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Giving You Gyp.

As in Gypsophila. As in those tiny delicate white flowers that seem to last an age and never fail to make a significant impact whether used in small dainty doses or huge frothy bundles.

I love it. And so it seems does the world of W-day. So much so in fact I wrote all about different ways to use the bloom in my Wedding Flowers Magazine column and thought it was high time I shared some Gyp inspiration on RMW.

For Your Bouquet

I guess there are two obvious options here – 100% gyp (think pretty floral “cloud”) or mixed with other often more colourful varieties to add an ethereal edge.

The former looks particularly effective for a vintage-inspired wedding such as Diana and Harry’s 1950’s-esque “Mad Men” themed day.

And if you fancy something a little more sumptuous than simple for yourself then a pouff of the white stuff looks equally as lovely for your best girls. Oh and did I mention Gyp is also uber cost effective?

On the mix-it-up front you can’t beat a pop of pink for the ultimate in femininity, my favourite is a combination of roses and Gyp thrown together in a haphazard fashion and tied with a strip of raffia or brown string. James and Kelly’s country garden W-day rocks my world in so many ways – especially the florals….. obviously.

That’s not to say you can’t pair your gyp with something pale and interesting such as the understated posies in Sam and Pete’s Autumnal celebration that feature white Freesia and luscious green Eucalyptus:

And for the ultimate in a whimsical fairytale? accessorise your flower girls with a daisy and gyp crown and wand – you can see the rest of Kim and Chris’s folk affair here.

For Your Decor

Ceremony wise I am loving a simple bunch of gyp as pew ends, tied with lace, colour-scheme ribbon or hung over the back of a chair in a glass bottle or jam jar:

For your reception pretty much anything goes, especially if you are going for something relaxed and informal. In keeping with their bouquets Sam and Pete displayed a selection of gyp and carnations in various bottles and patterned china:

And if you want to go uber pretty heap some gyp into a teacup and decorate with a paper bird or butterfly, you can see the rest Frank and Amanda’s delicious day here.

For a rustic styled marquee/outdoorsy affair then perhaps consider displaying gyp mixed with ivy and other greenery in retro tins (there are loads of suppliers on Etsy or you can pick them up in local flea markets for as little as a quid each). Also a sprinkling of gyp works wonders to pretty up your cake – just remember not to actually eat it.

For Contrast

My absolute favourite ways of using gyp, unexpectedly ultra glam by displaying tightly packed in frosted silver bud vases or paired with deep purple Lithianthus in cut crystal or as bouquets set against brightly coloured floral dresses – loves.

So then lovelies, are you incorporating gypsophila into your W-day? And is it me or does it remind you a little bit of your Mum flower arranging in the 80’s?

Do tell.

Big Frothy Love

Charlotte xxx

Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

54 thoughts on “Giving You Gyp.

  1. I really love waxflower too, used in the same ways that gyp is used in this post. I am thinking of tying that to pew ends in bunches- I love it!

  2. @Laura – did she do like a flower arranging course and have lots of those green Oasis doo-dahs?! My Mum was actually really talented “back in the day” – I used to love coming home from school to see what unusual creation was on display in the hall!

    Charlotte xxx

  3. yes, lots of green oasis- I always thought it smelt really nice and loved the texture! might have to get me some and loads of gyp just to make arrangements for my house! xx

  4. I’ve just decided on my flowers and gone gyp crazy – gyp with ivy and lace ribbon pew ends, gyp in jam jars on the tables, solely gyp bouquets for my best girls and gyp incorporated with roses and thistles (the boy has Scottish heritage) for my bouquet.
    I just can’t get enough gyp!! Thanks for the post, now I know I made the right choice!

  5. I bloody love a bit of gyp. Did you know you can get it in pinks and purples too? I’ve got a big pink/purple gyp bouquet in my scrapbook…. Yes I said scrapbook. Too cool for school, me.

  6. In the early days of wedding planning, I fully intended to just have gyp and nothing else ABSOLUTLEY RUDDY EVERYWHERE. The Big C even made a comment that he was probably going to be helping me out of my wedding dress only to discover sprigs of gyp in random places…!

