x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Blooming outrageous? No wedding bouquet too small, say florists

Floral arrangements plays an important part in weddings everywhere, and can account for a substantial chunk of the budget.

Flower budgets often account for 40 to 60 per cent of the overall budget for a wedding; and in the UAE, garden varieties remain a popular choice.
Flower budgets often account for 40 to 60 per cent of the overall budget for a wedding; and in the UAE, garden varieties remain a popular choice.

Not quite as closely guarded a secret as the big dress, Kate's choice of bouquet is also sure to inspire brides around the world.

Flower fads come and go but the most popular wedding choices right now in the UAE are romantic roses, says Abbey Dean, creative director of Bliss Flowers & Design in Abu Dhabi. "The classiest choice of flowers would have to be all the beautiful garden varieties including large-headed roses, peony roses, spray roses, hydrangeas and ranunculus. Less popular ones might be chrysanthemums and anything tropical such as anthuriums."

With wedding flowers adorning everything from the ceremony to the reception to the bride and even the car, couples are likely to spend a significant proportion of their budget on blooms, says Dean. "Decor and flowers are two of the biggest expenses and typically would range between 40 to 60 per cent of a wedding budget. Royal weddings tend to start at 1,000 guests upwards and while flower budgets vary depending on the design elements involved, a starting point would be approximately Dh500,000.

"The biggest royal wedding we've handled was 2,500 guests in Dubai World Trade Center and on two occasions we've had clients spend over Dh1.2 million on flowers alone," Dean says. "Keep in mind though, the overall budgets for these weddings exceeded Dh10m."

If that type of spending leaves you crying in your camellias, fear not. Getting the best for a little less is certainly appealing in these cautious economic times, and it's something wedding florist and decor stylists at Dubai's UpScale & Posh heartily advocate.

"Spending-wise, with flowers, the sky is the limit. It's really dependent upon how integral a part the flowers are for a bride's vision of her wedding," says the co-owner, Tiffany Fowler. "I've had brides who want to be engulfed in flowers, while for others it just wasn't that important.

"An average-sized wedding is 100-200 guests and costs between Dh20-40,000. But of course it's our desire to work within every couple's budget to achieve their dream wedding and their budget might be between Dh2,000-6,000," Fowler says.

So what's big in blooms at the moment? Calla lilies epitomise style and grace, says Fowler. At the other end of the scale, a flower that's had its petals bruised in the past is making something of a comeback: "Carnations are among the most economical flowers available for weddings. In fact, carnations are one of our favourites to work with. When five or more are grouped together they take on the appearance of a large lacy ruffled flower and the texture adds a lot to your centrepiece."

One trend no one could have predicted has come out of the royal wedding: with a forest being constructed in Westminster Abbey, it looks like trees are growing for 2012.

For more information, visit www.blissdubai.com or call 04 430 8501; www.upscaleandposh.com, 055 542 8640.

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