The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Flowers | Guest Post with Darling Buds Florist

I'm really glad that you all enjoyed my last guest post with lovely bridal makeup artist and friend Laura Le Page, and I was keen to bring you another advice and wedding planning blog post! This time focusing on another super important and exciting aspect of your wedding day - the flowers! I asked my friend and fellow Devon based wedding supplier Ellie, the owner of Darling Buds florist, if she could offer you her top tips on this subject.

I spent the afternoon at Ellie's studio photographing her prepping some wedding flowers and am blown away by her talent, skill and attention to detail. I hope you enjoy this little collaboration. Here's Ellie, giving you her ultimate guide to wedding flowers...

"Your wedding florist should ooze professionalism through extensive knowledge, experience and passion. Planning your wedding flowers should be an enjoyable process whereby you build a rapport with your florist gaining trust that they will create your vision and achieve this vision for your big day.

You will probably be one of the following; either you have a pretty clear vision of what you imagine your wedding flowers will be like, or you may feel a little overwhelmed and have absolutely no idea! Don’t panic… this is an enjoyable process and you WILL know more than you think after you have had a meeting with your potential wedding florist. Here are a few tips to think about before your meeting."

1. Which flowers should I be looking at?

"You may or may not have a ‘favourite flower’ and if you do, great, however sometimes it may not be in season for your wedding. DO NOT PANIC! There are always alternatives and very rarely will you hear ‘not at all possible’ from a professional florist. It is great if you have a rough idea of flowers you like the look of or their scent; make a note of these. It is also just as important to tell us / your florist what flowers you DON’T like. Make a note of these too!"

2. Which colours go well together?!

"Have you an idea of what of colours you are choosing for your wedding day? Colour tends be influenced by a style / theme and a lot of the time, the choice of your bridesmaids dresses. It isn’t essential but having an idea of colour really helps us as florists during the initial meetings, to help guide you in the right direction of different flowers, ribbons, styling accessories of that colour palette as well as harmonising colours.

There is a great website called ‘Design Seeds’ that has a gallery of different colour palettes for inspiration."

3. How much time do I need?

"You may have read a few ‘How to plan’ blogs of how far in advance you should book suppliers etc. but really, there is no set time. Like with any wedding supplier, if you would really like them to play a part in your wedding day then do bear in mind their availability. Check out website galleries, social media and look at testimonials / reviews to get a good overall idea about your potential wedding florist.

At Darling Buds, we welcome couples to pop into the studio to chat through flowers, design ideas and colours over a cup of tea or coffee. We then send across an individually itemised quote along with the terms and conditions for you to have a good read through. If you like the sound of our ideas and would like to proceed with booking us then we require a small holding fee that secures the date of your wedding and our services for you, this is then deducted off your final bill two months prior to your wedding day."

4. How much do wedding flowers cost?

"Personally, I always feel this is a tricky subject with wedding flowers, as how do you budget before you know how much everything costs?! Most florists should be more than happy to work within a budget if you have one, but do make sure this is clear right at the beginning of your meeting to avoid disappointment. There are always ways of achieving similar looks with less flowers, more foliage etc. so there’s always a way! Some florists will have set price lists, others won’t, but they should all be happy giving you lots of options of different designs and different prices.

I have been asked a few times ‘what are the cheapest flowers?’ Roses can be cheap, like the piddly little ones you may see in supermarkets, but Roses can also be expensive like the large blowsy scented ‘David Austin’ style. It is all about how specific you want to be with your flowers and their seasonality. Take note: Floristry is labour intensive, we are working with fresh products that have a short life-span. 5am starts and 11pm finishes are a norm during the wedding season."

5. Who and what needs flowers during the day?

"You may be wondering “which members of the bridal party require flowers?” for example. Well, you for a start(!) Whether that be a bridal bouquet, buttonhole or hair flowers. A rough guideline of who normally receives flowers within your bridal party follows: Bridesmaids, Groom, Groomsmen and Ladies - usually Mums or Grandma’s! Flower girls, Pageboys (these usually receive buttonholes with safety pins) and sometimes Thank you gifts for anyone that has been particularly helpful during your planning process (again usually Mums!)

Also think about where you need flowers at your venue(s). Does your church provide flowers for you or will you need to provide these yourselves or add to the church décor? Most florists, if they have not already been to your wedding venue, will carry out a site visit to check fixings for floral installations and be able to advise you which designs would work where. We are more than happy to arrange meetings at the venue with you but please always check with your wedding venue beforehand."

6. The use of Pinterest

"Pinterest is a fantastic tool that we use with most of our clients creating secret boards and mutually pinning to achieve a true understanding of styling ideas. However, Pinterest can also be a bit bad…! Not all, but a lot of the images on there are taken from photoshoots with extensive budgets with flowers have had to last as long as a click of a camera. The photos may have also been heavily filtered and not true to life. Just bear this in mind."

7. Any hidden extras?

"Check with all of your suppliers, not just your wedding florist that there are no ‘hidden’ costs. Your florist will probably mention this to you anyway. Your first meeting will be to get lots of ideas down about colours, flowers, design ideas and requirements, but don’t be afraid to ask if the prices include set-up, delivery and collection costs."

8. Have fun!

And lastly… enjoy it! Planning your wedding flowers should be one of the most exciting parts of the planning process! If you have any questions, we are more than happy to try and answer them by emailing Happy Planning!

Thank you so much Ellie for all of your helpful top tips and inspiration! If you are looking for a wedding florist in the area, do go ahead and look further at Ellie's website, or follow along with her on Instagram and Facebook.

You can read more of my advice blog posts over here!

Tara x

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Wedding and portrait Photographer Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, South West UK