The Best of Sussex Florists Share Their 2021 Trends.

Blue Door Weddings has five glorious wedding venues in the heart of East Sussex, ranging from stately homes, private estates, country houses, farms and even remote rural spaces. We’ve had the privilege of overseeing every conceivable style of wedding over the years, from big, bold, colourful and joyous, through to soft, whimsical and deeply romantic, and are lucky enough to have worked with the very best florists in Sussex who bring these looks to life. 

There is probably no other time in your life that you will think about flowers and foliage more than when planning your wedding. Whether you intend to have a large, lavish affair or a small, bijou occasion, flowers will undoubtedly feature and are certainly one of the key tools in creating your chosen look. Pinterest and Instagram are incredible resources to help you decide on the style of your wedding day, and are also fantastic directories of suppliers in your area. 

We caught up with some of our very favourite florists to discuss what their top tips might be and what was on trend right now and for 2021. Here’s what they had to say:

Zuzana Hewer, Fig & Flowers

When planning your wedding flowers, you must first start with your own vision and your story. My job is to then interpret these ideas and create a floral story that represent you but that also complement your chosen venue and create unforgettable atmosphere. 

I am obsessed with details, quality and finding the best ingredients available and so work with many different suppliers, source local and British where possible, and will even forage to find the perfect blossom branch or blade of grass if that’s what’s missing. 

Whilst I am inspired by current fashion and aesthetics, I don’t want to be dictated by them, and often choose timeless beauty when planning wedding flowers. I recommend that you choose colours and a style that feel right for you, are guided by what’s in season at the time of your wedding. Do you want your flowers to feel, elegant and stylish? Are you going for a romantic look with an old world feel or do you prefer a more natural and gathered finish?

Concentrate  on personal details and a floral design that is bespoke to you and will create the atmosphere you’d like to project for your guests. Go for quality over quantity, personal touches and a style that won’t look dated in years to come. Having said that, I do like the current feels for all things dried and have enjoyed creating displays and installations using dried materials which is very much of the moment – but always with my client’s personal style in mind.

 Belinda Campopiano, Chez Fleur

Chez Fleur predicts that flowers will take centre stage at weddings in 2021, and with the continuing possibility and trend for smaller receptions, brides will look to ‘go large’ with the florals, choosing abundant blooms for bouquets and venue flowers.  We envisage large loose bouquets for brides featuring luscious foliage and large flowers finished with gorgeous trailing silk ribbons. Bold, statement flowers with stunning attention to detail.

In addition, there will be a continued and stronger desire for eco-friendly design with locally sourced flowers.  Chez Fleur has been committed to foam free designs for many years choosing natural reusable mechanics. We have access to a wide range of fabulous seasonal grown flowers from local Sussex flower farms.   We also encourage couples to tell a seamless floral story, from the bridal party flowers, the table designs and church flowers. We also love to work in more dramatic features like arches to create a picture perfect setting.

Rachel Grimes, Rachel Grimes Flowers

The trend over the past few years seems to have been for bigger and more elaborate designs, both for bouquets and at the venue; specifically I would highlight suspended installations and billowing archways. There’s a good reason for this! Designs on such a grand scale are incredibly eye catching and provide wonderful impact, particularly if in a large space. 

However, and particularly in light of the emergence of the small, intimate wedding, I can see a return to lighter and smaller bouquets where the emphasis is on really beautiful designs. Designs that would be considered more classic, such as pedestals and table centres. Sound dated and dull? Then think again! Any design can be modern, interesting and stylish, it just takes a good florist to bring these traditional designs to life. I love using negative space in an arrangement as this often serves to highlight special blooms and create more interest within the arrangement.

 A trend that has been on the rise and I personally hope will continue, is the use of more experimental colour palettes. It’s very exciting to move beyond the ever popular blush, creams and whites and really enjoying the wonderful abundance available to us from across the U.K. and throughout the world.

Lib Adams, Bettie Rose Flowers

I have identified three trends which I have seen emerging and feel will continue into 2021 and beyond.

Colour: Colour is definitely featuring more and more in weddings which is great for me as I love bright colours! Pantone’s colour of the year in 2019 was coral and I’ve definitely seen corals, oranges, peaches and pinks featuring heavily and still remaining popular. Tropical style is still going down well too.

Micro weddings: Due to covid restrictions many people have been forced to reduce their wedding numbers. However I think this has been freeing for some people who have realised that actually an intimate wedding with your nearest and dearest is a beautiful thing. I think we’ll see more of these intimate weddings but with real focus on the design details such as flowers and tableware. 

Eco: More and more people are taking an interest in the environment – which is great news. I think we will be seeing people wanting more transparency about where their flowers come from, just like we want to know where our food is coming from. Many more florists (including myself) are working free from floral foam and are finding natural alternatives to help create the large scale arrangements that would have relied on this single use plastic before. All the designs you’ll see in my photos are examples of what can be achieved without using floral foam.

