Wedding Planning - Choosing A Florist For Your Wedding Day
Your wedding day will be stunning. All the extra effort you are putting forth into creating this wonderful event will certainly pay off in the end when you walk up the aisle and witness the many emotions expressed on your guests' faces. They will probably be expressing a look of awe, because your efforts will be apparent to them as the day beautifully unfolds. And one of the many details you will want especially perfect, will be your wedding flowers. Every part of your wedding will be instantly enhanced, brightened and beautified by the display of flowers-- from the bouquet that you and your maids will be carrying to the eye-catching centerpieces in your reception room. As with any other wedding service provider, choosing a reputable, experienced florist will be essential to getting the results you've always dreamed of on your wedding day.
We spoke with the owner of Once Upon A Basket, a full service floral shop, located in Ivyland, PA. We received fascinating ideas, great advice and useful tips that we wanted to pass along to you: the bride. So, before you venture out to interview a florist, you may want to read up on the following information.
Many brides visiting the florist for the first time before their wedding day are curious as to how they can incorporate the floral selections they want, without going over their intended budget for flowers. And for those on a very tight budget, the task can seem even more daunting. After all, there are so many beautiful blooms to choose from, how could anyone possibly think about being limited as to what they can choose? Though contrary to what some may believe, there is a wealth of options out there for brides of all budget categories. A good florist will be able to work within any budget and still be able to produce beautiful results on the wedding day. For starters, they shouldn't recommend overly expensive or exotic flowers if you can't afford it. They should also be able to give you various cost-cutting options and ideas, rather than suggesting only carnations, simply because you can't afford imported orchids or gardenias. Once Upon A Basket assures brides that there are plenty of options to choose from even if you are on a limited budget. Below are a few great tips to follow if you are conscious about keeping costs down.
- If possible, stay away from holding your wedding day within a week before, after or during any holidays. The two most expensive times of the year to buy flowers are during Valentine's Day and Mother's Day (especially if you have your heart set on roses.) Florists will be at the mercy of the flower wholesalers and prices skyrocket at those times when the demand is at its highest.
- Choose flowers that are economically friendly, at least when it comes to the bridesmaids' bouquets. Aster, daisies, carnations and a few stems of roses are just a few good choices. Certain flowers such as gardenias, roses, Stargazer lilies, orchids and stephanotis (to name a few) should be used sparingly in order to keep your overall floral costs down.
- For your reception centerpieces and ceremony arrangements, you can keep the costs down by using several larger blooms and a variety of greenery and other fillers (such as limmonium) rather than choosing bunches of expensive blooms to fill out every arrangement. Gardenias, roses, orchids and lilies would all be a considerable amount more, if you were to use these blooms to fill out your larger arrangements.
- Whenever possible, choose flowers that are in season or can be purchased within the U.S. If you request tulips imported from Holland for your fall wedding, expect to pay a premium.
Wedding Floral Trends
As the years go by, brides and weddings seem to take on their own uniqueness. Wedding trends will either stand the test of time, or gently fade as new trends and traditions are born. The following are a few wedding floral trends of today, as well as trends that have stuck with us over time.
- Hand-tied bridal bouquets are all the rage with brides today. This bouquet style is created by grouping together loose stems of blooms and hand-tying them with ribbon. Hand-tied bouquets create a beautiful, natural appearance. Not only are brides seen carrying bouquets of this style-- her bridesmaids are carrying them as well. Some brides are also making a statement by holding one single stunning bloom, rather than a bouquet.
- These same gorgeous hand-tied bouquets-- in a mini version-- are also being chosen in lieu of corsages for the mothers and grandmothers of both the bride and groom.
- Bouquet styles may be changing, but many brides are still opting for the traditional all-white bouquet. There are of course many other brides that want color added to their bouquets-- adding flowers in the same shade as the gowns worn by her bridesmaids. The beautiful hues intermingled together-- either alone or with other white blooms-- make a stunning arrangement.
- The flowers present in bridal bouquets vary from bride to bride, depending on each individuals' tastes and style-- though roses remain the most popular bloom and are still most commonly seen in bouquets. Roses of all varieties-- in every shade and size-- are used just as well as the ever-popular white blooms. Two other very popular flower choices for bouquets include stephanotis and lilies (of all varieties).
