Happy Monday again! This is Part 2 and hopefully, you were able to read Part 1. It has a lot of helpful information and here is more greatness.

5. If a designer tells you a flower is out of season, do your research but rely on them to know how the product looks leaving the grower.  Sometimes, in rare cases, a designer will tell you a flower is out of season or impossible to get.  If you do the research and find other florists have it and it looks good, then the designer who tells you the flower is out of season or impossible to get is not willing to do the legwork to get a particular flower shipped into them.

Dahlias, a perfect example.  Early in my career, I had clients asking for Dahlia.  I was told by my wholesaler, it was hard to ship and hard to get.  As a designer I took my wholesaler at their word, only to find out later that not only is it not hard to ship but it isn’t that hard to get either.

6.     Aside from the bridal bouquet, where you stand for the actual ceremony and it’s floral are the secondarily most important floral.  Why? Think from a photographers perspective. Let’s say you’re getting married in an outdoor space.  There is nothing around and you plan on having a simple arch with no floral on the arch. While wide open landscapes are gorgeous settings for a wedding, having something for the eye to focus on for your guests and for the lens of your photographer’s camera, having floral or draping on that arch will provide a better photographic experience.

7.     Reception floral is probably more important for the couple getting married than the guests attending.  This is not to say it isn’t important to have a finished looking reception room, but more than likely the guests will not notice the 20 different bottles on a table with their 20 different flowers, or the tall pieces with cascading orchids.  There are times you will have a guest or two who is really into flowers and will spend time looking at the flowers, but think back at the weddings you have been to and do you remember the flowers or the actual happenings at the reception?

We just did a wedding this winter, a beautiful wedding.  Over 1,500 red roses.  The centerpieces were 3 different designs.  Tall pieces on gold candelabra, short pieces in silver plated teapots and short pieces on stacks of books.  There was a lot of detail on each table, from rose petal runners to specially selected hardback books for the right color scheme.  I know the couple getting married appreciated the final look, but I also know for a fact, the guests were not sitting talking about the 200 rose candelabra topper or how the books matched the theme perfectly.

Speaking of reception flowers.  I highly encourage a mix of tall and short pieces.  For me personally, the reason being, it gives the room flow and movement.  When you talk to your designer listen to their design ideas as they usually know what works in the space you’re having your reception is and know how to keep movement in the floral pieces.  Having all tall pieces gives the eye nowhere to go. Tall pieces are good in spaces where the venue has tall ceilings, but having them all tall can actually draw the eyes up.  Shorter pieces can help to keep the eyes focused lower.

8.     Reuse as much of the ceremony floral as possible.  Going back to the arch.  If you use a garland on the arch, ask your venue, planner or florist if they will move that piece to the sweetheart/head table.  This also goes for any aisle floral you may have, use those for your cocktail table. 

Most of the weddings we have done, with a few minor exceptions, we have taken the ceremony floral and “flipped” it to the reception space.  There is no reason not to do that.  It is a cost saver and allows for those flowers to be used in a space where you can look at them and appreciate them while you and your guests celebrate.

Lastly, there are questions you should ask your florist when you meet for your initial consultation and they are:

1.     How many weddings have you done?

2.     Have you worked at my venue(s) before?

3.     Do you have the staff to help with setup?

4.     Is delivery, setup, and strike included in the pricing?

5.     What are the additional costs for adding items before the wedding? (Let’s say you add 2 bridesmaids, 2 groomsmen, and 2 reception tables a week before the wedding, you need to know what those costs will be – be prepared to pay more than the original order as the product needs to be ordered to accommodate last minute additions.)

6.     What are the rental costs for glassware, arch, etc?

7.     Do your proposals have approximate stem counts and flower types?

For the DIY couples.  First, I applaud you. Here are some tips for you adventurous couples.

1.     Find a floral provider who will let you order the flowers for you wholesale.  While sites like Globalrose and Fifty Flowers are great, you will be paying a lot over wholesale and the flower choices are quite limited.  Instead, if you find a florist who is willing to let you order with them you will save quite a bit of money. Tell them what you’re wanting to make so you are sure to order the correct amount of flowers (I usually tell DIY clients to add an extra 5 – 10% extra flowers to any order as sometimes things get sad in transit)

For example; Globalrose has 10 hydrangeas for $50.00.  That’s $5.00/stem.  Wholesale is approximately $1.00/stem.  Globalrose has 50 ivory roses for $63.00. That’s $1.13/stem.  Wholesale is approximately $.60/stem. So if you do the math for let’s say a hydrangea and rose topper at “retail” pricing:

RETAIL DIY                                                  WHOLESALE DIY

10 Hydrangea = $50.00                                 10 Hydrangea = $10.00

25 Roses          = $28.00                                  25 Roses          =$25.00          

Total               =$78.00                                   Total               =$35.00

2.     While YouTube is great for “tutorials” on how to put together a bridal bouquet or a huge hydrangea ball vase topper, keep in mind that 99% of those tutorials are done by a florist who has been doing this for years.  See if you can find a florist who will allow you to work in their space and give guidance as needed.

I had a DIY client last summer.  She ordered her flowers through me.  I let her know when the flowers were here, and then she, her mom, her aunt and her planner came to my shop.  It was a fun day.  I showed them how to process (the term florists use to prepare flowers by removing thorns, stripping leaves, cut and putting into treated water ) and then how to assemble their centerpieces and was there to give them pointers as I worked on another wedding.

3.     If you are lucky enough to find a florist who will allow you to place a wholesale order with them and work in their space, ask them if they would be willing to deliver your DIY items to the venue. Be prepared to pay a delivery fee but I encourage DIY couples to do that. The reason being is because the florist will know how to care for the flowers (keeping them cold, hydrated and treated) overnight and assuring you get fresh products on your wedding day. The additional bonus to having a florist deliver for you is they know how to pack things so vases don’t fall over and flowers don’t get crushed.

All of these tips will helpfully make your wedding planning easier, whether you’re a couple who will have the florist do all the work for you, or you’re a DIY couple. These are all very easy ways to make sure you get as close to the flowers you want and keep your budget in place. 

Thank you, Kelly, for all that helpful information :) If you'd like to contact Kelly for her services, her information is listed below.

Kelly Dixon | Union Blooms Floral

Info@unionbloomsfloralweddings.com | www.unionbloomsfloralweddings.com