So you just got engaged and your mind is reeling with all things wedding, right? So the first thing most bride's to be do is start with the venue, and that's really the first thing to book since they can book up to a year and half out. Most florist book out at least six month to a year ahead of time.
How do you go about choosing the right person to create your beautiful florals for the most important day in your life. First ask family and friends for referrals. Go online and do a search of wedding flowers in the area you are going to be getting married in. Most designers have a website with photos you can look at. Some designer have one style they do, other can design many different styles. Choose a designer that is familiar with the style you are going for. Look for reviews on the business you are choosing to handle your flowers. You can find those at theknot.com, weddingwire.com, thumbtack.com and any other wedding site that promotes designers.
Of course you want to make sure the person you choose gets your vision and understand the things that are truly important to you on that day. You want to feel comfortable with them as well.
Do they show confidence and knowledge in their field? Are they offering ways to help cut cost without loosing the quality you are going for? A good designer can work within any budget, you just have to let them do what they do best, you may have to compromise flower choices in certain arrangements or scale down the size for arrangements for the guest table but they can work within your budget. Most designer will have a starting limit for weddings, if you can't make that limit don't waste yours and their time because you will both be disappointed.
Ask what venue they have worked, ask how many people they will have helping with your event? Most designers want you to be comfortable and will answer most of your questions.
Your wedding day is not the time to find out that your wedding florist is not the right person for you. Its is best to contact a couple of designer that you are interested in, after meeting with them make your decisions and book your date as soon as possible. Remember that you are not the only bride talking to them and they could book your date before you make up your mind. Happy Florists shopping!
Tammy G Barton, owner and designer at the Flower Boutique
Its a question brides are silently asking. I'll give you a heads up to why things cost what they do.
First it starts with the farm where the flowers are grown, they decide what and how many of each flower they want to invest their time. and money in. For instance, if they plant an entire field of hot pink teacup roses and the demand is for soft pink teacup, then they have just lost the entire crop, plow it under and start again.
Then there is supply and demand. Every florist and event decorator are having weddings and events on the same days and most have chosen the same flowers and color scheme, therefore the demand for the flower and color drives the price up.
Flowers are cut and wrapped and stored in a cooler laying of racks. No, they are not in buckets of water at least not yet. Once sold to a wholesaler they are boxed and shipped to the wholesaler who then cuts and places those flowers in water until they are sold to a florists or event designer. Shipping is pricey because the flower need to be refrigerated, flowers are not a fan of the heat.
Because your wedding is a big event, every flower needs to be at its optimum openness. Event flowers differ from daily flowers. Daily flowers are usually in a semi closed state and will give the recipient the enjoyment of watching them open over the next 3 or 4 days to a week. Event flowers need to be fully open to give the biggest show. So we spend time babying flowers to get them to open, or not open too fast or not to shed petals. We worry about our wedding flowers, but years of experience tells us that we know what we are doing and all will be perfect. We always buy extra just in case something goes wrong, or we have a handy wholesaler that we can call up.
As we prepare to assemble the bouquets and flowers we have to spend many hours doing prep work to the flowers. Each roses has to be de-thorned, leaves removed and guard petal removed. This is a time consuming task. Every flower used in bouquets has to have all of the foliage removed. Each bouquet or arrangement has to have all of the flowers that will be used in that bouquet or arrangement pulled and inspected before design can start. Once a designer starts .a bouquet its extremely hard to drop what you are dong. Once a design meets our expectations we will tie it off with ribbons. It's then placed in a cylinder vase where it awaits delivery..
All of this factors in the price of flowers, however there are other thing that factor as well, such as overhead, rent, power, water, hourly wages for designers. All of these things add up. One other factor of cost is experience, a seasoned designer will cost more to hire than someone just starting out in the business. I guess you could compare it to a mechanic. A back yard mechanic doesn't charge as much cause his overhead is lower and he doesn't have the cost of insurance and diagnostic equipment. You may have a little grease on the steering wheel and door handle but he was cheaper where as the other guy has a garage with the latest equipment, he doesn't get any grease on the door handle or steering wheel and he even put down a floor mat so his shoes wouldn't get the carpet dirty. The back yard mechanic gives no warranty and the guy with the garage gives a 30 day warranty. So cheaper is not always cheaper, some times you get what you pay for or in other words what you didn't pay for.
So think about it. You're not just paying for flowers.
Every Bride has been "window" shopping since the ring first went on her finger. Its fun to look at magazines and on the internet where there are endless photos of everything imaginable for a wedding.
