Top Tips for Planning Floral Designs for Weddings and Events

As summer draws to a close, we’ve been reflecting on what a busy few months we’ve had at Ollie & Ivy. With restrictions lifted and life returning to some sort of normality, it’s been lovely to see so many weddings and events taking place. From stately homes and historic castles, to swanky city hotels and everything in between, we’ve been blessed to be part of many happy occasions across Scotland.

So we thought we’d take a break and share some of these moments - florally speaking – and discuss our top three tips for those currently planning an event of their own.

1. Mix fresh with dried florals
We kicked off the year with a really interesting brief. A winter wedding at the Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh, with a woodland theme that really celebrated the natural landscape of Scotland. For this eco-friendly couple, there was a real desire to embrace winter and showcase just how amazing the colours and textures of the season can be. Mixing dried stems and seed heads with lots of green fresh foliage, was our idea of heaven. As floral designers, we are big believers in combining dried and fresh material in our arrangements. Bringing texture to an installation helps create depth and richness to the design. The combination of fresh with dried brings life to dried flowers, whilst the dried element provides structure and a framework for working with fresh soft stems.

Wedding Flowers Edinburgh Bridal Bouquets Dried Floral Design Ollie Ivy 1

We continued this idea of mixing fresh and dried later in the year with another of our couples, who chose Dr Bell’s Baths in Leith, Edinburgh, as their venue. Whilst the choice of colour palette was definitely more vibrant, our decision to combine an abundance of lush green ruscus really brought to life these designs. Nestled within a fresh foliage runner, we positioned gem coloured bud vases with brightly dried posies, which really accentuated the colours, making the venue look more like the South of France than the East side of Edinburgh!

When planning your wedding or event, consider mixing it up. It can really help bring a seasonal feel to the look, but also bring something different to the design.

2. A pop of colour creates depth
A pastel colour scheme is always a popular choice, particularly for summer parties and when it comes to weddings, it’s often the bridesmaid dress that determines the colour palette. But don’t let that put you off adding a touch of bright or dark colour to your flowers. It really will create a pop!

July was jam packed with weddings and many of our couples chose soft blush pinks, creamy peaches and ivory stems, in keeping with the colours of our luxury gift bouquet, Champagne Supernova. The Glasgow-based Rennie Mackintosh designed property, House For An Art Lover, is a venue we regularly decorate and a couple from California chose these romantic pastel shades, on what was the most perfect sunshine day for their wedding.

Wedding Flowers Edinburgh Bridal Bouquets Dried Floral Design Ollie Ivy 2

By introducing a hint of burgundy to the colour scheme, it added depth to the
arrangements. Dark colours pull the eye in, whilst light colours draw it out. And of course, this creates depth, which in turn creates the impact required for a wedding or event. When we introduce a dark colour to an arrangement, we are always careful not to overpower and drown out the delicate shades of the pastel stems. Less Is most definitely more. So a controlled approach to adding colour is applied.

We also chose this design rule when we created the floral arrangements for another of a summer wedding couples, who married at Oxenfoord Castle. Located just south of Edinburgh, this stunning family home was a beautiful setting for a romantic celebration. Weary of including too much colour, our bride was nervous about the mix of bold blues with ivory. But a shot of royal blue from the odd delphinium, strategically placed in the arrangements, really added the ‘wow’ factor to these designs.

Wedding Flowers Edinburgh Bridal Bouquets Dried Floral Design Ollie Ivy 3

Never been frightened of adding a dark stem to your floral displays, as it can really lift the design and create something a little bit unique. The trick is to be constrained in its use and not change the look of the design by adding too much.

3. Foliage is as interesting as flowers!
Never underestimate the importance of leaves in your arrangements when planning your wedding or event flowers. At Ollie & Ivy we take a garden-led approach to floral design and we are inspired by the natural world around us. Take time to look in the garden or the park and see how much of the landscape is made up of green. Also consider the variation in green. You will find there are fifty shades of green and more!

When planning a design, we carefully consider the foliage we include, as well as the flowers. Foliage is the foundation of any floral arrangement and we choose a variety of leaves, often locally sourced, in our displays. Another American couple, this time from Boston, chose Dalhousie Castle as their wedding venue and we were delighted to be part of their day. The brief was for a palette of warm Indian summer colours, so we chose to include a dark green arrangement of leaves as the base.

Wedding Flowers Edinburgh Bridal Bouquets Dried Floral Design Ollie Ivy 4

Often, clients are keen to include eucalyptus in their displays and we understand why, as this fragrant leaf really brings something to a floral arrangement. However, there are many different types of eucalyptus and when we think of eucalyptus, it often conjures up images of silvery blue, circular shaped leaves. This is known as the cinerea. If cooler blues and purples are not part of the colour scheme, consider using parvifolia instead. This darker
green leafed eucalyptus works better with warmer colour palettes but does not disappoint in terms of smell!

These are just a few design principles to consider when planning an event. We’ve enjoyed working with all our clients so far this year and we are looking forward to working with others as we move into our favourite colour season – autumn!

Wedding Flowers Edinburgh Bridal Bouquets Dried Floral Design Ollie Ivy 5