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Image by I Got You Babe Weddings

So you’re getting married. Congrats! Hands up if you’ve got approximately 5000 screen shots on your phone, dozens of “saved” posts on the gram and a Pinterest board that goes for days? Don’t worry, friends. You’re not alone!

But what happens now? Or more importantly, where on earth do you start when it comes to planning your bridal bouquet?

Your self appointed bouquet advisor (hello, it’s me!) is back to fill you in on what’s in season and when, the biggest trends I’m seeing this year and all the things you need to consider when it comes to planning the perfect bridal bouquet.

Start with a colour palette

What’s the colour palette for your big day? What colours do you love? What colours do you hate? What are your bridesmaids wearing? What are you wearing? So often my lovely brides come in and tell me “I have no idea about flowers!!” and feel embarrassed that they may have saved an image of something that’s not in season.

That’s totally fine! Thinking about the colours first is so helpful for this reason – you can choose images of the colours you love and then let your florist guide you the rest of the way. They’ll know what’s in season when and the best ways to achieve your colour palette with what’s available at the time of your wedding.

Image by Steph Brown Photography

Let’s talk about feelings

Your flowers are just as much about how they look as how they feel. This is a big focus for me when designing bouquets, as I really believe a good bouquet should be a floral representation of the person carrying it. Think about the overall vibe of the day and how you want to feel when holding your blooms – is it loose, relaxed and flowing? Formal, luxe and structured? Vibrant, loud and colourful? Sweet and petite? These feelings help create a brief for your florist to design and adhere to.

What about size?

Honestly? I never think about the size of a bouquet when I’m chatting with a bride. I always think the best bouquets take cues from the flowers themselves and the size of your bouquet will just naturally sort itself out.

That is of course unless you want something really big, or really small, but usually the flowers and style of the bouquet will be the things that determine the size. Like if you want a cascading bouquet with trailing orchids or jasmine foliage, or a really structured bouquet with something like pampas grass to create an amazing asymmetrical shape. Or maybe it’s a teeny tiny bunch of forget-me-nots. Focus on the style and the size will follow.

Image by I Got You Babe Weddings

What’s in season when?

If you’re here for a month by month break down of what flowers are in season when, I’m sorry to disappoint you lovelies, but I’m not going to give it to you (except for you, November brides, because #peonies). You see, anticipating what Mother Nature has in store for us is the single biggest contributor to bouquet disappointment I’ve ever seen.

You can do all the planning in the world, but if Mother Nature dishes you up three 40 degree days in a row when all you want is white hydrangea in your bouquets, well, that’s when things start to get a little tricky. That’s why I spend so much time focusing on the colour palette and overall feel of your bouquet, because if you get this part right, nothing can stand in the way of you holding your dream bouquet on your wedding day.

What I recommend? Scroll back through the accounts of the florists you love and have a look at the work they’re posting around the time of your wedding. This is a great indication of what’s in season when. You might even want to jump on over to my insta @marymarystudio and check out my story highlights – I’ve divided all my work up into seasons so you can explore what’s around in Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring.

Image by Sayher Heffernan

What makes your bouquet unique?

Do they include something that grew in your mum’s/aunty’s/nan’s garden? Do they include flowers from the first bunch your fiancé ever bought you? Do they include flowers that have a special place in your heart or particular meaning to you and your family? Or perhaps you’ve got a feather or piece of material (or even jewellery!) that you’d like to work into your bouquet somehow. Whatever it may be, your flowers should represent who you are and what you love.

Image by I Got You Babe Weddings

Bouquet styles that are on trend right now

Orchids, orchids, orchids!

Have you noticed? Cymbidium orchids, phalaenopsis orchids, vanda orchids, dyed orchids –  you name it, I’ve seen it in a bouquet. They seem to be everywhere at the moment, and with good reason, they are AH-mazing. Orchids are a personal fave of mine, and I believe you can use them as boldly or as subtly as you like. They’ve got a really luxe feel about them and can help elevate a gorgeous bouquet into something really special.

Dried bouquets

Forever flowers are probably one of the biggest trends of 2019! Just the other week, I did a bouquet making class for a bride and her maids where we made all the bouquets to be set aside and dried for her big day. And gosh they were just stunning – and so “her”! This might be something you might like to think about for your special day, or even incorporating one or two dried blooms for a bit of added texture. Dried king proteas, scabiosa pods, or any kind of native all look fab in a bridal bouquet, especially paired with luxe textures like orchids or roses for a really unique style.