Every Brides walks into a consultation with photos on her smart phone, tablet or laptop. One of the first questions I ask is "what is your vision", that's when the photos come out and the Bride really gets excited because she has a dream and I can see it in her eyes. Its heart breaking when we have to do a reality check and she realizes that her dream flowers are out of her budget. 90% of the time if you are looking at floral arrangements in a magazine, you are looking at something a TOP designer has done. TOP meaning they are know through out the Country and design for shows, conventions and events related to flowers. And then you have the TOP of the TOP, like Preston Bailey and Karen Tran. Yep, we are talking million dollar weddings. Can you, the everyday American Bride afford Bailey or Tran? No, now if you're doing a 40 to 50 thousand wedding, we may be able to do one over the top floral wall or floral panel but that's about it other than your other floral needs. I will give you some examples shortly on what I would price a few pieces for, other designers would price much higher Your best choice you can make when choosing a florist or event designer is to choose one that can and will work with your budget, one that understand your vision and will work to give you all your money can get you, one that you feel comfortable with, one that will go a little extra with the small detail that in the end mean a lot. Give your designer room to work, you will be amazed at how he or she can give you choices that you can live with.
The gorgeous floral panels and hanging orbs on the left are around a $10,000.00 so, you would need a total budget of about S70,000.00. The beautiful floral panel on the right with floral tie backs runs $2,000.00.. Much more affordable with a smaller budget.
Bells of Ireland and green dendroibum orchids elegantly arranged in silver containers on the left run around $300.00. White dendroibum orchids softly draping from a glass vase for $150.00.
On the left this arrangement would price out at $700.00 and the one on the right would price out at $300.00. Similar designs different prices.
One of the first things a bride does once she gets engaged is start planning for the wedding day. Some set a budget, but once they start looking into caters, venues, dresses and accessories they realize quickly how fast that budget disappears. It really is hard to set a budget if you have no idea what things cost.
You start out with "sticker" shock once you start finding out how much things really cost. Your venue and catering should be about 48% of your budget. Music and Photography about 10% each. Flowers about 8 to 10% for the Bridal party and ceremony flowers, add another 5 ti 7% for reception flowers.
You have gifts, invitations and transportation which should be about 2% each. The bride and grooms attire, gown, shoes, tux, hair and makeup and any other thing that each would wear should run around 10%.
We try to work within a budget but sometimes now matter what we do we just can't. We realize that most people have no idea what flowers cost, I do have a page "Just so you know" that goes into detail about pricing.
Your budget must be the first thing you set in place, if you don't you are out of control with in just a few days. You wouldn't go out and buy a car or home without having a budget and you shouldn't plan a wedding without one either.
Part of our job as a floral designer is to help you stay within your budget, yes we are the ones that say "no you can't afford that". But let us show you something you can afford. Let's look at options like less expensive flowers, or smaller arrangements. Just let us help you with what we do best.
So when you go to a florist or wedding event designer please don't say you haven't thought about a budget, or that you don't have a budget because you really need one before they can quote you a price.
Doing things yourself lends a personal touch to the ceremony and reception. If you are good with your hands and enjoy doing crafty things it works out great. But if you are not it could spell disaster.
We have a lot of brides that want to do the centerpiece flowers themselves and we are more than happy to order flowers for them in bulk. Most people don't understand the bulk means that the flowers are ordered by the box, for instance a box of hydrangea comes 30 stems to a box. So it you need 45, you will really need to order 60 and find something to do with the other 15. Roses come 25 to a bundle and 4 bundles to a box, so you are looking at 100 roses.
The vintage wedding is a place that you can get creative with lots of fabrics, vases, vintage props and flowers bought in bulk. Baby's breath, hydrangea, roses, Dusty Miller, berries, Queen Ann's lace are a few of the flowers that are easy to work with. I think that most girls can with a few bits of instruction make a very simple center piece and it look halfway decent. But I've had a lot of brides end up asking at the last minute to please help them and do the center pieces because its more than they thought it would be. The bride was thinking that it would be fun and it ended up being very stressful. And believe me your wedding day is not the day to be stressed.
I would never recommend that a bride do the bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages or ceremony flowers. Its a lot harder than you would think. And I would never recommend for a bride to tackle a large center piece. First of all, you need proper storage that is cooled so that the flowers can reach their optimum state of openness and not go soft on you. You need proper tools to work with as well as the proper boxes or containers to place the corsages and boutonnieres in. Not to mention delivery. Now there is a entire new ballgame. A florist or event designer will most likely have a van, either commercial or one with the rear seats removed. They will also have boxes and other containers that aid in delivery to keep the arrangements from turning over.
A seasoned designer will have all kinds of tricks that they use to get flowers to open or a certain way to put the arrangements together. And they are certainly not going to give their secrets away, those are earned and learned the hard way. As with a bridal bouquet, once you start working with it you are pretty much holding it until you finish off with the ribbon. So each stem that you would possible use will need to be conditioned and ready for the designer to use. Without a floral cooler, you would have to wait til the last minute to make corsages and boutonnieres. You could spend the entire day of your wedding making flowers and running around setting every thing up. Sound fun?
Wouldn't your time be more well spent relaxing with your bridesmaids on your wedding day. I think I would rather have fun instead of worrying about flowers.
Tammy G Barton, Owner, designer at the Flower boutique
Choosing a flower 'theme' for your upcoming wedding can be an exciting prospect! There are a vast array of beautiful flowers, styles, and color schemes to pick from...the possibilities are nearly endless! However, with so many choices available, selecting a floral 'theme' can seem a bit overwhelming. To make things easier for brides, florists have organized floral themes into 6 basic categories: Vintage Garden, Country Garden, Woodland, Classic, Modern, and Tropical. Brides can select a basic theme (or combination of themes) and then, with the help of their florist, add their own flair to the design.