- Fruit, topiaries, mini shrubs and potted plants have also been used as centerpieces at weddings. Ideas are really only limited to the bride's imagination.
- Ceremony arrangements and reception centerpieces are bursting full of color. Roses, stock, alstroemeria, mini carnations and a variety of ferns and other greens are commonly used for these larger arrangements.
Flowers of each season
Each season produces its own gorgeous selection of flowers, and you will most likely want to use an assortment of these blooms (or at least a few) throughout your wedding day, to give the atmosphere a true feeling for that specific time of year. Below are several floral recommendations for each season. You may want to incorporate some of these options into your wedding day, depending on which season your wedding will take place.
Spring- Lilacs add a gorgeous spray of color and a beautiful aroma to any bouquet or centerpiece. Freesia, roses and tulips are also a festive spring choice. Though keep in mind, tulips are a fragile flower and may bruise easily.
Summer- Choose flowers that are resilient and hold up well to the warm temperatures that go hand-in-hand with the season. Roses (a year 'round favorite) are a great choice, and this flower flourishes during the summer months. Hydrangeas and stock also make great summertime selections.
Fall- Fall is an especially beautiful time for flowers. Roses, mums, stock, sunflowers and ranunculus are all beautiful choices for an autumn wedding. For an even more festive approach, gourds and pumpkins will add a unique touch to your centerpieces. Pears, apples and magnolia leaves are another unique option for fall weddings.
Winter- Roses and lilies are usually the #1 choice for weddings during this season. For weddings in December, winterberries and miniature holly add a very festive appearance to your reception centerpieces. Branches sprayed with white paint and glitter adds a sparkling touch to your centerpieces as well.
Advice and Tips before choosing a florist
Finding the right florist who will create the scene that you've always envisioned for your wedding day may seem like a dreaded task to some. Take your time to interview a few florists (at least 2-3). Follow the key guidelines below (as you did with your other vendors) and you should have nothing to worry about.
- First off, always try and get recommendations, if possible, from recent brides, family members or friends. Chances are if someone had a really great experience with the florist, they won't have any reservations about pointing you in the same direction.
- When you sit and interview the florist, take notice of how they are treating your questions and concerns. Are they open to your ideas and willing to work within your budget? Are they attentive to your needs and wants? Do you feel comfortable with them?
- Ask many questions and be sure to address any concern you may have before leaving the interview. If the florist seems to be rushing you through the interview, you're probably right to have second thoughts about them. Ask them how many floral designers work in their shop-not just general staff (such as register workers). If your wedding is on or near a holiday, such as Valentine's Day, every florist at that time will become bombarded with orders. You want to be assured that your wedding will not slip down on their priority list and that you will still get the attention and customer service you deserve. If they have only one or two designers in that shop, the holiday season could become overwhelming for them.
- Will they be taking care of more than one wedding on your wedding day? Inquire about it. This is also another good reason to ask how many floral designers they have working at their shop. Again, you want to be assured that they will always stay attentive to your wedding needs.
- Help the florist out, if possible, and express to them your ideas, color schemes and style that you have in mind. Bring pictures, books or magazine clippings of the styles you like. If possible, visit your church and reception site before an actual wedding and see how the rooms are decorated. Jot down any ideas that you like and be sure to write down anything you don't like as well. You may also want to bring swatches of fabric that match your gown and your bridesmaids' gowns as well.
- Remember you don't have to go alone. Be sure to take your fiancé, if possible, and let him express his suggestions as well. If your fiancé is unable to go you can take your mom, aunt, friend or anyone that you feel comfortable with.
- You will probably meet with your florist at least three times before the wedding. If anything changes during that time, be sure to address this with your florist during your visit.
- Always be open with what you want and be in contact with your florist up until (and on) your wedding day. Be sure to get all agreements, flower selections, prices, drop-off times and any/all other details into a contract. You'll want to go over the entire contract with the florist before you sign it. Make sure the florist then countersigns the contract as well. Keep a copy for your records.
Information source for this article: Once Upon A Basket (full service florist), located in Ivyland, PA.