BLOOMS & BOUQUETS: FLORAL DECORATOR PAUL HAWKINS TALKS WEDDINGS

It is both a huge honour and a delight to be involved in planning a wedding. With so many big decisions to make, it is our job to make the planning process as stress-free and enjoyable as possible and this includes recommending and connecting our clients with the right trusted suppliers for their special day. This is why working with Paul is such a joy, as he instantly puts people at ease and with twenty years as a leading and innovative floral decorator, he always delivers a wonderful service and outstanding quality.

Here Paul shares his tips on wedding style, managing budgets and choosing the right flowers.

How do you help a bride choose her flowers?

Choosing flowers is such a personal thing and I can steer and advise along the way but if in doubt then choose flowers, or foliage that have meaning. Roses represent love, rosemary remembrance and ivy fidelity. It’s all about meeting the bride-to-be for the first time, listening to her ideas and vision and taking it from there. I’ll happily whisk her on a trip to the flower market to get a real feel for what she would like.

If budget is tight, how do you suggest spreading it between the church and reception?

Definitely put more investment into the reception, as a beautiful church speaks for itself and once it’s filled with guests in all of their decorative finery, all you need is a couple of enormous urns at the altar for photos and a floral door arch to make a real statement. Guests will be spending far more time at the wedding reception so save your pennies for decorating the marquee or venue.

How do you go about decorating a large marquee or venue?

I tend to opt for heavy groupings of flowers similar to a herbaceous border rather than a scattered approach and aim to keep it is as natural possible whilst maintaining theatre, drama and impact. Plenty of trees and foliage work well in large marquees or venues as they can be lit up in the evening for a romantic feel. Dotting small arrangements around a large space will dilute the overall impact.

Do you have a favourite flower?

Ooooh difficult! I’m hugely influenced by the natural seasonal harmonies of the English country garden so I’ll often opt for large vases of foliage. If pushed though, it would have to be peonies as they are classic, beautiful and timeless.

Your tips on table centerpieces?

Guests spend a large amount of the reception sat at the table through speeches etc. More often than not, you’re thrown together with people you’ve never met before, having to make polite conversation, so I always encourage brides to have something fun in the centerpiece like pomegranates or artichokes as a bit of wow factor and a talking point.

Best blooms for button holes?

A simple buttonhole with a pearl pin: a beautiful rose with a sprig of rosemary or ivy. Keep it classic and you’ll have no regrets. Steer well clear of corsages!

What is your favourite floral request you’ve had?

I was asked to create a huge lemon, rosemary and bay covered wreath for a stunning Italian themed wedding in the Cotswolds. We needed a crane to attach it to the front of the church – the scent was heavenly!

View more of Paul’s work at http://www.paulhawkinsflowers.co.uk

If you need help or assistance planning your wedding,  contact Tim at tim@apollo-ec.co.uk