Jo Frost, Jo Frost Flowers

! have always been a strong supporter of sourcing British or locally grown flowers. This stems (excuse the pun) from when I worked as a florist in London. I used to head to New Covent Garden Flower Market at 4am to make sure I had the best pick of the British flowers! If you slept in, you lost out! British flowers have always felt the most beautiful and special to me – it is something about their imperfections. My drive to use locally grown flowers continues, so much so that I am now growing some of my own cut-flowers on a patch at Hankham Organics, a beautiful organic vegetable farm in East Sussex. 

There has also been a rise in couples with a more eco-conscious mindset wanting to source locally grown flowers. It has been really positive to witness this switch in attitude within the wedding industry over the past few months. Supporting local is fashionable. How great is that?

As I look forward to a more understated (yet busy!) 2021, I am hopeful that the coming year will see an abundance of locally grown flowers, celebrating the British seasons and encouraging more eco-conscious weddings. Less is definitely more. Floral arrangements will express an element of spontaneity and true celebration! I am looking forward to lots of colour too – the year of intimate and joyful weddings, making 2021 year to remember!

Liz Mathers Carter, Flower & Fern

If the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have taught us anything, it’s that we need to take better care of our environment and reconnect with nature for our own mental wellbeing. Many of our couples chose us due to our seasonal flower choices and sustainable ethos: we buy from British flower farms during the growing season and don’t use toxic floral foam in any of our designs. I’ve noticed a heightened interest in ensuring that weddings will be as sustainable as possible in 2021 which is great news for everyone! 

More so than ever, 2021 couples are thinking about what’s important to them on their wedding day and shunning traditions if they don’t feel relevant. Personal touches include using vintage vessels for centrepieces that the couple have chosen themselves and choosing flower varieties that have special meaning. One of our 2021 clients has requested wild gorse as it’s an old tradition to be used in Sussex weddings, and another will be having thistles to represent the groom’s Scottish heritage.

There’s a move towards more classic and refined styling with sophisticated colour palettes and a sense of ‘less is more’. Instead of filling every inch of space with flowers just because it’s expected, couples are choosing what’s really important to them and maximising the flowers they use in those areas. It might be a show-stopping arch for the ceremony that provides a beautiful focal point, or beautiful centrepieces of local wildflowers for the tables so that guests can enjoy them as they chat to each other across the tables.

We have worked with some of the best wedding photographers in the business and have distilled this, just for you, into a fantastic shortlist. So whether you are booking one of our wedding venues or somewhere different, this is a very useful guide.

To get a feel for each photographer, all details are provided below, but why not also follow us on Instagram – @blue_door_weddings – as many of the photographs are taken by these amazingly talented people and we always tag them on our posts?

Jacqui McSweeney: Brighton-based with the most wonderful eye for detail and the skill to capture the joy of every style of wedding. A wonderful addition to your day
07810 522810 @jacquimcsweeneyphotography

Rebecca Goddard: Rebecca captures elegant, artistic photographs which will tell the story of your day in the most beautiful way possible. A firm favourite of our clients
07500 558105 @beccygoddard

Simon Fazackarley: Simon documents your day in a relaxed, fun way telling the story of your day from start to finish. Refreshing images captured in a wonderfully candid style.
07976 047565 @fazackarley

Craig Payne: Craig is a passionate story teller with the inate ability to capture the spirit of every wedding. Craig also has a deep love of the countryside so is perfect match for our rural venues
01825 791437 @craigpaynephoto

Jonny Gouldstone Photography: Jonny is one of our most sought after wedding photographers who captured one of the most iconic shots of a bride and groom on the majestic Firle Place

Sarah London Photography: Sarah delivers fun-filled images, full of colour and vitality capturing the very essence of your wedding day

Tarah Coonan Photography: Brighton-based Tarah’s work is best described as bright, light and beautiful. She has been capturing weddings for the last 10 years so brings a wealth experience to your day

Neil Walker: Sussex-based Neil will shoot beautiful, natural photographs to capture the emotional moments of your wedding day
07836718719 @neilwalkerphoto

Philip Bedford Photography: Philip likes to tell the story of your wedding day through natural moments and with a reportage style so capturing those important moments with candid shots
07984349058 @prbedford

Allison Dewey Photography: Allison is a fun, colourful & creative Brighton wedding photographer who loves adventuring all over the world and is the perfect photographer for those of you who want a relaxed, non-traditional wedding

Andy and Szerdi: A London-based duo who love to come and visit us in Sussex and are renowned for their sense of adventure and spirited style of capturing moments

Alice Morgan: Alice has a passion for a contemporary style of photography but with a natural relaxed style, so reflecting the joyous atmosphere of a wedding.
07813 604462 @alicemorganphotography

Couples have widely varying budgets for their special day and one of the most commonly asked questions when showing a couple around one of our venues is, “How much will a wedding cost here?”

