Hello wedding couples!
We think it’s fair to say that for most people, the business of planning your wedding ceremony flowers is a journey into the unknown. Yes of course, you’ve ventured into a flower shop to buy a bunch for a birthday. You might have ordered some online to be delivered to a loved one, but that’s probably about it (are we right??). As for the flowers themselves, you may have taken a tentative step into Instagram or Pinterest. There, you discover a riot of glorious creativity which can be, frankly, overwhelming. Which flowers are best to keep a budget down? Which are better for a spring or autumn wedding? You may feel you don’t know where to start. The rest is a bit of a mystery.
So let’s dive in: the price of flowers comes as a bit of a surprise to many couples. Armed with a gorgeous set of Insta images, they approach their florist and eagerly await her response. When she provides a moodboard presentation and budget, they are often slightly shocked.
One typical response is “but I could buy a bunch of flowers at home for £45 so how can this bouquet be €120??
The fact is that wedding flowers, a bespoke service geared to your specification is a whole different kettle of fish to popping into your local florist or – (we’re not judging here!)- petrol service for a quick bunch for your nan’s birthday.
So here are a few tips to help you get started.
Getting to know your florist
Most wedding florists don’t have a shop so the flowers they order for you are specific to your brief. This means that they aren’t just picking something out of a jug they have to hand; the whole order needs to be very precise. If they order too much of a flower and it’s not used, it goes to waste. Too little and it’s too late to order more. This requires more work upfront to get the specification spot on.
So, (quick diversion here) don’t they have a shop? Well, during the six-month wedding season, a good florist is working full-pelt with four or more weddings a week, and sometimes two on one day. If you consider an average wedding of say 80- 100 people, this is a whole large van full of flowers to condition, arrange, wire and otherwise prepare. Your florist needs to ensure that not only are the flowers perfect and ready, but there are practical considerations. She also needs to get them to the venue and set them up, perhaps wiring them individually onto a large circular arch.
Bear in mind that during the winter months, the order book is filling up with clients- that’s you! Each of you will usually require around three presentations, mood boards and outline budgets before everything is agreed.
Flowers in Mallorca
It’s also important to bear in mind that here in Mallorca, the whole business of flowers is very different. As an island everything needs to be brought in. Often, your flowers will start life in Columbia or further afield, be flown to Holland and from there, on to Mallorca. It’s a tricky business to keep the flowers in tip-top condition through their journey to you.
The art of floristry
To be a good wedding florist is a mixture of art, technicality and craft. In most cases, your florist is following an inspiration photo that you have supplied. So the aim is that your flowers will look like the photos. But what if you want a flower that’s not in season for your wedding date? (some like peonies and ranunculus have a fairly short window). Or you might want a lower-cost version with some other flowers substituted, but giving the same effect.
The craft side means knowing exactly how open the flowers will be on the day, keeping them in just the right conditions to be open but not overblown. Peonies and hydrangeas are notorious for looking perfect one minute and the next, shedding petals and collapsing. It happens!
Choosing your flowers
And there are some thing which, frankly, need a bit of luck. One of these is getting a flower in a specific colour. The difference between a blush rose with a hint of lilac versus a blush rose with a hint of apricot can be very hard to see on a supplier’s catalogue. The photograph may have been taken in a dull light, the colour of some flowers might vary slightly according to the month, the florist’s PC screen may be slightly oddly aligned. Descriptions of colours can mean different things to different people. One person’s ‘dusty rose’ can be another person’s ‘apricot-blush’. Maroon, mauve, lilac- all are notoriously difficult to pin down.
And the result can be that the shade suddenly jars badly with the rest of the colour theme for the wedding. So you do need a really good florist to navigate these delicate matters.
Moving on, your florist needs to order a specific amount of the flowers. In many cases, it could be a minimum of five bunches of ten stems. If it’s a small wedding with lots of different flower types and different styles for say, bridal party, ceremony and dinner tables, it might not be possible to use all the flowers up. On the other hand, when your mini-eucalyptus arrives, it could be that the sprigs are rather more slender than expected. So your florist needs to ensure that she has enough, rather than too little.
Getting down to basics
So what can you do to ensure that you are getting the right specification together?
When you are choosing inspiration images, by all means start with a riot of ideas, but we suggest that you gradually narrow down your choice over a couple of research sessions. This could be in terms of style, colour and size. If you don’t want a huge bouquet, make sure you save photos of medium-sized ones. We’re just saying; don’t just indulge, have an Insta-immersion session with a glass or two of Prosesco and a couple of mates and expect your flower budget to be minimal.
Choosing your flowers
Check the images carefully for expensive flowers such as orchids, peonies, hydrangeas, proteas, anthuriums, and Austin roses (the lovely full old-fashioned type). Don’t rule them out but be aware that they are expensive.
If the whole business of deciding on flowers, along with everything else you have on your to-do list gets too much, do consider working with a wedding planner, especially for a destination wedding.
So, that’s just an introduction to the wonderful world of flowers. Check our future blogs for our tips about what flowers to use to keep costs under control and how to plan flowers for different area of the wedding.