I have recently been asked by a few wedding blogs to write some articles on 'What to ask your Florist' when heading out for your wedding flowers consultation. I was given a list by one editor which was so incredibly detailed and fierce it felt like a session of the Apprentice with Alan Sugar. In my eyes a wedding consultation should be a collaboration, an enjoyable part of your wedmin experience, not just a check list of must ask questions.
So I felt I wanted to write down my top tips on the best route to go about when choosing your wedding flowers.
1. Go with your Gut.
Like anything go with your gut feeling. I remember when I got married there were people giving you ideas, Mothers' recommending this and that and all in all it can became quite overwhelming.
Searching the internet can be a daunting matter when searching for wedding flowers. I recommend using the more curated Wedding Directories that you find out there - they highlight the best of the rest in an area. The florists listed are usually dedicated to just weddings or experts in their field, so its always a good place to start.
You should just love their work! It is no different than finding that dress or the perfect venue. If flowers are important to you and your wedding day, then you should really adore their style, their website and the general feel of their brand.
2. Go seasonal.
It is not like florists expect everyone who gets engaged to automatically have an understanding of flowers and their seasons. But asking your florist what is seasonal at the time of your wedding will undoubtedly benefit the look of your bouquet and wedding flowers.
For example if you have fallen in love with a peaony bouquet and you are getting married in late September, then we are already off on a bad foot. Peanoies are in peak season and available from Mid May to early July if weather permits, so you may ask what to do? This is where using a florist's knowledge and expertise will come in. If you want statement Autumnal blooms then I would be recommend looking at Dahlias, single bloom chrysanths or even Hydrangeas, accentuated with berries and autumnal foliage and all that the season has to offer.
Going seasonal will allow you to really capture that 'moment in time' and encompass the time of year you have decided to get married in.
It will also enable the florist to have a wider choice of stems and materials to use, as well as being a little more cost effective.
3. Break the Taboo. Talk Budgets!
Budgets are a big part of any wedding, though are usually not openly spoken about. I always feel that it is best to be open about how much of the budget has been allocated for your wedding flowers. From there on in, you and your fl;orist can really build something beautiful and work around what will work for you and your venue with in your budget allowance.
You will find that more and more florists now adays will give a price guide or some indication to their costs on their website. Allowing potential brides to choose a florist that sits within their remit on style and cost, which makes it a lot easier for both parties.
4. Be Flexible with your ideas!
With Pinterest, Instagram, magazines and photos of beautiful weddings and styled shoots everywhere - it is easy to fall in love with ideas that may just not suit the season, budget or venue! So how to get around this!
I suggest that before my brides come for a consulation, that they have a look around, search the internet and enjoy the process of pulling ideas together. I then ask them to send me through a tiny snippet of what they are thinking of for their venue and general styling ideas so I can do my own bit of reasearch for our consulation.
From there we sit, drink tea, probably eat cake and talk and work through the process together. I like get to know all my brides so I can design flowers to suit them and their wedding day.
I like to think that florists can offer up ideas and show brides flowers that they might not have thought of; introduce a complimentary shade of colour, a style of bouquet and so on. I remember when I worked with my wedding florist (a dear collegue today). I put my complete trust in her, her skill and ideas. I will never forget when she turned round and suggested coloured linen for the tables! Everyone just goes white don't they? That one suggestion just turned our marquee from something, well rather safe into something luxurious and really made a statement! We chose a caramel stone colour which with the Autumnal colours used tied the entire day and look together.
So all in all I would say work with your florist, let it be an organic process to create a really beautiful setting and flowers for your wedding.
5. My quick 5 tiny tips!
As well as the above there are a few little hints I would give anyone when choosing your florist.. here they are.
* I would never recommend just walking into a florist shop and wanting a consultation. If you are choosing a high street florist then always call before and make an appointment. They may be too busy to see you and you may just have wasted your own time.
*I would always suggest you take a picture of your dress or at least dicuss it with the florist. I feel a good florist should ask, though I know many don't. In my eyes the wedding bouquet needs to be designed with the dress in mind - you are trying to create a beautiful harmony of the both for visual impact.
*Be careful when considering DIY wedding flowers. There is a skill when choosing and designing table centres and bouquets. It comes more naturally to some. However, I would always just consider this point - we have all done DIY, craft projects, baking or something similar in our lives where we have hoped it would look like it did in the pictures and are so very disappointed when it doesn't. You really do not want that feeling the day before your wedding...
*Be thoughful with the flowers you choose for the day - I always say think impact! People sometimes forget that flowers can really change the atmosphere of a venue or setting. Sometimes its better to go for 1 or 2 bigger things and make a statement than trying to play it safe with lots of small ones in a number of locations.
*Enjoy the process - that is one of the things I always think is so important. That is why I like to make sure our brides, couples and Mums feel special at our Wedding Consultations. The lead up to your wedding should be a joy and I always feel that your suppliers who ever they may be should make you feel like you are the only one they are working for.
I hope all this helps and after time in events and weddings I truly feel that these are my best words of wisdom.