Below, I have listed general descriptions of wedding flower themes in order to give you an idea of the details (flowers, colors, accessories) included in each style. Which one appeals to you?
Vintage/Garden is one of my favorite styles - it's soft and romantic! Colors are dreamy pastels with mossy gray undertones. Think of flowers such as lush garden roses, anemones, fragrant sweet peas, viburnum, Queen Anne’s lace and freesia, in delicate shades of pink, green and creamy white, accented with asparagus fern and dusty miller foliage. Bouquets are lush and loosely gathered with beautiful ribbons. Tables look gorgeous dressed in pastel linens with crisp white embroidered runners accessorized with antique, milk glass vases filled with soft and romantic mixtures of flowers. Other containers that could be used on the reception tables are teacups and saucers...just like the ones your Grandmother has in her cupboard, or any vintage glassware.
Country/Garden has been very popular for years but has been updated with brighter colors. Vibrant purples, pinks, corals, yellows, greens and blues all blend seemlessly together for that “just picked” burst of color. Dahlia, Parrot tulips, stately larkspur, lisianthus, euphorbia, phlox, hydrangea, and kale give you plenty of variation and lots of texture. Antique metal tins and blue or green glass vases add color without taking away from the flowers. Bouquets are again, soft and loose gathered with ribbons. Arrangements can be accented with jewel-encrusted butterflies, dragonflies, or bumblebees. In this setting, a fairy wand would be a fun and whimsical choice for the flower girls to carry instead of the traditional flower basket. Veggies and fruits, such as artichokes, asparagus, and pears make great accompaniments for the flowers and add further visual interest while maintaining the Country Garden theme.
Woodland/Rustic themed weddings are increasing in popularity every year. Green foliages & flowers become the base for the arrangements and can be accented with lavender, blue and wine hued floral materials. Adding grasses and succulents in varying sizes and shapes, along with lots of decorative greens, bring in “touch me” textural elements. Birch branches, curly willow, fern curles, and reindeer moss incorporate organic touches to recreate the feeling of a serene, woodland setting. Crates and Mason jars are excellent containers for centerpieces, especially when surrounded by lots of candles. Rustic lanterns can also serve to hold flowers or candles as well. The addition of aromatic herbs like mint, sage, and thyme include something for the senses. Bouquets and boutonnieres have a natural look and feel, and wouldn't the flower girl look so cute with a halo of seeded eucalyptus and herbs resting on her flowing tresses?
Classic/Elegant is a timeless look that never goes out of style. A bouquet of roses is simple, yet elegant and crystals can be added for extra sparkle. Phalaenopsis orchids lend a regal air to bouquets and boutonnieres. Arrangements and bouquets have a clean and uncluttered look. Orchids attached to deco wire spiraled in 30” cylinder vases with submerged lighting give you that all-important “wow” factor at your reception.
Festive/Modern weddings are so much fun to attend! Colors are bold and exciting - hot pink, lime green, mango orange, sunny yellow and passionate purple. Gerbera daisies, Kermit button mums, Spider mums, craspedia, Trick dianthus and carnations are fun flowers with lots of personality. Centerpieces can be created using uniquely shaped, colored bottles in varying sizes, which are then grouped in clusters and adorned with single stems of flowers. Pomander balls make eye catching aisle markers and centerpieces, and are quite adorable for the flower girl to carry. Accents of deco wire and brightly colored beads add to the flirty-ness of the flowers.
Exotic/ Tropical weddings usher in the biggest and boldest blooms possible! Statuesque callas such as Green Goddess or its smaller cousins, Mango and Black-eyed beauty, add amazing drama to the affair. Alone or paired with other tropicals like orchids, anthurium, Birds of Paradise, ginger and the increasingly popular pincushion protea, they make a striking statement. Even the large, lush greenery of the tropicals can be used to create stylish elements; Aspidistra leaves can be rolled and used in bouquets, Fatsia and Philodendron leaves, along with Equisetum, also add visual interest to floral arrangements. Bouquets are more artistic in nature. Fruits are a hit here...limes, lemons, kumquats, and kiwi; they all add texture and interest.
When choosing a possible floral theme for your wedding, here are some things to consider before finalizing your decision.
The overall look and feel of your wedding. If you are planning an elegant, nighttime wedding in an upscale hotel, think twice before choosing a casual, Woodland/Rustic theme. Your floral theme needs to match your overall wedding theme.
The venue choice. Orchids, crystals, and silver urns will look out of place in a “country” setting such as a barn or ranch. Let your floral choices compliment your ceremony and reception site.
The color scheme. A fun, tropical wedding needs bright, bold colors. Pastels won't work here. If you have your heart set on a more ethereal color scheme, choose a theme that lends itself to softer colors like the Vintage/Garden or Woodland theme.
No matter which style you choose, remember to use lots and lots of candles. You can never have too many candles!
By Tammy G Barton, Owner, Designer at the Flower Boutique