wedding flowers and florists
Think of the impact your flower arrangements can have—a splash of color, shape, texture and scent—the minute your guests walk in the door of your ceremony. Over the years, wedding flowers have evolved from simple hand-held bouquets to vibrant, artistic arrangements used to set the mood and theme for the entire celebration.
Putting flowers first on your planning agenda can ensure that they will provide a welcome feast of the senses for your guests. Before you schedule an appointment with a florist, you should have pictures of the ceremony and reception locations unless the florist has done weddings at those locations. The ultimate thing to do is have the planning session at the locations. This will help in visualizing the flowers and décor in the actual environment. Start at the entrance to the church or ceremony location. Flowers are not just for the wedding party and altar. As with most things, you should start at the beginning. The entrance to the church will be the guest’s first view of your style and attention to detail.
Whether simple or grand, the doorway can be enhanced with garlands of greens and flowers or grapevine with ribbon. If the doorway is gorgeous all on its own, let the architecture speak for itself. If you like the look but think it just needs a little zing, consider a wreath hung with ribbon on the doors -- both inside and out.
When you have guests sign the guest book, embellish it with a small arrangement using similar flowers to the bridal bouquet. If you would like to carry the wreath theme throughout, you may want to discuss having the florist create wreaths for the pews
outlining the aisle with ribbons flowing to the floor. You can also use branches with flower blossoms hanging from them as pew markers.
Don’t forget the aisle runner. They don’t have to be a throw away item anymore. Have your monogram on the aisle runner or have a runner made of petals. Petals can also be sprinkled on the floor in the area where you will stand to exchange your vows. Lighting is so important with flowers when trying to achieve your overall vision. To mark the pews you can use clear glass cylinders with tall pillar candles inside. This theme can also be carried through to your reception tables.
The reception flowers are crucial to the overall balance of the wedding ceremony and reception. Don’t focus your flower budget only on the ceremony and have nothing to look at while at the reception except for the standard mirrored tile, bud vase or votive candles provided by the venue. Use these items to enhance the flowers your florist is designing for you.
Keep in mind that a table that seats 10 people is a lot of table surface. Your centerpieces for the reception tables can be in various shapes, colors and sizes. You can vary them throughout the room, especially if you have different sized tables such as tables of 4, 6, 8 and/or 10 people. Tables that seat 4 could have a small, low arrangement, whereas tables seating 10 could have a large, tall centerpiece. Tables that seat 6 or 8 may have another version.
Fruit, another seasonal delight, can be a festive addition to centerpieces. Paired with the seductive aroma of a well-selected bloom, colorful, luscious fruits can be a budget-saving way to enhance your arrangements.
Giving each place setting a votive candle, a flower in a small bud vase or a flower or herb wrapped in ribbon around the napkin, can also enhance the setting. Even the smallest detail at the place setting will tell your guests you are so happy they attended and that you did not overlook a single detail.
At your appointment with the floral designer, remember also to bring swatches of the gowns (brides’ and bridesmaids’), as well as photos of bouquet styles, colors, and specific flowers that you love.
Once you start creating the color and design vision for your wedding with your florist, the real fun begins. You have real freedom in creating distinctive bouquets and centerpieces that are not limited by convention.
Consider the options of creating a mood with color: do you want a playful mix of blooms in various hues, or a bold, monochromatic effect with a single color? How will your color choices play out in your selection of wedding sites—for example, in an ornate church for the ceremony, with a simpler, more minimalist room for the reception?
A favorite place for brides to start, the bouquet is the most personal of the wedding arrangements. Consider the style and motifs of your gown and those of the bridesmaids, and treat the bouquet as an integral element of your ensemble rather than simply a decoration. Your florist can help you narrow down styles into categories, such as natural, romantic, glamorous, and classical, so you can easily match flower to gown. The dramatic, ‘ooh-ah’ blooms of the hydrangea or orchid may perfectly set off a chic, clean lined gown, while delicate, subdued stephanotis blossoms complement a more refined or detailed gown.
Finally, the corsages and boutonnieres for family, attendants, and other important people may be the smallest arrangements in the wedding, but they are far from unimportant. Signifying a guest of great honor and loved one, they are really a gift to that person—a heartfelt thank you for taking part in your special day. The corsage should blend in with the rest of the wedding flowers. You can match corsages and boutonnieres to your personal flowers, or use one or two blooms from the bunch and set them off slightly differently. Corsages should be delivered when your guests arrive and before the pictures are taken; a bridesmaid or other reliable friend can help distribute them once they arrive.
After the initial consultation, the florist will present you with a proposal. Look for a signed contract detailing prices, delivery and setup information, and the condition of the flowers (freshness, blooms open or closed). Add specific no-no’s if you have them, such as a type of flower or color you know you don’t want in case there have to be any substitutions. Find out if the florist will oversee the delivery and setup personally, or if they plan to send an assistant.
If you want to allow the florist to give you the most for your dollar, we recommend that you give them the colors to work with and allow them to select the flowers that work the best and are most economical for the season.
Choosing your flowers and décor will be one of the more creative decisions you make while planning your wedding. When trying to choose your colors and theme, flowers can have an influence on what you pick. Vibrantly colored flowers can add a huge impact to any rental space. Be sure to hire a highly regarded professional — a mistake is not something you can afford.
Types of flowers that you will need:
Personal Flowers: Bridal bouquet & toss bouquet, bridesmaid & maid of honor bouquets, groom’s boutonniere, groomsmen & best man’s boutonnieres, flower girl bouquet or petals, ring bearer boutonniere, parents, grandparents, readers, ushers, soloist, and your officiant.
Ceremony Flowers: Pew arrangements, aisle runners, memorial bouquets, chairs, candles, altar or chuppah.
Reception Flowers: Centerpieces for the guest tables, bars, entryways, cake table, gift table, guestbook table, bathrooms and anywhere else that needs a pop of color.