How I Design Your Wedding Flowers

Wedding flowers are complicated. Design them wrong and you risk dated arrangements that read terribly in photos. Or, even worse, don’t survive past the ceremony. You’re left carrying a wilted mess back down the aisle. That “just married” photo, ruined, forever.  With tens and hundreds of thousands invested in your wedding, you can’t afford to have sub-par flowers ruining it!

Designing flowers that are unique to you and wedding day is a process that takes many weeks of planning. Wedding flowers are the décor that is unique to your wedding day (what other event will have this many flowers?). So, it’s important that we select flowers that are specific you to and your vision, in addition to choosing the right flowers for the right designs, to ensure no wilting blooms will be present on your day.

Step #1 The Season

First, I consider the season of your wedding. The season is going to tell us several things – first, what is growing locally. Certain flower varieties will come with certain color palettes and each season has a unique “vibe.”  Generally, spring is pastel, summer is bright and saturated, fall colors are becoming more muted and warmer.

Read More: Why I Design with Local Flowers

#2 The Venue

The location of your ceremony and reception play a critical role in determining what flower varieties will work best. An outdoor wedding in July is hazardous to flowers, and only the heartiest flower varieties can withstand the heat and humidity long enough to last the day! How those designs are put together is also critical in maintaining your flowers through the wedding day. This is part of the reason that I DO NOT use floral foam in any floral designs. Not only is in horrible for you and the environment, but it can dry out very quickly. That is why I customize the “mechanics” (the part of the design you don’t see), so that flowers are sitting directly in clean, cool water all day long. 

#3 Your Photo/Video Team

Third, I consider your photographer and videographer. How your photo and video team will capture your day, and ultimately edit the final product, plays a huge role in how your wedding flowers will look in your album years from now. Trendy editing is fun, but can affect how the color tones of your flowers will read. So, by knowing how your photographer edits your images, I can make recommendations on which flowers types will look best.

#4 Your Chosen Color Palette

Fourth, your color palette: Hang on! You may be thinking, shouldn’t that be the first thing I talk about? Well, if I had to guess, your wedding palette is probably made up of 1-2 main colors. And colors are really just the way we perceive light. Right? So, consider if light can affect your color palette, I need to know all the factors that will affect the lighting. Season, venue, and editing style are all factors that will ultimately affect the final color. So, if I know that before knowing your palette, I can recommend the flowers and variations or compliments of those colors that will work best for your day.

#5 Guest Experience

You want your guests to enjoy your wedding. And it doesn’t hurt to have them leave your wedding and continue to talk about how amazing it was for weeks later. Or, anytime someone they know gets engaged, “you should have seen THIS wedding, hang on I’ll pull up a photo…” #goals

Transporting your guests and creating an experience starts with ambiance, and is made extra special and consistent with the floral décor. We think very carefully about where guests will be looking, walking, mingling, and creating floral pieces that invite them deeper into this experience. This process is a collaborative one with you and your planner, so we can make sure the design is fulfilling the goals and dreams you have for what your perfect wedding day looks like.

#6 Bringing the design together

Because I work with local farmers, and with seasonal products, I often have a *general* idea of what will be available and what color palettes will be prevalent. BUT, final decisions on the specific flower types are not made until 4-6 weeks before your wedding. Even then we want to keep a certain amount of flexibility in the design choices because substitutions are a reality when designing flowers.  

WHY do you make final flower choices so late?  

Flowers are a perishable product, so it may help to think of them more like food than décor. For example, you may work with your caterer on a specific menu, and last minute something isn’t available or a substitution needs to be made. I ALWAYS make substitutions within the color palette we have agreed upon. Red roses are not substitute for white orchids!

But, I already know EXACTLY what flowers I want!

That’s awesome! You probably spent a long time figuring out exactly what you like, why, and you’ve been saving that one photo for months, if not years! But there’s a few things to consider: seasonality: year to year, the growing season is always different. Color tones change, varieties may or not be available. Your photographer may edit the image differently, the day may be really sunny, or overcast. And, there’s the issue of copying… wouldn’t you rather have wedding flowers customized your goals for your wedding, and to your personality? We’d rather made your photos the new trend on Pinterest. Additionally, what is coming off the fields may be sheer perfection for your color palette and style of wedding, but might be an unexpected trial variety that we didn’t know about, or perhaps something bloomed early and is at its peak. By designing based on color palette and how the flowers will be used, we have the flexibility to make those final decisions that will make your wedding flowers unique to you.

Are all your flowers locally grown?

Rose and Laurel is a proud member of the Slow Flower Society. Part of this membership means that we prioritize the use of locally grown, and USA grown flowers in all our flower designs. This does not mean that we eschew the use of imported flowers. But, we make sure that we have exhausted every local and USA grown option before we make the decision to import flowers from the Netherlands, South America, New Zealand and Japan (to name a few of the major international producers).

Read More: Why I Design with Local Flowers

Summarizing my process:

Choosing your wedding flowers is complicated, and involved, and ultimately will affect just about every other design decision that you make for your big day. Make sure that your florist has an intense knowledge of their local and global market options to make sure your flowers are the best they can be.

Those are some of the factors that go into how I design your wedding flowers. It is a lengthy process, that starts with your inquiry, and ends with a final trip to the flower farm to select the best blooms for your wedding day. This process is different from a lot of other florists in that I prioritize local, seasonal blooms over importing specific varieties. I also design arrangements differently, focusing on sustainable design practices that are ultimately better for you and the flowers.

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