Happy New Year! To all those getting married in 2017, the countdown is on....
One of the defining factors people choose to get married in France is the weather. Lets face it, dining al fresco on a balmy summers evening beats dodging showers for a few outdoor wedding snaps any day. However sometimes I find that some couples are a little naïve about the reality of just how hot it can get. In August and September, usually the hottest months in South West France, temperatures can get up to 42 degrees for a week at a time, that's going to seriously affect your wedding. I've seen guests pass out waiting for couples to walk down the aisle. For my own wedding, I admit, I didn't give it a second thought. 38 degrees and wrapped up with yards of fluffy tulle and lace sort of gives you a reality check.
So how will the heat affect your flowers? Well firstly it's going to shorten their vase life. During heatwaves we tend to leave them with the supplier longer, meaning we have to work faster, usually taking off a day or two in the studio. We transport them during the coolest hours, so between 4 and 5am and make sure we have somewhere cool to store them when we arrive at your venue. Flower choice will save your wedding flowers during the hottest months. Any decent florist will know what will stand up to the French summer temperatures. Quite often I will be asked for a small amount of hydrangea in a flower crown or buttonhole and while they look so beautiful five minutes after they are made, they flop like a dead fish within an hour. I just won't make them, I know the couple will be disappointed, I will be disappointed and they are going to look terrible in wedding photos. This is not me being a diva, I swear. Saying that, hydrangeas can last a day in the sun if the right variety is used and the bloom is kept on the main stem in water or floral foam. Calla lilies, sweet peas, nigella and anything with a fine, fleshy stem are flowers to steer clear of for the hotter months.
So what works? This year I'm seeing two major trends. The wildflower, boho look and the blousy brights look. This is a god send with regards flower variety for warmer climates. The boho look incorporates masses of foliage with a tonal colour palate of textural flowers. This is perfect. Flowers that dry well are ideal for this, eryngium thistles, limonium, lavender, protea, herbs, eucalyptus and seed heads are my suggestions. It means you won't be worried about your bouquet on the day, your table centres can be placed on the tables earlier and you can even dry your bouquet as a keep sake. The blousy bright trend uses fully open large headed flowers such as coral charm peonies, irregular heights in yellow and purple stocks and touches of textured succulents. Peonies are tough as old boots, difficult to open but once they do they have huge impact as a focal flower and withstand the heat well. Flowers that come in a wide variety of colours work really well for this trend so your florist isn't forced to stick to a variety that may not be as resilient just to get a certain colour. Roses, lisianthus, delphinium, scabiosa and cymbidium orchids are all beautiful, bright and strong with a huge range of colours to choose from. If your florist suggests something based on heat resistance my advice is listen to them. They have probably had a sleepless night over it previously.
Foliage table runners. Where did this come from? I literally am going to spend the 2017 wedding season wiring about 200 metres of eucalyptus. That's not to say I don't like them, I love them in fact but have a serious think about what you want it to look like. There are a few ways to make these table runners and the most popular is to wire the stems into long garlands. That means no water source. Eucalyptus is a winner for this, it's tough, it has movement and even if it starts to go crispy on your table it looks exactly the same. If you are looking for a green tone instead of the silvery eucalyptus then ruscus, salal and ivy work but in my opinion go with eucalyptus, it's born for the job.
If you have questions about any flower in particular withstanding the summer heat you can always ask me. Comment below or mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org