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Kiki and ZaZa
Designer Flowers & Venue Dressing . . . . . . without the designer Price Tag
Stafford, wolverhampton, cannock, telford, west midlands, staffordshire, shropshire

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Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrations

Posted on 14 June, 2016 at 11:30 Comments comments (0)

I live in a tiny village which has a very ancient church and an enthusistic fund raising committee who are working extremely hard to pay for some restoration and improvements on this beautiful building.


Their latest event was a celebration of the Queen's 90th Birthday. Several ladies in the village picked an iconic photograph of an event from the Queen's life then created a flower arrangement to complement that picture using mainly garden flowers and foliage. The result, the most wonderfully colourful display throughout the building with an arrangement on every conceivable surface!


Despite the awful weather, lots of people braved the downpours and enjoyed a cream tea and spent time looking at the beautiful flowers. The homemade cake stall was a winner (funny how no-one asked me to bake one!) and the recycled candles also brought in some pennies. Over £600 was raised, not bad going considering the awful rain so well done, everyone!


I chose a picture of the Queen with her parents at her Christening which I created on the church's beautiful stone font. It was lovely to produce something a little out of the ordinary, certainly made a change from bouquets and boutonnieres!



You're Never Too Old!

Posted on 27 April, 2016 at 10:05 Comments comments (0)

This has to be one of my favourite trends to cross the pond from The States to Dear Old Blighty; Grandma Flowergirls, or bridesmaids as we like to call them! Apparently, this is something that's happening more and more and it really made me giggle. 


But then I thought, "what a lovely idea!" At the grand old age of (mutters under breath) I am lucky enough to still have a Grandma, or "Nan" as we call her. She is 91, still very active and an absolute legend! If I were to take another trip up the aisle, I would feel very privileged to have Nan leading the way, scattering petals as she goes!


This year's Pantone colours lend themselves well to this idea too; a Rose Quartz pink dress with a Serenity blue rinse would look fabulous, daaahling! But where would it end? Would the hen party be afternoon tea at a garden centre and tucked up back at home by 7pm with a mug of cocoa? Would I have to switch making posies to creating flower-covered zimmer frames?


I worry what might happen in families who have girls of stereotypical bridesmaid age that get overlooked in favour of Granny. Would we see sabotage on a grand scale? Hiding Granny's false teeth on the morning of the wedding, sprinkling itching powder into the basket of petals. I can just envisage a fuming 8 year old in the congregation sticking her foot into the aisle just as Granny draws level!


I suppose time will tell. I'm certainly not planning to go for a marriage hat trick anyway, so sorry, Nan, it's not going to happen. Now step away from the tiaras!


Ruth x


Clip arts



Put Your Stamp On It

Posted on 17 April, 2016 at 5:35 Comments comments (0)

This is the last instalment of my little look at current trends in #weddingflowers and #weddingdecor for 2016. Thanks for joining me and if you're interested in what we do or would like to keep informed on little gems I uncover on weddings across the board, not just flowers, follow us on Twitter or Instagram or like us on Facebook, links to all of these on our Home page.


Take Your Seats


2016 sees a leaning towards long tables rather than lots of round tables, or a mix of long and smaller square tables. This is born out of a desire to make the event feel more like a celebration and less like a conference. It is also linked to a preference for buffet-style catering rather than a formal, sit-down meal. I love this idea as it makes the event seem less rigid and more of a relaxed celebration. A real knees-up, like a street party but without the jelly and ice cream! It also sits well with the trend for food carts or various food stations where guests can wander around tasting anything from tacos and nachos to samosas and sushi! Some people are even going as far as having chefs demonstrating the preparation of their speciality food! This needs something visually quite spectacular, your nan making ham sandwiches won’t really cut it!


As far as table decorations go, this trend needs a move away from the grand and often very tall table centrepiece to long, low designs stretching down the length of each table. This could be in the shape of a garland, as mentioned in a previous post, or several long arrangements. We’re also seeing small satellite arrangements or decorations mixed in too.




