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We’re talking about one of my very favorite topics today: flowers! For most people, a wedding day is the only opportunity they have to work with a florist on such a large scale, so it’s no wonder that the floral industry can be a bit confusing to navigate during wedding planning. With the help of some florist friends, we’ve compiled our tips for making the most of your floral budget and your working relationship.

Set your budget first. Even though it’s difficult to guess how much the flowers you want will cost, you can still set a floral budget that makes sense within your overall budget. Knowing your budget will help your florist recommend flowers and styles within your price range. It’s also helpful to have a general idea of numbers, like how many reception tables and how many bridesmaids you’re having, before your first meeting, as most proposals are priced per piece. Since flowers are often much more expensive than brides expect, if your heart is set on a certain type of arrangement or pricey bloom, know in advance what other costs you’re willing to cut back on in order to make your floral dreams come true.

Rachel + Daniel‘s wedding by Tim Will, bouquets by Martha Kern

Be flexible about specifics. So many factors go into beautiful blooms–season, weather, location, and so on and so forth–making it hard for a florist to make any guarantees about what will be available and in good condition on your wedding day. As well as communicating your favorite flowers to your florist, discuss the colors and feel you’re going for. They will make their best effort to get you the blooms you want, but if anything goes wrong, they can use their expertise to find substitutes that will fit the overall look you’re going for and look great, instead of using a sad-looking flower because it’s one you HAD to have. To improve your chances of getting your must-have flower, find out when it’s in season in your area and set your wedding date accordingly. We love using our flower chart on page 65 of V6 as a reference!

From Rachel + Zack‘s wedding by Kristin Vining, bouquets by The Bloom Room

Organize your inspiration. Florists are visual people, so lots of picture inspiration is helpful IF it’s well organized. Instead of general captions like “love this” on your Pinterest board, identify WHAT you love about different arrangements and bouquets. Is it the shape? The texture? The colors? The specific flowers? Making a note of what specifically draws you to the picture will help you communicate your vision and style much more effectively.

From Tami + James‘ wedding, by Adam Barnes, flowers by Holly Heider Chapple

Be realistic. One of the biggest pet peeves we’ve heard from florists is when brides bring in pictures of grand arrangements or pricey blooms, and ask for something similar on a minimal budget. Keep in mind that floral arrangements in magazines and on Pinterest are often the most unique and expensive in a florist’s portfolio. Instead of asking for an exact replica of an arrangement you love, bring your inspiration photos to your florist and have a conversation about what you like about them. Love the large scale of an arrangement? Use lower-cost greenery to get the same big impact. Love the fullness of a big peony bouquet? Create the same lush effect with different flowers that fit into your budget.

From Kelly + Marvin‘s wedding, by Katie Stoops, flowers by Growing Wild Floral Company

BYOA: Bring your own accents. Supplementing your florist with vessels and bouquet wraps is a great way to save money, because you won’t be paying for the time they spend searching for something perfect for you. Just be sure you’re willing to do the work and have the resources to do so before adding this task to your to-do list, and be aware that wide and intricate ribbons come with their own price tag – often upwards of $15/yard.

From Samantha + Micah‘s wedding by Amy Arrington Photography, bouquets by The Flower Garden

Is there anything else y’all would add to our list? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Holly Heider Chapple and Amy Arrington Photography are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Sarah reply

    Great tips!! Another bonus of BYOA is that you get to keep everything afterwards! We’re purchasing a few of the vases and planters ourselves, so we’re choosing things that work for the wedding and our home.

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With such a long growing season, I think our gorgeous blooms are one of the most distinctive features of the South. Not only the South as a whole, though — different flowers are forever associated with particular states in my mind! That was the theme for our bouquet feature in this issue, and happily, we had an incredibly talented crew to bring it to life. Many thanks to our flower whiz Janie Medley for her gorgeous bouquets (and to Florabundance for some of the blooms!); Courtney Spencer for styling magic; and Patricia Lyons for the crisp and clear photos!

Isn’t the calligraphy gorgeous? It’s by our talented friend Elizabeth Porcher Jones!

