7 tips to get your wedding flowers just right

By Pete Chambers

Planning a wedding can be a stress-filled endeavour, especially if you’re getting married on a private island like Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. And though cross-country planning isn’t a hurdle many of us face, even recently wed celebrities like Riley Keogh and Eddie Redmayne – who told Ellen DeGeneres that his wife was “a good half-hour late” to their Winter Wonderland-themed celebration - would likely agree that pulling it all together is no simple task.

Lauren Conrad shared a snap from her wedding to William Tell on Instagram

But when it comes to floral arrangements, choosing flowers for your centerpieces and bouquet should not be freaking you out. We’ve rounded up some tried and true tips to help you get around the potentially painstaking process – and they’re the product of years of hard-earned experience. Here are seven must-try wedding-flower tips that only a florist could tell you so your special day is exactly how you envisioned it!

1. GET ON PINTEREST!

One Fab Day's "Beautiful Bridal Bouquets" board on Pinterest

Make a private board” says Mississauga-based floristOla Balas. “Invite your florist to it, and add all the things you like.”

Ola, who owns Euro Flowers, says it saves a lot of time in your consultation to have a vision of the things you like. Pinterest is full of interesting and unusual ideas and sometimes your florist may even have a board on which they post their own work. Use their board as a jumping-off point by identifying examples that you like.

But, be timely! “Please stop adding things the week of your wedding. We've probably got a lot already made and if you throw something in there that doesn't look anything like what you asked for we're going to start second-guessing and it stresses us out.”

2. DON'T USE SUBJECTIVE COLOURS
By that, florists mean colours that may vary from person to person. Saying you want chartreuse is not going to help a florist at all (try googling a colour and see how many variations pop up!). Suggest simple colour names to explain exactly what you want (think: “very dark purple” over “eggplant”). And the more you can show exact colours in photos the better!

3. DON'T FORGET TO TELL YOUR FLORIST WHAT YOU DON'T WANT, TOO

Kim and Kanye's spectacular Italian wedding

Florists can't quite read minds yet - though Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, with their spectacular floral walls, might have been able to afford one that does! For the rest of us, be super specific. Hate blue hydrangeas for your blue-themed wedding but love the white variety? Let your florist know!

4. YOU MIGHT NOT SEE THE FLOWERS WEEKS IN ADVANCE
All of your flowers will be done the day before your big day to ensure the freshest product, so calling two weeks ahead to ask if you can see them is not an option. However, Ola says that when you book your florist, include a note in the contract to have at least one sample of the centerpiece one week before the actual date of your wedding.

5. TALK TO YOUR FLORIST ABOUT THE LOGISTICS OF THE DAY
Remember that your floral team is able to do anything you’d like, but with fair warning! If you’d like the flowers used in your ceremony transferred to the reception space, your florist will be game – but make sure they know what to expect. Unless you want a casual group of people scrambling around your wedding moving flowers and setting up, let them know the dress code. They’ll try their hardest not to be seen by taking back halls and roundabout routes, but they may pop though a group of guests to set an arrangement on a table or two. Ola says, “It's very awkward for a bride to request we do this and not tell us it's a black-tie wedding. We would have dressed a little nicer if we knew!”

The Duchess of Cambridge opted for a simple bouquet

6. TIGHT BUDGET?
Cutting as many costs as you can? Consider having your bouquet tied with twine if it works with your theme and colours. Ribbons can be very expensive and don’t get a whole lot of attention. Swapping for less expensive ties could save you up to $15 a bouquet. (On the other end of the spectrum, asking for raw silk and velvet can shoot the price up by another $45 per bouquet!)

7. TRY TO AVOID BEING A BRIDEZILLA
Sara Jameson, owner of Sweetpea’s in Toronto, says “Too often we find that brides read articles and see blanket statements that may not help the florist-bride partnership.” She says that the “Bridezilla” is becoming an expectation, rather than an anomaly. Knowing that this is your special day, your florist will do everything possible to help make it one to remember, but being rude and demanding is not going to help matters. It’s important to be realistic about your expectations and understand what’s within your budget – it might not be that spectacular photo you saw on a blog or in a magazine.

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