How to Prepare for Your Wedding Floral Consultation
For some reason, I, and the world, am obsessed with flowers and weddings. It's just one of those things, like without flowers it just feels like, well, what should my hands hold, what should I look at? Where are the pretty living but non-human things!?!
Oh, how I obsess over flowers, like just check out my pinterest board. Infatuated. Because I love flowers so, so much, and want you to have them at your wedding and not stress about how to get them there and how much to spend on them, I've picked Carmen Carter's brain, the owner of The Cutting Garden.
Having spent the last 28 years in Green Bay doing weddings every weekend and special events in the meantime, she is literally an expert. Here's how you can prepare for your wedding floral consultation:
- USE PINTEREST FOR INSPIRATION, WITH CAUTION.
Pinterest is amazing. It's like 50,000 free bridal magazines and one collage board, sans-scissors and glue sticks. But it lacks 1 major thing when it comes to wedding inspiration: a price tag. Did I say dollars? Since there aren't any clues as to how much a pretty picture will cost, after adding it to your secret wedding board, prevent yourself from getting caught off guard by real quoted costs. Manage your expectations. Also know that not everything you pin will be in season when you get married, and need I remind you that you cannot control the weather. Flowers are temperamental creatures, some like it hot, but not flowers.
- DETERMINE WHO GETS FLOWERS.
I got your back on this one, click here to learn what tradition tells us is most appropriate.
- GET A FEEL FOR THE FLOWERS YOU LIKE.
Better yet, what you don't like. Unfortunately for me, my sorority sucked the joy out of carnations, four years and eight initiation weekends filled with them has worn me out. So I know I don't like carnations. How else can you narrow down what you want? (See #1)
Understand what you want the mood to be at your wedding and let the florist tell you how she can make it happen. Do you like lots of greens (I LOVE ruscus!) and a light and airy wedding feel. OR do you want bright blooms and a bit of fun punched into your day? Are you getting married outside and want your day to feel effortless and rustic? Perhaps you'll opt for large overflowing bouquets of wild flowers (HINT: blue thistle boutonnieres).
- GET ROUGH NUMBERS.
Estimate how many table centerpieces you'll need and what type you want. Types to choose from: flowers in a vase, garlands, table runner, sprigs for menus and napkins, a wreath, lanterns, etc. etc. Also think about where else in the room you might want flowers, like chair swag, an altar, the cake, decor tables, etc. Are you going to rent the floral containers or will you purchase them yourself and then hand them over to the florist the week before your wedding? All things to think about.
Here's how I would estimate the number of table centerpieces you'll need when you don't even know how many guests will be coming:
# guests expected (= 80% or so of total invited) ÷ 8 or 10* = # table centerpieces
*8 if your tables seat 8, 10 if they can fit 10. Tables of 10 have to be at least 72" rounds.
BE READY TO BE TOLD WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW.
You might not realize that white flowers look their whitest when mixed with greenery. Or that hydrangeas really don't last long at all in the heat. Certainly you are going to the consultation to figure out budget and logistics and to narrow down your must haves. So have an open mind when receiving answers and let yourself be wooed. Florists are creative beings so let them wander away from your initial inspiration a bit.
Overall, during the consultation, smile, nod, breathe and take notes. Remember to let your fiancé have an opinion as well. Reminder yourselves of why you need flowers to begin with, because you are getting married!!! Need more tips... you got it, read on.
Here are our top 6 tips every couple should consider when it comes to the floral situation:
- Save room in the budget for setup and delivery. Flowers are heavy and the boxes they come in can be awkward. Let your florist finish what they started and install your pieces exactly how you envisioned them together.
- No overnights. Likely your flowers will need to be delivered day of, often venues don't allow stuff to be stored overnight and even if they did, flowers are kept in coolers until they are ready to be seen by the world. Fresh ta death.
- Elaborate designs = installation costs. If you want your arbor wrapped in florals just understand that that takes time. Hanging anything from the ceiling? Time. And time is money baby.
- Ask for budget friendly alternatives for expensive stems. Want peonies in December? Try opting for Garden Roses instead.
- Keep your blooms out of the hot hot or the cold cold. Minnesota weddings know far too well what extreme temperatures can do to delicate petals. Restrain yourself from wanting bouquets and boutonnieres in your bridal party pictures when its below or above X degrees.
- Be flexible in your vision. Remember what happened to Veruca Salt? Allow for the experts to mold what you think you want for your wedding day. Sorry Carmen, I just made you Will Wonka.
Prosperity, Love & Happiness,