 

If You Go Down to the Woods Today


There’s no denying that the rustic wedding theme has been a winner, but this year’s brides are opting for more of a boho vibe. I know it’s going to be hard but it’s time to step away from the Mason jar! Think trailing natural bouquets with vines and ivy, long trails of ribbon, flower crowns, soft colours with contrasting gemstone shades. Your florist can advise you on the best materials to achieve this look.



The same goes for tables and could include foraged branches, moss and candles or flowers spilling out of mismatched vases. Lighting plays an important role in this styling too so incorporation of twinkling lights either in the form of candles and tea lights or strings of lights can make a huge impact. The whole theme is very reminiscent of an enchanted woodland like the one in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, though I think we can leave out the donkey!

 


Not to be Sneezed At


Feathers are cropping up everywhere on everything from gowns to table decorations and we’re not talking coloured ostrich feathers in a martini glass. We are seeing bridal gowns bearing feathers, whether it’s a few placed as subtle embellishments to an entire feather-covered skirt. You could look like a prima ballerina in Swan Lake, though obviously, steer clear if you or anyone in the bridal party has allergies, red eyes and noses are not a great look on the photos!


There’s no reason why you can’t incorporate a few feathers in your bouquet.. The contrast in shape and texture will create real interest. Long pheasant feathers look great worked into rustic table decorations and the beautifully iridescent coloured peacock feathers are made for the boho/enchanted woodland theme. Try mixing them with blue/green hydrangeas and green succulents for a wonderfully eccentric look. At the agricultural college where I studied floristry, there were always plenty of pheasant feathers available. There were also two beautiful peacocks that lived in the gardens to the mansion house, though they always looked a little nervous whenever there were floristry students around! 


 

Making it Personal


One way to make your big day special and memorable is to incorporate elements of a place that is special to the bride and groom and/or their family. Perhaps your fiancé took you to Paris to propose, then you could have Edith Piaf as background music, a cheese and wine tasting food station and for table decorations, I have seen some cute mini bicycles with a place on the back to hold flowers, perfect for a Parisian theme.


Perhaps you or your groom come from an interesting part of the UK; A Shakespeare theme for Stratford-upon-Avon (or a theatre-lover), a seaside theme for Bournemouth, pies and pasties for Leicester and Cornwall, Roman theme for Bath, the list goes on. This probably won’t work too well if you’re from Grimsby though!


Maybe you have a hobby you’re passionate about such as musical theatre. You could hang vintage posters for different productions around the venue and have table decorations that each represent a famous show. You could even carry this through to the entertainment and have some live performers or get together with your bridesmaids and learn a dance from a musical to perform to the guests.


 

So we’ve reached the end of our little journey through the current, popular wedding trends. I think it’s wonderful that there are so many different types of weddings around these days. Not so long ago almost every event was just a carbon copy of so many that had gone before. Now you could be anywhere from an enchanted woodland to a barn to a Hollywood film set!


My advice to you is to embrace a trend you like but don’t run with it lock, stock and barrel! Take elements that appeal to you, even mix and match different themes, but always try and include something of yourself and your groom. That way, when you look back at the photos and videos, you will see not just a generic wedding from the “Teenies” but a day that is unmistakably yours.

Have fun!


Ruth x

 

Bang on Trend

Posted on 14 April, 2016 at 11:25 Comments comments (0)

Today I’m going to continue with my take on adopting and adapting some current #weddingflowers and #weddingdécor trends



Shiny Happy People


Metallics continue to be a popular trend for weddings everywhere. Whether it’s sequins on everything from shoes to tablecloths or gold worked into flower arrangements, cake décor and buttonholes, to name but a few.


I have a wedding coming up where we’re going to use silver sporting trophies, won by the groom’s father over the years, filled with flowers for the tables. I love this idea as it ticks both the “metallic” and the “personalised” box. The smell from silver polish does tend to be quite strong so we need to ensure someone else cleans them up the day before the wedding, we want the bride wafting up the aisle in a haze of freesias, not “Silvo”!


