How to Take the Best Care of Your Wedding Flowers

Once in a while, I’ll read complaints on a Facebook group or something of the like of wedding flowers not lasting throughout a wedding day. So, here are some tips on how to take the BEST care of your wedding flowers!

Before I get too far into this, it really comes down to using common sense: remember that flowers are live things, and treat them as such. If you throw your bouquet around, the delicate petals will be damaged. If you leave it out of water on a hot day, it will wilt. If you leave it in an unheated car when it’s below zero, it will freeze. Think of flowers like skin, except those petals are even more delicate and they don’t have the ability to regenerate themselves!

How to Take Care of your Wedding Flowers - Wedding Florists in Winnipeg

Keep The Flowers Hydrated

After delivery or pick up of flowers, it is the client’s responsibility to keep flowers hydrated throughout the day to maintain freshness. Place bouquets into their water sources throughout the day to allow for hydration (I always deliver my bouquets in vases to give them the best chance). In hot weather, flowers should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible, which will cause them to wilt. Some flower varieties are more prone to wilting than others, and if you’re getting married in the heat of summer, there’s just honestly very little that we can do to protect those fragile blooms. Generally, keeping them in water and out of heat will be your best bet!

Think About The Temperature

In cold temperatures, flowers should not be exposed to air below or around freezing. Flowers will be delivered with a plastic covering; keep this closed over the flowers any time they are outside. Do not leave flowers in an unheated vehicle. Flowers will freeze and brown when exposed to freezing air - and note that this includes air conditioners! Last year I had a photographer friend text me a photo of a bouquet (not one of mine) to ask what happened to it, so she could try to help the bride. The white flowers had completely browned and gone mushy. I asked where it was placed - the photographer told me that the couple had picked up the flowers from their florist the night previous to the wedding, and they had left them right in front of the air conditioner. As much as we do want to keep the flowers cool, the air coming out of an air conditioner is often too cold when it’s directly on the flowers, and that poor bouquet froze. Once a flower is frozen, there is no going back!

One bummer about temperature is that we can rarely control it. This includes your venue! The first week that the heat goes on in the fall often ends up with the venue being SUPER hot. I hate to say it, but there’s just nothing I can do to combat the inevitable wilt of some of your flowers under that blowing heat. A few years ago, I had a winter wedding where the ballroom must have been at least 26 degrees Celcius - in other words, it was smoking hot. I think their plan was to warm up the room quickly so that they could turn down the heat once guests arrived, but of course that plays a major impact on the flowers. I was running around the room making sure that every stem was in water and replacing some stems that had already started wilting, but there was nothing beyond that that I could do. Tent weddings often have a similar situation - I would recommend that if you’re having a tent wedding, ask your venue coordinator or wedding coordinator to open up the side panels to allow for as much air flow as possible. There’s nothing like a dank heat settling in a tent to create that oppressive greenhouse effect that cut flowers do not often thrive in.

Gorgeous Outdoor Wedding Flowers at Fort Gibraltar, Winnipeg - Stone House Creative

Travel Safely

One of the weirdest wedding mornings I’ve ever had was when the bride’s father came to pick up her bridal party flowers…with a full car. And it wasn’t just that there were dress bags or something in the backseat - it was full of PEOPLE. Like, there was literally no room in the car for the flowers. I asked him what his plan was, and he promptly popped the trunk. PEOPLE. Trunks are not air-conditioned, nor are they safe for something fragile to be bouncing around in. Please, please, please do not put your flowers in your trunk if you care about them at all! I told him there was no way he could do this and I suggested the people in the backseat hold the flowers on their laps (luckily, it was a very small order of just bridal party bouquets).

Now I know that on a wedding day, you’re rarely staying in one place all day long. You’re probably hopping into a limo to go off-site for photos at some point, and that’s perfectly fine! I deliver my bouquets in long cardboard boxes that are quite sturdy, and then packed really well with tons of paper in between the vases. The easiest thing you can do it just pop the bouquets back into their vases, have one person pick up each end of the box, and slide it into the vehicle. No trunks :) Do not leave flowers in a closed, un-air-conditioned vehicle.

