As the summer wedding season picks up, a new trend has come to the fore: Picking your own wedding flowers.
Slow Blooms in Matakana is one flower/herb farm offering the service to couples looking for a more personal touch to their wedding flowers.
Founder and flower farmer Rebecka Bjelfvenstam Keeling says she is seeing the trend take off first hand.
"We are definitely noticing a rise in inquiries this season from people who are either wanting to buy mixed flowers by the bucket to arrange themselves, or come out and pick their own," she says.
"I believe it's due to a combination of the cost-of-living crisis and increased environmental awareness."
It would appear that it’s not just an Auckland trend either as Wellington flower grower and leadership coach Julie Treanor says local flower farms and cutting gardens are well-placed to serve people wanting flowers that reflect the season in their celebrations.
"For many DIY arrangers, buying from a local flower grower is the only option for buying large quantities of flowers as they might not be able to access other trade wholesale suppliers," she says.
At Slow Blooms, visitors are invited to stroll through the rows of blooms, borrow snips and buckets from the garden shed, and cut their own flowers – paid for by weight.
"Some brides choose to have their wedding bouquet arranged by a professional florist, but adding personality and cutting cost by picking and arranging their own flowers for the tables, arches, and other decorations," says Keeling.
"If the bride is pressed for time, their bridesmaids or family members come through to pick the flowers in the days before the wedding."
Keeling says it’s not just about the product, but also the experience.
Slow Blooms cornflowers. Photo Supplied.
"Picking your own flowers is a lovely activity for the couple to do together in the lead-up to the wedding if they enjoy getting hands-on with their flowers."
Some are even using the Slow Blooms you-pick garden for hens’ party activities.
"We have had groups through picking and making matching flower wreaths, having a great time together! And others made a personal posy each for the bride to dry and save as a memory," Keeling says.
"We either help arrange a workshop-style activity, or they just come through and do their own thing."
Tips when picking your own wedding flowers
Pick in the morning - the heat of the day can wilt sensitive flowers
Bring your own buckets - clean and with cold water
Pick one or two days before - flowers like being hydrated in water before being arranged
Be flexible - field grown blooms changes with the season
If foraging in the wild - avoid pest plants like pampas grass