Saturday, 9 June 2012

Classic Wedding Flowers - Gardenia

Gardenia is a Classic Wedding flower that deserves a bit of attention. An amazing shape with a perfect spiraling centre, they are a creamy white shade and look as if they could almost be made out of porcelain. As well as being incredibly pretty they also have the most wonderful scent. So if fragrance is your thing these unsung heros really should be on your wish list.

They grow on shrubby bushes and so tend to have shortish stems. This means they will often need to wired to be incorporated into your bouquet and because they are quite delicate you're better off leaving these sort of bouquets to the professionals.

That said, they make an amazing hand tied bouquet. You could use them en masse, head to head in a round bouquet, or in a dome shape, softened with a few tufts of foliage around the base to frame.

If you like a stronger, clean look try mixing them with groups of other cream and ivory flowers like peonies, garden roses, and lily of the valley. Grouped clusters of flowers create a neat modern style - always a good option if you don't like fussy or frilly.

Don't be afraid to use greenery in your bouquet because it can make all the difference and it would be a crime to waste their beautiful glossy leaves. Your florist will know how to best to use foliage to set off your flowers.

Personally, I think Gardenia look their best when they're given a little room to breathe, so that each individual flower can be admired in all its glory. Greenery can provide that visual space. See how above, gardenia leaves are used to break up the bouquet, and tufts of fern add movement and soft texture. 

To create interest while still sticking to a mostly ivory colour-way you could mix in silvery greys like textural round Brunia and soft Dusty Miller leaves. I like how the black Vaccinium berries in the top image tie in with the black ribbon wrap on the handle, and love the discrete decorative touch that the Cameo brooch adds.

Keeping things soft and subtle, one way to give the traditional ivory bouquet a little twist is to use a hint of colour. Blush shades like apricot, peach or pale dusky pinks are pretty and understated. Try flowers like Dahlia, Peony, and garden style roses like those by David Austen.

You can even carry the colour through and have the bouquet bound in a co-ordinating satin ribbon. Fasten with a pretty vintage brooch, or ask your florist to incorporate some gems, or special jewellery into the bouquet. This can be a nice way to include a meaningful memento from a loved one.

Another great thing about Gardenia, because they're so light and flat they're perfect for using in your hair, a la Billy Holiday, and they make the most lovely scented corsages. Wear on your wrist or hair and you'll get wafts of gorgeousness all day long.

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