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Always Have Flowers

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Always Have Flowers

By Katie Volz

It is nice to know that even when trends change every other day, some things remain constant.

Having flowers at your wedding is one of those things that will always be stylish and appropriate. Floral designs at your wedding are essential to that special time, and regardless of your budget, a wedding just isn’t a wedding without flowers.

The Florist
Every designer I talked with agrees that the most important component to selecting a florist is finding a personality match. Floral Designer Elaine McCord says that a good designer will “listen to the bride’s ideas and then take that and put their expertise into making it a concept that will work for the time and budget.”

Do not work with someone who wants to tell you what you want. A good florist will work with your ideas. They are, after all, the experts and will know how to make your ideas work.

Event florists also agree that seeing examples of a designer’s work is very important in making your decision. Experts advise only working with florists who can show you concrete examples of their work (pictures or sample arrangements), rather than those who tell you they can copy someone else’s work.

Designer Vicki Sanders recommends looking for versatility in a florist’s portfolio. As with any vendor you hire for your wedding, ask for references from brides who have worked with them in the past.

Your budget
First things first: Prioritize.

Where do you want to focus your flower budget? Are your bouquet and altar arrangements most important to you? Or would you rather have fantastic table decorations at the reception?

If your flower budget is tight, select the focal points where flowers will be absolutely necessary. Usually, these focal points will include bouquets in addition to table and altar arrangements. Choosing flowers that are readily available and in-season is another easy way to keep costs down. You can’t go wrong with roses, hydrangea or Gerber daisies, which are available year round and in abundance.

The venue
Ceremony: The venue is a big factor in the kind of flowers you choose, and where they are placed for the ceremony. If you are planning an outdoor wedding, you will have to select flowers that can withstand heat without wilting visibly. Some flowers, such as roses, will look better as a result of the heat.
“Roses just open up and look even more beautiful in an outdoor wedding,” Sanders says.

If you are on a budget and planning an outdoor wedding, you’re in luck! Experts say you can create a beautiful outdoor wedding with simple flowers to accent your naturally beautiful surroundings. You can use fewer flowers and arrangements to greater effect than if the ceremony were indoors.

An indoor ceremony, especially if the venue is a simple hall or blank room, will require more floral arrangements for a festive look. It is also very important to communicate with your venue about restrictions they might have on the amount or types of flowers they allow. You can still, however, keep flower costs down for an indoor ceremony by adorning the focal points of the space with simple but beautiful arrangements. Sparse but elaborate arrangements run the risk of looking out of place in a simple venue.

Reception: As with an outdoor ceremony, an outdoor reception will present certain challenges for your flower choices. Depending on the length of your reception and amount of direct sunlight, your flower choices may be limited to those that can withstand heat very well.
According to Sanders, many brides are choosing more traditional flowers and putting them in modern containers, such as square glass vases. An outdoor reception gives you an opportunity to have fun with the vases and containers as the flowers will, no matter what, need a water source.

If you are outside, the flowers will not be the main decoration. They will serve more to accent your surroundings in the beautiful and tasteful way that you and your designer will devise. Fortunately, this means the whole operation is likely to be cheaper.

With an indoor reception, flowers most likely will be the main decoration. This is great! You have (or will have) an awesome designer who can turn your venue into the floral wonderland of your dreams. The most important aspect of the reception flowers is that they reflect your taste and style in an aesthetically pleasing (and feasible!) way. It is always a good idea to check with your venue about any restrictions they have on flowers in the space.

Seasons
Time of year inevitably affects your flower choices. If specific flowers aren’t that important to you, then you don’t have a problem. If you absolutely must have sunflowers everywhere, you might want to plan a fall wedding.
Spring: Sanders recommends roses and hydrangea for a spring wedding.
“I have seen a lot of simple green and white weddings this season,” she says. “People are returning to more traditional, classic colors, and green and cream look beautiful in springtime.”

Summer: In the summer, anything goes. Designer Shannon Russell recommends roses and lively colors for a summer wedding.

“You can’t miss with a rose,” she explains. “It’s classic and will work in any season.”

But keep in mind that you have a broader color and flower spectrum to work with in the summer, so be creative.

Fall: McCord suggests “deep orange, cinnamon and gold roses with brown and red berries and mango Calla Lilies.” Orange blossoms and sunflowers, which are only available in the fall, also work very well.

Winter: “Ice blues and browns look beautiful together in winter,” says Russell. “On the other end of the spectrum, deep reds compliment the season very well.”

Also consider the greenery available to you in the winter. For example, holly looks great as a table ornamentation or church decoration.

Final thought
Remember that this is your day, so go with what you want when you are making your flower choices. Lately, brides are going modern and having fun with their flowers, so let loose and colorize!

Editor’s note: Special thanks to Vicki Sanders, Elaine McCord and Shannon Russell.