Historically, bouquets were used in the days before we had such a thing as personal hygiene. The scented flowers served to disguise the whiff of the bride, probably made worse by the sweating and the nerves. Lovely.
Nowadays, we are all shower-fresh and perfumed muchly, so the need for floral bouquets has passed into tradition. We’re now getting inventive with our bouquets. We have fake flowers for longevity and which also sidestep very nicely the problem of a bride setting her heart on a particular flower only to be disappointed by the news that it’s ‘out of season’. I was so lucky that my amazing florist, Jo Hiorns, was able to source my favourite pink peonies in late July. I loved her! They were technically about to retire for the year. We also now have a growing popularity in the bouquet made from jewels…
They’re constructed with brooches, jewels, pearls, and even watch parts. It’s a look that’s pretty, stunning and unusual. The glamour of these arrays is showstopping without detracting from the bride. I’d never heard of them until recently, and now I’m a little bit in love. The beauty of them is that you can, like with flowers, choose any colour scheme you’re planning, and also they will never die! You could keep one on the mantelpiece forever.
I spoke to Ella Pepper, who runs Treasure Bouquet in Southampton, supplying a new breed of brides who want something other than flowers for their day.
WOW: What inspired you to start making these amazing creations?
EP: I’ve been a florist for almost twenty years. I decided about two years ago to use my skill as a florist and my love of anything vintage and quirky to create ‘treasure bouquets’. It’s great as it fits so well around my family, and my daughter loves to come treasure hunting with me! I love to find interesting pieces and create something beautiful with them. I’ve made bouquets with watches, keys, and lollipops amongst many other things. I love rooting though antique shops for inspiration.
WOW: Do the bouquets take you ages to make?
EP: A lot of hours go into making a treasure bouquet. A hand-tied design can take four to five hours, and my latest shower bouquet took me nearly ten hours, but probably because I’m fussy and can’t stop myself from fiddling!
WOW: How do you come up with the ideas? Do things inspire you from everyday life, or are they designed from the brides’ briefs?
EP: I usually get together with a bride, and she’ll give me her colour theme. We’ll also discuss her hobbies and interests. I’m working on some really interesting projects at the moment. The idea of a ‘treasure bouquet’ is that you can make it personal. Quite often, a bride will give me a few special pieces of jewellery that maybe belonged to her mother or grandmother, and I will incorporate them into her bouquet. It then becomes a family heirloom that she can pass on to future generations.
WOW: Is this your full-time job?
EP: I still do floristry alongside Treasure Bouquet. I work freelance.
WOW: See you there!
I’m glad I’ve been introduced to these lovely bouquets; they’re beautiful, and I’m imagining what I would ask for if I were a bride now. I wouldn’t throw one of these, mind you. Aside from being a gorgeous ornament to remind you always of your day, you mustn’t risk inflicting blunt force trauma on your bridesmaids. Bad show.