Blue Door Wedding has four beautiful wedding venues in East Sussex including Firle Place, Glynde Place, Montague Farm and Charleston. We oversee 50 weddings per year, and each and every one of them is very different in terms of style, size and expenditure. Couples have widely varying budgets for their special day and one of the most commonly asked questions when showing a couple around one of our venues is, “How much will a wedding cost here?”.

There is no way we can pluck a figure from the sky without knowing a great deal more detail about the style of wedding they have in mind. The average spend on a wedding in the UK is now £25,000 although in our research the range was more typically between £17,000 and £30,000.*

When budgeting for your wedding, important questions to ask yourselves include:

What kind of venue would you like?

Costs can vary wildly dependent on the type of venue you choose. A five star hotel with set menus and wine lists to match will be very expensive but with much of the decision making done for you. For some couples this takes much of the stress away. However, these days there are so many styles of venues to choose from including private estates, farm settings, wedding barns, fields, woodlands, beaches and castles. A word of warning however, there will be plenty of hidden costs when booking a seemingly inexpensive wedding site with no facilities as you will need to hire in basic elements like marquees generators for power and lighting, not to mention the all-important loos. And that’s before you’ve fed anyone! These can be the most magical weddings however as couples get to create a completely bespoke occasion.

How many guests will you invite?

This will have a significant impact on your budget as caterers generally provide you with a cost per head. £50 per head for 100 guests works out at £5000 but of course for 200 guests this will be double.

Caterers generally provide you with a cost per head.

What kind of catering do you have in mind?

A black tie wedding menu with lavish canapés followed by a three course dinner will be significantly more expensive than two courses where canapés act as the starter, followed by a hog roast and simple sides. Some couples who don’t want to see their wedding cake go to waste, offer this to their guests as the pudding. And with the average cost of a wedding cake in the UK being £300 this seems a smart move. Think in advance about what kind of food you really enjoy and do remember that weddings can be much less formal these days. Sharing platters, picnics, afternoon tea and BBQs offer excellent, interactive and more affordable wedding catering options.

Will you be providing the alcohol for the entire event for free or will you have a paying bar at some stage of the day?

If your budget is feeling a bit tight, it is absolutely acceptable to have a paying bar later in the evening. Lots of couples provide the receptions drinks, toasting drinks and wine with dinner for their guests, and then later on open a cash bar where wedding guests buy their own drinks. You have hosted a wonderful occasion for your guests at great expense, and so there should be no embarrassment around this.

Do you require a marquee for your wedding?

Marquees come in many styles and sizes and will take up a sizeable chunk of your wedding budget. The variety of marquees on the market include (and not exhaustively) Capri Tents, Framed Marquees and Stretch Tents at the more affordable end of the spectrum, through to the more expensive Pavilion Tents (also known as Traditional Canvas Pole Tents), Sperry Tents and Giant Tipis – and then there’s the Rolls Royce of marquees, The Pearl Tent. Don’t forget, marquees need furniture, flooring and lighting so make sure you ask for all-inclusive quotes from suppliers.

Does the venue charge corkage?

Although not the biggest wedding cost you’ll face, corkage can get pricey for big weddings. A standard corkage charge per bottle is £8-10.00  and so if you open 100 bottles of fizz and wine (easy to do with a wedding of 150 guests) then there will be an additional £1200-1500 corkage charge. Always ask this question if a venue allows you to BYO.

What kind of floral decoration do you have in mind?

Flowers are an integral part of every wedding, no matter how big or small. We’ve seen huge, live ceiling installations made from abundant flowers and foliage, sumptuous flower arches adorning every entrance and exit, churches filled to their rafters with flowers, 30ft trees hired in to create woodland scenes inside buildings, giant candelabras swathed in exquisite roses and many more incredible floral executions. If you love flowers and have the budget, why not?

Flowers are an integral part of every wedding, no matter how big or small

If you don’t then there are lots of affordable ways to incorporate flowers into your wedding at a fraction of the cost. Take a trip to a flower market (beware of the early start!), and choose your own flowers and foliage. Buying direct will save you money straight away. Ask all your friends and family to start saving their jam jars and then the day before your wedding, enlist everyone’s help creating pretty jars of flowers for your tables. To keep costs down, choose long tendrils of foliage instead of flowers and create live runners down your tables, simple interspersed with tea lights. If you live in the countryside, you may even be able to forage for foliage! The happiest weddings we see are often the homemade kind where your nearest and dearest have been involved in making it happen.

Next time, we will share with you some great tips on creating some wonderful features for your wedding, which may well just save you money too!

*Average wedding spend was calculated based on research and articles undertaken by The Independent, Bridebook, Harpers Bazaar, Onefabday and Hello Magazine.