THE PICK OF THE BUNCH
Selecting your flowers can be one of the most exciting decisions you’ll make in the lead up to your big day. Kate Fitzgerald rounds up some of the best tips and tricks to help make your planning process go off without a hitch.
The way you choose to decorate your wedding and reception is a deeply personal decision, and one of the parts you’ll most look forward to as a bride. It’s not all fun and games, though – there are a few things you should know before you waltz into your florist and begin to pick out your favourite blooms. These simple tips will help you to navigate your way down the winding path of wedding floristry.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
The flowers you choose can completely transform your wedding’s aesthetic and bring a new level of whimsy to your day. When used correctly, flowers add a certain softness to the space that can’t be achieved solely with candles and other knick knacks.
Before you make an appointment with your florist, it pays to have a real think about your personal taste. You should walk through your florist’s door with some idea of what you like, what your wedding style will be, and the look you would like to achieve for your special day.
Some knowledge of the names of a few of your favourite flowers, as well as some popular floral terms, will start you off on the right foot with your florist. Some terms used to describe the most popular bouquets for brides are:
Cascade: The dramatic cascade bouquet features flowers that fall gracefully from the main structure of the bouquet, which gives a beautiful waterfall effect.
Posy: A classic and elegant choice for brides, the posy is usually arranged in a round shape, and is small enough to be held comfortably in the hands.
Hand-Tied: A less structured alternative to the posy, a hand-tied bouquet will include an eclectic assortment of flowers and greenery, which are held together with fabric, twine or ribbon.
Round: A round bouquet is fashioned into a perfect dome, which often includes a single colour or flower variety.
Composite: A composite bouquet is made up of individual petals arranged to resemble a single bloom.
SUIT YOUR VENUE
Your choice of venue will greatly influence your floral arrangements and centrepieces for your big day. If you’ve selected a park, garden or vineyard for your wedding, hold back on the amount of floristry you book. In these environments, you can go for a bigger impression with fewer flowers, whereas if you’ve chosen a formal ballroom reception, you can use as many flowers as you like.
It’s important to take your table settings into account – the length and shape of your tables will influence the shape of any floral centrepieces you decide to use. Choose arrangements that complement the space – for a rustic wedding, clusters of wildflowers scattered throughout the reception will work perfectly, while traditional blooms, like tightly bunched roses or peonies, will create a more classic vibe. If a modern look is more your style, or if your venue features a stunning cityscape, sleek architectural blooms like calla lilies or orchids will work best.
As the old saying goes: “A picture is worth a thousand words”. When you meet with your florist, bring along your inspiration mood boards for your wedding, along with a photo of your wedding gown or any fabric swatches you may have from your bridesmaids’ dresses. These will spark your florist’s imagination and help them to bring your vision to life.
Just make sure you don’t expect an exact replica of your Pinterest board. You should be open to your florist’s suggestions, as they may introduce you to a whole new world of blooms and colour options that you may not have thought of before. Let your florist use your inspiration as a springboard for a new and wonderful interpretation.
It’s important to remember that florists will book up fast, especially if your wedding is during the wedding season. It’s a good idea to book your florist six to eight months in advance to ensure you don’t miss out on your first choice.
With today’s global market, it’s likely that your florist will be able to source flowers even when they’re not in season. However, sticking to what’s in season will also help to keep your flowers looking their best throughout the day; a tropical flower won’t wilt as quickly in its native season as it would in the winter frost. Ask your florist about the flowers that will be popping up close to your wedding, and try to keep the majority of your blooms seasonal.
KNOW YOUR BOTTOM LINE
Be upfront with your florist about your budget from your first meeting – don’t waste time talking about $5000 worth of floristry when you know you only want to spend $2000. Generally, around ten per cent of your total budget is likely to go on flowers and other décor. If you are after a large installation, or have your mind set on having a particular flower that will be out of season on your big day, you can expect to pay more. It’s also important to remember to set aside a budget for set-up charges and other related expenses.
Size really does matter when it comes to your bouquet – if you’re on the petite side, step away from huge bouquet! A large bouquet will just overwhelm you and draw attention away from your gown. You should also never underestimate the weight of your flowers – the larger your bouquet, the heavier it will be. You’ll be holding your bouquet for a long time, so make sure it’s light enough that it won’t leave your arms too sore. In the same vein, if your dress is a princess-style ball gown, make sure your flowers don’t get lost against your full skirt.
Before you book in your florist, have a long think about the style you’d like to exude on your wedding day. Take the design of your gown into account, as well as the aesthetic of your venue and the time of year you’re getting married. Come up with a set budget and do your best to stick to it. When you follow these basic tips, you’ll find that your journey to your perfect wedding floristry will be an enjoyable one.
PHOTO CREDIT: STUDIOMAX