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Courtesy of Nelvin & Sandra Yu
Did you know there are certain times of the year where you can only use green foliage to dress up a church and not colourful flowers? And on some occasions, churches only allow certain shades of flowers. Lucky for you, florists like The Olive 3 have over 10 years of experience decorating churches and are experts at answering all your non-secular questions. Director of operations, Lily Chan lends us a hand.
What do you consider when choosing flowers and colours for church weddings?
When it comes to Catholic weddings, we have to take into account the liturgical colours. For example, if a wedding takes place on the third Sunday preceding Christmas, some churches will require the flowers to be in a rose colour. If there are no requirements from the church, we will discuss with the couple on their preferred colour choice, and if their preferred colour theme matches the interior of the church.
When deciding on a colour scheme, it is important to consider: the overall ambience and size of the sanctuary, the design and colour of the pews, the width of the centre aisle. Some churches may have a long altar table so longer altar centrepieces will be required. Some churches may have dark wooden benches, if so, some lighter coloured flowers may help to brighten up the sanctuary. Also, certain pew designs may not allow for the hanging of anything too heavy (like glass jars of flowers) so we require the use of pew clips.
How have floral trends for church décor changed over the years?
I don't think there are any floral trends for church decor specifically, but couples tend to follow trends in general. White weddings are still popular especially among non-Chinese, and pinks and purples remain a hot favourite among couples who may have older (or conservative) relatives to consider. However, we notice more couples requesting for brighter shades, such as coral and hot pink in recent months. For the altar centrepieces, couples rarely opt for anything too different from how the altar is usually decorated on Sundays, possibly out of respect for the church's usual practice. For the pews, however, brides are more adventurous and are willing to try other forms of decoration like flowers in jars, paper tissue balls and pin-wheels.
What is a popular theme now and what type of flowers do you use more of?
Couples often ask for the "wild" look, which basically means more free-form arrangements, almost like they are freshly picked blooms from the garden. Most couples are quite easy going when it comes to the variety of flowers used. Their main concern is that it fits their budget and the flowers will last for at least two days, since most churches request for the flowers to be left behind after the ceremony for other parishioners to enjoy.
We have some packages that use roses, eustomas, gerberas and lilies as the main flowers for the altar since they fare quite well in Singapore's climate, and yet look pretty and presentable. These packages include items usually required by the church, but we can customise them further to suit the couples' preferences in terms of design, colours, size and quantity.
Describe the most interesting wedding theme you've done?
We did a rainbow-themed wedding which was interesting, as it was different from the usual pinks, purples and whites that most couples ask for. Our challenge was finding flowers to match the colours of the rainbow. The flowers need to be pretty, yet affordable, lasting and of about the same colour tone so that they go well together. Aside from this, we had to take into account the couple's dislike for certain flowers, which we had to exclude from the mix. For the pews, to cut cost, we hung tissue balls of rainbow colours with matching ribbons. The final results were good and we were all happy!
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