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Friday, June 29, 2007

Wedding Flowers; Have a Blooming Good Wedding


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Choosing the Perfect Florist - Flowers bring life and happiness to a wedding, so finding the perfect florist is crucial to the overall beauty of the day. If the designated day is during the busy summer season or near any major holiday your search for the right florist might take longer (a lot longer!) If you stop into the local florist around Mother’s Day, prom or before a wedding you will see just how hectic their schedules can be. Searching for a florist should be one of the earliest stages of wedding planning and this article will show you how to find the right florist.

To start your research, call florists in the vicinity and inquire whether you need to make an appointment to discuss your wedding needs. Most establishments like to have a sit-down meeting with brides to go over their services and pricing. Before making an appointment, make sure the florist is not booked for your wedding date.

You’d be surprised how much time is wasted because brides go through the trouble of research and deciding on the right florist, and then find out the designer is booked on their wedding day. It happens, people, it happens.

Flower Power: Questions for the Florist - Will the florist set up the flowers at the church as well as the reception? Will they deliver elsewhere should the prewedding photographs be offsite? What is the extra fee, if any, for that? These are just three important questions to ask. Make sure the florist is aware of your potential wedding and reception locations and that there are no issues with distance. If so, you need to know upfront before you invest more time with negotiations.

Additional questions to ask include:
Is anything other than flowers included in the service (some florists include altar bows or runners as a courtesy.)

How soon prior to the wedding and/or reception will set up begin?

What is the deposit required? Will a deposit secure the date? When is the remaining balance due? Ask to see samples of their work, specifically photographs from recent weddings.

What is their specialty? What makes them different from other floral shops? Some florists may stare back at you blankly, some may give you their history (we’ve been in business since mammoths walked the earth) while others will give an answer (we guarantee our work; if you don’t like it we’ll fix it; our tulip bulbs are flown fresh from Holland; our work has been used in magazine spreads no other local florist can say that, etc.)

Will they work with the style or your dress and the theme of the wedding?
(Bring a photograph of your wedding and bridesmaids’ dresses. Also bring clippings of any flowers or arrangements you like.)

How many hours prior to the wedding will they arrange the flowers?

If your prewedding photographs are not at the wedding location, will the shop deliver the flowers so they bride and bridesmaids’ have them for photographs?

Home Grown Wedding Flowers - Okay, so maybe you’re not going to use a florist. Maybe you have a green thumb and will make your own bouquet. Flowers for a wedding party of 12, plus a few pew decorations can easily cost $500 and up, preparing your own flowers for the wedding can save you 50% or more!

Floral arranging is not easy, that is why designers make the big bucks as they say. It takes education (yes, there are classes on the subject) a knowledge of flowers, textures and contrasts, plus you need a creative eye. Yes, it takes more than pretty flowers to make a pretty wedding bouquet as many do-it-yourselfers have found out the hard way. Fortunately, the trend with today’s weddings is elegance and simplicity. Peruse floral Web sites or bridal magazines for arrangement ideas and read as many books as you can on arranging to get inspired!

To start you can use either silk flowers, special ordered flowers from the florist, or homegrown flowers. Another option is to contact a local farmer, or scout out deals at your local farmer’s market. If you are a bride with allergies, consider making paper roses. You can find instructions on how to make these by searching online.

Exactly how many flowers do you need? Bouquets will be needed for the bride and each of the bridesmaids. The bride should also have a toss bouquet. The groom and groomsmen (unless military) will each wear a boutonniere as will the ushers, father-of-the-bride, father-of-the-groom, the ring bearer, any male reading or helping out and any other male you choose such as a grandfather or godfather. Corsages are worn by the mother-of-the-bride, mother-of-the-groom, flower girl, guest book attendant (if female), any female helping at the wedding and any female you would like to honor with a corsage such as a grandmother or godmother. You will also supply flowers for the altar and any pew decorations. Remember, if you plan to get married around a religious holiday, chances are the altar will already have flowers, which saves you money.
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