    However on the visit to a florist (who I am categorically NOT going with as he just did not ‘get’ me), when I told him my thoughts he just said, “Ooooo a wedding of just gyp? Risky, as to lots of people, big masses of it just smell like cat pi*s.”

    Lets just say that comment quite literally pis*ed all over my gyp wedding day chips…

    The florals for the big day have now moved on somewhat – I realise that even though in my head I thought I was somewhat of a Monochrome Miss, I’m really, really not. My wardrobe and accessory box is a mass of colour and in the end that is the type of florals we’re going for, however, regardless of what super horrid florist (and he really was, so forthright in his opinions, he told me he was ‘surprised’ at my choice of dress!) I still blinking well love gyp and think it is uber, uber pretty…

    But I am dying to know if anyone does think that masses of it smells like he said it did?! When I still had my heart set on it, my mum, bless her soul, went to a flower market and literally filled my house with the stuff…you couldn’t move for gyp and I really didn’t think it smelled like that…

    Rambling, sorry!


  7. I fell in love with Gyp when Kylie wore it in her hair to marry Jason in Neighbours (oops I mean when Charlene married Scott!) Such a simple, yet beautiful flower 🙂

  8. @Molly – sounds ace pet, I think you definitely made the right choice!

    @Sama – I.Did.Not.Know.This – if you have any pictures (even in your scrap book) can you post a link with a comment? would love to have a nosey.

    @Pamela – How funny, I remember someone or other commenting that on here ages ago, I have gyp in my kitchen at the moment and can safely say it doesn’t smell the least bit like wee! maybe they mean when it gets hot and goes off? all flowers smell rather unpleasant when they are wilting though. Glad you moved florists – I did exactly the same thing, the first one I saw just kept telling me what I couldn’t have !

    @Charlotte – Oh.My.Actual.God – I didn’t even remember that?! I had the wedding recorded on VHS and must have watched it a zillion times!!!

    Charlotte xxx

  9. If anyone’s near Portsmouth, we are having a Bridal Flower Open day on April 14th, when we will ‘Stuff’ the cold store with lots of beautiful blooms, Including Gyp, as well as displaying Bouquets, Buttonholes, Table arrangements, Cake Tops – literally everything ‘Bridal’ and ‘Flower’ – Come and take some pics Charlotte;-)

  10. I’m definitely doing the gyp! So dainty and pretty. Very fragile so the flower girl will have something more robust!

    I’ve heard of the cat pee- gyp relations, however i have it in my kitchen and in my bedroom and I’m pretty sure neither small of a cat urinating in either room!!

    As we’re doing a bit of diy too, the florist is only making the bouquets/ buttonholes so i’m going to play around seeing what i can do for the reception, with it lasting so well it’s not going to be stressful getting it ready in a rush can sort it a few days before.

    Yay for gypsophila appreciation 🙂 x

  11. By and large, I try to avoid using gyp in my work as it’s the easiest way I know to make an arrangement look dated. Not vintage, not retro: dated. However, on its own it can look very frothy and pretty. Huge clouds of it in tall containers spritzed with perfume can be very elegant.

  12. I seriously considered sprays of gyp. I think they are stunning in vintage weddings. Little bit glad i didnt though. I’m well sure mines would have gotten wrecked amongst the bus driving and bed bouncing.

  13. LOVE IT! I’m also going gyp crazy for me wedding which is in…. Eek….. 2 months, 13 days and 23hours (I have an app… Yes I am a wedding geek!)

    Though I call it baby’s breath (like the yanks) as I feel that name doesn’t remind me so much of bad petrol station flowers as the word gypsophila does!

    My grandmother who is an avid flower arranger is in shock over my choice of 100% baby’s breath, and is all she talks about to her flower arrange friends and she believes it will be an utter flower arrangment fail, as for her… Quote ” but darling it’s meant to just be used to fill in the gaps” Noooooooooooooo gran its not truuuust me!!! I’m having masses of it on its own and also mixed in with white roses, hydrangeas and white cabbages ( my fiancé calles me chou, French for cabbage)

    I think it is beautiful and delicate and I can’t wait to be surrounded in he stuff on my big day!

