Alice in Weddingland – Beautiful & Affordable Wedding Flowers

April 4, 2011

With Rock n Roll Bride columnist Alice’s wedding day drawing ever closer, this month she decided that it was high time to tackle something she was a little nervous about – the flowers! Pretty blooms may not sound too terrifying to some, but as a punky chick who readily admits to not being the ‘flower type’, she didn’t even know where to start. Luckily she found a lovely florist in her home town of Brighton who was not only able to help her find her perfect flowers within budget, but who was able to show Alice that actually flowers aren’t that scary at all.

♥  ♥  ♥

With less then 12 weeks to go everything is (hopefully!) coming together.  Still, there remains a few pieces of my wedding puzzle that need to be organised, and this month I’ve been an absolute bridal machine getting as much sorted out as possible.  Wedding flowers always caused me slight concern when allocating a budget to each element of the wedding, because, quite frankly, I had no idea where to begin! I’d never stepped foot in a florist, and found the ones that I walked past in Brighton quite unapproachable and intimidating.  So needless to say, organising my wedding flowers was not something I was looking forward to.

A few weeks ago I was invited on a girly night out with Kat, Joanne Fleming (my wedding dress designer), photographer Jacqui Mcsweeney and the infamous Lisa Devlin in Brighton.  It was over copious amounts of cocktails that the topic of wedding flowers came out, and Lisa suggested a little florist tucked away on the outskirts of Brighton. One twitter reminder the next day, and I set about googling “Miss Moles Flower Emporium”.  From the website I thought that the flowers looked pretty, but what do I know about flowers?  I knew that it was best that I arranged a meeting with Barbara Mole and went to her shop to see what she had available in the flesh.  So, following a lovely exchange of emails Graham and I set out for the Emporium armed with images of flowers I’d seen in bridal magazines that I’d cut out and scrap-booked that we could use as inspiration, and three retro buckets that we were hoping to use as centrepieces.

If you are ever in Brighton then I would definitely recommend popping in to this lovely florist, as it is just so unusual.  Exposed brick walls, and vintage washed flowers tumbling off every surface created a lovely setting, and I got a good feeling from the place as soon as we got there.  We sat down with Barbara and explained what we roughly had in mind, and now here’s the amazing part: Barbara knew our budget of £150 all in before the meeting, and unlike some other wedding vendors, didn’t seem adament on trying to push up the price. In fact, she offered us advice to lower our budget and for this we are so grateful!  She explained that our bucket centrepieces would need to be filled densely with roses and foliage to fill them, and that would mean quite a hefty sum per bucket.  She then brought over some vintage crystal glass vases that she has as part of her displays, and suggested we try something similar.  She said that she’d collected the vases over the years from charity shops, and that we could put one stem per vase as a centrepiece of three vases in the centre of each table. We thought this was a great idea, and took her advice on board.  She also made a rough ‘mock-up’ of the bouquet she envisaged for me, and I literally thought I might cry it was so beautiful.

Once the tea had been drunk and the flowers played with Barbara said that she’d email us with a formal quote and breakdown of what it would cost to have her supply the flowers on the day.  She also recommended we have similar meetings with other florists to ensure we get the most competitive quote, which is something I would recommend for all aspects of your wedding planning, as price variance can be vast!

We went away feeling happy and excited, and went searching through the charity shops immediately for little vases.  We found 5 that morning, and the price came in at £7.50 for the lot. Bargain! We’re still on the hunt now, we’re hoping to have around fifteen before the big day arrives.

When the email came through from Barbara I replied straight away with a “yes please lets book you NOW!”  For our budget we are getting my bouquet, 3 buttonholes and our centrepieces in the form of differing height vase arrangements.  I am now an absolute flower convert, and so excited to see the beautiful displays Barbara comes up with.  Just goes to show, word of mouth from other brides/industry contacts are invaluable, and there really are some genuinely lovely wedding suppliers out there.  I know that’s not essential, but if you’re hiring someone to be a part of the biggest day of your life, a good relationship is essential, and also just really quite special.

You can see the rest of Alice’s adventures in weddingland here.
Be sure to also keep up to date with her on her wedding blog, DIY Darlings.

8 comments

  1. Miss_Turnstiles

    Thank you so much for this post! I’m also from Brighton, getting married in 10 weeks and I’ve been putting off sorting out the flowers for ages, after an encounter with a very rude florist.
    But now I have booked an appointment with Barbara (who was so lovely on the phone I nearly wanted to sob with relief!) and best of all, the shop is only 3 streets away from my house. Thank you thank you thank you!

  2. I was wondering what Alice had been up to… sounds like a great experience, I cant wait to see what they came up with!

  3. Haha, ‘infamous’ Not sure if that’s a good thing! I so love Miss Mole’s and am very glad that its worked out for you. Sounds its really coming together and is going to rock x

  4. Great post Alice, and no not all florists are scary! I have had so many Brides come in for consultations and they too haven’t got an idea how to set the budget for their flowers… I always try and have a chat with them to find out where in their priorities the flowers lie… For instance, some venues, and churches are pretty or elegant enough without needing lots of floral displays so I would suggest that they concentrate the money on other areas. Also, the Bride can spend a bit more money on her bouquet and not need to spend as much on her Bridesmaids which is where it starts to get expensive if there are 4 or 5! A couple of stems of flowers tied with a pieece of long pretty ribbon can look just as amazing as a full on posy. I’m glad you have found a florist you feel comfortable with and can’t wait to see the results!

  5. Ciara

    i had two very different experiences with florists that i went to visit when sourcing my wedding flowers, really didn’t know what to expect as i’d initally wanted to make all my flowers from felt and buttons but thought it would be too much to try and make big displays for the church where we’re getting married.

    the first one spent an hour talking to me regarding colours and flowers in season (one way to guarentee prices aren’t extravagant stay in season) that would suit the idea of what i wanted. I’d brought a number of print outs of pics i’d found on the internet and she was brutally honest with my choice of bouquet saying that while it was lovely it probably would wilt before the photos came around. she then proceeded to show me a bouquet in a magazine that she thought i would like and it was love at first sight!

    the second florist spent 10 minutes talking to me, didn’t look at my pictures at all, tried to tell me what i “should” be going for regarding colours and handed me a price list said to go away and have a look at it and we’ll discuss more after i’ve paid the deposit.

    hmmm can you guess which one i went for?

    my second visit after i booked my florist to go through what displays i wanted and the flowers i would like and other ideas etc lasted over an hour that time and i’m completely over the moon with her ideas and suggestions. can’t wait to see my bouquet and my bridesmaids along with the button holes for the men and the displays for the church (which they’re going to transport to the venue for us too!)

    i did also induldge my creative side by making felt and button bouquet for my flowergirl and button holes for my two pageboys so even if they’re chucked around they’ll definitely last for them.

  6. Its so lovely to read that i’m not alone with my wedding flower woes! Miss_Turnstiles I am so excited that you have a meeting with Barbara! She is lovely and her shop is beautiful, you will have a blast 🙂 And Lisa Devlin, ‘infamous’ is definitely a good thing! xx

  7. Hannah

    I was also terrified of the whole flowery-florist-teeny-tiny budget thing. In London I found it almost impossible to find a florist that didn’t charge hundreds. I ended up avoiding a florist completely and had my bouquet and our button holes made by Princess Lasetron, and making my own centrepieces from hydrangeas grown by my mum at my childhood home in Devon 😀

    I love the idea of using individual little vases – it’s going to look very cute.

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