The selection process of your wedding flowers will usually begin with a discussion of the Bride’s bouquet. You will have a choice of several basic styles. These are cascade, crescent, contemporary, nosegay, hand tied bouquet and arm or presentation style. You can better prepare for your first meeting with your florist if you bring the following;
o A list of those in your wedding party that will need flowers.
o A list of what flowers you will want at the ceremony.
o A list of what flowers will be needed at the reception, including table count, size and shape.
o Color/fabric swatches and pictures of your dress and bridesmaids dresses, if you have them.
o Feel free to also bring pictures of flowers that you like.
Your florist will also have pictures of flowers, bouquets and arrangements to help determine exactly what will create the wedding of your dreams. If your wedding has a “theme”, let your florist know before the consultation, as they can prepare suggestions to fit the style of your wedding. After style, the next thing to consider is if there are any specific flowers you want.
Keep in mind that some flowers are not in season year round. The flowers that will give the best presentation are those in their season prime. Make sure you let your florist know if your ceremony and/or reception will be held outdoors. Certain flowers do not hold up in hot/humid conditions. Consider color, shape, and fragrance when selecting your bouquet flowers. A note of advice on color choice, avoid all white flowers, they do not photograph well.
It is important that you are upfront with your florist about your budget. Not just for your bouquet but for all of your flowers. Be realistic. You may want a $200 bridal bouquet, but if you only have $400 for a flower budget, you will not have enough left for 3 bridesmaids bouquets, 2 corsages, 3 boutonnieres and 15 centerpieces for your reception. Choose similar flowers to be used throughout your wedding. Using 20 different kinds of flowers will quickly increase the cost. Your florist can balance your needs with your budget. They can offer alternatives. Exotic flowers such as Orchids are very pretty, but they are more expensive. Consider more affordable flowers if you are on a budget. Don’t plan your wedding near big flower holidays, such as Valentine’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day. If you do, expect to pay more for your flowers. Not because the florist’s want to charge you more, but due to the fact that the wholesalers charge more during these busy holidays based on growing and demand.
Once you have chosen your Bouquet you have selected the “center” of your wedding flowers. The other pieces can be used to incorporate your bouquet flowers throughout your entire wedding. The following is an example list of the flowers you may need for your “Special Day”…
o Bride’s Bouquet
o Toss Bouquet for Bride to Throw
o Maid of Honor Bouquet
o Bridesmaids Bouquets
o Grooms Boutonniere
o Boutonnieres for Best Man and other male attendants in the wedding
o Boutonnieres for Father of Bride and Groom
o Corsages for Mothers/Grandmothers and/or Guests of Honor
o Boutonniere for Ring Bearer
o Flower Basket (with petals?) or small bouquet for flower girl*
o Ceremony Arrangements (can serve double duty at your reception perhaps at your buffet)
o Vase at Guest Book Table
o Centerpieces for Reception Tables (make sure you get an accurate count)
o Centerpiece for Head Table (usually larger than other centerpieces)
o Flowers or Petals for Cake Table (Flowers for Cake if necessary)
*If you are considering petals for the aisle at your ceremony, make sure your accommodations allow them. Also remember that roses with color petals will stain the carpet if stepped on. White petals are recommended for carpeted areas.
A very important detail is to make sure your florist knows exactly when and where your flowers will need to be delivered. They will also need to know ahead of time if you will need them to set up the flowers. If you have someone else handling set up, make sure your florist knows who they are and how to reach them. You will probably want your flowers to arrive at least an hour before you need them. Make sure you have somewhere safe and cool to keep them until you use them. Always leave your florist a phone number of someone you trust (preferably with a cel phone) that can handle any last minute decisions regarding your flowers.
Finally, when it comes to your wedding flowers, don’t skimp! I have heard many sad stories about bride’s trying “do-it-yourself” flowers or having a friend design them, only to end up with bouquets falling apart minutes before the wedding! Don’t risk it! Experienced florists process and design your wedding flowers for optimum presentation and performance. Your flowers are one of the most important elements of your wedding! You want them to be beautiful. They compliment you, your wedding party, your wedding photos and provide an elegant atmosphere for you and your guests on your special day!