green. Many types will have unique features like speckling, veining, or variegation which adds points of interest to any arrangement. They can be used for either traditional or more modern styles of bouquets, but also look great when woven into the bride or bridesmaids’ hairstyle.
The sheer size and architectural intrigue of the king protea makes it a statement bloom like no other. Sufficiently striking to feature in a single-stem bouquet, but versatile enough to work with all manner of more conventional blooms, these exotic ‘sugarbush’ flowers of South African origin are perfect for the bridal or bridesmaid bouquets.
Magnolia is the floral paragon of elegance. Their luxuriously large petals make them captivating, but not visually overpowering - depending on the arrangement, magnolia flowers can either blend in or stand out. If you have a particularly stunning bloom, a single stem magnolia bouquet will look stunning but unfussy in wedding photography sessions. If you are considering magnolia, don’t forget about their leaves - with a distinct, structured personality they are great fillers in arrangements, and individual leaves can be used as reception table place cards if you add some gold calligraphy.
Being a creative, you're always longing for the day when you get a brief from a client who says, do whateeeeeever you like. Bridget was this bride and I absolutely love her for it.
We worked closely with the creative minds at Wildernest and One Lovely Day and our dream team of 7 florists over 4 days to to put together the jewel of the crown in our wedding season.
At the breathtaking Jonkers Farm, Bridget and Nick had a wedding of epic proportions...300 guests, lots of whiskey (to celebrate Bridget's Irish heritage) and a party that went through the night.
In the marquee we created 5 metre high gardens, cascading down the poles to our 'gardens' below. A whimsical floral arch was suspended above Bridget and Nick while they said their vows and a 7 metre long garland hung above them during the reception. Bridget's bouquets were created to look as thought they had been plucked from a meadow ~ cosmos, anenomes, achellia and flox to name just a few.
We worked alongside the talented guys at La Lumiere, Shupepe Tents, Eddison Project and Jo and Greg Jonker. The biggest shout out goes to the team of florists who worked all hours of the day (and night) to get it looking spectacular. I couldn't have done it without you x
Planning a wedding from Poland can't be easy, but Natalie had a vision and along with her lovely mum, we helped bring it all together.
Natalie and Max were living in Europe while planning their wedding...but the joys of modern technology means it was NBD. Nat had a clear vision for her florals ~ a palette of pink and peach sorbet with bursts of raspberry to compliment the Miss Crabb bridesmaid dresses.
They chose Kauri Bay as their venue (why wouldn't you) where we framed that breathtaking view with wild and dreamy florals on their driftwood arch. Her aisle was lined with floral clusters which she strolled down, meeting Max at the end.
Nat and her maids carried bouquets of dahlias, garden roses, flox, scabiosa, delphiniums, berries and beech.
Inside, we dressed Kauri Bay's famous fireplace in a wild, cascading floral garden and had trailing green garlands along the trestle tables.
Photography by Anna Kidman weddings
Nat's dress by Hera Couture
Nat's maids by Miss Crabb
Their venue was Kauri Bay
Hair & Make up by Fiona Clare Beauty
Nik is a radiant woman. She radiates kindness, warmth and gratitude wherever she goes. I feel so incredibly honoured to have been part of her and Bones' (aka Jase) wedding in January this year.
The rain came down, the roads were closed and people were walking 2km up a water logged road or being brought in via boat (between the downpours of rain and gusts of wind).
It seemed nothing could go right, the entire wedding party was moved inside, away from the elements but then the clouds parted and everything was perfect.
📷 Jared Donkin
💍 Zoe and Morgan
👰 Rue de Seine
💄 Samantha & Frank and Daisies
Nik's Landing, Bay of Islands
🌬 Severe weather warnings
💫 Absolute magic
Remember those blustery days in early January? Bridgid and Mark had to fight those elements on their wedding day but it didn't manage to dampen their spirits.
Less than a week into the new year and the wild was howling and the rain was coming in sideways but Bridgid, being the darling that she was, still had a huge smile across her face. We delivered her bouquets first, she came bounding to the door, full of excited energy and her eyes lit up (best authentic response ever). All wildflowers, dahlias and pops of bright against tones of treacle, butter and sand.
From there, we set up her florals at Orakei Bay...lush, trailing garlands, wild archways and petite vases of flowers dotted around the venue.
There were momentary gaps in the rain which made for beautiful outdoor photos, a moody sky against the brightest of smiles.
