I have received a number of queries on our wedding florals and so I thought it may help if I share the details here.
I shan’t go into the nitty gritty of how my ideas meandered round lots of different themes because you’ll only realise how unhealthily obsessed I was with wedding florals and wedding planners.
Basically, both of us wanted a wedding with English influences because London is very central to our growth as a couple, from the day we embarked on a long-distance relationship to being happily married. So I worked with what was already in the package with the one of the two affiliated florists with Amara Sanctuary Resort, Sing See Soon, and topped up a sum of money to shape our wedding florals to our desires.
For an English theme, we didn’t have to import insanely rare or expensive flowers, the package came with a choice of roses, so all we had to do was tell them how we wanted the arrangements to look like and how full we wanted the arrangements to be. Sing See Soon also asked for a budget that we were comfortable with topping up, so they could work everything out. These discussions were done at their office, where we literally took a tour in the walk-in fridge to select the roses and accompaniments in the colour palettes we liked. I suggest that you do this because it’s really fun to be poring over beautiful flowers, learning about them and choosing what goes into your wedding (maybe not so fun for the groom….)! This aids discussion too because the florist should take note of the exact things you want and things that you hate, and work out a design for you. For us, we are very sensitive to the smell of lilies, and we wanted flowers in white, cream, shades of pink and creamy greens. I did some research on wedding florals and thought that having the arrangements set on westernly, sculptured (pardon my lack of vocabulary) pedestals would be so much more English than the iron-wrought ones. Thankfully , Sing See Soon had them!
Whilst choosing the colour palettes, I also took into the intelligent lighting system at the Amara Sanctuary Resort ballroom into consideration, so the whites will reflect whatever coloured-lights we wanted. This was a good thing because if we had flowers that were too colourful, they would look uncoordinated in the lights and chances are we would have to pay more for the floral varieties. It was a win-win situation.
So we settled for a pair of pedestals at the beginning and another pair at the end of the aisle, a silk rose aisle runner, two pedestals of the same height flanking the centre of the stage, and two low pedestals at the sides of the stage. There was no need to have more arrangements to fill the stage because we had our wedding cake and invited our family and bridal party up on the stage for toasting, so the florals would look too complicated or be completely hidden anyway.
For the centerpieces on the VIP tables (we had two, one for us and our immediate families, and the other for our elders), we went for tall arrangements in the same colour palettes with mainly roses and greens on slim glass vases. The main tall ones were surrounded by three shorter arrangements clustered at the feet. These shorter arrangements came with candles and were done in the same fashion as the centerpieces for the guest tables (Sing See Soon did mock-ups of four designs for our food-tasting and we decided on it there and then). The advantage of having tall arrangements for the VIP tables is they serve as focal points for guests and visually add to the overall landscape of a ballroom.
Honestly, I couldn’t remember how the ballroom looked like to me as we made our grand entrance because I was too busy chanting ‘Do not trip. Repeat, do not trip.’ under my breath. On hindsight, looking at our photos and thinking about our experience, I felt that our wedding florals turned out beautiful and the service from Sing See Soon was excellent. They were very kind to give some complimentary flowers for my hair (the red orchids for my evening gown and cheongsam). I also remember walking through the ballroom before I went into hair and makeup, and realising that they only did short arrangements for the VIP table for our elders. During our discussion, I had mentioned that I wanted the two VIP tables to look symmetrical round the aisle, but somehow my florist had forgotten. I was a little unhappy but realised that I shouldn’t be because this was out of my control and I told them to forget about it. One of the floral technicians, however, quickly called the headquarters to get another tall arrangement done, and within an hour, it was on the second VIP table just as I had requested in our discussion! I was really impressed at how efficient they were, and how eager they were at admitting that they have made a mistake. Most vendors are quick to defend themselves and point their fingers at no one in particular. Sing See Soon is also led by a team of young people, who have vision and good tastes in floral designs, which means that you wouldn’t end up with tacky arrangements. My only gripe, though, was that they had included lilies in all the pedestal arrangements and I was hit with the smell of lilies when I was doing rounds to check on things. I raised this with the florist once our wedding was over, and it was quickly met with profuse apologies and an offer to compensate, but we declined the offer.
Some brides have asked me if I felt that our wedding florals were enough to cover the ballroom. I think that whilst it wasn’t lavish and abundant due to the small budget we had for wedding florals, it was certainly just nice for a number of reasons. The ballroom would definitely look empty-ish when it is well, empty, but you have to remember that your guests will be filling it up when the banquet starts. Coloured lighting at the ballroom fills space, believe it or not. You might also have the cake on stage and a tiered champagne glass fountain at any one time, so stage arrangements can be kept to a minimal. Most importantly, the focal point is the couple of the day, and you wouldn’t want excessive flowers to be blocking people from seeing how beautiful you look! For us, we made it up with the type of pedestals we’ve chosen, which tend to be different from the usual skinny iron-wrought ones provided in wedding packages, and we had tall arrangements sitting on the VIP tables at the front of the ballroom, so they add variety to the otherwise boring landscape.
There really isn’t a need to splurge on spectacular florals (but of course if you have the moolah to hire a wedding planner and have your florals professionally designed, by all means go ahead! If I had the money, I would too!). Just think about the florals in context and visualise the venue on the actual day, and you’ll realise that you won’t need to blow out huge amounts of cash on it.
P/S: The bouquet I was holding was a surprise gifted by our bridal party and it came from another florist, not Sing See Soon!