One of our largest weddings of 2016 was this dream of a summer wedding at Army and Navy Club in Washington, DC. Blush dahlias, blushing bride protea and hydrangea and zinnias fresh from our garden were the floral highlights of the event, perfectly reflecting the sweet, elegant bride we worked with on the design. When I first spoke with Lois, our bride, I immediately loved her vision and couldn't wait to bring it to life. I especially loved the opportunity to create dramatic, raised centerpieces that included hanging amaranthus and a variety of garden roses. Beautiful photography by Lissa Ryan Photography, Featured in Washingtonian Bride & Groom.
This wedding just outside of Washington, DC in early May was marked by soggy weather. Thank goodness for Plan B! And luckily the rain let up just enough time for the couple to get some photos under their lush arbor with pops of coral, peach, blush and lots of greenery. We had so much fun building this arbor and adding potted begonias and herbs into the wedding ceremony and reception flowers.
When Elizabeth of East Made Event Company asks me to work on a styled shoot with her, I know it's going to be perfection down to every last detail. She is just so meticulous and has a fantastic eye for elegance and beauty. This shoot was planned around the old dogwood tree that sits on the property at North Point Plantation near Richmond, VA. Our textural bridal bouquet and arrangement were inspired by spring blooms including dogwood and locally foraged hellebore. We crossed our fingers in hopes that the dogwood tree would be in bloom in time for this shoot - and it was. Rachel May captured the entire day perfectly, and we were completely thrilled when we found out this was featured on Once Wed.
Photography Rachel May Photography | Stylist/Planner East Made Event Company | Floral Design Blossom & Vine | Dress Alexandra Grecco | Hair and Makeup Emily Artistry | Venue North Point Plantation | Cake Incredible Edibles Bakery | Suit J. Crew | Models Modelogic | Chairs, Tabletop Items White Glove Rentals | Ring Susie Saltzman |Veil, Robes, Accessories BHLDN | Shoes Bella Belle | Garter Garter Girl | Ribbons and Runner Frou Frou Chic | Calligrapher Maurelle Calligraphy and Design | Tablecloth Party Rental Ltd
You know in your heart that your wedding florist understands your vision. You trust she has the skill to bring it to life within your budget. This leaves you feeling relaxed and excited in the days leading up to your wedding. These steps give you the tools to choose your florist based on trust instead of price tag.
Step 1: KNOW YOUR BUDGET
It's hard to compare apples to apples when it comes to hand-crafted, custom designed, one of a kind floral arrangements. A good florist will be able to create a floral design plan that you love and that fits within your budget (as long as it fulfills her minimum). KNOWING your honest and true budget and being able to easily communicate that to a potential florist allows you the freedom to make the final decision based on who you trust the most rather than being stuck in a "how low can you go" pricing game. Take the time to sit down with all of the people involved in paying for the wedding. A lot of couples spend 8-10% of their wedding budget on flowers depending on how flower heavy they go. Have an open and frank conversation about your overall budget and how the breakdown looks. Get comfortable and confident with your budget.
Step 2: DO THE RESEARCH
Again, TRUST is the name of the game. You can learn tons about your potential wedding vendors before first contact. Here's how...
- Do you love her aesthetic? Look at her Instagram feed, blog, website portfolio and published work. If you said "Spring Pastels and go..." do you have confidence she would hand you something you love? This is the kind of trust you are looking for.
- Does she have a minimum budget requirement? If so, does your budget meet it? If not, try not to feel offended if she politely declines to work with you on this event. She might be able to recommend a different florist with a similar style but a business geared toward weddings in your price range.
- READ HER REVIEWS! These are like friends whispering "I've been there and this was my experience". Look for quality over quantity. Sentences like "she understood how to make the space feel a certain way" and "she worked to understand my vision and created something better than what I could have imagined" help to build trust.
- Look at her about page. Do you like her as a person? Do your values seem to align? This part is about personality fit. Trust your instincts, it is much easier to work successfully with a person you like.
STEP 3: PICK YOUR TOP TWO
Now that you have done the leg work, you are able to confidently save time and energy by narrowing your list down to two florists that you feel you already know and love. If you have a favorite, reach out to her first. Your florist will pick up on the vibe that you are already excited about her. Knowing you are serious will give her the confidence to put her heart and soul into understanding your vision. She will pour her creative juices into creating a mood board and proposal designed just for you that you can both fall in love with.
Once you find a florist you can trust, sit back and enjoy being engaged!
FASHION HITCHED SALON / FURNITURE & RENTALS PARTYPLUS / GOWN DESIGNER LIHI HOD / JEWELRY LINDSAY MARIE DESIGNS / GROOM & HIS MEN ANNAPOLIS FORMAL AND TUXEDO / HAIR BEHIND THE VEIL / RING TRUMPET & HORN / MAKEUP MAKEUP BY KEVAN / PHOTOGRAPHERS ELIZABETH FOGARTY / COORDINATORS & STYLISTS ADRIANA MARIE EVENTS / VENUES WHITEHALL / CAKE CATHERINE GEORGE CAKES / SHOES JIMMY CHOO / DECOR 2HANDS STUDIOS / PAPER GOODS & CALLIGRAPHY KA KALLIGRAPHY / FEATURED ON WEDDING CHICKS