I was honored to give some advice on working with a wedding florist on two of my sweet friend's blogs earlier this year which you can read here and here and today I want to share my ultimate top 10 flower tips for your wedding. The wedding flower world is a tricky one and doing your homework is a must. Flowers not only make your event space pretty, but they can completely transform it. These tips will help get you off on the right foot so you can ultimately get the look you are after.
1. Take advantage of your venue
This is broken down into 2 sections. The first being that you should let your ceremony space significantly influence your florals. Let's say you're getting married in a park, winery, or another outdoor venue with its own natural beauty, take advantage! You don't need a lot flower wise in a setting where there's already greenery or flowers, or both! I have a 2016 bride who is a smarty pants and knew because her ceremony was in a garden (Hi Rachel!) she could keep her floral decor to a minimum and that's exactly what we are doing. We're adding some greenery and a few pops of white to give it just a little boom.
Pay attention to your reception venue too. Let it work for you. Glamorous ballroom? Wildflowers would probably look out of place and you wouldn't to bunch modern flowers such as orchids in a barn setting. Your venue will absolutely work to your advantage if you let it. A great example of this (although it wasn't a wedding) was a luncheon I was part of with Tart Event Co. for Creative at Heart back in March. We had this beautiful space, but with a not so pretty wall to wall carpet. The carpet was navy with giant peach and green swirls. Instead of trying to work against this color scheme and create around it, Amelia and Kelsey of Tart worked with it. They created a space around that carpet and created a citrus theme. We did 125 ft of green garland with ton of Juliet peach roses, yellow and white ranunculus, and mini oranges. Working with what we had we were able to create utter gorgeousness...and those balloons still get me.
2. Know the difference between a florist and a floral designer
I get asked this all the time. People want to know what to call me. Florist or floral designer? I am a floral designer, but I want to tell you the difference as depending on your needs either can help you achieve what you desire. So here we go...A floral designer prides themselves on doing complete custom work. To them every event is a blank canvas and they work to create an overall look and feel for your wedding. On the other hand, a florist will create various floral pieces and deliver them to your venue. They are usually pre-designed creations where you can change colors and such. The amount of weddings each take on varies too. A floral designer most likely won't take on more than 1-2 events per day because of the level of creativity and amount of set up time needed whereas a florist takes on multiple weddings per day usually because a florist works with multiple employees where they have different teams go out. A designer typically works for herself with maybe 1 or 2 assistants. Both will give you a professional experience, it's just depends on what exactly you want floral wise. Basically, a designer will create a whole streamlined look whereas a florist will make pieces to go with a look you've already dreamed up. Keep your budget in mind too. Because of the time they spend designing and their custom work, designers are going to cost you more.
3. Flowers take up a big piece of your budget.
This is just the cold hard truth. Yes, there are ways to save money here and there and a good floral designer will show you how you can, but leave 10% of your total wedding cost for flowers.
4. Think outside of bouquets and centerpieces.
Bouquets and centerpieces are the most important, of course! Your bridal bouquet is the most photographed detail of the day, but there are other pieces to consider too! Think about your ceremony! This is most likely the one time of the entire day where the eyes of all your guests will be in one place...your altar. Why not use flowers there? You can have your designer place flowers on an arbor to create the prettiest frame around you and your (new!) husband. The photos of the two of you standing up there are some of the ones you'll want to frame, why not make them even more beautiful. Don't forget about your aisle either! This is often the very first thing your guests will see and you can really set the tone for the whole day using gorgeous arrangements. Another place flower arrangements can go are your escort table...seating cards sitting in a bed of fluffy white hydrangea? Ummm yes please, your cocktails tables, bar, and gift table are all great options to place a little flower love making it a complete and streamlined event.
5. Your dress and your bouquet....Do what you want!
The type, colors, and flowers used in your bouquet should reflect your overall style and personality. I feel like many florists say that your bouquet should go along with your dress and while I feel that it's something to consider, I personally believe times have changed drastically and your bouquet can be whatever you want it to be. So this may be quite different than what you've heard, but I'm changing it up! What I do think should stay the same is what we talked about in #1 with keeping your venue in mind...but if you're a petite bride and dreaming of a large and obnoxiously full bouquet...DO IT. There I said it. It's your day, do what you want.
I love creating a streamlined event-it's one of the reasons I only book full service weddings. That aside though-sometimes I just love when a bridal bouquet is different from everything else. it's refreshing! Your bridesmaids don't have to match you!
6. Speaking of bouquets...
Hold yours at your waist. It lengthens your torso and creates and elegant silhouette. If you do opt for a large bouquet, holding it at your waistline won't obscure your dress. You're welcome!
7. Be open minded to flower types.
Similar to how a bridal salon says to be open to trying on different types of dresses, you need to be open about flower types. This is mainly based on your budget, but also the season your wedding falls on. Nothing is more heartbreaking than having a September bride who wants coral peonies. They are just not in season then. Trust me, I was a September bride who wanted coral peonies...Boo! Doesn't mean you won't have a beautiful event, it just means you need to be open to perhaps garden roses. Many flowers have lookalikes and your floral designer will walk you through finding the perfect ingredients to make your vision come to life.
8. Add sentiment with your flowers.
It's widely known that I am a sentimental person. Always have been and the same was true for my own wedding. I had custom patches made for Chris and I. One for my dress and one for inside of his vest that had our song lyrics on them. Loved them! Flowers are another place to add meaningful details. I've had a bride ask me to attach a small photo of her grandmother to the stems of her bouquet with some lace. Another fun idea is incorporating where you and your fiancé met on your bouquet...like if you met in a library you could attach a little book charm. The ideas of endless and I love that your bouquet can mean more than just being a pretty accessory,
What did we do before Pinterest? How did weddings ever get planned??
It's such an amazing tool for us vendors and brides, but beware. I know you fall in love with all of the images of floral installations and gorgeous bouquets. What they don't show you is how expensive they are. It's heartbreaking when a bride comes to me with dozens of Pinterest images and says "I want this exact thing" when it's sadly not in their budget. Some of those pinned floral walls and arbors cost into the thousands. Pinterest is priceless when planning, but it can get overwhelming and before you know it you have 2,000 pins on your wedding board. It happens to the best of us. When you're on a floral budget the key is to achieve the overall look you're after not exact replicas. Go into your consultation with your floral designer knowing that those pretty pics you've brought for inspiration might not be doable within your budget. Be open to changes and suggestions that will get you the overall feel you are going for while sticking to your budget. Knowing this will prevent you from being let down.
10. Trust your designer
I've touched on this one before, but it's a biggie and I want to bring it up again. You've met with a few floral designers and you've booked your perfect match. She gets you, she's excited for your day, and you feel at ease with her. Trust her. She's a artist and artists work best when they aren't being told exactly what to do. It's much easier to make your wedding amazing when your designer has been given creative range. Of course reach out to her throughout planning with any questions you have, but let her do her thing.