Flowers – How they do it Across the Pond



With so many brides asking for Downtown Abbey Style Flowers I thought I should wind down the series of guest bloggers for wedding planning by asking  my British counterparts to guest blog. I met Mark and Stephen when I wandered into their shop in London to order flowers….we bonded right away over flowers and ballet. They being former dancers for the Royal Ballet …me planning my next career as a dancer , that is as soon as medical science catches up to my dreams/delusions. As far as flowers go we have a very similar sensibility. 

Here is what Mark has to say:

I was thrilled to be asked by Dorothy to contribute to her blog; Dorothy and I have known each other for some years now and have visited each other in our design studios both New York and London.  I’ve chosen to put together 10 simple, but useful, pointers when choosing wedding flowers, or indeed flowers for any large event.  I hope you enjoy reading the blog and that you will find the information useful and informative.  And please do come visit us if you are ever in London’s Covent Garden.


Top Tips for choosing wedding flowers from Bloomsbury Flowers, London


I would always recommend choosing seasonal flowers so if your favourite flower is the blowsy peony, do not decide to get married in February!  Seasonal flowers are usually stronger and therefore better quality; they should also be a competitive price.

If you have a set budget, it’s better to spend the money where you and your guests will be spending the most time.  In other words, the wedding ceremony may only be 45 minutes long so rather than dress that venue with lots of arrangements, save the pennies and put more flowers in the reception venue.

If you’re choosing mixed arrangements, it’s sometimes better to choose 3 different types of flowers and have more of them in each display.  This makes the arrangement look stronger and more dynamic rather than cluttered and messy.

Foliage; this is an important part of any arrangement and again, seasonal is best.  Go for herbs such as mint, rosemary and bay to add texture and scent to summer weddings and make the most of all the varied fall and winter foliage if your wedding is later in the year, remembering to include seasonal berries such as rose hips, hypericum and berried ivy.

One type of flower; spring weddings are a great opportunity for the ‘one variety of flower’ look that is very on trend.  Tulips and narcissi in many varieties are abundant in spring and they look wonderful when used ‘en masse’.  When they are in season, examples of other flowers that work well for this type of design would be peonies, hydrangea and amaryllis.

There are set times throughout the year that costs increase for your florist so again, it’s worth avoiding wedding dates close to Valentine’s and Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving as well as the lead up to Christmas and New Year. 

Always ask to see samples of the flowers you and your florist choose close to the date of your wedding; planning a wedding may start at least 6 months before the big day which means the flowers and foliage you discuss with your florist will not be in their shop for you to see at that time. 

If you’re having a church wedding, it may be possible to share the cost of the flowers with a couple who are marrying on the same day, as long as your flower and colour choice are the same!  

Do not be surprised if your florist is not prepared to do the church/ceremony flowers while a friend does the reception flowers.  Would you expect the caterer to agree to do the appetiser and allow you to have a friend do the main course?  No!

Whilst not every florist expects a bride to arrive at the consultation with a complete cuttings and look-book for her wedding, it is useful to know what sort of style/colour/flowers a bride likes.  It’s even helpful to know what she doesn’t like too so do take some time to buy a bridal mag or do some online research before meeting your florist for the first time.   Pinterest is becoming an increasingly popular way of sharing ideas and designs and is especially useful if time and distance are an issue for meeting face to face.  We have done a couple of weddings when the bride has been overseas and not arriving until the day of the wedding so this form of social media is very useful.


For more information on Bloomsbury Flowers please go to  

A few beautiful shots from Bloomsbury’s website: 

Follow this link for information on our book, ‘Flower Arranging’.




Past guest bloggers:

Danny Weiss Danny Weiss Photo

Kim Starr Wise Destination wedding New Orleans

Elise Rosenblum The Perfect Dress

Rena Hecht Same Sex Weddings

Zia O’Hara: Zia Photography

Stephanie Sica : Another Wild Hare

About cornucopiaofbeautifulthings

Dorothy Pfeiffer is owner and Creative Director of Cornucopia since 1995. When she first bought Cornucopia in 1995 it was a retail flower shop on the Upper East Side. Since, Dorothy has moved Cornucopia to a studio space in the heart of the flower market and has expanded the business to include all aspects of event design and recently has developed an added Interior Design for Coporate and Home to the services offered at Cornucopia
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