Thursday, 10 May 2012

Classic Wedding Flowers - Lily of the Valley

A firm favourite of both Hollywood and British Royalty, Lily of the Valley was the flower of choice for the classically beautiful Grace Kelly when she married her prince and last year was used by our own fairytale princess Kate Middleton for her dainty bouquet. 

In honour of Will and Kate just having celebrated their 1st Wedding Anniversary, I thought it only right to shine the spotlight on this little gem and run through some of the different ways you can use Lily of the Valley in your wedding.  

As a hand-tied bouquet its so sweet. This simple style really shows how delicate and exquisite the flowers are.

  • A simple posy of 30-50 stems is helped by foliage used through the bouquet to separate and add oomph. 
  • Bigger bunches of 100+ stems are fab with the lily's own leaves framing the flowers. 
  • Add glamourous details like ivory satin ribbons pinned with antique brooches or cameos.

Kate's shower bouquet (top) used Hyacinth pips and Lily of the valley along with Myrtle, and Ivy all of which would have had to have been individually wired.  This sort of bouquet requires great skill and time to create and prices tend to reflect that.

If you're keen to recreate this royal beauty, bear in mind that out of season they can be extortionately expensive for such a tiny flower and because they are so dainty you need quite a few stems to achieve a similar effect. 

Worth it though, I'd say.  

Alternatively you could always use a few mixed with other seasonal flowers like frilly sweet peas, with trailing fritillary, or dotted through a handtie of peonies.

Be warned though, that with other larger flowers they can get overshadowed, so to avoid this ask your florist to arrange a grouped bouquet, or use them in clusters throughout to add texture and of course a wonderful scent.

  • For table decorations use them in little glass jars, sparkly mercurised silver votives, or antique crystal wine glasses. 
  • For a little novelty diy pierce plastic cups, thread with ribbon and secure before filling with flowers and hanging from pew ends or chair backs or wherever takes your fancy. 
  • Or you could have a go at making a wire heart. Using pliable thick wire available from hobby stores and more than likely your local florist, bind a few stems at a time with reel wire to your outline shape until all the wire is covered. Make a wire loop or hook for hanging or attach with a ribbon. 

It is worth noting, if you are planning to prep any of the flowers yourself, that as with a lot of the most delicate flowers, they do have a short life as a cut flower and are best conditioned by the experts, kept in water and not bought or used too far in advance. 

Are you thinking about using Lily of the Valley in your bouquet, or perhaps you used it for your wedding flowers? It'd be interesting to hear what you make of this little flower. 

Pop back next week for more classic wedding flowers when I'll be chatting all things Hydrangea.

Ta ta for now x

Images from here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, hereherehere

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