…thanks to Meghan Carlson for these tips!
Flowers play a huge role in setting the tone for a couple’s wedding day. But with so many options, many brides can feel stressed and overwhelmed when it comes time to choose and order their floral arrangements.
So we decided to consult an expert. A professional event and wedding florist for over ten years, Anne Moore is an accredited member of the highly selective American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) and the owner of Amoré Floral Designs in Walla Walla, WA, one of the Northwest’s premiere wedding destinations. Her work has been featured on popular wedding blogs like Style Me Pretty, One Hitched Lane, and Apple Brides, and she works with dozens of brides every year to help them design their dream weddings.
Here’s a professional wedding florist’s advice for what brides need to know about choosing beautiful (and budget-friendly) flowers for the big day:
1. Always ask to see your florist’s portfolio.
“This is the most important thing, because a lot of websites use stock photos,” says Moore. To ensure that you’ve found the right fit with your florist, ask them to share photos of their past work with you.
2. Ask for referrals from those in the know.
If you’re already working with a wedding planner, ask for a florist referral. “Most planners have a preferred vendor list,” says Moore. Another great person to ask for a referral? Your wedding photographer. “They have great eyes for both the big picture and all the little details. And they see lots of weddings.”
3. Have your dress and venue chosen before your floral consultation.
“Those two things really set the style for the wedding,” says Moore. “The flowers I’d suggest for a formal church wedding would be different than the ones I’d suggest for a country farm wedding.”
4. Find out where you can re-purpose arrangements.
Most florists break down a wedding’s floral needs into three sections: Flowers for the bridal party (bride, bridesmaids, groom, groomsmen, flower girls, and any other corsages and boutonnieres); ceremony flowers (pew ends, aisles, arches, altar, etc.); and reception (centerpieces, cake, bar, buffet tables, and so forth).
“To save on cost, one area I always advise my brides to look at is what items can be used more than once,” says Moore. The easiest way to do this is to re-purpose your ceremony arrangements at your reception. “For instance, pew ends can become centerpieces, and bridesmaids bouquets can be put in vases and used on the head table.”
5. Know your (and your florist’s) limits.
“Pinterest is a great tool for showing your florist the style and feel you like,” says Moore. “The biggest issue is that they don’t show cost! So many times I feel I’ve disappointed a bride when I have to tell her that her dream picture is not in her budget. A good florist should be able to give you some suggestions on how to take that look but work in your budget. You just need to be realistic.”
“On that same point, don’t have your heart set on one flower,” advises Moore. “We are lucky it’s become a world market, with a lot more options to find items (at a cost), but there are still flowers we just can’t get, no matter how much you want them.” So be aware of seasonal flowers available around your wedding date—and if you have your heart set on rarer blooms, know that you may be looking at a bigger bill in the end.
Planning your wedding and looking for floral inspiration?
Here are three websites that Moore suggests for brides:
Mayesh Flower Library: This extensive online flower library allows you to explore different types of flowers by color, season, and variety.
Florabundance: Another online flower library that shows blooms by color, season, and variety, this site also lets you narrow by floral fragrance.
The Perfect Palette: Having your palette picked out will definitely help when you meet with your florist for the first time. This site has an almost endless supply of color ideas and inspiration, and you can search by color, season, or a specific palette like “yellow and gray.”