One of the biggest shock moments of my wedding planning was the cost of flowers. I knew flowers were beautiful and often expensive but I honestly had no clue just how big a chunk of my budget the flowers would take up.
So what can you do to keep the costs down? We actually opted for part real flowers, part artificial flowers and the artificial garland myself and my Mum lovingly made was one my favourite features on the day. With this in mind, I spied Ferris Heart Sloane on Twitter, a small business based in Buckinghamshire that specialises in artificial flowers and garlands. I was intrigued about how artificial flowers might be the way forward for some of you Brides-to-be so I grabbed one of the lovely owners, Natasha, for a quick Q&A.
Tell me a little bit about Ferris Heart Sloane and how it all started?
My husband Jonathan and I decided to take a leap and move out of our Zone 1 apartment in London and settle into a quieter life with our children in the countryside. We purchased the business in 2014 from a lady doing the opposite and the rest is history. I have somehow found a way to juggle my job as a Head of Marketing, with being a Mum and running Ferris Heart Sloane, but it works and we love it. At Ferris Heart Sloane we specialise in luxury artificial flowers, greenery, and centrepieces and have one of the largest collections of garlands in the UK and Ireland, we are also very excited to say that we ship Worldwide.
Why did you decide to go down the artificial flower route?
We got married four years ago at a beautiful property in Surrey and would have loved to have decorated the venue extensively but it would have been very expensive with fresh flowers. I certainly had a preconception that artificial flowers were cheap and artificial looking but was genuinely surprised at the quality and variety once I looked into it further. In hindsight, I would’ve used artificial flowers at my wedding as they photograph extremely well so we wanted to offer the opportunity to other couple’s getting married.
Do you offer a bespoke service as well as products on the website?
Yes, absolutely. Over 50% of our work is bespoke. Our current client projects include garlands for a marquee which are travelling to Canada and a complete set of wedding flowers for a bride in Edinburgh.
What would be your advice for Brides looking to choose which flowers would best suit their wedding?
When it comes to artificial flowers the limitations you would have with fresh flowers, which include seasonality, don’t apply. So from that perspective, you have a wide variety of flowers to choose from all year round. On the basis that you’ll be able to keep your flowers forever – if you look after them – I would simply go for what you love.
What are the perks of choosing artificial flowers for your wedding?
Price. Whilst the best artificial flowers are not cheap, we have been able to save our clients upwards of 30% versus fresh arrangements. You can also store artificial flowers well in advance of your special day allowing you to spread the cost and prepare in advance. And don’t forget artificial flowers also stand up well in sunshine, are easy to clean and are perfect for hay fever, wasp and flower allergy sufferers. Win, win!
Do you have a favourite wedding season?
I love weddings full-stop. We have friends getting married in London in a couple of weeks so very excited to share their summer wedding.
What kind of flowers go best with a summer wedding?
I would say orchids, birds of paradise, tiger lilies and roses are good choices, especially if you are expecting good weather. But if you are opting for real flowers then choose locally grown flowers which are more likely to survive a day in a bouquet. We are constantly finding new flowers we like which means we can keep our range fresh and exciting.
I’m obsessed with roses. I have a secret garden with 37 David Austin roses about to come into bloom.
Do you have a favourite set of wedding flowers that you have created?
I have to say that my favourite creation was for our first ever bespoke couple. They entrusted us to create all of their flowers arrangements. The handwritten thank you card they sent us is framed.
Best piece of wedding advice for couples?
When you look back on your wedding what will have made it the perfect day for you? If you simply can’t compromise on the venue, the guest list, the dress or shoes consider ways to create a luxury look for less, artificial flowers could be the answer…
I hope this might have inspired some of you lovely Brides-to-be to think outside the traditional flower pot and consider your options. Artificial flowers might be good for photos and for your budget! You can check out Ferris Heart Sloane here and even in a new film called Postcards from London which will be released later this year, and if you’re lucky you might spy their garlands in a new window display for Karen Millen.