Top Left Photo by Outer Banks Productions
Finding the perfect inspiration for wedding flowers can and should be fun, but choosing and coordinating your stems can be a bit overwhelming. There are some easy-to-follow guidelines that are sure to keep you smiling through the process. As your plans evolve, ask yourself these questions:
• Are you decorating a chapel and reception hall?
• Is your ceremony going to be on the beach, on uneven sand and dune lines?
• Will there be a chuppah, arbor, or canopy that needs to be constructed as well as decorated?
• Are you suiting out the entire bridal party with bouquets, corsages, or boutonnières?
Flowy, cascading bouquets are ever popular, as are garlands for arbors, canopies or other structures. The vintage country trend remains popular, but nature is taking front and center stage. Brides are embracing their love of the great outdoors and its calming beauty through flowers that are both stylish and ecofriendly.
Incorporating green foliage and plants is a good way to add texture to your flower arrangements, and great for adding fullness to any flower centerpiece. Beautiful colors, interesting textures, and unique shapes – greenery, alone or accented with a few blooms – can create exquisite arrangements with major impact.
Lush leaves, for example, might serve as a rich base to play up the colorful petals in arrangements of ranunculus, anemones, chocolate cosmos, lotus pods, and viburnum berries. Ivy accents are fun and dramatic, too. Picture a vivid display of purple and fuchsia clematis with small puffs of scabiosa and tiny, delicate jasmine mixed with tendrils of grape ivy and clematis leaves. For hanging arrangements, cascading greenery and lush hydrangea imitate a romantic overflowing fountain, but with added whimsy.
Some palettes will be incredibly vibrant as brides boldly include their favorite colors in whimsical bouquets.
While thumbing through bridal magazines, though, don’t be tempted to make selections solely based on how flowers look on the page. Remember, flower colors are rarely exact and often look different in person than they did in a magazine. Let a professional florist help you understand the undertones of different varieties; for example, red ranunculus has orange undertones that stand out when paired with cool colors.
If you’re on a limited budget, consider going monochromatic for a bigger impact. A monochromatic color scheme looks incredibly organized and really gives your ceremony and reception a pop of color that is sure to wow even in the smallest amounts. Another way to save is by mixing live flowers with other natural elements. Perhaps your reception tables could have decorated vases filled with small seashells and driftwood alongside candle pillars.
When you interview potential florists, show them a photograph of your wedding attire and perhaps a swatch of fabric for the bridesmaids’ dresses, along with any pictures from magazines that have captured your imagination.
Your florist will guide your selections so that the flowers you choose will be in season when the big day rolls around. He or she will be more than happy to work with you to convert your vision into a stunning and affordable reality. But be open-minded. Let’s say you have your heart set on white tulips for a July wedding or red peonies in August – be flexible when your florist tells you that the flowers you love simply are not in season then. There are many flowers available year-round, like roses, hydrangeas, carnations, callas, and orchids, just to name a few.
Whether you are following new trends or staying true to tradition, use the months ahead to attend wedding shows, do some online research and interview florists. Have fun planning the flowers that will set the tone for your personal, special day.
You want your wedding flowers to be beautiful – and so will your florist. Here are a few tips for making that happen.
Know Your Budget
The very first thing to discuss with your florist is going to be the budget. A good florist won’t try to upsell beyond what you can afford – they truly want to work with you to create your vision within the limits of your pocketbook. If you are on a tight budget, focus on your bouquet and make your attendants’ arrangements smaller and simpler – and therefore less expensive. Mismatched bridesmaid bouquets are an emerging trend, allowing for a little individuality with their bouquets. A fun idea is to have each bridesmaid carry a single flower that represents what is in the larger bridal bouquet.
Find Your Inspiration
Pick one thing you love – a certain color, a special photo, a swatch of antique lace, or a cherished brooch that belonged to your great-grandmother – to give you and your florist a starting point.
Find a Florist You Really Love
When you have that initial meeting with a florist, enjoy yourself! You want your florist to be as excited as you are about finding the perfect flower arrangements for your wedding day.
There’s no need to limit yourself to roses and calla lilies. Some brides are incorporating jewels and even paper arrangements – whatever speaks to your wedding and your vision. You don’t have to limit your containers to clear glass vases either. If it will hold water, it can hold your flowers. Are you both fishing aficionados? Fill tackle boxes with flowers to show off your personality and perhaps symbolize how you met.
Personalize Your Bouquet
Incorporate something special into your wedding bouquet (and do not restrict yourself to flowers). For instance, if you met on a train, you could tie a small train charm into your bouquet to symbolize where you met and fell in love.
Where wedding flowers are concerned, it can be hard to know where to begin. Your florist will have ideas about design and color, but don’t be shy about asking other vendors, photographers, banquet managers, hair stylists and wedding gown salespeople about weddings they have seen with memorable flowers. ♥