Bridgid and Mark, you were such a treat to work with, you let us unleash our creativity and make something amazing...we wish you both all the happiness in the world xxx
Photography: Kimberly Elizabeth
Dress: Anna Schimmel
Hair: Beauty on Demand
Make up: Rouge and Scout
Suit: Crane Brothers
With so many weddings each season, I look at the photos a month or two down the track and get blown away again. Seeing everything come together and seeing the brides and grooms look so happy, it's amazing. This makes it really tricky when trying to choose which photos to share on here. Now is one of those times. Danelle Bohane is such a talented photographer that I became fully immersed in these photos and struggled to narrow it down to just 20 or so. I managed it, just...
It was a blustery autumn day which made for beautiful wedding photos, not so great for a bride on her wedding day. Caitlin and the girls started the day at Te Whau Point. Hair, make up and nails were done by two of her close friends, the scene like something from an old world Hollywood movie; soft curls, plum lips, silk gowns and soft sunlight filtering through the curtains.
Although the weather added a drama and beauty to the surrounding, Caitlin's bride tribe was on hand to keep her veil in check. The ceremony and reception were held at the oh so beautiful Mudbrick, where Caitlin and Cole said their 'I do's'. After the formalities, photos of the couple were taken in the Waiheke wilderness, among olive groves, gravel roads and rolling fields.
The evening was filled with friends and family, delicious food, they ate, drank and danced the night away.
Photos: Danelle Bohane
Caitlin's dress: Watters
Hair and nails: Heather Vette
Make up: Rani Shortland
Where do I start with Jess and James?... We spent months chatting about their wedding, creating florals that perfectly suited them, the venue and their vision for the wedding. Months of planning and several months on and we still haven't met. They were (and still are) are living the London life, planning an Auckland wedding then when the day on May 27th finally arrived, I had the flu. Proper, full blown flu. Luckily, my wonderful assistant Izzy was there to take the reins and brought everything together.
Jess decided that a whimsical combination of garden roses, lots of lush greenery and a sprinkle of autumn wildflowers was what she wanted. She knew what she was doing, the florals perfectly complimented the venue, Markovina Estate, with their dreamy trailing indoor greenery.
Her Grace Loves Lace dress was the epitome of youthful romance, and Justin Aitken's photos captured this beautifully.
To Jess and James, my favourite pen pals x
I know I say this about all of my brides but it's true, they are ALL lovely ladies (and gents) who I get on with as though we're old friends catching up for coffee. Harriet and Michael were no different. I met them after sending flowers to one of Harriet's colleagues; she loved them so much that she got in touch and we began planning her wedding florals.
They were married at Abbeville Estate with green garlands and draping florals adorning the venue, inside and out. The bridesmaids wore dove grey with delicate flower crowns to finish off the look.
Pre-wedding photos at an East Coast beach gave Harriet and Michael some time together before meeting their guests at Abbeville where they said their I-Do's and danced into the small hours.
All of it was beautifully captured by Chase Wild.
Scroll down to view their beautiful day...
I only met Fabia and Ryan a few weeks before her and Ryan's wedding. We did the majority of the floral planning via email (all the Pintrest boards) and the odd Skype chat. Everything came together, Fabia's vision of a soft, romantic colour palette with accents of raspberry and burgundy was floral heaven.
Her gals were in matching dusty pink floor length dresses, their bouquets finished with trimmings from Fabia's gown.
Their summer wedding took place in West Auckland, before the ceremony, she came face to face with Ryan in his navy tux and slick pink tie (we love) for some time together before walking down their aisle at the Tasting Shed.
Their venue was adorned with garlands, flowers and clusters of succulents and it was all captured by our friend Libby Robinson Photography
Each wedding is different, special in its own way but this one was particularly bright, bold and fun.
I met with Jo and that's exactly what she wanted, all of the above. And we delivered of course.
Her bouquets were wild with pops of candy pink dahlias, roses, lisianthus, riceflower and eucalyptus, bound with silk ribbon. The groomsmen, simple yet bright with a single rose, gumnuts and eucalyptus, bound with ivory ribbon and the tables were just as bold as the bouquets. The stunner was the garland for the mantlepiece at Mantells, the bright flowers sitting pretty against the concrete backdrop.
Hair by Boutique Bride
Make up by Kimberly Hill
Photos by Gemma Flay Photography ~ Captured at The Auckland Museum, Winter Gardens and Mantells Mt Eden.
Despite a drizzly morning on December 10th, 2016, Mel and Steve had a blast at their Matakana wedding. The sun peeked through just as the guests arrived.
Their rustic Matakana venue was the perfect spot for their relaxed, rustic wedding. We scattered clusters of posies around the venue and suspended floral hoops behind the bridal table.
The bouquets were in muted sorbet shades of peach, pink and cream with delicious texture and greenery sprouting through.
To Mel and Steve, with love x
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