  14. I’ve got to be really honest here and this is what I think:
    It’s your day – you have whatever you want! I have masses of experience, creativity, ideas and a whole heap of passion but at the end of the day you’re the one getting married. If nothing else, I’m absolutely sure that if I do your flowers you will love them because we will have taken the time to talk about what you want.
    So, if I like gyp or not isn’t really relevant – it’s what you like that counts!

  15. @Louise – Why do you think it makes arrangements look dated? Obviously everyone is entitled to their opinion I’m just interested to know. I think all flowers are beautiful in their own right and if ever I see something looking “dated” it’s more to do with the style/design of the arrangement itself rather than the blooms used.

    @Fabienne – I did consider using baby’s breath – I call it that too!!! and if it makes you feel better on telling my Nana I was having heaps of Hydrangea for W-day she replied with “Why are you not having any actual flowers at your wedding dear, why just shrubs?”

    Charlotte xxx

  16. Well I think it looks great in the pics – but I really couldn’t cope with the smell. We call it (well I can’t actually print what we call it as it is named after a boy I went to school with over 35 years ago!) but suffice to say it smells like he used to smell and sadly he smelt pretty awful!

  17. @Lauren. We’re doing the same – doing our own table decorations and pew ends, in fact, my mum and I are even attempting to grow it from seed :/ Not sure how this will turn out but there’s always Covent Garden Flower Market for last minute panics! Speaking of which… does anyone have any idea when I should plant it so that it (hopefully!) flowers just before the wedding on the 1st September?

    @Charlotte. Kylie and Jason were my absolute 80’s idols, (In fact I still can’t help but swoon over Jason!) so you’ve just made my day even more 🙂

  18. got to love the gyp! Whenever Mum sent me to the florists to collect bouquets for her she’d always say make sure theres some gyp! Brilliant!

    I love these as well tulips (top of the list), followed by hydrangea (almost had for my big day until a florist completely put me off – bad florist!) and love a Lilly.

    Might have to buy a bloom on the way home now 🙂

  19. @Tracey – well said 🙂

    @Hazel – I think I may have a sense of smell problem?! I have never noticed the wee… !

    @Molly – I wanted to be Charlene. I loved her denim dungarees.

    @Lynsey B – If you don’t send your W-day into RMW I shall cry many tears. LOVING the grey.

    @Becky – I was just thinking the same thing! I am fancying some Freesia….. 😉

    Charlotte xxx

  20. Oh no please say it doesn’t smell of wee! I have a really sensitive sense of smell and my wedding is going to be full of it! Dang. Does a few sprays of Jo Malone kill flowers?!

  21. @Jeanie – I don’t think it does my dear! At all! That’s what I mean – I don’t know what that ruddy florist was talking about!!!!!!!!!!! Do not panic!


  22. Love gypsophilia – haven’t organised flowers yet but this is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind – have saved lots of the photos to show the florist x

  23. Love this post!
    I started off wanting masses of white hydrangeas but when I got the quote from our florist I nearly fell of my chair, so had a re-think and we are pretty much having all gyp at our wedding in August. My bouquet will have a few peonies and freschias in it, as will the top table arrangement but everything else is gyp, and masses of it. I bloody love the stuff on mass and so glad to have seen it on here, it’s made me much more confident at my decision 🙂

  24. This is seriously weird timing – I went to book my W-day flowers this morning and have ordered big gyp bouquets for my bridesmaids! I think it looks so amazing on it’s own and like you say, cost effective – a major bonus 😉 x

  25. First reply post wedding alert!! Meep!

    I had gyp! I loved it! Bridesmaids bouquets, table centres, everywhere I could fricking put it! That and carnations which people tell me are funeral flowers? Who cares…I had em and I loved em!!

    I was going to put it in my hair but was one of the many things I forgot on the day!

    Never noticed the smell though and have lots dotted around the house….xx

  26. @JoL – excellent, glad to be of service 😉

    @Helen – Lovely, so nice to hear – your ideas sound perfect, love a freesia – they definitely do smell lovely!

