Wedding Flowers

Wedding Planning SOS: Hello Petal!

15th March 2012 | Julia Braime

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Faye Hatton Photography for Leafy Couture

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It might not surprise you that when planning my own wedding, I was one of those brides who kept a wedding scrapbook (more on my own wedding scrapbook coming up very soon on the wedding blog) – not so much a place for collecting ideas – more a work of art to be treasured for centuries to come.  By me and me alone, but still:  it was fabulous!

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So, when it came to finding a florist to turn my dreams into reality (and on budget!) this was no mean feat.  I was lucky to know and work with amazing North East florist Claire De Lune, who absolutely nailed it on our big day (you can see some pictures here, here, here and here if you are so inclined) – but what if you have no idea where to start?

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That’s where my fabulous guest blogger and Yorkshire wedding planner, Helen of Bash comes in!  Take it away Helen! 

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With images by Faye Hatton Photography and flowers by Leafy Couture

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Helen says: As an established Wedding Planner, I am experienced in helping couples at various stages of the planning process to achieve their perfect day. It is something I am particularly passionate about. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than the sight of a gleaming smile on the face of a radiant bride, enjoying every moment as her dream day unfolds. With this in mind, is it surprising that I am ever so slightly particular about the suppliers I choose to work with? It’s essential they share the same ethos: they’ll be prepared to take time to get to know and understand you, and will be determined to deliver a service that exceeds your expectations.

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In many cases, this is often the very reason why so many Brides contact me. Having chosen a venue and visited a number of wedding fairs where they’ve met numerous photographers and tasted great cake, they need a helping hand in refining their choices but don’t know where to start.

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So far in this series, we’ve looked at identifying priorities, choosing a venue, finding the right photographer and sourcing stationery, and now it’s the florist’s turn. Granted, your florist plays a huge part in terms of creating some of the most important accessories for your day, but before you rush out to meet them, please take another leaf out of this little ‘Wedding Planning SOS’ book.

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Faye Hatton Photography for Leafy Couture

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Great florists do get booked early and often impose a limit on the number of weddings they are willing to do to ensure they can offer a personal service so it is worth starting the search as early as possible.  Before you get started, look for testimonials on florists’ own websites. There’s nothing quite like a genuine recommendation.

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Not only is it important to choose wisely, it is vital that you give them all the information they need in order to create what you’re looking for. There are a number of factors which will almost certainly influence your choice of flowers, not least the venue (in terms of its scope and grandeur), the style of your dress and of course, any colour palette you have in mind.

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Faye Hatton Photography for Leafy Couture

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In preparation for any consultations, it is also worthwhile gathering together fabric swatches and collecting images, clippings and articles which help to illustrate what you do and do not like. Whilst you may not have the time to invest in creating mood boards, at least be prepared to describe what you consider to be the key aspects of your day as these will inevitably have a bearing on the choices you make.

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Even if you haven’t selected your dress, be prepared to talk about the styles you like and what you believe will suit you. Bear in mind that you will be carrying the ultimate accessory which should complement both the dress and your body shape. An oversized bouquet can so easily overshadow a simple gown or cover up gorgeous curves, which could otherwise be accentuated. Visualise yourself carrying your bouquet. How does it look? How do you want to feel?

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Faye Hatton Photography for Leafy Couture

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Think of a reason… will your bouquet and any other floral accessories contain any flowers which have a special meaning to you? Perhaps there’s a particular flower that resonates with you because its appearance or scent reminds you of a special person, place or time.

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Whatever the season… although it has to be said that some flowers are simply not available all year round, a great florist should usually be able to source what you’re looking for, or at least suggest a suitable alternative. Do bear in mind that seasonality can have a significant bearing on cost. Flowers are particularly expensive around Valentine’s and Mother’s Day and at Christmas time, red and white roses generally become more expensive.

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Faye Hatton Photography for Leafy Couture

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Once you’ve considered these points, you are ready to meet with a florist to talk through your ideas. This is an ideal opportunity to ask questions about the service they offer:

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Who will create your bouquet, bridesmaid’s flowers, ceremony arrangements, centre pieces, button holes and corsages? Many hands make light work but how personal is the service you will receive?

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Will they deliver to multiple locations and will this be included in their quotation or is there an additional cost?

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How flexible are they? If they’re delivering flowers for more than one wedding on your wedding day, can they co-ordinate delivery with your photographer’s arrival? This is particularly important if you want to incorporate the delivery of the flowers into the documentary of your day.

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Is it possible to see a sample of their work?

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Are they prepared to arrange a meeting at the venue?

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 Could any elements be re-cycled? For example, flowers used to decorate the ceremony might also be utilised during the reception or evening celebrations. Perhaps they might even double up as gifts?

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 Will they collect any hired items, such as vessels or vases the next day or is it your responsibility to return them?

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What are their payment terms?

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Following the consultation, your florist should write up a detailed proposal, itemising the number of arrangements, the kinds of flowers to be used, and any additional costs associated with delivery and set-up.

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Faye Hatton Photography for Leafy Couture

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If you have followed this advice and asked the right questions, I hope you will be happy with the outcome and receive precisely the flowers you want. You will certainly avoid some of the pitfalls that are usually the result of a florist having no option other than to create their own interpretation of your ideas, because you haven’t been clear from the start.

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Faye Hatton Photography for Leafy Couture

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Previous guest posts by Helen:

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Wedding Planning SOS- Practical Paper- Wedding Invitations

Wedding Planning SOS – Picture Perfect- How To Choose A Wedding Photographer

Your Move! Wedding Planning SOS- Where On Earth To Begin?!

Wedding Planning SOS- Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn- Wedding Venue Rescue

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Would you like to be a guest blogger for Brides Up NorthContact me

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © Faye Hatton Photography for Leafy Couture

Bash is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

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