Learn how to shop carefully when searching to buy your wedding flowers and greenery online.Wholesale flowers are no bargain if you have to buy in ten bunch minimums. That's when I made the decision to carry more than just florist supplies in my online store. No bride can afford DIY bouquets if they are forced to buy more flowers than they really need.
Today's modern designs are a lovely, loose mix of both flowers and greenery. If your minimum purchase requires a a minimum of 10 bunches of every greenery variety in your bouquet - you won't even begin to be able afford to buy the mix of flower varieties! Instead of creating "mixed packages" for you (where the seller gets to choose what you receive!) . . . I think the control should be in the bride's hands.
My single bunches may cost slightly more each - but you buy only what you need. This also allows you to purchase the rest of the products you need, such as bouquet holders, florist tape, fresh flower processing products and flower jewelry such as rhinestones and pearls. I don't claim "free shipping" . . but they aren't really giving you free shipping either. Trust me - it's carefully calculated into the price.
Don't see a flower or greenery that you want? Give me a call. I partner with one of the largest flower wholesalers in the United States. If it's in season and available, there is a good chance we can find it for you. We strive to make your decisions good and sound. If I see a product that is nearing the end of it's peak season (and may not look as good as it should) I'll usually call your attention to it and we can discuss alternatives. I will usually tell you if a certain flower variety is not worth the trouble.
Unique greenery can add lovely interest and texture to today's bridal designs. Flowing seeded eucalyptus, soft velvety Dusty Miller and tall Italian ruscus can be just as gorgeous in a bouquet as expensive flowers.
Some common greens, like Leather Leaf fern, can provide an inexpensive way to fill out gorgeous florals and luscious bridal bouquets. But do you really need ten bunches? That's a lot of greenery which usually has 20 - 25 stems in each grower's bunch. Break it down by designs and unless a professional florist is making huge floral displays or 25 centerpieces, a full case of leather is going to go to waste. I can create one bridal bouquet and 3 - 4 bridesmaids bouquets using just one single bunch of leather.
I provide tons of intensive step by step flower tutorials, so you can see how a professional creates gorgeous bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, church florals and reception centerpieces. I have a deep love for all things flowers. My goal is to help you save money - but NOT at the cost of stressing you out by forcing you to buy way more than you need or something that is so cost inflated it's not worth it.
If possible - stay away from Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. Flower prices peak sharply at this time because of the high demand and the growers raise our prices significantly. We are forced to add surcharges during this time period simply because the flowers cost us so much more.
Most of all - have fun! Choose designs simple enough to create and don't stress yourself out by trying to recreate magnificent Oscar like designs. Those kind of flowers take TEAMS of professionals to assemble.
Think about how much time you have and how you will transport and set up your final designs. High labor items (huge arrangements that have to be created on site or labor intensive designs like corsages and boutonnieres) are where you save the most money.
Always comparison shop (checking out sites like FTD) give you a feel for what flowers will cost you if you have a professional florist design them. Sometimes florists tack on "designer labels" (think Vera Wang) which often steers to highly expensive flowers that have been inflated simply because of the name. Many of these designs can be created by you or a trusted friend at a much cheaper cost.
Labor is one of the highest costs of wedding flowers. Don't get me wrong - I was a wedding florist for years! This is labor intensive work that involves a lot of one on one time with a bride. You want that kind of service - you are going to have to be willing to pay for it.
Shops may tack on 70 - 100% of labor in addition to the flower costs (which in turn were already tripled from wholesale to retail). If you can't actually save money by doing your own flowers - why bother investing all that labor? Shop, shop, shop. Read the fine print. Find out what you're buying.
Only then . . make the decision to create your own flowers. You'll love the compliments and can enjoy a significant savings. Just don't choose to stress. Go with the flow. Pick something fairly easy to design. Remember flowers are a living product, so don't try to match colors exactly - but look for shades and hues that will compliment your overall color scheme. Prepare your working space before the flowers arrive and invest in the products that will keep your flowers alive.
When I retired, I've designed many weddings out of my home. Just be wise, prepare and know what to expect. Be sure to enlist the help of friends or family members that are not a member of your wedding party. Plan to be able to leave the flowers in capable hands if you have to leave for a hair or nail appointment. Turn the air conditioning down and empty a spare refrigerator if you have one available. Browse thru all my tutorials and understand the proper ways to treat your flowers. Remember that they are living products and may DIE EARLY without a water source. Turn "hand tied" designs into a "mock hand tie". They look like the real thing - but give those flowers a water source.
Skip the DIY tutorials from anyone who is not a professional florist. I cringe at some of the tutorials I've seen. A table runner that sticks something like Queen Anne's lace into a ribbon with no water source is just going to have the guests arriving to dead flowers on the table. It looks good right after you did it - but it certainly isn't going to last. Yet this is one of the most highly pinned and re-pinned flower tutorials on Pinterest.
Leather leaf fern is one of the most common greens used by a professional florist. You'll find it in virtually every flower shop across the United States. One bunch has approximately 25 stems (depending on stem size). Learn how to process both your flowers and greenery correctly and they will last much longer.
Flowers like flower food. It makes them last longer. Greenery, however, has a tendency to turn yellow if you place it in buckets with a flower food. Skip the food and just put the greens in freshly drawn tepid water after cutting the ends under water (just like flowers).