Personally, I love the combination of silver and glassware with flowers in shades of blue through to violet, such a clean, elegant look, especially in early Summer. But what if you don’t have any family silver or an energetic game of tiddlywinks is about as close to sport that your clan get? To begin with, find out whether your florist has any vintage silvery or glass containers, candelabras etc. that you could use. If not, take a trip round some charity shops (preferably in nice areas...can I say that?) and car boot sales and see what you can pick up. They don’t have to match, embrace the variety of the vessels! Filled with beautiful flowers each table will have its own elegantly eclectic feel.


If you prefer the warmer metallic shades of rose gold and copper tones, you can create a striking effect by spraying some very ordinary containers for very little outlay. A grouping of five sprayed bottles and jars in different shapes and colours with a single, eye-catching flower in each makes a fabulous table centrepiece. So start collecting vessels. I am more than willing to help empty out any wine or gin bottles for you, always happy to do my bit!!





Two for the Price of One


Each year Pantone announces its Colour of the Year as the must have shade for any self-respecting designer. Well this year they’ve pushed the boat out and blended two shades that combined are a match made in heaven. We’re talking Rose Quartz, a warm embracing rose tone and Serenity, a cool, tranquil blue. You really can’t go wrong if you base your colour scheme on this palette for a romantic, dreamy day that is very easy on the eye. 


As shades of red and blue, they are contrasting colours on the colour wheel. Now sometimes, a contrasting colour harmony can appear harsh, but as Rose Quartz and Serenity are very diluted shades they work beautifully together.


          


The colour wheel is an excellent place to start when planning your whole wedding as using tried and tested colour harmonies really works. Ask your florist to show you some of the colour harmonies that floral designers follow. There is an abundance of possibilities and you can be sure that by sticking to one of these formulas, your palette will be an absolute winner.


For a wonderfully co-ordinated look, why not apply your palette across the whole event, from your dress and those of your bridesmaids, to bespoke jewellery, to flowers and décor, to dessert/candy table to favours to thank you gifts and so on?


I mentioned the pantone colours to a bride’s mother recently and she shrieked in horror. She thought I’d said “Panto” colours and was imagining some lurid pink and blue scheme complete with her daughter in stripey stockings and a hideous wig! She’s calmed down now, though and should be out of therapy soon!!



Loose Women!


Another growing trend at the moment is for the bride’s bouquet to be wide and loose, a bit like myself before the diet! About as far removed as possible from very structured shower and teardrop bouquets in the 80s and 90s, these bouquets feature several types of both foliage and flowers in equal measures. They work well whatever your colour preference, be they soft creams and pinks or deeper crimsons and purples.


It is worth bearing in mind your size and chatting to your florist about proportion. If you’re quite petite you’ll want to see more of yourself on the wedding photographs than just the top of your head! Though that’s one way of saving on the dress, I suppose. This style of bouquet was popular from the turn of the 20th century right up until the 2nd World War, though looking through some old pix, some of them are so large they look quite comical. I wouldn’t be surprised if the odd groom got to the Reception to find he’d married the wrong woman!


Well I need to go and bleach some buckets now (the glamorous life of a florist) but will be back soon with more musings on trends. In the meantime you can always follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook

Ruth x

 

Adopting & Adapting Current Wedding Flower & Decor Trends

Posted on 13 April, 2016 at 10:35 Comments comments (0)

 

Choosing your wedding flowers and décor used to be such a straightforward affair; roses – check, gypsophila – check, carnations – check, balloon arch if you’re really pushing the boat out …and we’re good to go! But now we are faced with a smorgasbord of colours, shapes, styles and themes; so many flowers, so little time!

 

But choice is a wonderful thing because now, instead of endless carbon-copy weddings, you can really put your own stamp on your big day and create a truly atmospheric event that is uniquely yours. Navigating your way through all the options, though can be quite a daunting task.

