Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wedding flowers. What you need to know!

I asked Poppy Parsons of Smart Flowers, http://www.smartflowers.ca/ , to write up a blog post on wedding flowers. Wow, she has sent me not one, but three posts worth of bridal related flower things you will want to know! I also asked her for a bio to put with her blog posts. Here's what she said:

My training began in 1993 while working at Smart Flowers. Having worked under Jim; a highly respected floral designer and photographer, I learned that quality always comes first. Smart Flowers was and is still known as the best flower shop in Swift Current, their commitment to quality is never surpassed. After marrying in 1994 I moved on to the financial industry, but I always knew that I wanted to own a flower shop.  So when the opportunity arose in the spring of 2007 I jumped at the chance to fulfill that dream. 

Over the last 4 ½ years myself and my staff have worked hard to keep the excellent reputation of Smart Flowers in the Swift Current area. The wedding portion of the business has grown significantly and we have become known for our unique approach to design in weddings, sympathy and everyday floral arrangements.  Both myself and my full time employee and sister Shayla have attending numerous courses, seminars and shows to expand our training and natural abilities. Some certificates that I have achieved are basic & advanced wedding hands on, corsage advanced hands on & sympathy tributes; all offered by certified AIFD, CAFD and CAFA designers. I have also attended seminars and symposiums discussing colour, and elements and principles of proper floral design. When given the opportunity to expand our skills; through workshops, training magazines and seminars we take it!

So, once the engagement ring is on your finger and you are ready to get serious about choosing your florist (which according to Today's Bride Magazine should be ordered about 4 months before your big day) this is what Poppy tells us you need to do:

Contact your florist once you've selected the date, time and place for your wedding and reception. If you aren't familiar with the florists in your area, ask for recommendations from other brides, reception halls or churches. It will be helpful if you know the colours and style of the gowns you and your bridesmaids will be wearing. Bring pictures of your gown and the bridesmaids dresses, along with swatches of fabric if you have them available. Once you have that; set up an appointment with the lead designer who will be in charge of filling the order for your wedding flowers.

Look through bridal books and floral guides. Look at your florist’s Facebook page or website at their own wedding designs. Sketch ideas, cut out pictures or take photographs of flowers you like and share them with your florist. Seeing your ideas and personal style will help your florist translate your concepts and special requests into workable floral designs and arrangements that are just right for you. During your initial consultation with your florist, discuss specific design ideas that fit both your personal style and budget.
I took this photo off Poppy's web site. LOVE the colours!

The following are suggested questions to ask when consulting with a wedding florist:
·         What flowers will be in season at the time of my wedding?
·         What flowers are available that will be used to fill my order based upon my budget and colour preferences?
·         Do you have pictures of bouquets and arrangements from other weddings you've done? Can you provide referrals?
·         Will you help me work within my provided budget?
·         Will there be sufficient staff to design the arrangements for my wedding and have them delivered on time?
·         How will the flowers be handled, delivered and set-up, taking into consideration the weather constraints for my wedding?
·         Do you offer rental items (vases, urns, etc.) or do we need to rent them from another company?
·         Are there any extra fees (delivery, set-up, sales tax, etc.)?
The following are suggested items that should be discussed once you have chosen your wedding florist:
·         Name and contact information (mailing address, telephone, cell phone, e-mail address, etc.) for you and the florist.
·         Date, times and locations of your wedding ceremony and reception.
·         An itemized list of all the flower arrangements, number of arrangements, colours and flower preferences.
·         Flower alternatives, should a specific bloom be unavailable for your wedding. Include any unacceptable substitutions.
·         A list of items (vases, trellises, etc.) that the florist will supply. Include the rental, delivery and set-up prices for each, if applicable.
·         Arrival times for set-up at the ceremony/reception sites. Include instructions on who will meet the florist at the sites along with contact numbers.
·         Where and when the bouquets and boutonnieres should be delivered.
·         Deposit amount and due date.
·         Balance amount and due date.
·         Cancellation/refund policy

Tune in later this week and I’ll share with you the answers to some frequently asked wedding flower questions. AND if you have any questions you’d like a professional florist to answer, post them! I’ll pass them along for Poppy and see if we can get some answers for you.

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