    @Leanne – Yay! they will look gorgeous, what are your BM’s wearing?

    @Alex – hellloooo!!!!! Am so exicited to see all of your flower pictures!! and all of the rest!!!!

    Charlotte xxx

  27. I really love gyp. I think its perfect for a relaxed, more laid back wedding, rather than a formal event. I had a play with some gyp and jam jars over the weekend and it really does look amazing! Looks even better with random fabric tied around them! I am for sure having gyp for my wedding next year, mixed with white hydrangeas (i know you are a huge fan charlotte!!) for a rustic and romantic approach 🙂 – as well as being cost effective which is a bonus! X

  28. Ever since I fancied a break from browsing wedding dresses on the internet, I started looking at flowers and came across the idea of using solely gyp for bouquets and so on – I’d not thought of it before and I LOVE it! I now rather fancy pew ends as well… especially as the church can be a bit dark, they’ll brighten it up no end! I am seriously interested in the pink and purple stuff too… (and in what my Nana will say! lol)

  29. Hmmmm, my florist told me it smells like sick, so not to put it near anyone! I have to say I’ve never noticed this at other weddings/florists etc….

    I love how gyp was totes out of fashion for years and now it’s back with a vengeance! It’s soooooo pretty and ethereal. Loves it!

  30. I’m getting married in 3 weeks and was stressing about wedding flowers to decorate the church till I saw this post and now my mind is set. It looks so lovely and not too ‘overdone’ and fussy. I’m going to have big puffs all over, and some arrangements including white gerberas and roses to match my bouquet, can’t wait!

    I love it! Thanks so much x

  31. Well i’m feeling quite ahead of the times – I used it on its own in the baby shower I organised and you guys posted in the v early days of RMW! Can you remember Charlotte? Blimey I am a long term reader! Only four months now for me – can you believe it? xx

  32. Just a thought…all these florists who’ve told some of the lovely brides above that gyp smells like feline urine/looks tacky/etc – could it have a teensy weensy correlation with the fact that it’s also quite a low-cost flower, and they don’t wish to throw away their wedding flower margin? I’m not saying every florist would stoop so low but I’m willing to bet there’s one or two unscrupulous ones out there who would rather steer brides in the rose/lily/peony direction. I’m not an expert, we’re not even having flowers at our wedding because I just can’t be doing with them – ivy garlands in memory of my lovely Nanna Ivy is my limit x

  33. @Abi – Loving the sound of big puffs 🙂 and its my pleasure (as well as my job!)

    @Rachie – I know!! 4 months to go?! ruddy hell, it will be here in a flash.

    @Lou – I’d like to think not but there has been others on Twitter etc today who have also said it can smell a bit funny, I’ve never noticed myself. The ivy idea sounds great – and for such a personal reason too.

    @Michela – I didn’t know that actually but that is lovely – every day is a School day and all that.

    Charlotte xxx

  34. I just got married on the 18th of Feb and we used quite a lot of gyp in our wedding. My bridesmaids and my flowergirl all had big pouffs of gyp for their bouquets tied with navy organza ribbon (they were fab). i had ivory anemones, ranunculus, frilly tulips, silver brunia berries and eucalyptus ( i loved my bouquet so so much)
    For our centrepieces we had tall vases with big pouffs of gyp on the top and in the vases we have silver sprayed willow and some lights to jazz it up.
    I love my florist so much for what she did for us

  35. I quite like gyp after seeing it in these pics….when it’s taken out of it’s usual ‘petrol station bouquet’ environment, it’s actually rather darling 🙂 xxx

  36. Yep, I’m having huge puffballs of baby’s breath all over the church. It looks gorgeous and it’s a relatively inexpensive way to get a really full-volume look.

    I do agree that it looks dated when incorporated with other flowers though. Very 1980s American prom!

