Posted: September 21st 2018
by Belle Heaphy, Weddings Sales Manager
Fragrancing weddings is one bridal trend that is on the rise. With the powerful emotional impact of smells on our lives it’s important to get the right scent. We speak to Sue Barnes of Lavender Green about how to create the perfect fragrance for your wedding day.
“It is easy to make a wedding look wonderful”, says Lavender Green’s Sue Barnes, “But to give it soul is much harder,” which is why it is so important to the florists (who were responsible for Pippa Middleton’s wedding flowers) to create the right fragrance for a bride and groom. “It will knock your guests off their feet when done right”, she says.
Scenting a wedding might not be the first thing a bride thinks of when planning a wedding. The Dress. The Venue. The Photographer. The First Dance. The Food. The Drink. Yes. But not always the smell. Yet when you create a fragrance for your wedding day every time you or your guests smell it you will be transported straight back to the happiest day of your life.
Scenting your wedding is a powerful thing
And that might just be the reason that creating a signature smell for your wedding day is a growing trend, one that is predicted by the wedding industry to get bigger. Fragrance has that subliminal ability to transport us to a specific time or place or moment in life.
So where do you begin? Sue starts by asking brides to list words that they want their guests to feel when they first arrive. Do you want your wedding to feel soft, romantic, nostalgic? Then go for Roses, Jasmine and Freesias.
Of course, the time of year that you get married in is also key. As Sue tells us: “Summer fragrances are lighter, softer and more floral – they’re nostalgic. Winter is about warm, richer, spicier smells.”
When it comes to winter weddings you need be more creative as there aren’t so many highly floral scents available at that time of year. It’s more about the inclusions Sue tells me. By that she means foliage, berries, herbs.
Think beyond the bouquet
“Use Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Pittosporum. At Holkham light the fires. Wood smoke is a lovely smell, you could throw herbs on the fire too, or scent fir cones and throw them on too – it will make the rooms smell magical and make your wedding totally different from others”
For a marquee wedding in Holkham’s grounds, “scatter herbs on the floor under the table, then when the guests tread on them they’ll release a wonderful scent. Blue Pine would be perfect for this, or Eucalyptus and Rosemary again.”
Plan your fragrances’ wedding journey
When thinking about the wider wedding picture you can change the ambience throughout the day’s events easily with scented candles. Start by scenting the entrance hall, this will set the tone for the day and once you’ve ignited your guests’ senses, they’ll start looking out for the different fragrances.
But be sure to think about the energy of the smells. For example, Sue explains, “you don’t want soporific smells like camomile and lavender next to the dance floor. You want zesty, zingy fragrances – lime, basil and mandarin would work. Make it feel nightclubby and sexy with deep, woody fragrances. While the ceremony could be softer, more romantic. I love using Frankincense or Oudh in church, they’re so atmospheric, particularly at night.”
Don’t judge a flower by its cover
It is worth remembering, however, that not every pretty flower is going to fill the room with a pretty fragrance. Allium might look dramatic but Sue tells me it derives from the onion so if you don’t want your wedding smelling like a kitchen you might want to avoid that one. Along with limonium and gypsophilia, which will have you looking around for a litter tray! Equally, beautiful icing sugar roses that so many people love have had their scent bred out of them.
Sue explains that: “They start to smell nice when they are actually dying so they’ve had their scent bred out to prolong their lives. Whereas, whenever I ask brides to smell garden roses, which might not look so perfect, more like a peony, they always tell me that they remind them of something, be it their granny’s garden or when their fiancé proposed.”
Go down memory lane
Never underestimate the power the flower has to take you down memory lane. In Sue’s case it was even a deal-maker when it came to buying a house.
“I was looking for a house to buy in Spain. I looked around 14 in a day and then saw one with a courtyard full of Oberon Freesias – my wedding flowers. I knew this was the house for me straight away.”
There are many ways to relive your wedding after the big day. Giving miniature scented candles to your guests as party favours or enjoying your wedding flowers as anniversary presents afterwards.
Photo credits: LifeLine Photography