How do we decide on our wedding flowers when we don’t even know their name?

It’s been a while since my last guest post by Luxurious Glitter where she helped to answer the question of do you need a glitter bar!? Today I’ve asked award winning mega floral babe Elise of Hedges & Flowers to help you get you started and answer some of those questions like; do we even need a florist? Can I do them myself? What do I even ask a florist?! Will I look stupid if I don’t know the name of the flowers (I KNOW these are questions you’re all thinking!) So over to you Elise;

Finding any wedding supplier can be daunting, but couples often confess that they are particularly nervous about approaching florists. This can be for a number of reasons, most commonly that people don't think they know enough about flowers and don't want to look silly. Well I'm here to tell you gals, sometimes we don't even know the names of flowers and it is absolutely not something to be afraid if. 99.9% of florists are fun, friendly, down to earth humans who genuinely LOVE what they do. I for one know that I would talk to a brick wall about peonies and floral trends if it looked remotely like it was listening, so send that email or make that call today!

To give you a bit more confidence in contacting your florist, heres a few little pointers for things you can be prepared with, or that they're probably going to ask you...

Why even use a florist?

Some people have reservations about using a florist in the first place, with the mind set of "why pay someone a hella lot of money for something I can do myself". And although I appreciate wedding flowers can be costly, I'm here to tell you people, floristry is not the easy + glamorous job that instagram may have led you to believe. 

Your florist is highly experienced in their trade, and they have the ability to read every situation and take appropriate action to make sure your flowers achieve their best quality. Every flower has its own traits and behaviours and each one needs specific treatment in order for it to bloom to its best potential, or live its best life if you like. I'm not going to bore you with how to nurture a hydrangea and but you get my point. If you are really set on DIY, hire a florist to make the main elements; bouquets + buttonholes to ensure they look the best in the photos. 

Then when you add in the 4am starts, the late nights and last minute stresses of un-opened blooms, I highly recommend hiring a florist even if its just to cover the bases, the last thing you want to be doing on the morning of your wedding is taping Best Man Barry's buttonhole. 

How to pick your wedding flowers / Guest blog for Chloe Lee Photo Alternative Wedding Photographer Kent

Know your budget.

"Traditionally" the wedding gods suggest you set aside 10% of your total wedding spend for flowers. Now I'm not one for tradition, and every wedding is different but it is a good idea to have a figure in mind when going into your consultation so that you wont be disappointed. It's also a good idea to do a little bit of research whether that be online or by speaking to previous couples about just how much different floral items cost. For example, there is no point in setting your heart on a secret garden themed wedding, moongate and all when in reality your budget will only cover bouquets and buttonholes. Obviously your florist can guide you on prices and what to expect to be able to get for your budget, but be open to accepting that your dream pinterest wedding just might not be achievable. That being said, your florist should be able to offer you alternatives that could create the same vibe but for much less than the original price tag.

Another little side note when considering your budget, is not to forget that set up and installation charges will be added to your bill, to cover delivery etc, and depending on what you are having, this could be a considerable chunk of your original budget.

How to pick your wedding flowers / Guest blog for Chloe Lee Photo Alternative Wedding Photographer Kent

Work with the seasons.

It is a common misconception that foliage (or gypsophila!) costs less than flowers and that is therefore a way to save some dollar, and I'm sorry gals but this just isn't always true. Sure, a stem of green isn't as expensive as a peony, but out of season, you can be paying up to 3x a stem for eucalyptus which IS the same as if not more than a large headed bloom. Like I said before, your florist is the expert! So trust them. They know exactly what will be at its best on your wedding date, and how to make the absolute most of your budget. This does also mean that you have got to be open to compromise and open minded about what flowers you will be holding on your big day. Pinterest is a bit of a killer for florists, as although it provides gorgeous inspo, and is a fab way of you sharing your vision, it can also be quite misleading as to what is actually available or physically possible in your own wedding. So by all means bring all of your pinterest images, but also be open minded to accepting that we just might not be able to exactly recreate your dream peony bouquet for your November wedding.

How to pick your wedding flowers / Guest blog for Chloe Lee Photo Alternative Wedding Photographer Kent

Choose a florist that matches your style.

Most good florists will be able to recreate anything and replicate any style that you like. But a fantastic florist will have found their distinct style and they will have perfected it so when doing your research, contact florists that create work with a consistent style that resonates with your and your vision. Once you have done a bit of research, short list 3 or 4 of your favourites and meet with them all. Show them all of your details and take note of how they react. Do they make you feel important and excited? Or are they just going to treat your wedding like another job? If flowers are really important to you and your day, make sure your florist shares your enthusiasm and your vision.

Photo credit:    From The Smiths

Photo credit: From The Smiths

Be prepared.

When you go to visit a florist, make sure you're prepared with all of the details they're probably going to ask you for. When I meet with clients, I want to leave our meeting with a strong visual of the whole day and how I can create flowers that are going to enhance it. I also want you to feel confident in my ability to do that, and the way to ensure that is to give me as much info as possible so that I can quote in as much detail as possible. Tell me your vision, describe your style, show me your venue and swatches of dresses and other decor.But also, tell me how you met and what you like to do together in your spare time. I want to know as much about you and your partner as I do about your day because at the end of it all, your wedding should be an extension of you 2 as a couple. 

How to pick your wedding flowers / Guest blog for Chloe Lee Photo Alternative Wedding Photographer Kent

And lastly (ironically...) DON'T LEAVE IT LAST MINUTE!

Similarly to venues, florists get booked pretty quickly and often up to 2 years in advance. So I implore you to not leave it 5 months before your wedding before you start thinking about flowers, because you are inevitably going to be disappointed when your dream florist is already booked. If flowers are important to you, they should be high on your priority list to book when ticking off your final suppliers. 

Photo credit:    Johnny MP

Photo credit: Johnny MP

I hope these tips prove useful to you and put you at a little bit more ease when contacting your wedding florist! You can find Elise using the links below (she’s bloody awesome and has just won best florist in the UK wedding awardsd so you should all go book her asap before her diary is bursting!):