by Carolyn Hartnett
Fall in Love
by Carolyn Hartnett
Wedding flowers can be a major source of confusion for brides. It’s hard to know how many you need, how much things will cost, what’s in season when, and how to make photo-worthy centerpieces. Luckily, your wedding flowers don’t have to be complicated, as long as you find a great florist to work with!
Your florist is an important part of not just your wedding day, but the entire weekend. You may want to incorporate centerpieces at your rehearsal dinner or a gift-opening brunch. Florists can work with you to make sure your entire wedding weekend is decorated to perfection. They are also sometimes able to provide décor items, such as vases or table runners.
In terms of budgeting, a typical recommendation is that florals will take up about 15 to 20% of your overall budget. However, your florist knows the ins and outs of the industry better than anyone. If you go in with a concrete number, they’ll be able to offer plenty of suggestions for keeping the price down. For instance, hydrangeas are a great “bouquet stuffer” because they’re beautiful and very full, but affordable. Also, they’ll have tips and tricks to offer, like using your bridesmaids’ bouquets as centerpieces. Think about other wedding details, like the number of guests and the look of your venue. Those will impact things like the number of centerpieces and the amount of décor you need.
It’s important to think about the season when planning your flowers. Not every flower is available in every region every season, so take that into consideration when you’re surfing Pinterest. Also, avoid last-minute change requests—florists will typically get your flowers in on Monday of your wedding week, and then allow them a couple of days to open before designing your bouquets and centerpieces. Rushing a last-minute type of flower will be either impossible or very pricey.
This season, bouquets that are loose and natural feeling are the most-requested look. Foliage like olive branches, bay leaves and eucalyptus is becoming an important element. Even non-botanical items like brooches or feathers are very popular at the moment. Flower crowns are making a comeback as well, or buying roses or other florals to incorporate into braids or updos.
In general, you should try to book your florist by 6 to 9 months, but the earlier the better. That gives you ample time to learn what florals will be in season and work together with your florist to create the vibe you’re going for. However, having your venue booked first is essential: that way, you’ll have a much better understanding of what you need and you can convey that to your florist.
If you’re still not sure where to start, wedding shows can be a great place to meet florists. Consider grabbing a friend and hitting up a wedding expo with a camera. Lots of florists will be there with beautiful displays or photos to demonstrate their style and skillsets.
1. What Flowers will be in season on my wedding day?
2. Do you offer different packaging options, or is everything personalized?
3. What colors do you suggest to go with my overall wedding color scheme?
4. If I want to preserve my bouquet after the wedding, do you do that, or do you have a recommendation?
5. Would you be able to provide organic or pesticide-free flowers?
You receive them for anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, and “just because.” They overflow from a vase on the table, brighten your windowsill, and fill your garden with color. Flowers are perfect for any occasion, and they are especially important on your wedding day. Many variables will impact your floral selection: your tastes, location, date and more. Avoid stress by working with an expert to determine your floral décor needs.
Schedule your initial consultation around nine months before your wedding, once your venue, budget and style are defined. An early appointment helps to ensure the availability of your date and can allow you to see in-season flowers at the time of year when the wedding will take place. It also gives you plenty of time to come up with ideas for personal touches. Leave your entourage at home, and instead include only your fiancé to help keep the meeting focused and on track.
Your first meeting is your chance to interview the florist and determine if their style and personality meshes well with yours. Don’t be afraid to explore your options by booking a consultation with more than one floral designer. Ask questions to start getting an idea of the scope of your floral needs. You will learn what flowers are in season, what your budget will allow, and delivery options. Custom bouquet samples can be ordered, and exact details can be further discussed if you decide to book a follow-up meeting.
Come prepared in order to ensure that the consultation flows smoothly. Decide on your budget ahead of time, and be upfront about what you are able to spend so the florist can recommend the best options for you. Bring a swatch of the bridesmaid dresses to help with color selection, along with inspirations such as a photo from a website or publication like Veil Magazine (see our photo shoot on pages 171-173), unique item, or container to help spark the florist’s creativity.
Also, create a list of locations where you may need floral décor so you can discuss any unique aspects that could be accentuated with a garland or prop of some kind. The artisans found within the pages of Veil Magazine are highly experienced and have worked in many venues. Their insight will be instrumental in creating the perfect ambiance. Don’t worry if you haven’t narrowed everything down just yet. Florists will have a portfolio, fresh blooms on hand, and plenty of advice to share in order to define your needs.
