Set Goals to Establish Design Direction
Weddings drain wallets in a thousand different ways, and spending wisely is a good way to start a good marriage. You can save a lot of money on wedding flowers by first determining their purpose in the celebration. The joining of two people in holy matrimony is not a spending contest. If your family does not have mountains of cash to spend on a wedding, then there are ways to decorate with style and good money sense. Obscenely expensive wedding decorations are in poor taste, and good floral design doesn’t have to be costly. Over-the-top floral designs can detract from the celebration, rather than elevate it. Of course, if the function of the flowers for your wedding is to pretend you and your family have money to burn, then don’t bother reading the rest of this article! Spending wisely on wedding flowers starts with establishing the goals and design direction for the event.
Young brides are pressured into pretending to be financial princesses through popular media. Industry professionals can profit from the young bride’s naiveté, but floral companies that want to build long-term business relationships provide wise guidance rather than price gauging. Wedding florals are there to provide proof of the couple’s love, not the size of their pocketbook. Their purpose is to create a special, unique look for a single moment in time—just a few hours. The whole beauty of flowers is their ephemeral nature. The design can be done in a cost-effective manner, without waste and with the understanding that the event is temporary in nature. Photographs can preserve the beauty of the ceremony for the future. Part of being a good wedding floral consultant is managing the excitement of the bride’s family and pointing them to designs that are in good taste and appropriate for their budget.
For a typical wedding, you need to add flowers in several different areas—table decorations, altar decorations, and possibly aisle decorations. A unifying theme and choice of blooms provide a cohesive display. Repetition can lead the eye to a focal point and also give the designer a handy way to use modular units for multiple purposes. Modular units can be secured in floral foam and combined to form an impressive table display, be repeated down the center of a table-scape, be plopped into adorable baskets hanging from a row of shepherd’s hooks staked into the ground, be attached to the ends of pews, and wired into larger groups to be focal points for an altar or arbor. Simply build the same modular unit as many times as needed. Make a few extra for emergency decorating issues. You can purchase the blooms and supplies in bulk at a wholesale dealer, and then assemble modular pieces to be combined in numerous locations within the wedding venue.
Keep your choice of different flower varieties of simple. Seven is a good number—one flower variety for each day in a week. Purchase flowers a short time before the wedding, so they will be absolutely fresh. If you know the color theme, you can choose what is available at the wholesale supplier, and purchase what fits according to the most abundant and affordable available blooms. Be sure to choose flower varieties which provide contrasting scale and texture, as well vibrant flowers within the required color scheme. A strong, simple flower palette is best, since the flowers will be viewed from a distance.
Keep a record of the flowers you use for different weddings. You might be asked to recreate a similar arrangement for anniversaries. What could be more romantic than to commemorate the special day with a small arrangement of similar flowers ten, twenty, or fifty years later. It is an idea you can suggest to the bride and groom for repeat business.
Condition greenery for the arrangements from suppliers or nearby sources. It’s always good to get some of the long-lasting foliage stems from the supplier, but you can find good options for greenery growing in your own back yard. Test out the life span of properly conditioned home-picked greenery to be sure it will survive a long time in floral foam. Conifers are surprisingly long-lasting in arrangements. Pick out found stems that spike, fill, and droop. You will need all three forms to complete each floral unit. Greenery helps the bloom colors pop by acting as a cool, neutral background.
There is no need to purchase hundreds of flowers and pack them all tightly within each display. Good floral designers understand how essential editing is. Avoid having too many components for an attractive arrangement. Don’t be pressured into emotional purchase decisions. A wedding is a celebration of two lives joined as one. The flowers, the cake, and even the dress are secondary to the spiritual event. Being savvy about the flowers can remove some of the stress of such a momentous occasion.