For most Brides, flowers are a huge part of w-day. It’s probably the one day of your life where you get to carry around a beautiful bouquet, have flowers in your hair and adorn practically every area around you with beautiful blooms…so why not make the most of it?
But when it actually comes down to choosing a florist – where on earth do you start? The vast majority of people, myself included, love fresh flowers, but have little idea of names and varieties, or what is in season and when.
Given that the starting price for flowers for your wedding day is around £1500, you need to think carefully about choosing your florist.
A month ago, I had the pleasure of attending a Tallulah Rose Flower School event in London. It completely changed my idea of what being a florist entails and made me realise exactly why flowers make up such a big part of the wedding day budget.
Why Use A Florist?
We see lots of Brides opting to do their own flowers. While this is (possibly) a cheaper option, it is by no means an easy undertaking. Your florist will source, buy and collect the flowers you want – often this means ridiculously early trips to flower markets, negotiating with sellers and having to make last minute decisions on changing the blooms because certain flower heads haven’t opened.
You want your flowers to look as fresh as possible and to last as long as possible. Your florist will know the optimum time to put together your bouquet, buttonholes and arrangements so that they look perfect for you. This often means working late into the night for a few days before the wedding.
Creating beautiful floral arrangements take a LOT of time. I really mean it – the work is time consuming and fiddly. Cutting stems to size, wiring flowers, putting them into the display…whether it’s a floral crown for a Bridesmaid or a centrepiece for the top table – it takes much longer than you think.
Flowers are quite a bulky and delicate thing to transport. Your florist will deliver the bouquets and buttonholes to you on the morning of your wedding and will deliver the arrangements to your venue – usually in a specially fitted van – where the flowers stay fresh and safe. Not crumpled in a heap in the back of Auntie Lynda’s car.
Florists also know where certain arrangements look best and they know not to place a display full of fragile petals next to a heater. They will also be able to help with any emergencies such as squashed button holes and often have reserve stems on board in case anything truly awful happens.
How To Choose Your Florist
One of the most striking things I noticed on the Tallulah Rose Floristry course was how different everyone’s creations were. We were set the task of making a floral crown in the morning and a hand tied bouquet in the afternoon. Given that everyone had the same choice of flowers – the results were so different!
Look at as many florists as you can – follow them on Instagram – this often gives you a great insight into how they work too. Don’t despair that all of the best florists are in London, or in the bigger cities – have a look at the Love Lust List to find great florists all across the country.
Create a shortlist of florists and meet with them all. Show them your Pinterest boards, your dress, your venue…share your vision with them. See how they respond, see what ideas they come up with and see whether you can work with them. Don’t feel obligated to book them if it doesn’t feel right.
Once you’ve made you choice – make sure you look at lots of your florists work, not just one wedding, to get an idea of their style. While they will be working to your brief, a florist is a creative person and will produce their best work when they are working within their style. Top florist Philippa Craddock has a very clear style and while this might mean that some people would chose a florist who favours more structured work over her – that’s fine, because she’s working with people who share her vision.
How To Save Money On Your Flowers
– Make sure you know how much you’ve budgeted for blooms and let your florist know that they MUST stick to it.
– Try looking for aspiring florists. Often younger people working for high street florists are looking to expand their portfolio and will do freelance work. Try looking at local floristry courses and flower schools too.
– Use seasonal blooms. It really does make a difference. And obviously, it creates a more natural, seasonal look. Your florist will be able to advise on this and if you’ve got your heart set on a certain flower but it’s just not practical for the time of year, they will be able to suggest something else.
– Use a florist for the bouquets and anything that you want to look particularly spectacular and do the rest yourself. Florists won’t be offended by this at all and will probably be there at the end of the phone if you need any advice. Female family members LOVE being involved with the flowers – single stems in vases always look beautiful and are so easy to put together.
– Use herbs in table displays, use fewer flowers and more foliage. Look at different options for decorating the tables – candles, ribbons, vintage jars and bottle, books. There is an endless supply of ideas from Brides in the archives of RMW.
Just so you know, the images created in the slider above are a mixture of work from florists, soon-to-be florists and Brides or their Mums!
And finally, people generally book their florist about six months before the big day. But if you’ve got your heart set on someone in particular, I’d book them as soon as you can.
Have you found your florist yet? Are any of you putting your flowers together yourself? If so, would you like a more in-depth guide to creating arrangements? Do you have any burning questions about choosing a florist that you would like answered?
Just let us know!