Cascading bouquets

They’re making a comeback, friends! Whether it’s a cascading phalaenopsis orchid front and centre or loose tendrils of jasmine or peppercorn, the cascading style bouquet is here to stay.

Bouquet alternatives

Perhaps the best bouquet for you isn’t even a bouquet at all! If you don’t fancy yourself a bouquet kinda bride, please don’t feel like you must have one, or else! This day is all about you, so you can do whatever you goddamn please when it comes to your bridal party blooms. Perhaps a headpiece is more your style? Or maybe a stunning wrist corsage? Or maybe flowers around your ankles suits the vibe of your day the best? You might even be happy carrying a single stem of something you love. Whatever you choose, don’t choose it for anyone else but you.

Image by Sayher Heffernan

Ms Zebra Says: I can honestly say that I relate to a bride-to-be who has ZERO clue of what is in season, only what I love the look of! Thank you Kate for this sound piece of advice to navigating the bouquet world!!

About Kate Williams of Mary Mary Studio: Kate is the heart, soul and flower loving hands behind Mary Mary, a boutique Melbourne floral studio specialising in bouquets and bridal party blooms. She’s also the newly appointed bouquet specialist at styling powerhouse Ruby & James, and the Creative Director at Melbourne’s happiest flower delivery, Little Jar of Happiness. She LOVES making bouquets (can you tell?) and is known for her signature style – luxe, textured arrangements that make a statement.

Over the past few years in the wedding industry I have seen the popularity of incorporating native flowers rise substantially. As a native flower lover I find this really exciting, and best of all it’s more than just another ‘trend’.

The majority of my clients want to incorporate native florals into their wedding because it is meaningful to them. They may have international guests attending and want to showcase all our stunning Australian blooms and foliages (many international visitors have never seen anything like our native blooms!); they may be conscious of where their flowers have come from and want to support local Australian growers; they may just feel an affinity to our native product and want to incorporate them in some way – I know every time I look at gum nuts I get taken back to my childhood and May Gibb’s Snugglepot and Cuddle Pie!

Past thinking used to be that native flowers don’t mix well with other seasonal product and that you should go with all natives or not at all. But I totally disagree! Mixing in native florals with seasonal blooms produces beautiful textures and interest within the bouquet.

It is one of my favourite styles of bouquets to make and 90% of the weddings I do include a component of native flora. The juxtaposition between soft garden style blooms and hard chunky natives can be really eye catching and set your bouquet apart from the rest. Yes you can have roses and natives in the same bouquet!

The range of native product available to use is extensive, so trust in your florist to choose what will work best for your style and colour palette. Large chunky banksias may not always work, but soft, airy flannel flower may be perfect. Not only are natives beautiful but they hold up out of water really well, so are a great option for our warm summer days.

Like all locally grown flowers, natives are seasonal, and the same product is not available all year round. This is a good thing and means that your flowers will reflect the season of your wedding – every time you see those blooms back in season you will be reminded of your special day.

Interestingly, in the floral world here in Australia, when we refer to ‘natives’ we are often grouping in South African natives in the same category; think gorgeous protea, leucadendron and blushing bride. They are a similar style to Australian natives and grow well here so are often mixed in with Aussie native bunches. Be specific with your florist if you would only like to include only Australian native flowers in your wedding.

Many native flowers will dry out really well and make a beautiful keepsake from your wedding day. Take out a few stems that you want to keep from your bouquet and hang them upside down in a dry shady spot (just ask your florist which stems will dry nicely).

Ms Zebra Says: I personally love Australian native florals – and love that they’re back on trend! 

About Jess of Sweet Pea and Honey Bee: Jess is the owner and head floral designer of Sweet Pea and Honey Bee. Based in Annandale in Sydney’s Inner West, she specialises in wedding and event floral design.  She has a big soft spot for native flowers and the use of colour and texture feature prominently across her work.

