Thursday, 17 May 2012

Classic Wedding Flowers - Hydrangea



Hydrangea are a classic choice for wedding flowers. Traditionally these big blooms have been used to stunning effect in garlands, pedestal arrangements and archways, but only fairly recently have they become more popular for the actual bridal bouquet itself.

A mass of heads in one colour can create a domed hand tie with all the little petals lending a soft textured feel to the bouquet. It can be surprising how many you need to get a good shape, and the head size varies tremendously from batch to batch, so if you're ordering them in, allow yourself a few extra stems just in case they come in smaller than expected.

Use them on their own in one single colour or mix different shades. You can even use a single bloom for a very simple bouquet, perhaps for Bridesmaids. Give it a little collar of foliage like variegated Hosta leaves or Aspidistra and finish with satin ribbon.


When combined with other flowers Hydrangea can play a major or minor role. I love how the lime green Hydrangea are used in this bouquet. The greens make the Peonies look really fresh and bright, and the bouquet looks fab against the dark navy dress.


This bouquet is a beautiful mix of country garden flowers with a wild bushy feel. The garden roses, guelder rose, ranunculus and anemone in creams, greens and soft peachy pink shades are perfect for vintage themed weddings and a good match for lace dresses.  


Pretty ice pinks and white are a classic choice for Bridesmaids bouquets. Here stocks, roses, trachelium, lisianthus and waxflower are put together. The hydrangea adds body and shape to the bouquet.

If you want to break up a large expanse, you can also tuck flowers through the hydrangea itself - a technique I demonstrate at my vintage blooms and buttonholes workshop.


So how can you make them work through your theme for the rest of your floral decorations? You could use them tied or arranged in galvanised buckets to decorate your aisle. Or mark alternate rows with potted plants, hang or tie a few heads in jars or zinc buckets on chair backs for informal pew ends. 


I love putting Hydrangea with branches of blossom or twigs for a rustic feel. The large heads sit perfectly on the rim of tall vases, giving seated guests flowers just above eye level and providing visual balance to arrangements of tall twigs.  Blossoms look lovely, but I also love the starkness of thick branches, and the whispyness of contorted willow or hazel.




If you're after a more classic contemporary look try using them in urns, or glass bowls or cubes. They look lush in low containers. With touches of silver to add glamour and sparkle, hydrangea lend an air of sophistication and look very very expensive.




Part of the beauty with Hydrangea is that they come in so many different colours and shades and often on the same flower. There are whites, greens, white and greens, blues, violets, purples (and all shades of the same on one bloom), soft pinks, deep pinks, limes and pinks, warm pinky reds, russet reds, greeny reds...you get the picture!

Such variety means they work with brights and more muted vintage tones. I love the bright blue and cerise pinks in this table arrangement. So fresh and bold.


And by contrast, how soft and subtle are the dusky pinks, blues, violets and mauves used en masse in this silver bowl? They work so well because the rest of the scheme is very restrained, focused on silver accessories, a lavender tablecloth, mauve menu cards and discreet favour boxes tied with pale pink ribbons.



And if you really want to go town, how about these fab hydrangea plant pom poms? Like huge domed hanging baskets, these are gorgeously spectacular. Imagine them hanging from beams in a barn..


Or would a great swathe of hydrangea instead of a table runner take your fancy? Incredibly lavish and opulant, you'll have to agree? A real show-stoppper. I imagine there was quite a substantial budget for this top dollar event.


So there it is, this weeks run through of how to use classic hydrangea in your wedding. Hope I've given you some food for thought. Are Hydrangea on your wishlist for wedding flowers? What ideas have you got for using them? Call me nosy, but I'd love to know!

Oh and tomorrow I have a little DIY using Hydrangea...


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