Q & A With Legendary British Florist Simon Lycett

As the head of one of the UK’s most revered and popular floral decorating teams, Simon J Lycett‘s Q&A has everything a bride could possibly want – from ingenious inspiration to no-nonsense wedding budget guidance this is one piece you definitely won’t want to miss. 

bridebook.co.uk - simon lycett portrait
The legend, Simon Lycett himself

How should a bride begin identifying her style?

The diverse range of tastes and styles of our clients and their chosen wedding settings  provide a real “kick start” to ideas for décor and design for the individual event. It’s all in the detail and and I adore getting carried away so that the thoughts and dreams of the bride and groom are manifested in their special day with little touches in the decorations to reflect their lives which are now entwined.

Simple or grand is not important, quality is my motivating force in all things. And whatever your style, presentation is EVERYTHING! From the simplest stem of garden rose within an antique French confiture jar to a vast stone urn of orchids, keep the finish and the execution immaculate – although it may look casual and spontaneous, to achieve perfection, everything needs to be planned, practised and polished!

What are your recommendations for a bride choosing her colour scheme?

When choosing your colour palette discount NOTHING and enjoy everything, surprising combinations work really well. Never be shy of mixing colour and if someone tells you that certain colours do not work together, tell them to look to nature for inspiration, the wings of a butterfly or the plumage of a humming bird and then see what does or doesn’t work together!

Where do you think is the best place for a bride to find inspiration?

The incredible seasonal raw materials that we work with – namely the foliage, flowers, plants and fruits available to us provide endless inspiration and food for thought.

What’s your top tip for making a flower budget go further?

Celebrate with seasonal flowers which are more reasonably priced and always resonate within a setting so well. Sometimes less is more, but often masses is best! I like the flowers at a wedding to always give you a “floral cuddle” and minimal just never manages to do so! Broad brush-strokes are what make impact so go with one large decoration rather than three small ones and you’ll still achieve the Wow! factor!

Enjoy exploring the textures and tones of fruits and vegetables. A few architectural artichokes arranged within a bowl of roses give masses of style and substance and makes a clever statement without adding fortunes to the budget! Buttermilk and yellow spray roses, vibrant green alchemilla mollis and blousy cream peonies, when arranged within glass vases filled with fresh Amalfi lemons suddenly become a cool and contemporary statement, giving a fresh citrusy “pop” of colour.

Whatever your budget, plant material must be the best available in perfect condition. Damaged flowers look sad to the naked eye but within a photographer’s lens each imperfection will shout!

bridebook.co.uk - simon lycett hanging roses and lights
Courtesy of Simon Lycett

What should brides consider when selecting their bouquet?

Be aware that many images within Bridal magazines have had colours tweaked in photoshop! So trust your florist when they say that certain coloured flowers are or are not available! And bear in mind that many photoshoot bridal flowers are a whimsical bit of fun which while looking good for a 10 minute photo-shoot, will not really last as a bouquet for an actual wedding because they will wilt and deteriorate quickly.

Bear in mind that a traditional, wired bouquet will take much longer to create than a tied bouquet, so will be considerably more expensive, however with no natural stems, there is no fear of marking a pale coloured dress!

As I hand over their bouquet on the morning of the wedding I always tell brides to carry their bouquet low, with relaxed arms, as it makes Brides look taller. And to walk slowly!

How important is scent when considering your wedding flowers?

The scent of herbs should never be overlooked when planning a wedding, especially in the bouquets and buttonholes. Few commercially grown flowers have a great deal of fragrance these days so add in some subtle scent with sprigs of rosemary and lavender, leaves of bay and sprigs of thyme.  Or conjure some romance with charming scented narcissi and hyacinths, tulips, hellebores and muscari.

bridebook.co.uk-simon lycett car filled with flowers
Courtesy of Simon Lycett

Happy Planning!

Love Simon’s tips? Check out his amazing work and book him for your own wedding through his Bridebook profile!