Finding the right florist and choosing the perfect flowers for your wedding can involve a long journey. Hampshire-based sustainable flower farmers The Real Flower Company want to simplify the process of choosing wedding flowers by launching a new ‘ready-to-wear’ bouquet collection. We caught up with their multi-award-winning head florist Jay Archer, who has created flowers for more than 600 weddings and events, to discover the best flowers and colour palettes for a summer wedding.
Vibrant yet mellow, coral is a feelgood colour that evokes sunsets, warmth and joy – a perfect choice for summer.
Peonies: The English peony season runs from mid-May until early July and Coral Charm peonies make the perfect statement flower for an early- to mid-summer bridal bouquet.
Stocks: Soft, peachy stocks add height and texture.
Sweet Peas: My all-time favourite flower, there’s nothing more beautiful in shape and scent than delicate sweet peas.
Achillea: Lacy achillea blooms have recently undergone something of a renaissance – they come in peachy tones or soft terracotta that both work really well with this colour scheme.
Roses: English roses are synonymous with summer weddings. We grow vibrant coral Romantic Antike roses on both our sustainable Hampshire farm and our Fairtrade sister farm in Kenya – they always attract attention and look beautiful mixed with our soft peachy pink Antigua spray roses.
Lavender: I love the way the muted purple of lavender complements and accentuates this coral colour palette.
Foliage: Just a few hints of silver-green foliage such as eucalyptus pull this look together, adding freshness and movement.
White and green are a classic bridal combination. To make this look your own, choose something extra special to be the star of the show.
Rose: For me the statement flower for a summer wedding has to be a rose. I love David Austin’s Keira – uniformly romantic in shape but each one a subtly different shade, from delicate blush to cream. They go beautifully with summer’s white flowers, herbs and vibrant green foliage.
Astrantia: These delicate star-shaped blooms provide a perfect backdrop.
Sweet Peas: Scented sweet peas in delicate shades of white and cream work beautifully here – and you can also use sweet pea trails to add movement and a ‘just-picked-from-the-garden’ feel.
Nigella: What better choice for a wedding than white Love-in-a-Mist?
Thlaspi Green Bell: I love the ethereal, wispy texture this brings to a bouquet.
Wild Oat Grass & Quaker Grass: We use grasses to introduce soft, tactile shapes and movement – these are a couple of favourites from our farm.
Pastels are beautifully soft and romantic. To ensure your bouquet looks modern rather than dated, go for a loose, free-flowing arrangement.
Roses: Many English roses have soft dreamy tones and exquisite aromas. Among my favourites from our sustainable English farm are Chandos Beauty, Evelyn, Jubilee Celebration, Prince Jardinier and Princess Charlene.
Larkspur: In soft dreamy pinks, this adds height and interest.
Flowering Mint: During the summer we grow mint with fluffy white flowers that work perfectly as a backdrop.
Sweet Peas: Sweet peas come in a whole palette of pastel tones such as blush, lilac and peach that combine to create soft waves of colour.
Peonies: English blush pink peonies – still in season in early summer – are a perfect statement flower.
Achillea: These delicate lacy blooms always look stunning on our sustainable farm – choose the softest blush or ballet pink to complement your colour scheme.
Freesia: The scent of freesia is so fresh and distinctive – I love using a soft pink shade called Honeymoon.
White Cosmos: Another delicate, feathery flower that adds movement and a sense of the joy of summer.
Scenecio Dusty Miller: A bridal and Pinterest favourite for good reason, the soft, almost fluffy silver leaves work beautifully in bridal arrangements.
Thyme Flowers: Our unsung hero of the summer, these work wonderfully for buttonholes.
Deep reds and luscious velvet tones don’t need to be just for winter weddings. The summer months provide a wonderful array of red blooms that work beautifully softened with blush pinks, whites and textured herbs in a modern, asymmetric arrangement.
Chocolate Cosmos: I used this for my own wedding and found that these delicate little blooms smell as good as they look.
Roses: The ultimate romantic red rose is Deep Secret, which we grow on our English farm. It works beautifully with ivory blush Margaret Merril and blush Prince Jardiner.
Cosmos: An incredibly versatile summer favourite – for this colour scheme, use burgundy or the deepest pink.
Sweet Peas: Often associated with pastels, this scented summer stunner also comes in really dark burgundy, almost black shades that work wonderfully here.
Rubus: Also from the rose family and similar to a trailing blackberry but without the thorns, this adds both colour and movement.
Chocolate Mint & Sage: Herbs add scent and interest to an arrangement and both sage and mint come in deeper tones that complement this colour palette.
Summer Flowering Jasmine: This really adds a wildly romantic, unstructured feel to your arrangements – as well as being beautifully scented.
Viburnum Bodnatense: Another beautiful plant we grow on our farm, with deep red foliage to complement your statement blooms.
The Real Flower Company are sustainable flower farmer and florists based in Hampshire.
Floral invitations to pair with your wedding blooms