What is the best way to find the right florist for your needs?
My advice is not to rush in and select a florist based on cost alone, ask for examples of previous wedding work if these are not readily available during a consultation. It is important to feel comfortable with the selected florist and not pressured into making decisions. Often when consulting with brides an initial concept may be agreed and this may change as the wedding draws closer.
I am very comfortable with a fluid planning process as any bride needs to feel assured they can change or alter the design concept up to a few weeks before the wedding date without reservation.
What do brides need to consider when they start looking for inspiration and deciding on floral styles?
Planning a wedding is a very exciting time for a bride and their family and now more than ever inspiration is only a click away! Looking online for inspiration can be daunting however as there are so many ideas and concepts for themes it can be overwhelming. Prior to a consultation, I suggest brides select 3-5 bouquet designs or themes that appeal to them to bring along for discussion. Together we can identify what appeals and why, and what will work best on the day.
It is important to take into account not only seasonal flower availability but also practicality - this is where an experienced florist can start to add real value to the process. The planning process is exciting and I love working through concepts with a bride, its a fun part of the process.
What is your recommended starting point when beginning to think about a wedding flower budget?
Bridal flowers need to compliment the bridal theme and not compete, so understanding what design would work best is how an experienced florist can assist with the initial planning. When budgeting for wedding flowers I honestly believe any bride can have flowers on any budget and you don't have to spend large amounts of money to achieve beautiful results. If a bride is working to a tight budget I suggest they choose a florist they trust to select the best flowers to fit within their budget, taking a realistic approach to design selection.
As with any part of the wedding planning process, budgeting for flowers starts with research. I suggest phoning to speak with a florist or meeting in person to discuss in detail what is required, rather than emailing so brides are assured of an accurate estimate or quote from the beginning. I do receive a lot of emails from brides wanting a price for flowers by reply, which is virtually impossible without a conversation to fully understand what is required.
What should brides learn about floristry to make sure their vision is achievable?
I think the biggest misconception is that florists can source large quantities of blooms easily at all times of the year. Unfortunately, we are hindered at times by seasonal availability and general supply and demand - things that are out of our control. I always suggest having an alternative choice of flowers decided on during the planning phase and a clear understanding that substitutions may need to occur.
The creation of wedding flowers is very time consuming, and the preparation of flowers prior to arranging the bouquets includes de-thorning what can be several hundred roses for a large wedding and ensuring that only the most perfect blooms are selected for use. We purchase many more blooms than is required for every wedding to ensure the quality of the bouquets is exceptional.
Wired wedding work is a trained skill and widely used in wedding work - boutonnieres, corsages, wired waterfall bouquets, flower crowns etc should all be wired to ensure the flower heads are supported when being worn and last the duration of the wedding without wilting through residual body heat.
What should the florist and the bride ask each other?
Ask your florist how big the bouquets will be. Sometimes "less is more" when it comes to flowers - flowers should compliment and not overshadow a bride or dress and floral design can be subjective, one person's idea of a medium-sized bouquet may differ from another so always ask your florist to show you how big the bouquet will be and how long it may trail etc. I ask a bride to show me how she envisions holding a bouquet comfortably and together we decide on the best size to suit if there is any uncertainty.
What mistakes are often made with wedding flowers?
Flowers being used that are not going to last the day, no-one whats wilted blooms so it is important to use an experienced florist who can advise on what blooms last best in summer heat for example and those blooms that have the tendency to wilt such as cherry blossom or some spring flowers.
What are your top tips for the best end result?
- Enjoy the planning process!
- Feel comfortable to be honest about any budget restraints so your florist can offer alternatives to ensure the best result for you
- Take the time to meet or talk personally with florists before making a decision.
What flowers do you suggest that brides consider throughout the seasons?
Autumn - Orchids and Calla Lilies
Winter - Traditional roses, roses and roses - with early flowering freesias are gorgeous
Spring - Freesias and Hyacinths - smell divine
Summer - I love Hydrangeas and Lisianthus
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