The Big Day

Rowan Blossom on Colourful Wedding Flowers for Every Season

Rowan Blossom is a London-based florist and author who prides herself on natural, whimsical and bountiful arrangements. Having previously worked in fashion, Rowan's eye for colour and texture is integral to her designs and has led to a client list that includes Matches Fashion, Manolo Blahnik, Topshop and Bloom & Wild.

Rowan's debut book Living With Flowers is a no-nonsense step-by-step guide on how to recreate her signature style – from simple posies to floral archways and blooming chandeliers. With colour and weddings always on our minds here at Papier, we wanted to get some of Rowan's expert advice for ourselves. So we asked for her guide on what to think about when picking colourful wedding flowers in the different seasons...

Colourful flowers for every season

I always try to reflect the time of year with the palette when designing weddings and events. So for me:

alt textFlowers by Rowan Blossom. Photo by Mylene Mozas

Spring
Spring is one of my favourite times of year, it is a time of hope and new beginnings as gorgeous British flowers begin to bloom and flourish. In the early part of the season, the focus should be on the glorious scent that comes with these more dainty and delicate varieties, such as narcissi, bluebells, lily of the valley and heavenly hyacinth.

Late spring packs a bit more of a petally punch, with the arrival of ruffly beauties like ranunculus, anemone and if you’re lucky you might even get the first peonies. I also love using big boughs and structural branches of magnolia or blossom in bud and bloom at this time to add drama to floral arrangements.

The Palette – it's all about fresh pale pastels. Think linen whites, primrose and buttercup yellow, duck egg blue and ballerina pink, reflecting the zingy fresh greens and bulbs popping up.

alt textFlowers by Rowan Blossom. Photo by Darren Gerrish

Summer
For me, summer brings the biggest and best British blooms, the sorts of blousy ‘babes’ that I adore working with. Think garden roses heady with the sweetest perfume, peonies galore, delphinium, foxgloves, poppies, ammi, seas of sweetpeas, nigella, hollyhocks and scabious! What a fabulous time of year to get married, and the reason I chose to have our wedding in very late May, so I could enjoy the glut of gorgeous British-grown blooms available at this time of year!

Now is the time when you will get good value for money, as there is often (weather dependent of course) an abundance of flowers available, helping to give you more blooms for your buck. Foliage-wise, glossy green birch and beech are my go-tos at this time of year, giving great lofty lengths to add into statement arrangements.

The Palette – rich, juicy and berry-driven. Think raspberry ripple, marigold yellow, poppy corals and lots of frothy whites. Basically you can let your imagination run wild when it comes to dreaming up palettes at this time of year, as there is such an abundance of colour in nature during the summer months.

alt textFlowers by Rowan Blossom. Photo by Ana Ruvio

Autumn
Autumn might not be an obvious choice for a wedding, but flower-wise it's equally as rich as spring and sees some beautiful perennials come into their own. I always think of autumn as a comforting season, the days are shortening but the light is more golden than other times of the year and I would immediately go for a warm colour palette.

The British flowers available at this time of year naturally reflect this sort of colour palette, and you should still be able to get an amazing variety, including one of my favourites cosmos, dahlias (which are available in a huge range of shapes and types, from tight pom poms to huge dinner plate varieties), sweet William, hydrangea, rudbeckia, berries, chrysanthemums, Japanese anemone, rosehips and seed heads.

The Palette – golden, jewel-like tones. Plum, mustard and creme brûlée tones, to echo the turning of leaves, the days shortening and distinctive flaxen light at this time of year.

alt textFlowers by Rowan Blossom. Photo by Rowan Blossom

Winter
Winter is a tricky time of year for florals, as there is very little available in terms of British blooms, so florists generally have to rely on flowers imported from the Netherlands or further afield. So if, like me, you are hoping to champion British-grown flowers I would seriously suggest reconsidering your wedding date! Of course, what is available is very much weather dependent but we would be lucky to get British-grown early anemones, narcissi and hellebores – it really is very limited!

If I were planning a winter wedding, I would recommend embracing the season for what it is and doing gorgeous foliage heavy displays and arrangements, full of trailing ivy, ferns, spruce and jasmine.

The Palette​ – it's a tough month as there is very little growing in nature to inspire. So during these months I either embrace the coolness of the season and go for icy whites and neutrals, or go to the other end of the spectrum and get fully festive with crabapple red and deepest burgundy.


Styling Tips

alt textFlowers by Rowan Blossom. Photo by David Jenkins

How to keep it minimal
The best way to keep things minimal whilst retaining a luxe and considered feel is by using a single variety of flower. Peonies are perfect for this style of floristry, grouped together in blossoming bundles or in single bud vases. Use a mixture of reds, pinks and blushes to add subtlety and visual interest. You can easily do the same with roses or sweet peas, or whatever is your favourite seasonal flower!

alt textFlowers by Rowan Blossom. Photo by David Jenkins

How to go OTT
Having had a very maximalist wedding and approach to life in general, I really believe the sky is the limit – budget depending of course! Let your imagination run away with you and think about statement areas that draw the eye to create little photograph moments nestled into your venue. Be bold and beautiful.

When I'm given an open brief, I always try to push through any constraints of a space and get creative with where flowers and foliage could be 'growing' from – I love a natural, rambling aesthetic, as well as a challenge! Think archways, meadow installations, garlands, ceilings of flowers floating in mid-air, as well as indulgent table flowers of course.

alt textFlowers by Rowan Blossom. Photo by Mylene Mozas

What colourful flowers are good for different budgets
I would always advise a bride that the best way to work with a budget is to really concentrate and focus your vision on where the flowers would be most appreciated. This is the best way to work with a tighter budget as you can still achieve the memorable moments but without breaking the bank! Always work with seasonal British-grown flowers if possible – importing out of season flowers immediately hikes the price per stem up.

I would also implore that you are open to suggestions from your florist and don’t discount flowers just because they might not be ‘in vogue’ or to your taste. Carnations are a classic example of this as there is so much snobbery about them, but they are one of my favourites as they are cheap, come in a rainbow of colours and actually have a very pretty frilly bloom! Another tip is to be open to using much more foliage than flowers, as stem-by-stem this is much more cost efficient.

alt textFlowers by Rowan Blossom. Photo by David Jenkins

How to match flowers with your venue and your colour scheme
I think it’s nice to have a colour scheme that unites the wedding and your design, from stationery right through to flowers and styling. To help inform this, let your heart lead you by choosing colours that you love or are significant for you. My husband and I love pink and built a palette around this, incorporating golden yellows and clashing, pop reds – it might not be to everyone’s taste, but we loved it and it felt very ‘us’.

What I’m trying to say is, don’t feel that you have to be safe in your colour palette. Just because its a wedding doesn’t mean it has to be all nudes/pastel/blush! ​When it comes to matching with your venue, a​ site visit is of utmost importance to understand the atmosphere and colours already present. Be led by key colours that feature at the venue and decide whether you would like to complement this or contrast this.


Want more of Rowan's bountiful tips? Laurence King are offering Fold readers 35% off her book Living with Flowers. Just use code PAPIER on their site here.


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