 

So, always keen to help, over the next few days I’m going to take you through a few current flower and décor trends. They are varied to say the least and can be adapted in numerous ways to complement your look. These should give you a starting point for your epic voyage of discovery that will lead to your own personal floral fantasy land. OK, that sounds a little dramatic, but come on, this is one of the most important days of your life!


 

 

Hang on in there!

 

From flowers to ribbon to jam jars, basically anything you can get a loop on and suspend in mid air is fair game. And this trend works whatever theme you’re going for, from hanging jam jars in a tree for a rustic wedding to foliage hoops for a magical woodland wedding to large tissue pom poms for a floaty, romantic feel.

 

One cute trend is for hanging baubles. But before you go clambering into the loft for last year’s Christmas decorations, we’re talking clear glass baubles into which you can put whatever you like. How about beautiful Cymbidium Orchid heads, tealights or even shells or sweets, just let your imagination run wild! 


 

With the current trend for long tables rather than round tables, I love the idea of hanging decorations above the length of the table. For instance single flowers interspersed with strips of colourful ribbon or paper lanterns. I wish this trend had been around when I got married as there’s something I’d have loved to string up from the rafters, but enough about my first husband!

 

Long strips of hanging flowers (think beaded door curtains) can look fabulous in a doorway or on a feature wall, much cheaper than a complete flower wall! But why not think of different materials to give it a twist; colourful lollipops or sweets, pom poms, pine cones, shells, butterflies, the list goes on! They make it relatively inexpensive and can be prepared well in advance.


 

Inside Out!

 

Bringing the outside inside which, with our British weather, is probably the best way round! Now I’m not suggesting you do a Kate and line the church aisle with full-size English Field Maple trees, but you could have a couple of strategically-placed smaller trees within the church which can be moved to the reception venue after the ceremony. You can also incorporate trees of some kind as table centrepieces. Your florist can create topiary trees with flowers and/or foliage. Or how about fake trunks with a ball of Gypsophilla as blossom, perhaps a tree branch adorned with flowers and moss along the centre of the table?

 

A garland featuring a wonderfully scented selection of foliage, and maybe some flowers too, looks stunning draped over the entrance to the church. To get the best value for money you can get some kind person to remove it and place it as a decoration for your top table at the reception. (Get your florist to OK this with the venue and ensure their table surface is protected). The list is endless so get your coat on and head to the countryside for some inspiration!




 

Flower of the Da….hlia

 

Who would have thought that the humble Dahlia would become the must-have flower for the fashionista bride? They remind me of Grandads and Harvest Festivals, usually in gaudy shades of yellow and orange (the Dahlias, not the Grandads!). They always looked as if they would be squeaky to touch (again, the flowers!) ........but maybe that’s just me!

 

But, oh how times change! For the fabulous “Café au Lait” Dahlia has become the nation’s sweetheart! Step aside, Cheryl Fer…whatever your name is now, there’s a new Queen in town. If you haven’t seen one, Google it. They’re not called a “Dinner Plate” Dahlia for nothing because they are huuuge! The colour is a kind of pale peachy, coffee colour and the petals form into such a beautiful soft pattern.

 

Of course, they are everywhere now, so if you’d rather not follow the herd, why not take a look at some of the other dahlias that are available such as the deep magenta Dinner Plate Le Baron, the vibrant orange Cactus Goldcrown or the aubergine and white Decorative Marble Ball. If you’re going for an eclectic, vibrant look of clashing, strong colours in shades of orange, yellow, pink, blue, purple, the Dahlia could be your new best friend!

 

Well it’s almost time for my medication so I’m going to sign off now but will be back to continue the journey with you over the next couple of days. If you’d like to keep up with my ramblings, why not follow us on Twitter @KikiandZaza or like our Facebook Page Kiki and Zaza

 

Speak soon!

 

Ruth x

 

 

 

 


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