Having been in this business for several years, we know only too well what a huge part flowers play in a wedding – they are the decorative focal point, dictating the colour theme and the overall “look” of the event. Unfortunately, being located on a tropical island does have its drawbacks and we’re faced with various restrictions that mean we can’t simply say “yes” to every request, however much we’d like to.
Local Flowers – Part of the Package
Most of the flowers we get from within Thailand are from the mainland, meaning absolutely everything is imported – even what we refer to as “local flowers”. Our supplier, based in Bangkok source their flowers from farms all around the country… and this is where we encounter our first problem. The flowers we order on one day can be quite different to those we order a different day. Let’s use an orange rose for an example – on Monday the “orange roses” might arrive and be soft, pale and peachy. On Thursday, the “orange roses” we receive are bright, vibrant and carroty! As you can imagine, it’s a big headache for us – the last thing we want to do is promise our clients something that we cannot guarantee. For this reason we are always as honest as we can be – we just can’t promise to get that dream palette totally spot on, or exactly matched to the shade and tone of your bridesmaids dresses.
To get around this, first of all we need your understanding – please know we’ll always do our best! You will be better set for success if you can try to go for more general colours – red, yellow, purple are all easy enough, it’s when we start talking about peach, lavender, cerise that we start to worry. Introducing more colours into the palette is also a safer approach as you are not totally dependent on getting shades spot on – for example, lots of different purple and pink flowers are more likely to compliment each other than one shade of purple and one shade of pink. Likewise, a multi-coloured selection means that 2 clashing colours won’t offend – some of our favourite themes have been the ones with lots of different colours and flower types. Another great example is coral, we get LOTS of requests for this theme and each time we have to explain that we can only creat a coral “look” by using a mixture of pink and orange flowers. White fillers will always help to soften any palette and give the effect of blending colours together.
To check out the flowers that come as part of our packages and get an idea about the palettes you could create see our Local Thai Flowers Board on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/farawayweddings/local-thai-flowers-~-wwwweddingsinthailandcom/
Special Flowers – At Your Request
We don’t actively encourage our clients to choose special flowers as your budget is a large part of our concern, but we can import specialty flowers and flowers not native to Thailand at additional cost. So if there are flowers that you simply love and want to have there on your day, then let us know and we can find a price on request. For special flowers, we always advise for use only in bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces, and not on display stands or the ceremony arch/canopy. This is simply to keep your costs down as an enormous number of flowers are needed for the general decoration.
You can see some of the popular choices for special flowers here: http://www.pinterest.com/farawayweddings/special-flowers-~-wwwweddingsinthailandcom/
Orchids – common Thai orchids come in various shades of purple, white and green. There is a “pink” orchid, although this is a very purply pink so we choose to avoid it for a pink theme. These are avaialable all year round though may vary in size and colour intensity. Some orchids we classify as “Special Flowers” – the Phalaenopsis, Vanda, Cymbidium and Cattleya varieties are popular choices but cost a little extra as they require skillful farming. They are also only available at certain times of the year, so check with your wedding planner before getting set on having them.
Lotus – Available all year round in pink or white and look fabulous either closed or open with folded leaves.
Roses – Local and imported roses are available all year round in red, pink, white, yellow and orange. Thai roses are smaller and colours are cruder; the import roses being fuller, larger and more subtle in shade.
Frangipanis – these are the one exception to all other flowers. Frangipani flowers are not farmed so can’t be ordered in bulk. If these flowers are needed, our staff hand-pick them on the morning of the wedding. Frangipanis – or “leelawadees”, as they are called in Thailand – are very sensitive to the wind and rain, so after a storm it can be impossible to find flowers still on the tree. They also do not last well in the sun and start to turn brown quickly. For these reasons, we can’t use frangipanis for general decoration or centrepieces. If you would like them in your bouquet or boutonniere then we always do our best to deliver, but a back-up plan should always be in place in case of a downpour in the night.
Tropical Flowers - We believe in THAI BEACH WEDDINGS and would always encourage our clients to embrace the “Thai” and the “Beach” by going for local, tropical flowers with a vibrant colour theme to match. Sexy pink, Birds-of-Paradise, Torch Ginger… even the names sound exotic and adventurous! They are always available, they are not expensive and you certainly wouldn’t get them at a wedding at home.
A note on Blues – Quite simply, Blue is very difficult for us. We will not use flowers which have been dyed as we don’t feel the results are up to scratch and there’s a risk of staining THE DRESS – which is a BIG no-no! The only blue flower that we can source is the blue hydrangea and these are currently (a pretty pricey) 300 THB a stem.
DIY colour theme – With all the above in mind, you may be left thinking that your ideal colour theme is unachievable. However, there’s various things you can do to make your theme work:
· Bridesmaids and Groomsmen – inject your signature colours through dresses, shoes, ties, pocket-squares or shirts.
· Guests – have you considered a dress code?!
· Ribbon – can be used for chair decorations, you can use 2 or 3 colours to make a mix.
· Linens – savvy brides have brought their own coloured napkins, table runners and chair sashes to incorporate colours into the reception area
· Stationery – although we provide printed drink and dinner menus, some clients have opted to have their own printed to match their wedding theme
· Cocktails – search for recipes that create a drink to match the setting.