Sustainable flowers are on the minds of everyone from brides-to-be to notable household names. HELLO! spoke exclusively to Larry Walshe - florist to the royals, celebrities and luxury brands - who shared his expert tips to ensure that your wedding flowers are as sustainable as they are spectacular, whatever your budget.
Royal households, Christian Dior, Valentino, and Adele and Rhianna have all enjoyed the services of Larry Walshe, the founder of Bloom, the UK's first 100% plastic-free and zero-waste luxury online floristry service.
WATCH: 7 of the most expensive royal weddings of all time – who takes top spot?
"I feel that during lockdown, each of us at home started to realise the enormous amount of waste which is produced from packing. It came to light that we need to find solutions which are kinder to the planet. We decided to create a new retail offering and felt that one which was entirely plastic-free and sustainable would be the ultimate goal….and then we did!" Larry from enthuses.
Traditional English garden themes are timeless
Keep reading to learn about the biggest wedding trends for 2023, how to choose your flowers and most importantly, how to make sustainable choices on a tight budget.
The range of sustainable options is limitless
How can you make your wedding flowers eco-friendly?
* Be open to the styles and looks which are suited best to this style of design - take advice from your vendors and let them guide you.
* Consider each part of the journey – where are your flowers coming from? How can they be constructed in a sustainable way? How long do your vendors need to create this work? What can we do with the flowers after the wedding itself?
* Depending on what you are looking to create, your florist will be able to make suggestions that suit you best. Sometimes these methods take a little longer so if your venue will give you a bit more time on the day, this may be possible.
Bring your garden indoors
How can you repurpose your wedding flowers after your big day?
Larry is a passionate advocate for repurposing flowers: "It's always wonderful when flowers from a wedding can be repurposed afterwards. We love when guests ask to takeaway designs at the end of the evening as you know they are going to be loved for longer at home."
If this is something you would like to do:
* Advise your florist of this at the start of the design process so that they will be able to propose designs which are constructed in a manner to make this option possible.
* Turn your flowers into confetti. Larry explains: "We have recently partnered with a charitable confetti company that uses our flowers post-wedding, dries them and turns them into natural confetti. They then make a charitable donation for each sale. It is wonderful to see our flowers going to a good home after they have already been enjoyed."
Keep reading to find out about the wedding trend forecast and tips on creating your own aesthetic.
How much do wedding flowers cost on average?
* This varies hugely so our best suggestion if you would like to understand what you should be investing in, is to gather ideas of what you like, arrange consultations with reputable vendors and ask for their advice. Bloom is always happy to guide their clients and inform them of what budget should be allocated towards their wedding design in order to achieve the results they have been dreaming about.
* Do consider that some choices which are more sustainable may cost a little more too. However, consumer demand typically drives down this price so until we can all start requesting it, it sits a little higher than usual. Support these suppliers, help bring attention to the products that matter and spend a little more to have a more sustainable and conscious celebration.
Florists are professional creatives
How can brides make eco-friendly choices on a tight budget?
* "Eco-friendly choices don’t necessarily need to cost more money. Sometimes thinking about what you will do with your flowers post-wedding, for example, is merely a consideration, rather than an additional cost," advises Larry.
* "Equally, advising your florist of your budget and saying that you would like to design with sustainability in mind and then leaving them to revert with design ideas will always bring the best results."
* Another point to remember is that: "Florists are creatives and will be delighted with a challenge. We can then present concepts to you which may be different from your original ideas, but perhaps will be even better!"
Seasonal blooms are stunning and cost-effective
How to find out which blooms will be in season on your wedding day?
* Selecting seasonal blooms will always provide the best quality and price so it’s a great idea to ask your florist which blooms are most available for your wedding date. You can also ask if any of the flowers they mention are grown and available to source from the UK.
* There are a number of online resources also available if you’d like to do some more advanced homework, but in our opinion, ask your suppliers. We love to answer your questions and to feel your excitement and are always on hand to guide you.
What are the biggest wedding flower trends for 2022-2023?
Pops of colour are springing to life at weddings
HELLO!: Are you receiving requests for any particular themes or trends at the moment?
"We are noticing that couples are increasingly more open to the use of colour – gone is the day when every wedding is white or blush pink – pops of blue, lilac, yellow, orange and brighter hues of pink are all featuring and we love it! It lends itself very nicely to the English style of bringing the outdoors, inside – recreating the garden in a meaningful and vibrant way," Larry said, and examples of his recent creations show this trend springing to life.
HELLO!: You are seen as a trendsetter and have worked with fashion houses. Which trends can you forecast for brides next year?
"Vintage hues of lilac and pink alongside nude, caramel and cappuccino tones are set to be seen across the globe in 2023. With new flower varieties developed each year, these colours will continue to grow in popularity," Larry revealed.
Vintage hues of lilac, pink and nude will trend in 2023
Interestingly, Kim Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian's tastes are influencing brides around the nation. "Tastemakers like The Kardashians use nude and caramel colours consistently across their brands and this trickles into wedding trends by using flowers in the same hues, pairing these against linens and furniture to offer something new and exciting which hasn’t been celebrated before," Larry continued.
Caramel and cappuccino tones are loved by celebrities
How to create your own unique wedding floral aesthetic
HELLO!: You are known for ingenious and original displays; how would you suggest a bride finds her own unique style amid the almost overwhelming range of choices?
"Work closely with a wedding designer. There are so many possibilities, choices and options available that can often be overwhelming. This is our job – we know what is in the marketplace, and we know what is possible to create within your time constraints and budget," Larry explains.
Share what you love and your florist will create it
If you don't know where to begin, Larry encourages you to bring examples of anything you have found online or in magazines: "We start every client meeting with a blank piece of paper and take the time to get to know our clients, both individually and as a couple. We take all their initial ideas, images they have found online, and details they know they either want or don’t want to see included, and interpret these into a scheme which has never been seen before. We cherry-pick the very best ideas, find a way to bring them together cohesively and offer a scheme which will be the talk of each and every guest."
Your special day can be kind to the planet too
For such a beautiful industry, floristry produces an exorbitant amount of plastic which contributes to the 600 million tonnes of waste produced in the UK each year, so head to Larry Walshe's website and Instagram page for further inspiration.
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