Questions to ask a wedding florist and more flower tips for your big day
There are a few essential things that come to mind when someone thinks of weddings: the white dress, the first dance, the cake and, yes, the flowers. From bouquets to centerpieces, flowers can take center stage on the big day. But if you can’t tell the difference between a hydrangea and a hyacinth, or if you don’t care to learn what flowers are in season during your wedding, don’t worry. All you need to know about wedding flowers is to trust your gut and your florist.
When should you actually start planning for flowers?
If you’re not sure where to start, but know you need professional help, find a florist three to six months before your wedding date, says Amy McCord Jones, Florist, Organizer bride and groom and owner of Flower Moxie, an online floral business for DIY brides. Above all, notes McCord Jones, you’ll want to find a florist whose personality matches you. If you want to do the bare minimum, you “probably want to choose a florist that is a little more laid back and isn’t so pushy about upselling,” she says.
For clients who don’t have concrete ideas in mind, McCord Jones assigns easy tasks to give her an idea of what she’s going to design. First, she’ll ask them to create a Pinterest account and create a color chart, along with another of all the bridal flower images they love. “Type ‘bridal bouquet’ and if something turns you on, pin it,” she says. “When I sit down with them I can usually see a recurring theme developing and it will tell me that this bride likes round bouquets or that she likes a really organic, loose, wildflower bouquet.”
Next, McCord Jones asks the couples for a rough estimate of the size of their wedding party and the number of guests expected. This way she gets an idea of how many bouquets, buttonholes, and centerpieces she will need to make. It’s always better to give a lower estimate than a higher estimate because it’s easier to add a few more centerpieces than suddenly having too many flowers that you won’t want to pay for.
How it worked IRL
Katie’s ceremony in Washington, DC took place two days before her outdoor reception in West Virginia in 2019, so she needed flowers that would look as beautiful on day three as when she walked down the aisle. Instead of fresh flowers, she chose a bouquet of dried wild flowers and a matching boutonniere for the groom. For the reception, the 34-year-old used painted balsa wood centerpieces. Both arrangements could be ordered well in advance and did not need to be refrigerated. Opting for dried and wooden flowers allowed her to experiment before the wedding – and she was able to keep her bouquet afterward. “One advantage of dried flowers and wood flowers is to have ready-made memories of the wedding,” she says.
The best hacks to reduce hassle
Think about the wedding photos that you are most likely to share (and that your parents will likely hang on their walls). “Usually it’s the photo of the ceremony when they kiss. Maybe they cut the cake. Maybe they’re sitting at the head table, ”says McCord Jones. This is where you will want to concentrate most of the flower power. For couples who really love the scenery of their ceremony, McCord creates a floral installation that accentuates the environment and a more minimal centerpiece design of candles and loose greenery. “What are these precious moments for you at the wedding? ” she says. “And when I identify that, that’s what we’re going to focus on.”
Amy McCord Jones, Florist, Wedding Planner and Owner of Flower Moxie