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Selecting Flowers for your Wedding – A Florist’s Guide for a Beautiful Wedding

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We at The Flower Factory would love to help you celebrate one of the most important days of your life. Our creative and talented staff will make sure that your day is as special as you have always dreamed. In an effort to ensure your day is perfect we’ve put together some questions and answers that will help in organizing and planning for the big event:

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How far in advance should I contact the florist when ordering wedding flowers?
Flowers are one of the most important aspects of your wedding day. They set the mood and tone for the event and will be remembered for years to come. Many florists can accept only a set number of weddings on a given day, so it is important to contact your florist well in advance to begin planning. A good rule of thumb is to contact your florist at least three months in advance. However, if your wedding is going to be an exceptionally elaborate event, take place during peak wedding season or fall on a holiday, then six months to a year is not too soon to contact your florist. This will allow the florist to begin looking for any props or specialty items you might need. Wedding flowers can be highly specific and colors often have to be very precise, so florists need advance notice to place flower orders.

Will a florist work within my budget?
Yes. Be honest about your budget on the initial consultation so the florist knows what to recommend. By taking your budget into consideration from the very beginning of the planning process, the florist can give you the best advise on how to place the flowers for maximum effect and what types of flowers will be the best value to achieve your desired look.

How much of your budget should you expect to pay for your flowers?

First, remember that everything is relative to the city where you will wed, to the season in which you will wed, to the length of your guest list, and so forth.

To give you an idea, we’ve collected the percentages for a 150-person guest list and a 10-member bridal party.

You’re likely to spend…

55 % on reception table centerpieces and other misc. decor elements of the reception 14 % on the bridesmaid bouquets 12 % on ceremony decorations 7 % on your bouquet 5 % on the boutonnieres 5 % on the corsages 1 % on the flower girl’s basket 1 % on your tossing bouquet.
The Flower Factory Tarzana, CA
What should I bring to the flower shop when I have my wedding consultation?
The more information you can provide the better your florist will be prepared to offer creative suggestions. Your florist will want to create a spectacular and memorable event for you. Anything you can bring will be beneficial. Pictures that depict what you have in mind are extremely helpful. Bring a photo of your dress and a sample of the fabric or lace if you have it, as well as swatches and photos of the bridesmaids’ dresses. Also think about what ‘style’ of wedding you want. If you are not sure, your florist can offer suggestions based on your wedding plans so far.

What can a florist do to help me stretch my ceremony and reception budget?
Besides suggesting specific types of flowers that will work within your budget, a professional florist can offer helpful suggestions as to what flowers might be used at both the ceremony and reception. A few examples: bridesmaids’ bouquets can become table decorations; the bride’s bouquet can become the head table arrangement; the pew markers can become festive bows on cars or doors; altar designs can flank the buffet or cake table, etc. Florists are overflowing with creative ways to make use of your budget and flowers wisely.

Tips & Suggestions:

Be sure to inquire if your florist has done weddings at your ceremony and/or reception sites before. If so, he or she may have pictures of arrangements done at your site and will be knowledgeable about what sizes, shapes, and colors work in the space. If not, he or she should be willing to scope out the space and familiarize him or herself with any limitations. At the very least, bring along some sort of photo (a press kit or pamphlet) in case she or he has never worked a wedding there before, so that you’re starting with an idea of the space.

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to buying red roses. Marrying around Valentine’s Day? Expect a significant increase in the price of a single stem.

Trust us: arrangements of cool contrasting colors (think mint green and cherry red) are definitely vivacious. But when picking a palette, make sure the flowers will suit your wedding style and colors. Bring a bridesmaid dress fabric swatch with you when you meet your floral designer so she has a good starting point.

Consider the season in which you are marrying when deciding on which flowers you want in your arrangements. Marrying in summer or in a humid climate? Go for hardy flowers that won’t wilt, such as sunflowers, zinnias, dahlias, lilies, and hydrangeas. Avoid gardenias, lily of the valley, tulips, and wildflowers.
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Remember: size matters! Be sure your bouquets aren’t too heavy or too hard to carry. Trust us: you won’t want that burden. And don’t choose the bridal and attendants’ bouquets without regard to style of dress or body shape. A delicate nosegay will get lost against an elaborate ruffled dress, for example, and a small bride will be overshadowed by a massive cascading arrangement.

Be sure your bouquet isn’t too fragrant — you don’t want to be sneezing down the aisle! Some of the most fragrant flowers include freesia, lilies, lilacs, tuberoses, gardenias, and lilies of the valley. Go lightly on these blooms.

Don’t assume your florist will have access to your ceremony and reception site early on in the big day. Make necessary arrangements — get written permission and a key, if need be — to ensure that everything is coming up roses before you hit the aisle.

Be sure to coordinate the delivery time of your bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres with your photographer’s arrival — you’ll want them to be worn or held in formal pictures.

Have your flowers delivered boxed with cellophane and well misted — that way they’ll look fresh through your ceremony and reception. Check out each bouquet and remove any damaged blossoms. And don’t leave them in the sun’s path — direct sunlight will speed up the wilting process.

If you’re keeping bouquets in vases of water to maintain freshness before the ceremony, don’t forget to dry the stems thoroughly before handing them out to the girls. You don’t want big water stains on the front of all the dresses moments before they take the aisle.

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You don’t have to toss the actual bridal bouquet — many brides have their florists create a smaller tossing bouquet for the traditional ritual. It is an extra fee so be sure to pick a low-maintenance arrangement. There’s no need to break your budget on this bouquet.

These days, florists are actually more like event designers. You may be able to get decorations like balloons, streamers, lanterns, and chairs from your florist. Dealing with one vendor rather than four or five may alleviate some stress.

No matter what the size of your wedding, we offer exceptional service to help you in selecting the flowers you will need on your special day. We will work within your budget and strive to assist you in all your wedding needs.

We at The Flower Factory look forward to meeting with you and your fiance! Don’t forget to schedule your consultation today!

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