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How do I begin selecting what flowers I want?
The best way to make your selection is to identify what sort of themes you’re going to have for the wedding. If you do choose to have a theme, it will often mean that one- three colours will be chosen for the entire day, and that all items will need to conform to that colour scheme. This should help you narrow down your basic options significantly. Then, based on your budget and what will be in season, you can pick a variety of specific flowers within that colour scheme to make up the varying floral pieces- including the bridal and bridesmaids’ bouquests, buttonholes (or boutonnieres), corsages for the mothers of the bride and groom, aisle runners, ceremony and reception decorations, table centrepieces, and flowers for the ringbearer and flower girls. For a more in-depth run down, check out this useful little piece.
When should I start consulting a florist?
It’s best to seek the help of a professional florist as early as possible. Florist services are always in-demand for numerous occasions, so the earlier you seek their services, the better chance of getting the flowers that you want. Normally, it’s best to search for a florist as soon as you have decided your themes and booked a date: more specifically, many industry professionals advise organising your flowers 9-12 months in advance (if you are able to begin planning 12 months before the event, you’ll be able to see what’ll be in season at the time of your wedding). Generally speaking, floral services are busiest during spring and summer, so you may have to err on the side of caution and begin organising a little earlier (if possible), if you’re holding your wedding then.
What should I discuss when meeting with florists?
When you’re at the consultation with a florist, it’s best to be well-prepared and have all your wedding details on hand- including a picture of your dress, the venue, and your colour so that you can make the best and most appropriate choices quickly. You should also be discussing the date, as you’ll be able to narrow down what seasonal flowers will be available at that specific time. You might also want to take the details of your venue into consideration- will certain flowers work better indoors or outdoors? Will your venue require less or more flowers based on it’s being highly or sparsely decorated already? Etc. By discussing all these choices, you'll be able to select the exact flowers for your needs.
What impact will my budget have on choosing the flowers that I use?
To begin with, your flowers should take up around 10% of your budget. But depending on how and where you want to divvy out your expenditure, this can be adjusted to better fit your individual needs. For example, if you want flowers to feature heavily and aren’t employing a planner, for example, you could spend 20% of your overall budget on flowers and 0% on planners.
Flowers that are readily available (either flowers that bloom year- round or flowers that happen to be in season) will be substantially cheaper than flowers that aren’t- those that aren’t will have to be especially shipped in. How much the prices will vary depends on a number of factors, including where the flowers would need to be shipped from, how many extra you would need to order in case any of the flowers incur damage on the journey, how much your alternative seasonal flowers would cost, etc. Consult with your florist for more specific details.
Another option to take into consideration is picking your own flowers. This will, however, limit your options to what’s available in your vicinity on just about the day of your wedding. If you do have (or know someone who has) a particularly fabulous garden, don’t mind making full use of the bounty it has to offer, and are having a relatively small wedding (it take hours and hours of work to pick and arrange flowers, much less do it for a large crowd), it is a great method of keeping wedding costs down!
Is it cheaper to use arrangements for more than one purpose?
As it can cost to arrange each bouquet, it might be worth looking to see how each combination can be used for more than purpose. For example, aisle runners can be doubled up and used as table decorations that sit behind the seating charts. This can savvy thinking can save on the overall amount of flowers used throughout the day and stop the decorations from going over the allocated budget.
What is the price difference between each floral arrangement?
Florists’ prices vary, of course, but generally speaking, different combinations are more expensive than others. Bridal bouquets and table centrepieces are usually the most expensive arrangements to have for the day, as they require more flowers than just about any other arrangements. This will, of course, depend on how large and elaborate you want these specific arrangements to be, but at its upper limit, bouquets can stretch into triple figures. Buttonholes and corsages are much cheaper to have and can just stretch into double figures- meaning that they won’t impact much on the budget and can be given to anyone who has a role in the ceremony.
How will I receive my flowers for the wedding?
Most of the time, florists will deliver the flowers to the wedding venue on the day of the wedding. This is done to relieve some of the pressure off of the bride and groom during the last few days. If you do want to pick the floral arrangements up early, then this can be arranged with the florists within a suitable time frame so that everything can be prepared to the agreed deadline (though this will affect how the flowers look, as florists work to ensure they bloom at exactly the right time) .
If I am having an overseas wedding, will it stop me from having the flowers that I want?
Millions of wedding are held everyday beyond the shores of Australia, so you really shouldn’t have a problem on your hands. Your main focus should be in finding a reputable, reliable overseas florist with whom you can begin work whilst you’re still in Australia. This may takes a few extra months of sourcing and organisation, however. Make sure you research the provider as thoroughly as possible- check out their site, galleries, and reviews to ensure that you’re not left with the short end of the stem.
If you are interested in exporting from/ importing flowers into a foreign country, you will need to take into account the local laws. Many nations will often have regulations in place to protect their own native plant life so you will need to check up and see if the flowers you have selected will be allowed into the country. You will need to do this several months before the wedding as some customs may keep organic imports for several days in customs before making a decision so it’s best to be prepared to avoid any unnecessary delays.
I would like a particular flower, but they aren’t in season during my wedding day. Can I still get them?
It is possible to get flowers when they are out of season as they can be imported in from other markets where they are currently in bloom. But this can not only take an additional week or two to arrive, but increase floral costs substantially, and there’s a higher risk involved- if the flowers arrive damaged or withered, there won’t be enough time for you to rectify the issue. So it might be worth looking at other alternatives that might have a similar look to the flower that you want. There are often several alternatives that might be available and your florist will be able to advise you on which flowers they think would be the most adequate replacement and how it would fit into the arrangement. Alternatively, you could buy silk flower- lookalikes to supplement your arrangements. Bonus: these can be used after the wedding as a significant keepsake.
Can I preserve the bouquet after the wedding has finished?
Although the bouquets are designed primarily for the wedding day, more and more people are starting to preserve their bouquets and keeping them as a memento of the occasion. If you do plan to do this, then it is best to act quickly as the flowers will wilt not long after the ceremony itself. There are several ways to keep the flowers from wilting and many of them involve drying the flowers out and then storing them in a cool setting so they can keep some of their colour. Their look and colour will change quite a lot from the wedding day itself but they will keep the same drama and character that made them an attractive piece during the wedding day. See our article on preserving your flowers for details on how to do just that!