Minimize The Flower Timeline

That’s a weird way of wording it, but if you’re facing a really hot day or you’re just worried about the longevity of the flowers, don’t have me deliver your bouquets at 8 am. If all of your pictures are taking place between the ceremony and reception, I can deliver your bouquets to you shortly before you leave for the ceremony location, which means that they’ll be able to stay in my cooler for longer! Most photographers don’t care to have the flowers in every photo, anyways, so you won’t need them all day long.

Similarly, opt to have the flowers picked up or delivered on the day of the wedding as much as possible, and not the day before. Rarely does this happen in my business, and usually only when the wedding is out of town so I understand that sometimes we need to make an exception and have the flowers picked up the day before. But generally, I do my very best to avoid this! Again, the longer they can stay in my cooler, the better for the flowers.

Organic Style Cascading Bouquet - Tips to Take Care of your Wedding Flowers

Keep Flowers Out Of Harm’s Way

What is in “harm’s way,” you might ask? Pets, curious little kids, overbearing mothers or wedding coordinators... Some pets will have a tendency to sniff a little too closely or even try to take a bite out of a bouquet. Little kids might tear through the getting ready space and knock a bouquet down, or get their hands right into the flowers and rip apart those fragile petals (though I will say, the ring bearer at one of my weddings this year tried to eat a flower out of his mom’s bouquet while she carried him down the aisle, and it was adorable). The occasional mom or wedding coordinator will think they know best and attempt to “perfect” the piece that’s already been perfected by your designer. At the shop I used to work at, we once had a wedding coordinator (truth be told, she was NOT a professional wedding coordinator, but someone the family knew who was a little overly bossy and wanted to be involved) who called us to re-make a bouquet 3 times on the morning of the wedding. Why? Because she thought that the petals weren’t perfect enough, and picked off all of the “damaged” petals - aka she made the bouquet bald, twice, before learning her lesson. Luckily, a retail shop often has enough leftovers to re-make a bouquet and we made it work for that bride but we had to tell the coordinator HANDS OFF!

The most important thing to me is that your flowers look beautiful on the day of the wedding. My job is to make sure each bloom is at it’s very peak on the day of, and in most flower varieties, they look their absolute best shortly before they die. Of course I would LOVE for your flowers to last a week after your wedding, and very often they do - but the after isn’t what matters the most.


Looking for a Wedding Floral and Event Designer in Winnipeg?

My 2020 waitlist has already been started, and couples interested in full event and floral design will be contacted first about their dates. I offer a limited number of dates for event design each year, in order to allow me to work closely with each couple. Combining event and floral design is the perfect option for couples who live out of town, or couples who feel they need a little extra help in creating the visual plan for their wedding day. Click this link to learn more!

All photos in this post by Charmaine Mallari Photography.

How to Choose a Gorgeous Wedding Colour Palette

Your colour palette is one of the most important things when it comes to the visual experience of your wedding, and there are a number of things to consider when you're first choosing the right combination. I'm going to briefly walk you through a few of the top things to consider, and then tell you where I think a lot of couples go wrong. 

1) Your venue. Let's face it, a lot of venues have some BIZARRE and very noticeable colour palettes already going on. Purple and orange carpet, anyone? I've seen it (at more than one venue...barf). You definitely have to keep the built-in colour palette of your venue in mind when selecting your colour combination.

2) Your favourite colours! Are you drawn to warm tones or cool tones? Neutrals or bright colours? Do you like contrasting colours or complimentary colours? Pulling out a colour wheel is a great way to identify some possible accent colours. Check out this post for some great help.

3) How you can tie these together in a way that is unique, interesting, and not boring? Like all trends, colour combinations tend to go in cycles. And like everything that pops up on Pinterest, most colour combinations become VERY overdone. That doesn't mean these colours aren't great...it just means that the chances of your wedding looking a LOT like everyone else's are pretty high. Take, for example, navy/blush/gold. It's a great combination, but because of how overused it is, it doesn't lend anything personal or unique to your wedding style.

Okay, so what is it that I find most people do wrong when it comes to choosing a gorgeous wedding colour palette? They play it too safe! There's no need for you to stick to just 1 or 2 colours, or a palette which is predictable, or sticking to a combination that is overly seasonal (you don't need to use only white and green in winter...just do whatever you want!). 

