There are some brides who know from the very beginning exactly what flowers they want – it could be that they have a favourite flower, or that certain blooms have a significance. But for many, the general feeling is that of being overwhelmed by choice and wanting everything they see on Pinterest. So where to start?
Find the right florist for you. Don’t just choose someone because they’re local/first name that comes up/ first one to answer the phone! Look at different websites and Instagram, if you see someone whose style you like, find out more. Some florists specialise in the more natural look, whereas others might fall into the more classic style. Look at reviews and testimonials and then get in touch to see if they have availability for your date.
Book a Consultation. The ideal time to do this is one year out from your wedding. This means that you can see the flowers that are in season and readily available for your big day. By choosing flowers that are seasonal, not only are you are getting the most for your budget, but you’re getting flowers that look and feel at their best, and just, well, suit the season. If you’re weak for peonies, don’t get married in November. Your florist may still be able to get them, but they will have travelled halfway around the world, and quality and price will be affected. Many couples are keen to use Irish-grown where possible, and by using seasonal flowers you have more chance of achieving this. Let your florist guide you – they can show you images (or examples) of flowers in season and make suggestions of flowers that would work for your style.
Be Realistic: be honest with your florist about what your budget is, and in turn they can be honest with you about what you can expect to achieve for that. Ask about additional costs that you will need to factor in such as delivery and set up on the day, and breakdown/collection the day after. Again, listen to your florist as they can advise on how to make the most of your budget, including options for repurposing ceremony flowers for the reception.
Inspiration & Ideas. Pinterest is great for inspiration and ideas, as long as you remember that there are many images on there that have been filtered and/or done just for the camera, so completely impractical for a real wedding. If you do have a Pinterest board, share it with your florist, it’s a great way to illustrate the styles/flowers that you like. Look at blogs featuring real life weddings at your venue which will also give you ideas on what will work there. Your venue will have an influence on your floral & décor aesthetic – if it’s a luxe venue, heavy on the chandeliers and crystal, then a rustic vibe with jam jars, hay bales and wooden crates is going to look incongruous! Florists are a creative bunch, and we love the opportunity to do something different, and we generally have a pretty good idea of what will work and what won’t, so be prepared to listen to suggestions from your florist. This is where trust comes in to play – if you have found the right florist for you, then you should be able to trust them completely to achieve the look you want without you having to be involved in every single decision and stressing over the smallest of details.
Make it Personal: the flowers are an expression of your style and personality so don’t feel that you have to follow tradition, or what the experts tell you is ‘on trend’ right now. When you see your flowers on your wedding day they should spark joy (all florists are elated when the bride cries with happiness when presented with her bouquet!), and this will only happen if they are flowers that you love. So be yourself, and pick flowers that touch your heart, and that memory will stay with you forever.
Sarah Evans, Flowers From The Secret Garden, January 2020