Before choosing the flowers for my wedding, I did a lot of research. There are so many articles online about which blooms to choose, how to express certain feelings with flowers and what the selection of each flower means. It’s very overwhelming and can be frustrating for brides who don’t think that flowers really matter. This is where the selection of an excellent florist comes into play.
I had frequented the bridal show florist booths, picking up pamphlets and looking at sample bouquets. This helped me to understand that florists have two distinct styles: full and fat or thin and sparse. Full and fat bouquets feature, for example, roses that have been intentionally opened or lots of different types of flowers to fill any and all available space. If you are able to identify which one you prefer of these two styles, it is easy to convey what you want to the florist you eventually choose using pictures. I gathered these pamphlets as well as additional photos and prepared to bring them to the florist who I felt understood what I was asking for.
Next, I researched types of flowers using magazines and online resources. The colors of my wedding are aqua and green, inspired by peacock feathers. I knew it would be difficult to find flowers in these colors, so I understood the need to introduce another color to the theme. Also, I knew I didn’t want a lot of roses, though they would definitely play an integral part in my bouquet. With this knowledge, I began to decide upon a few different types of flowers and colors. The final decision would have to come after my floral consultation.
Meeting with Brittany Ray’s Florist was a fun experience, but I had no idea how many decisions regarding flowers needed to be made. I brought a few questions with me, including:
1. How many church aisles do you suggest we decorate? I didn’t want it to look empty, but I also didn’t want to be left with a huge bill. Brittany suggested decorating every third aisle with one of two different types of arrangements to give depth but also provide visual interest. We decided upon carnation balls with sprigs of curly willow for one of the arrangements and 2- foot-tall cylinder vases filled with blue tinted water and candles for the other arrangement.
2. Who gets special acknowledgement with flowers other than the bridesmaids and groomsmen? I had a good idea about this one, but there were certain people I didn’t think about (i.e. readers, ushers and those who open the door for the bride). We also decided to place flowers at a reserved space in one of the pews in honor of my fiancé’s grandmother who passed away.
3. How many tables at the reception need to be decorated? I didn’t know if we needed to decorate every table or if it would seem too crowded. Again, we decided upon two different types of table arrangements to give some visual interest without seeming crowded. These will include green hydrangeas and black river rocks in 4-inch cube vases. The florist will also move my aisle decorations to the reception site immediately following the ceremony, which is a definite plus.
At the beginning of our consultation, we clarified my budget and then began to plan every detail of the flowers for our wedding. Brittany was knowledgeable without being pushy, guiding my decisions but never rushing me. She was willing to work with the budget I provided her and showed me the flowers that would suit my theme and also be in season, saving me and my family money.
I truly believe there are many excellent florists in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. The selection of a florist is different for every bride because she needs to be able to identify with him or her in the most trusting and natural way. I will not see my arrangements until the day of the wedding, when it will be too late to change anything. I have to trust that Brittany Ray’s Florist understands my vision and will deliver exactly what I ask –– a tall order for any professional! I believe that Brittany Ray will do an excellent job based on the ease of our consultation, the information she presented me with and her willingness to fit my budget.
So now we’re about nine months from the wedding, and I’ve selected my major vendors. It seems like everything is falling into place nicely. We’re also beginning to plan our honeymoon, which should be a fun experience for us both!
Next month, check out our registry experience and my tips on how to make your registry a good fit for you as a couple.