Photographer: Rachel Muller Photography / Flowers: Sweet Pea and Honey Bee / Bride's Dress: Gwendolynne / Makeup Artist: Christina Cleary / Hairstylist: Tivello Bridal / Bridesmaid Dresses: The Pretty Dress Company

Image via The Latest

As our friends Jamie and Cara of Brisbane City Celebrants celebrate 10 years as Marriage Celebrants, it’s an opportune time for them to fill us in on how they’ve witnessed weddings evolve over the past decade.

We’ve all seen weddings become less traditional and more fitting to the couple’s personalities and style. Less about following traditions and more about personalising and customising all the details from the ceremony wording and inclusions to thoughtful and surprise little details on the day.

Oh how we’ve loved being a part of this process with our couples, excitedly bouncing around fresh new ideas and suggestions to ensure ceremonies have the right inclusions and the perfect energy to reflect what each individual couple envisages for their ceremony.

What’s changed in the marriage world?

The most significant change over the past decade has been the legalisation of same-sex marriages. Finally becoming a reality in early 2018, it was something that Australia and the wedding industry had waited so long for. Finally enabling Celebrants to be able to say the words ‘Marriage according to the law in Australia is between two people’. We couldn’t be happier!

Image via Studio Sixty

To compare 2007 – 2017 stats from The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 15% more couples are choosing to wed in civil ceremonies, over church/ religious weddings. Less marriages are taking place, with almost 3,500 less marriages registered in Australia in 2017, than 2007.

Celebrants have got younger – the average age of a Celebrant in 2007 was 67 years old. With a huge increase in the number of Celebrants, this has reduced significantly, although the actual average age hasn’t been reported. In 2007 there were around 6000 Celebrants in Australia, 10 years later, in 2017 there are now around 9,000 a whopping increase of 50%!

What’s changed in the Celebrant world?

Slowly but surely we’ve seen some tweaks that make life a little easier for us Celebrants and our clients, including the following:

  • Sighting of Identification – We were once required to sight original birth certificates, then the Attorney-General revised the ID requirements, adding the alternative option of passports to be an acceptable form of ID, a change which both us and our couples love!
  • The notice period to complete the form called the Notice of Intended Marriage form (commonly known as the NOIM form) reduced from 1 month and 1 day, to a simplified, one calendar month.
  • Technology improved and systems became available so marriage forms no longer need to be manually typed or hand written (which took so much longer). We now have systems that this information can be entered into once, populating all the forms. This also means those big burgundy books that Celebrants use to carry around to ceremonies (the Celebrants marriage register), have become redundant and replaced with much more streamlined and customised presentation folders for document signing at weddings!

Image via Studio Impressions

What’s changed in the rest of the wedding world?

Wedding videography and films became increasingly popular with the growth of social media. With shorter highlight films becoming sought after, then drones happened and revolutionised the wedding video as we knew it. We believe these are both factors that have increased the percentage of couples that opt to have a Videographer capture their special day.

You may chuckle at this one, but gel nail polish deserves a mention. I (Cara) recall many years ago meeting a bride the day before her wedding for a rehearsal and she was so upset, after coming from the nail salon that morning. The nail on her ring finger had already chipped! Well, we can count our blessings now, with various brands of gel nail polish available with guarantees not to chip for 10-14 days, so you are all set for your honeymoon too!

Photographers turnaround times from shooting, to delivery of images has completely transformed. After many years of a standard turnaround time of at least 3 months (while this still varies from different Photographers depending on their editing procedures), we have seen this reduce to typically be around 4-6 weeks. This is wonderful for couples everywhere who can’t wait to re-live their magical day and share it with the world (or maybe just their friends on social media).

We’ve witnessed all aspects of weddings become less traditional and more creative and personalised which we love as much as all the guests attending do! Who knows what the next 10 years will have in store for the wedding industry – whatever direction it goes, we can’t wait to come along for the ride.

Here’s cheers to the next 10 years!

Image: Dreamlife Photography

Ms Zebra Says: I can’t believe (as I’m sure most can’t either) just how fast things are changing! However, most of these ‘changes’ are for the better, making wedding life easier, faster and less nail dramas!!

About the authors Jamie & Cara of Brisbane City Celebrants: Brisbane Wedding Celebrant duo Jamie and Cara specialise in modern, simple and meaningful, seamless happy weddings. With your choice of a female or male Marriage Celebrant, our couples describe us as friendly, calming, passionate and happy.