Monday, 30 November -0001

With these flowers, I thee wed

As wedding season approaches, ensure the special day is blooming wonderful, says Paula Pryke

Written by Paula Pryke
I have been designing with flowers for nearly 30 years. In that time I have had the pleasure to work on so many gorgeous and diverse weddings with brides and grooms from all over the world. Each one is very special to me and I love the journey of getting to know a couple and then, over a period of time, building up a vision of how they want their special celebration to be. The intensity of the relationship often endures beyond the big day, and I have been fortunate to stay in touch and sometimes become lifelong friends with my wedding clients.

House-Apr10-02-590Decorated columns make a floral frame for photographs. The central arrangement includes roses, lilies, chrysanthemums, dahlias and contoured willow

In my experience, wherever you are, whatever your religious beliefs or values, there is a universal human desire to form a bond and enter into a wedding contract. Although weddings have been declining in numbers, particularly in Europe, I have seen the wedding industry grow enormously in the past decades and it is thriving. I think it is wonderful to witness the union of two people with an intense bond and a desire to approach life as a team.

House-Apr10-03-590From left: Antique vintage port bottles are interspersed with ivies, apples and Gloriosa superba ‘Sparkling Stripe.' Lily the dog with grosgrain lead and bell-shaped floral corsage

Each and every wedding I have had the pleasure to be involved in has a special memory and I always remember the flowers. Weddings are one of the reasons I love my job. What could be better than turning up to a venue with a van-load of beautiful flowers and enhancing a wonderful celebration?

House-Apr10-04-590This bridal bouquet includes pale pink ‘Faith’ roses, Burgundy Ice and Bridal Piano garden spray roses, ‘Maiden’s Blush’ lilac, eucalyptus, jasmine and Astrantia major ‘Ruby Wedding’

For those approaching a wedding, my new book tells you all you need to know about how to select your wedding flowers, whether you are doing the flowers yourself or using a floral designer.

House-Apr10-05-590From left: A bridesmaid’s basket of stephanandra, snowberry and white ‘Star of Billion’ astrantia, with fronds of the yellow dill Anethum graveolens and Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Becky’ daisies. In midsummer there are many beautiful flowers over 3ft high, perfect for large designs.

Thank you to all my previous clients who have let me play a decorative part in the celebration of their unions. Long may weddings endure in all their forms all over the world.

House-Apr10-06-590A magnificent display that includes 4ft white Delphinium ‘Snow Queen Arrow’, Fagus sylvatica foliage, Philadelphus ‘Snow White Fantasy’ and Allium stipitatum ‘White Giant’

Paula Pryke Wedding Flowers: Exceptional Floral Design For Exceptional Occasions, with photography by Tim Winter, is published by Jacqui Small, priced £30.

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