We think of Alabama as ground zero for all things pink and girly, so this clutch of peonies, azaleas (in honor of the Trail Maids!), and sweet peas is right on target. An extra-wide ribbon (almost 4 inches!) from Midori finishes it off.

Moody and elegant flowers with lots of greenery combine to capture the feel of Tennessee. This bouquet makes us think of dark skinny jeans and banjos!

Virginia brides know that “simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication,” so this bouquet’s classic elegance is sure to please. A photo charm is the perfect finishing touch — we used a photo from my parent’s wedding for this one!

Our Kentucky bouquet gives the run for the roses a run for its money, adding in white peonies, white ranunculus, and white tulips for extra pop. A boldly striped scarf and sweet pin finish the look.

Our Florida bouquet is as bright and vivacious as our Southernmost brides! A cheery silk ribbon hold these citrus-colored blooms together.

Last but certainly not least is West Virginia, and it’s as “wild and wonderful” as that great state. We think it feels like a field of flowers in miniature! We used all delicate blooms for this one and tied it together with a strip of Liberty fabric.

What do you think, belles? Which bouquet is your favorite? Did we capture your state accurately? After all these months, I’m still trying to decide whether I’m more partial to Alabama or West Virginia…

emily Written with love by Emily
9 Comments
  1. avatar Allyson W. reply

    Although I live in NC now I’ll always be a Florida girl, and I love how you represented the state! The Florida bouquet is beautiful!

  2. avatar Janie reply

    Thanks SO much for the beautiful feature! I had such a great time making all the pretty bouquets for your gorgeous publication!!

  3. avatar Plum Pretty Sugar reply

    Stunning blooms! We absolutely adore all of these floral beauties!

    xo

    http://www.PlumPrettySugar.blogspot.com

  4. avatar Stephanie reply

    This was one of my favorite features in SWV6 – y’all always do the perfect job of creating unique, jaw-dropping, and meaningful bouquets, and I love the State theme, too! I just love the blackberries & gingham in the Tennessee bouquet.

  5. avatar Pamela reply

    Love sweet peas and peonies, my favorite is the Alabama.

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Best of 2011 :: Bouquets

by in Inspirations, Main on

Happy Monday, y’all! We hope all of you that celebrated had the most wonderful, magical Christmas! In fact, we hope you’re still celebrating with your family and friends, as are we! We have a really fun, low-key week planned, with a look back on some of our favorites from 2011, a 2011 recap from the whole staff, a glam New Year’s Eve wedding, and the winners of our 12 Days of Christmas giveaways!

As you know, we’ve been rounding up our blog favorites every month this year. From those round-ups, we’ve culled our top ten in several different categories, and also took into account your comments on posts and numbers of re-pins on Pinterest. We would love to hear what you think, so leave a comment with your favorite in each category! First, bouquets!

Gorgeous white peony bouquet by Floral Designs by Eddie (photo by Cyn Kain). Originally seen here.

White rose, hydrangea, and magnolia bouquet by Breaux’s Flowers (photo by Ali Harper, and originally seen here). Peach rose and hydrangea bouquet by Weddings by Jill (photo by Vue Photography, and originally seen here).

Orchid, succulent, garden rose, and ranunculus bouquet by Blue Lotus (photo by Poser, and originally seen here).

Pink peony bouquet by Florals by the Sea (photo by Paul Johnson, and originally seen here). Peony, dahlias, garden roses, and dusty miller bouquet by Shea Hopely (photo by Brooke Images, and originally seen here).

Orchid, calla lily, and rose bouquet by Cypress (photo by Abby Jiu, and originally seen here).

Peony, succulent, and orchid bouquet by Kim Fisher Designs (photo by Kristin Byrum, and originally seen here). Rose, garden rose, and snapdragon bouquet by Delma’s (photo by Tina Bass, and originally seen here).

We’ll be back soon with our next set of favorites!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    I think I have to go with Jeni’s! The colors are just so pretty.

  2. avatar Jeannine reply

    Gorgeous! So much eye candy!!!

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