Bridal Planning Guide for fresh flowers
(L) David E. Siders, AIFD (R) Rudy Grant, AAF, AIFD
Fresh flowers are the bride’s personal signature for her wedding day. By virtue of their fragility, flowers are at once elusive and romantic. Nature’s special gift that can never be duplicated, they symbolize life and fertility while adding fragrance and freshness to carefully chosen dresses and handsome tuxedos. While the wedding gown can be stored away and worn again decades later by a nostalgic daughter or granddaughter, the flowers are the enhancement for this day alone – captured only in fading photographs and memories. They express the personality of the bride and the theme of the wedding like nothing else. Whether the wedding is a grand event that calls for formal florals or an understated ceremony beneath an arbor of blooming branches, the flowers will highlight the appropriate mood. And while seasonality should play a role in the overall ambiance of the day, with today’s advanced growing methods and transportation, almost any flower can be available year-round with proper notice.
Choosing a Florist
It’s a good idea to reserve your wedding date with a florist up to a year in advance. This will help you avoid disappointment if your wedding date is near a holiday or other popular dates and already booked. A good florist will not do multiple weddings on a given day so they can give the bride their undivided attention on this very special day. When choosing a florist compare apples to apples – make sure you are comparing services to services. Choose a florist who is going to delivery your flowers – and has the ability to make adjustments on the spot – do not use one that has a delivery service for your wedding. Check with the florist and insist that they are there to show the attendants how to hold their flowers and pin on the boutonniere’s and offer calming words to the bride as she’s about to go down the aisle. This service may cost a bit more but is so worth it. It is always wise to check the accreditations of the florist you want to visit. A florist that is AIFD (American Institute of Floral Designers) has the highest credentials and exposure to the newest ideas in wedding design.
Choosing your Style
Before your first meeting with your florist it is also important to spend some time thinking about the types of flowers and design styles you prefer and the overall look that you want to create. Look through magazines and books and collect photos of different flower ideas you like. Don’t worry if you are not able to find photos that show exactly what you want, as your floral designer will be able to offer many other suggestions and ideas to create just the right look. Check websites and see the different styles that are available to you.
Planning a budget
Budget is also an important part of your first visit to the floral designer. Many times it’s impossible to come up with a definitive budget but if you have a number that you have to stay within tell the florist so they can tailor your proposal to meet that amount. If you’re not sure of the budget a good florist will work with you and put the plan together with pricing and then meet with you again and offer ideas to bring the numbers to the range that you’re comfortable with. Be prepared to pay a deposit to hold the date with the florist. It is very important to have a clear understanding of the florist’s policies on payments, cancelation and refunds. If any of these points are unclear to you, now is the time to ask questions.
Now that you have an idea of what to expect when you meet with your florist, you can begin to explore the world of wedding flowers.