HERE'S MY TOP TIP FOR DEVELOPING A GORGEOUS WEDDING COLOUR PALETTE: 

Don't be afraid to expand on your colour palette to find the right accents.

1. Take the colour palette progression photos above as an example. I started with a pretty basic colour palette: white and green. Now, there's nothing wrong with white and green but it's really hard to make a white and green bouquet different from the last white and green bouquet. 

2. So, I added in a touch of burgundy foliage and berries. This added a bit of depth and texture at the same time, but it's not too much and if you're a bit afraid of colour, this is a great level for you. 

3. Now, if you're ready to go a touch farther, layer in a bit of soft pink. This can be just an accent, or it can be bolder, too. Bonus points if your pink blooms have a touch of that burgundy tone, like the centre of these gorgeous lisianthus. 

4. And finally, if the idea of adding in colour doesn't stress you out, then just go for it: add in some yellow. In almost every palette, I find that a delicate hint of yellow brings life and excitement. 

 

Here's another example, with a fall palette! 

If you're unsure of how to develop your wedding colour palette, flowers are a great place to work in accent colours without needing to have different tones splashed throughout the decor. And if you need a second opinion or some different suggestions, I'd love to talk with you. 

I'm now booking 2018 weddings! Click the button below to send me an inquiry. I can't wait to hear from you!

How to Plan Your Wedding Flowers, Part 4: Booking Your Florist

All right. You've inquired with some floral designers, talked about your ideas and heard their suggestions, and received a few quotes from them. If you've inquired with more than one designer, you've now got a decision to make: who do you choose?

Image by  Brittany Mahood Photography , designed by Stone House Creative for  Host Winnipeg

Image by Brittany Mahood Photography, designed by Stone House Creative for Host Winnipeg

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING FLORIST

Your best bet will always be to go with your gut: choose the person you CONNECTED with the best. If you're debating between two floral designers and they both came in at similar price points, but you had a better conversation with one than the other, then your decision is easy-peasy. Now, if you're debating between two or more designers who came in at different budget numbers and who offered you different ideas, I'm again going to suggest that you consider the one who genuinely GOT YOU better (assuming, of course, that you are a fan of the work of all of the designers you're considering). Selecting the person who really understands your vision and is excited about bringing it to life with her own creative spin on it, will be the happiest decision. If this company is a touch over your budget, you can come back to her with a request for a lower budget option, knowing that she'll still be able to create something that works for you because she gets you!

A FEW DETAILS:

  • Expect to sign a contract and submit a non-refundable deposit (your payment structure and refund policies should be noted in the contract).
  • This is the perfect time to ask any last questions that have come up since your consult and your initial conversation! 
  • Send your designer any inspiration pictures and pictures of your dresses for your designer to keep on file.
  • Here are some tips on how NOT to plan your wedding flowers.

WHEN SHOULD YOU BOOK YOUR WEDDING FLORIST?

I suggest that you book as soon as possible after you know who you want to work with. There will always be minor changes (or sometimes, even major changes!) that you need to make throughout the wedding planning process, but don’t feel like you have to wait until you know all of those details. In fact, it will likely work AGAINST you to wait - your floral designer may be booked up by the time you get around to it. Most floral designers suggest booking their services 8-12 months in advance of the wedding, and keep in mind that Winnipeg vendors tend to book up even earlier than that (I'm currently booking 2017 weddings!).

Don't miss a single post in this helpful 4-part series! You can find Part 1 herePart 2 here, and Part 3 here. And, now that you know everything you need to about planning your wedding flowers, click the button below to check your date with me, and tell me a little about your plans so far! As mentioned, I'm now booking 2017 wedding consultations. I have some winter 2016 availability still, so if you're planning for November/December of this year, shoot me an email right away and we can start talking.

How to Plan Your Wedding Flowers, Part 3: The Consultation

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I strongly believe planning your flowers should be one of the most fun parts of your wedding. And therefore, your floral consultation should be nothing but awesome! So today, I'm going to talk a little bit about how you can prepare for your wedding flower consultation, and what to expect.

