Blooming in Style
From bouquets to table arrangements, find flowers that make an impact
Writer: Crystal Oliver
Cover Photo Courtesy of: Margaret Wroblewski Photography
Flowers and weddings go together like vows and rings. From the bouquets and boutonnieres to rose petals strewn down the aisle, flowers bring color, elegance, nature and art to every well-planned wedding.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when narrowing your options when looking for the perfect florist for your magical day:
1. What’s Your Style?
Do you prefer over-the-top statement arrangements, or are you more of a minimalist? Do you want to go with what’s on-trend, or are you into more classic styles? Check out wedding magazines, websites and social media sites for ideas and inspiration, and go with what gives you butterflies! You’ll need to bring these ideas when you begin meeting with florists, so keep track of what you love in a way that is easy to access. These days, brides are all about natural bouquets and arrangements, according to Stephanie Kenyon at Potomac Floral Design Studio in La Plata. “We are seeing a lot of loose and airy hand ties. Most are preferring more of a garden look, like something that you handpicked out of a garden.” Go-to wedding staples are garden roses, peonies, spray roses, hydrangeas, and a lot of greenery, eucalyptus, and anything that drapes or cascades, with an airy feel, Kenyon says.
2. What Level of Support Do You Need?
Florists provide a range of services, and some even specialize in floral design. If your needs are limited to needing only custom bouquets and centerpieces, then a regular florist will likely be enough. If, however, you want someone to design and set the mood for the reception and ceremony scenes, then you’ll probably need a florist designer. Figuring this out first will help you to refine your options and set your budget.
3. How Much Can You Spend?
Know how much you plan to spend before meeting with florists. Kenyon says that coming in with a budget is the most important way to prepare for meeting with florists.
This helps to manage expectations on both sides and set realistic expectations for the wedding couple.
“Brides love Pinterest and see grand arrangements but they have small budgets — that’s one of the biggest challenges for us,” says David Douglass, also at Potomac Floral. Be sure to factor in costs like delivery, setup, taxes and tips. If you are looking for a showstopper flower show or are determined to have tropical flowers in December, then you’ll want to consider expanding your flower budget from the recommended 10% of the wedding budget.
4. What Do Others Say?
Nothing beats a strong recommendation or a solid reputation, and word of mouth can deliver both. Ask friends, family, colleagues, newlyweds and your other trusted wedding professionals and vendors about their experiences and who they would recommend. Remember, you want a florist who is reliable, capable and affordable, as well as easy to work with and open to your ideas. Check out dedicated local wedding magazines and social media sites, and other wedding professionals who they recommend. Your wedding planner or wedding location coordinator should also have ideas.
5. When Can You Meet?
Once you’ve narrowed your search to include florists who get the art and impact of the language of flowers, start meeting with them. Make appointments as soon as possible, at least 7 months out, says Kenyon. “That gives the couple enough time to put down a deposit and then pay installments, as needed, leading up to the wedding date.” It’s also a great idea to learn some common floral terms to keep the conversation flowing when you do meet with them. When you do meet, be sure to bring photos of flowers and arrangements that you love, as well as photos of the wedding party attire, so that you can discuss your vision and how each florist can make those ideas a reality.
6. What’s the Best Offer?
Have each florist submit a detailed proposal for your wedding based on your discussions and budget. Be sure to ask for a breakdown of all costs and services (e.g., line item details like exact flowers, costs of materials, delivery, taxes) to make it easier to tailor your choices before making a final decision.
Depending on the proposals, you may want to spend more on bridesmaid bouquets and reduce the size of the table centerpieces. Review each proposal, work out any final details with each florist, and decide on the best match. Once you’re completely satisfied with a proposal, your florist will issue a formal contract, which means you have a winner and are ready to tackle another component of your dream wedding. •
THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN PLANNING YOUR FLORALS
Seeing is believing.
Many people use online images for their floral inspiration
Photoshop and filters are often applied to alter photos, sometimes resulting in inaccurate floral colors that aren’t representative of what is found in nature. Request images of prospective blooms from the florist to ensure the color palate is realistic.
Consider how to repurpose your floral arrangements and bouquets
Make the floral investment go further by using the ceremony backdrop and arrangements as reception décor. Reuse bridesmaids bouquets as floral pieces on dessert, gift and buffet tables and more.
Use locally grown flowers
Ask the florist about sourcing locally grown seasonal flowers for arrangements. Lilacs, sunflowers, zinnia, dahlias, and hydrangeas (to list a few) pack a big punch and many are grown right here in Southern Maryland from spring through fall. Buying locally could make a huge impact on the floral budget. – Ali and Sandy of Copper Moon Floral
There are many more options in all three counties, but these are good starting places.
Anchored Roots Farm, Hollywood
Copper Moon Floral, Bryantown
301-855-9750 /301-466-8485; coppermoonfloral.com
Floral Expressions, Owings
Garner and Duff, Prince Frederick
410- 535-1711; Garnerduff.net
Potomac Floral Design Studio, La Plata
Scarborough Farm Flowers, Mechanicsville
Weavers Flowers & Herb Gardens
40285 Busy Corner Road, Leonardtown; No phone or website. Must visit in person.