One of the things I love most about working with flowers is that no two designs are ever 100% alike. Each one is original. Even when florists follow flower recipes and use the same number/types of stems and blooms in bouquets and centerpieces, each arrangement is still made by combining artistic skill with organic elements and while an untrained eye may never know the difference, it's virtually impossible to replicate the exact arrangement more than once.
I love design days after all of our flowers have arrived and have been unpackaged, trimmed/processed, de-thorned, placed in water, and prepped for use. Though my approach depends on the scope of work and size of the wedding, I almost always try to start by working on the bride's bouquet. I find the biggest, prettiest, most perfect blooms and set them aside for her, along with the best-looking greenery. Sometimes I'll head outside to forage a few extra items for added texture. The bride's bouquet is such a statement piece, so it's important to me that it reflect the overall design of the wedding well, but it's even more important that it be something she LOVES! I want her to love it so much that she barely wants to put it down.
In our design and creative sessions with our clients, we spend a lot of time talking about flowers - but we always do so in the context of the broader aesthetic plan for the wedding. If you've stumbled upon this post because you're searching for inspiration for your own bridal bouquet, I'd love to offer you some tips for how to best communicate with your floral designer and how to best ensure that your bouquet is a design that you love.
1. Start by making a list of any flowers that you do not like. For example - if you detest calla lilies, that's an important piece of information to share with your florist. Don't make any assumptions.
2. Next, make a list of flowers you love. Google searches, wedding blogs, and Pinterest are great ways to search and narrow in on these details.
3. As you're looking, collect images that show an overall shape/style of bouquet that you like. If you prefer loose, trailing greens and a free, organic style - your floral designer needs to know that. Likewise, your designer needs to know if you prefer compact, symmetrical designs.
4. Make notes about your color palette. Flexibility is key here! If you tell your designer that you love bubblegum pink and only a certain shade of bubblegum pink, then you need to prepare yourself for disappointment. Your designer can try to order certain colors and shades of colors until he/she is blue in the face - but the bottom line is that nobody will know the exact color of your flowers until the day they arrive. Because flowers are a live, perishable product, there are simply too many factors for humans to control. Soil quality, growing seasons, weather patterns, can all influence the size, availability and color of blooms. Instead of choosing bubblegum pink - be open to using a spectrum of pinks. Trust me, the depth of color adds much more liveliness and interest to your bouquet anyway and just makes for better design.
5. Keep an open mind and be ready to place your trust in your designer. If you want peonies and chose to get married in September, then you may never see a single peony at your wedding. Still - a great floral designer can help create designs that use a similar style and suggest ideas for how to preserve the soft, ruffly textured look that you love. Garden roses are a wonderful substitute for peonies.
6. Know your budget. If you're unsure, you need to at least know a ballpark budget that you can share with your designer. It is much easier to prepare a floral proposal when I know what our clients can/will realistically spent on their flowers. Alternatively, it is a colossal waste of everyone's time to start putting together ideas and a proposal, only to find out after the fact that we have to start over because it's way too much. Be honest and up-front with your floral designer so that he/she can put forth their very best effort in developing design ideas that will pair well both with your vision and budget.
7. Learn to look past other people's weddings. Friends, this is a big one. I'm constantly amazed at how frequently I hear things like "that bouquet is awful - I don't want anything like that" or "her bouquet was pretty - but I hate that ribbon wrap". It's perfectly okay (and good!) to have clearly defined opinions and to share them, but remember that you're talking about another bride's bouquet that was made for her. In the same way you should never judge a photographer on whether or not you thought they shot a pretty wedding, you shouldn't necessarily judge your floral designer based on flowers he/she created for someone else's wedding. Follow the advice I gave above, and you'll know that your flowers will be created for you.
As this year's wedding season heads into full swing, our team is looking forward to working with some absolutely stunning blooms this year. Bouquets, bouquets, bouquets...we're coming for you! If you'd like to discuss floral design for your own wedding, separately from full-service planning and creative direction - be sure to reach out to us through our sister company, Rebecca Rose Creative. We'd love to hear from you!