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A wedding dress made from flowers created to mark the EDP Wedding Show

PUBLISHED: 12:42 13 November 2012

Florist Ali Calver with her beautiful floral bridal dress creation in the Assembly House, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Florist Ali Calver with her beautiful floral bridal dress creation in the Assembly House, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Every bride thinks about flowers for her big day – but a Norwich florist has taken the concept of a wedding bouquet to a whole new level. To mark this weekend’s EDP Wedding Show at the Assembly House in Norwich, STACIA BRIGGS discovers a very different way to say it with flowers on your wedding day.

It’s a fairytale dress fit for a princess – a delicate floral masterpiece that not only looks beautiful, but smells divine.

To celebrate the EDP Wedding Show being held at the Assembly House on Sunday, florist Ali Calver has created the perfect gown for a flower fanatic using traditional bridal flowers such as avalanche roses, white hydrangeas, lisianthus, baby’s breath, chrysanthemums and orchids.

It took 10 hours to craft the stunning dress which has a base of chicken wire, white velvet and a bodice and includes hundreds of individual flower-heads each carefully added by hand.

“I wanted to make something really special to mark the EDP Wedding Show,” said Ali, 27, who is resident florist at the Assembly House and who trained at Easton College.

“In the past I’ve decorated a vintage fire engine with flowers and I’ve made unusual bouquets for brides that include things like kumquats but I’ve never made anything quite like this.

“I’m very proud of it and as soon as it was made I wanted to try it on!”

Ali said that Norfolk brides were becoming more adventurous with their floral choices although vintage style bouquets and all-white arrangements remained perennially popular.

“This year I’ve seen a big increase in brides being a bit bolder with their flower choices – I’ve got an orange and blue wedding for next Halloween and have had three bookings for midnight blue wedding flowers,” she said.

“White and Cadbury purple are always popular and vintage pinks are always a favourite choice – they always look stunning. People want more personal arrangements now, something that reflects their personality.”

At her own wedding to husband Kris three years ago, Ali had 250 sunflowers – her favourite flower – and wore a silk and hemp wedding dress, the train of which is included in her floral bridal gown.

Norfolk brides-to-be will find all the inspiration they need to plan their big day at the EDP Wedding Show, from food and drinks ideas to stationery, flowers, toastmasters and even fireworks, the winter wedding event has it all at the Assembly House.

From 11am to 4pm, 50 exhibitors will be at the free event where couples will be able to discuss themes and plans with wedding professionals and meet the Assembly House’s own expert bridal team.

“Now I’ve made this dress, I’d love to make one that a bride could actually wear, although I’d change some of the flowers so they’d last longer and need to stitch them into a dress so it could be worn,” said Ali.

“Brides today have more choice than ever before when it comes to their flowers and it’s exciting when they want something really different and unusual.

“If they’d like a floral wedding dress, though, I think it’d mean me staying up all night before the wedding to create something like this. It’d be worth it, though!”

• The EDP Wedding Show is at the Assembly House on Sunday, 11am to 4pm. Admission is free. There will also be a two-day EDP Wedding Show on February 23 and 24 at the Norfolk Showground with four catwalk shows a day and a host of professionals on hand to help couples create their dream day.

• Ali Calver is a Norwich florist who offers a bespoke service from her city centre workshop creating col-ourful, quirky and contemporary floral arrangements in addition to classic designs for a wide range of occasions and events. For more information, visit, telephone 01603 626402.

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