Vendor Expertise: What your florist wants you to know


One of the prettiest parts of a wedding day (besides the bride, of course) are the flowers.  But, deciding how to use flowers and what types of flowers will fit with your wedding style can be tricky.  A florist can help guide you through these difficult decisions and offer priceless inside info into what flowers will make your day the most beautiful it can be.  Your floral design will have a big impact on the overall look of your day which is why it’s important to choose a florist who you trust and whose designs you love.

To offer some guidance on this subject, we consulted with some of the best in the floral biz: Janelle of Lavender’s Flowers, Natalie of Native Poppy, and Bonnie of The Tangled Vine.  Their answers are pretty good (see what I did there?) so read on and get inspired for your big day!


What questions should couples ask when booking a florist?

“I think it is more of a feeling when booking a florist or any vendor. Find a florist with an energy that fits yours, someone you feel comfortable communicating with. You may ask how long they have been doing floral design, and what their creative process is.” Janelle

To see their portfolio. make sure that their body of work is something that resonates with you. you have to trust their eye and sense of style because when working with living, fragile things like flowers a florist always needs a plan B and you have to trust that even if your treasured juliette garden roses become unavailable last minute that they will substitute with something appropriate.” Natalie

What do you wish your couples knew about flowers and/or florists?

“I wish couples knew the amount of work that goes into making such tailored designs, from the early market run, to processing floral ALL day and designing for 72 hours straight. Not to mention the back breaking work it takes to set up the event. Florists are not simply “playing with flowers,” its a tough job.I also wish couples could be more understanding that it’s a LIVE medium that you can’t always get the floral you want, so go with a feeling over an exact flower type. Your florist should be able to make the changes and still give you the look or feel you want.” Janelle

“The biggest thing I would like couples to realize is floral design is an art form and no two designers do it the same.  We all have our own style.  Couples should look at previous events that a florist has designed and make sure it fits their style. Also when they sit down for a consultation they can determine if there personalities are a good fit.” Bonnie


Do you have a favorite new floral trend?  

“The anti-flower crown. Its the use of floral in the hair but not in a constructed halo. Its amaze!” Janelle

The local and seasonal flower trend is my favorite. we should always be striving to leave a smaller impact on the environment. Buying plants that grow near you cuts down on the pollution created by shipping plants all around the world.” Natalie

I really love the banquet tables and rounds together for the floor plan. It brings in much more interest when you mix up your floral designs rather than having each table the same.” Bonnie


Is there a trend you wish would wither away?

“Babies breath, mason jars, and burlap. YUCK!” Janelle

“Burlap has been over done, but Brides are still asking for it. I like to steer them away from the burlap and to think outside the box with unusual runners.  As an example you can use a garland down the table and add in elements that match the style they are going with. “ Bonnie


Are there any flowers or types of arrangements that give a couple more bang for their buck?

“Stock and Hydrangeas are both really nice base flowers that are not too expensive and take up a lot of space.” Janelle

Buying locally and seasonally. When you have to ship peonies from new zealand or tulips from holland it only gets more expensive. try to be open to less traditional wedding flowers and take pride in the local flora of wherever you are getting married.” Natalie

They can collect different vessels from their moms, grandmothers, aunts and yard sales. This is a really fun way to design your tables because it brings in different elements to add more interest and can help keep costs down, using 2 or 3 different vessels for several floral stems” Bonnie


Are there any logistical problems florists run into on wedding day that couples could prepare for and try to avoid?

“Let your florist know if you have a cake, sweetheart table, and do a final count of the tables before the wedding. I have showed up and the table count was off of there is a sweetheart table left undressed. Now I ALWAYS ask those details.” Janelle

“This is a tough one and is different for each venue.  One thing I like to make all the girls aware of is that bouquets are handmade and  can be fragile if they do not keep them hydrated with the vases provided by the florist. Flowers can wilt or get tattered when not treated with respect before the ceremony begins. With many couples doing photos before the ceremony, the girls need to be reminded to get the Bouquets back in water before the ceremony. Once the ceremony is over they can be repurposed without water.” Bonnie


What is your opinion on couples who decide to take care of their own florals? Do you have any tips or tricks?

“DONT DO THIS. Floristry is not easy or that fun when you have no idea what you are doing. I strongly advise against this idea. There are plenty of DIY aspects to a wedding, just don’t include floral in that.” Janelle

Get all the help you can from family and friends. since flowers have a short life span the work needs to be done relatively close to the time you will be using the flowers for your wedding. dont be afraid for it to be wild and messy, use lots of greenery and stick with one focal flower in your color pallet and then accent with complimentary colors in smaller or more delicate varieties of blooms.” Natalie

I strongly suggest against designing your own Wedding Florals. Couples do not realize how much work goes into floral design and the mess that goes along with it. It puts a great deal of stress on the Bride and family members who are involved in designing the flowers. I had an situation once where we did all the other florals for the Wedding and when we arrived the family wanted us to show them how to do the centerpieces.” Bonnie


How can flowers be re-purposed throughout the wedding day?

“I always suggest that we re-purpose the florals that are used for the ceremony site.  Say for example the couple uses an arch with garland and florals. The garland can then be moved to the head table or the buffet table and then use the Bridesmaid bouquets added into the garland down the table.  If you have florals going down the aisle, those can be re-purposed through out the venue.” Bonnie


After all your hard work it is so sad to see florals get thrown away.  What can be done with bouquets and centerpieces after the wedding day?

“You can have your florist arrange a non-profit to come pick up the floral and gift them to the community. Its a great way to keep your flowers alive and help others in need smile.” Janelle

“That is the hardest and saddest part of the job! I think it is wonderful when couples opt to donate their leftover flowers to hospitals or hospice centers. some cities have organizations that will coordinate this for you. In san diego we have Blooms from the heart ;” Natalie
“A florist can work with a retirement home and take the centerpieces for them to use on their dinning tables and lobby area. The old folks just love flowers!” Bonnie


Thank you ladies for all your great input!


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