What are the newest trends in Wisconsin weddings? Loose, unstructured bouquets filled with texture and interesting botanicals are popular this season. Think herbs, berries, fruit and locally-grown blooms. Many brides are leaning towards incorporating foliage with a lush, organic feel. Blend in some natural elements like feathers, fur, moss or bark as well. Consider also adding a sentimental item to personalize your bouquet, such as a loved one’s picture, piece of heirloom jewelry, broach or rosary. Your color scheme should reflect your tastes. Soft, romantic blush and nude colors are hot right now, but you can also go bold with more vibrant flowers. Bouquet size varies depending on the bride’s personality as well. Some brides love simplicity, and others prefer extravagance. Choose a style that speaks to you.
Rentals are a great option to help manage costs while still making a statement. Local shops offer a variety of items to use for centerpieces: lanterns, mercury glass jars, vintage bottles, iron stands and over-sized vases, to name a few. Using bold containers and mixing things up with a collection of different centerpieces creates a great visual effect. Ceremony rentals, such as arches and arbors, are also available. For a modern twist, keep in mind that an altar arrangement is a perfect place to hide a GoPro camera to capture your “I do’s.”
Remember that on your wedding day, flowers will be pinned close to your loved one’s heart, admired by your guests, and photographed extensively. Consider your options and find a great florist who can deliver on your vision for a creative design that symbolizes your love.
Imagine the moment that your guests enter your reception space with their place cards in hand. What will they see when they take their seats? What is the overall feel of your space and how does your wedding décor speak to that atmosphere? Your choice in wedding décor can bring unexpected touches to make your reception memorable for you and your guests by exhibiting your personal style or by tying together a theme or feel for your entire day. This comes from a collaboration of wedding planning and design along with the bride and groom and their families.
We’ve pulled together four looks from four wedding planners from real-life weddings that were inspired by the unique requests of the brides, grooms and their families. The décor speaks to each venue, creating a look and experience to fit the theme and space. From opulent, over the top designs to a rustic, antique feel, or from a romantic, elegant feel to a vintage meets modern look, each design is unique and befitting the couple. There is no limit to how detailed elements such as flowers, candles, menus, and linens can be implemented and tailored to create a seamless look and feel.
A professional can help you reach your ultimate design goals. Wedding planners and event designers can work directly with you and your family using their skills to create a design to meet, and often exceed, your expectations. They have a repertoire of style ideas to tailor the look of your venue. Almost any space can be transformed, so never let your venue limit your design ideas for the look of your reception. With the right amount of creativity and teamwork, your venue can be transformed into something truly magical.
If you don’t already have ideas for what you want your venue to look like, choose a starting point to get the creative juices flowing. Oftentimes, a color or two, or a pattern, can be a good place to begin. A planner can take the color or pattern and come up with detail ideas to infuse into the tables, the chairs, the lighting, the flowers, and even the cake. If you have an item or heirloom that you want incorporated into the design, a wedding planner can make that happen. If you wanted to incorporate your grandmother’s napkins from her wedding into your design, for example, but you only have eight, you can use them at the head table and your wedding planner can work with the linen company to procure a design that is comparable. Wedding planners are excellent problem solvers and can easily come up with solutions that you may never have imagined were possible.
Aside from being expert problem solvers, wedding planners also have a wealth of knowledge on who to hire in order to get the job done. In order to pull the entire look together, it’s necessary to work with multiple vendors. Wedding planners have the experience and expertise to know which Wisconsin vendors are reliable. Wedding planners also will know which vendors work best with your style, making it much easier to achieve the look you desire for your reception.
The four very different but equally fabulous looks on the following pages can be used to help inspire your own ideas to pull unique details into your design. Take your time to notice the little details that make up the overall atmosphere of the space as you peruse the designs on the following wedding décor pages from Dynamic Events by David Caruso, Golden Chic Events & Consulting, Let’s Have An Affair, and Cherry Blossom Events. Which elements really speak to you? Use those elements as a starting point to begin brainstorming your own ideas to make your wedding decor speak to your overall vision.