  37. I LOVE gyp, used it at our Wedding reception, bundles of it in wooden barrels. I went to a Wedding Fair on Sunday, they had oasis cut LOVE letters with gyp stuck in them x

  38. I am just having gypsophila for my wedding… In vases/my bouquet/button hole for groom/ surrounding each teir of my cake… EVERYWHERE!!! All tied with a sage green ribbon.. Will have to send pics after the big day.. May 26th if anyone’s interested!!xxx

  39. Gyp can smell a bit sweaty in my opinion, it’s got nothing to do with florists not wanting to offer it because it’s a cheap flower. Maybe more to do with florists having whole buckets of it, I think the smell is more obvious when there is a lot of it. But as long as you have other scented flowers in the wedding venue I don’t think it would be noticeable.

    I agree that is can look dated when mixed throughout flowers, but a whole vase or bouquet of it looks lovely. It’s also nice as a collar around bridal bouquets.

  40. Gyp is definitely back in vogue, we used it just before Christmas for the bridal bouquet, and also made into balls to hang from the ceiling. I love it especially the pink, known as ‘one thousand kisses’ . I blame its naff reputation on all those petrol station forecourts selling it with cheap red roses. We are getting asked for it for summer weddings this year too, bring it on!! As we always say “its not what you use its the way that you use it” x

  41. Love the idea of clouds of gyp for a totally heavenly look. I also want to do my own flowers, but can’t find where to buy it?? Any suggestions?

  42. We are having gypsophila centrepieces like in the link below. I think they are sooooo stunning and effective! We are filling 60cm vases loosely with white tulle, with huge balls of gypsophila out the top, finishing it off with a strand of pearls wrapped around the vase and surrounding them with matching scented candle votives and pearls scattered on the table. Eeeeeeek I can’t wait! Sorry for the rant I’m keeping it secret from everyone else so it was good to get it off my chest!
    P.s. i have just buried my head in a bunch and couldn’t smell anything bad…. Perhaps it’s when it is past it’s best that it starts smelling? Certainly hope so!
    P.p.s. if you are doing this yourselves it is even cheaper and really easy search for “bulk buy flowers” on google and you can buy in bulk at trade prices.|9;d|YYah9Q0x6pAm0M:

  43. I have just received a quote from a florist and yes, my flowers are mainly gyp. I have always loved how delicate it looks and, as we are on a budget, it’s even more perfect!

    I wanted to go down the whole vintage route with teacups and bunting but a) it doesn’t suit our purse friendly venue and b) it was quite expensive to hire. It also didn’t help when hiring companies just don’t top replying to you…but that’s another story!

    So, I’m going for a more classic look now – sage green and lace are the theme. I’m decorating lots of votives with ribbon and lace and plan to have loose clouds of gyp in vases, surrounded with candles and all on a mirrored plate. I’m using the mirror to add a modern touch as my dress is classic with modern detailing on the strap. I have never heard that gyp smells of cat pee but I’m using one scented candle at each table -so if it does, hopefully this will counteract it!!

    I can’t wait to see it all on th day and the inspiration for my maids and I bouquets came from here – thanks Charlotte!

  44. My future sister in law has encouraged me to use a local florist that she swears by but when I met him he keeps pushing more contemporary arrangements and ideas onto me when I was ted more classic and vintage. I’m getting married in a castle with la lace dress but he keeps banging on about vases filled with fruit and saying that gyp smells like wee and I should avoid it. My mum passed away recently and I don’t have anyone to ask for advice please help!

    1. Hi Donna,

      So, we forgot to light the candles until later on in the night (see above comment) and the venue certainly did not smell of sweat or cat pee! I can’t recall any smell coming from the gyp we had and it was at every table, in my bouquet and was the only flower of my bridesmaids bouquet!

      I really do not think it smells at all. They often sell it on our local supermarket so I sometimes buy a bunch and have it in our kitchen to remind me of our wedding day. No smell!

      My husband can smell it and says it makes him sneeze but he has never commented on a horrid smell. I think it maybe just has a high pollen content as he has quite bad hayfever.

      The gyp looked beautiful, was budget friendly and dried well (I’ve kept a dried assortment from my bouquet). It is your wedding day and if you’ve always dreamt of gyp then do it!

      Hope it all goes well! Samantha

  45. Does anyone have any advice on how to actually buy all the gyp?? Wholesesalers appear to only sell trade and florists will charge a fortune for what is meant to be budget and low key flowers xx

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