Thursday, 3 May 2012

Classic Wedding Flowers - Lillies

Do Lilies really have any place in a modern day wedding? Sometimes I do wonder...

Lilies used to be a popular choice in floral arrangements for weddings, and were used in the Brides bouquet as well as on tables and venue arrangements.

In the last 20 years, more brides have been opting for hand tied bouquets rather than shower or cascade bouquets and lilies seem to have fallen out of favour.  A couple snuck into a shower bouquet is quite traditional but hand tied, they're not the most delicate of flowers it has to be said.

I love how they are used in this bouquet though. Still a strong, focal flower but softened by sprigs of Astilbe or wild grasses, clematis and nestled into squishy plump Dahlia. Great colours too.

 And I like the wildness that trailing ivy and amaranthus add to this shower bouquet.  There are lots more images out there of Oriental Lily bouquets, but none that feel right here. They're just not doing it for me.

So what if I'm not a big fan of lily bouquets, I'm not going to stop you using them if you love them. Its not as if I have anything against lilies themselves, I love them in a big vase at home and they are great for decorating the venue.

The traditional arrangement of a few stems in tall lily vases is of course a wedding classic, if not a bit of a cliche but I can't deny that they do make a big impact in the venue with their long stems, large blooms and heady scent.

Maybe I'm a little jaded as a florist, but I'd much rather see lilies used en masse in large vases instead of those tall skinny things with 1 or 2 piddly liliies in! Stand them on plinths for the ceremony and move them to food/drinks/side tables for your reception.  Either on their own or with eucalyptus, contorted willow branches or mixed with other flowers like roses and hydrangea they can make a really impressive display.

Another way to use them for decorating the venue is to use them in arrangements. Big focal flowers like large lily blooms really add drama to swags, garlands and archways.

How lovely is this lily stairway garland. As with any fresh flowers that are not going to be in water it would be best to make these early morning on the day of the wedding. Another reason, if you need one, to leave the floral arrangements to a florist. 

Alternatively you could use artificial flowers (ick can't believe I'm saying this!). The strung lilies below used silk flowers, and from a distance you would never know they were fake. Thats the best way to view silk flowers in my opinion, from afar. But it has to be said I really love this idea, its such a great backdrop for the photos. If you'd like to have a go at this, follow the image link below for the DIY.

How do you feel about Lilies? Will you be using them for your big day and if so how? As always I'd love to know what you think.  Next in the series, Kate's favourite, Lily of the Valley.

Top image my own, the rest from here, here, here, here, here 

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