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Archive for April, 2013

Planning for Wedding Flowers

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Wedding flowers are one of the most important elements of your special day. They set the tone, define the color palette, and express your personal style. But before you make any decisions, there are a few points you’ll want to consider.
 
Choosing a Wedding Florist
 
Many brides are unfamiliar with the art of floral arrangement before becoming engaged, and even the basics can quickly become overwhelming. That’s where your wedding florist comes in. Your vision for your dream wedding is a florist’s starting point. Taking cues from your gown, venue, bridesmaids’ attire, and more, he or she will help you find the flowers to create just the right ambience. Whether it’s the rich, deep hue of a red dahlia, or the sweet innocence of pastel peonies, your florist can find the perfect match for your wedding. Best of all, with years of experience behind them, a professional wedding florist can suggest unusual colors or varieties of flowers you might not have even known existed!
 
Consider Your Budget
 
This one is a no-brainer. Figure that eight percent of the total wedding cost will go to flowers — from the bouquets and boutonnieres to the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception decor. At the start of your first meeting, ask straight out: What great things can you do with $… ?(Don’t get sucked into $5,000 worth of flowers and then let your florist know that your bottom line is $2,000.) And remember: There’s a lot of stuff to consider, so don’t be surprised if you end up spending more.
 
Establish a Vision
 
Have a general idea about your taste. Are you a true minimalist? Or are you looking to do an uber-romantic Gatsby-style wedding? Create a file of magazine tear-outs — and not just bridal pics. Lifestyle shots, colors, and fashion photos will all help give your florist a clear idea of your loves and love-nots. And don’t forget shots from friends’ weddings. Maybe you flipped over the centerpieces, but hated the bouquets. Now’s the time to bring it up (to your florist, of course, and not your friend).
 
Consider Your Reception Site Specifics
 
This is a biggie. Think of your reception site as a blank canvas on which the florist will create her masterpiece. Is there bright red wallpaper that she needs to consider? Is it a botanical garden that won’t need much floral accent? Or are you starting with a clean, empty loft that will need lots of work? Bring along some sort of photo (a press kit or pamphlet) in case she’s never worked a wedding there before, and ask her to visit the site to get an idea of its size and style.
 
Create a Wedding Color Concept
 
Don’t even think about visiting a florist without knowing what your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and moms are wearing. There’s literally no point — you can’t pick any flowers if you don’t know what colors will work. On the flip side, you won’t know what colors your flowers come in without knowing which flowers you want. First tackle the attire, then choose your ideal color palette and make a list of your favorite flowers, and then see if your florist can accomplish both.
 
Consider Your Wedding Dress
 
At this point, you should have already picked out your gown, seeing as that will dictate what kind of bouquet you should carry. While you might not think so, florists base many decisions on the bride’s gown — how ornate it is, whether it’s white or cream, if it’s classic or contemporary, and so on. Most florists think of the wedding dress as the centerpiece of the day, so this will give her a good idea of where you’re going with the wedding style.
 
Consider Your Wedding Style
 
Your style is different than your vision. Are you looking to carry a very dramatic, long bunch of flowers or a tight posy of blooms instead? Do the same thinking about the other people in the wedding party: Should Mom wear a corsage or carry a nosegay? Should the bridesmaids carry a single stem or a tussy mussy? Style will also affect price accordingly, as well as the choice of flowers that will or won’t work in the type of bouquet you’re eyeing.
 
Size Up Your Crowd
 
Don’t listen to your groom — size does matter! How many people are you planning on having to the wedding celebration? That number will determine how many tables and, consequently, how many centerpieces you’ll require. How many attendants will you have to outfit with flowers: groomsmen, bridesmaids, flower girls? This will dramatically impact the price. On the other hand, if you are requiring fewer than average centerpieces, you may be able to get those orchids flown in from China that you swore you couldn’t live without.
 
Get Everything in Writing
 
All the work you will do to get this far will mean nothing if you don’t have it all in writing. So make certain that your florist drafts a contract, specifically stating the flowers you’re going to have, how many bouquets you’ll need, price, and what time you can expect her to arrive on the day of the wedding. Don’t hesitate to include the things you absolutely don’t want, as well. That way, you’ll have recourse if your florist doesn’t come through for you.