Image by  Brittany Mahood Photography , designed by Stone House Creative for  Host Winnipeg

Image by Brittany Mahood Photography, designed by Stone House Creative for Host Winnipeg

WHAT TO BRING TO YOUR WEDDING FLOWER CONSULTATION

The BEST way to use your consultation is to help the designers get a really good feel for your personal style and your wedding plans so far. Have you found your gown, or the bridesmaid dresses yet? Bring a picture. Talk about your colour palette and bring swatches. Have you done the hard work of narrowing down that highly curated Interested board yet? Perfect. Sharing images that you're drawn to will help your designer get a good understanding of flower types you like, the bouquet shape you love, and more. If you've planned  details like your stationery or your table linens, be sure to tell them.

You'll also be asked about the list of floral items that you're needing, so have a good idea of the number of table centres you need, the approximate number of rows of chairs you'll have at the ceremony, and who you'd like to have boutonnieres and corsages (parents, step-parents, grandparents, siblings, ushers, and so on).

WHAT YOU NEED TO COMMUNICATE TO YOUR FLORIST (HINT: Budget)

Now that you've shared some of your wedding plans, the floral designer you're meeting with should have a good feeling for your style. Now, you'll also need to share your budget. I know, this isn't always easy. Along with the budget conversation will also come your top priority: in a lot of cases, the wants list exceeds the budget. So, make sure your floral designer understands what the most important elements are to you. That way, should your budget not match up with your dreams, your florist will be able to come up with some ideas for special arrangements or elements to add in that will help you achieve the look you dream of at a more affordable price tag. 

If you're having trouble communicating to your fiancé or parents why flowers are important to you, this post will be a great read for you. Remember that there's a lot more to selecting your florist than just the budget they present you with, so be sure you keep an open mind during your consultation to hear what she has to suggest to you. You want to hire someone who is excited, creative, and shares your vision!

WHEN TO LOG OUT OF PINTEREST

Okay girl, now is officially the time to stop looking at flowers on Pinterest. I know that Pinterest is full of so many great ideas, but it can also be a very dangerous trap, convincing you to spend more money than you can afford and adding way too many things to your to-do list. So here's what you do: stop pinning wedding stuff. Delete the images that no longer fit with your vision. Find more tips here. 

Keep your eye out for Part 4 next week: Navigating the quotes and booking your florist!

Don't miss a post! Here are the other posts in this series:
Part 1: Find Your Style
Part 2: Find The Right Florist

Planning your wedding flowers? I'd love to help. Click the button below to connect with me!

How to Plan Your Wedding Flowers, Part 1: Find your Style

You're engaged. Congratulations! This is a really exciting time, and planning a wedding can be a lot of fun. And in my completely unbiased opinion, planning your wedding flowers is one of the most fun parts! But, where do you begin?

Image by  Brittany Mahood Photography , designed by Stone House Creative for  Host Winnipeg

Image by Brittany Mahood Photography, designed by Stone House Creative for Host Winnipeg

FIND YOUR STYLE

Get started with the basics - figuring out what you like! This is the perfect time to get online or pick up a couple of bridal magazines, and do some looking to see what's in style right now and popular for weddings. You're going to be carrying around your bridal bouquet for most of the day - figure out what bouquet shape you like. Have you selected your dress yet? Your bouquet should complement your dress well, so you may need to think about the shape and size of your skirt, the embellishments on the bodice, and so on. Are there any flowers you know you really do like or don't like? Have a general idea for the overall colour palette for your wedding, and if there is a "theme" or specific vision for your wedding, consider how that might play into your florals. 

Think about other areas where you'll need flowers. Do you envision a floral altar, or something lining the aisle? Do you like tall or short centrepieces? What type of decor would look good in your venue?

START WITH PINTEREST - CAUTIOUSLY

Chances are, you've already got at least 1 secret wedding board on Pinterest. Head over there and take a good look at it, and here's a great hint: Don't be afraid to hit DELETE! Your engagement is the right time to start with Pinterest, but don't rely on it throughout your planning process. It's better to create that wedding board, and then a few weeks from now, go through and start deleting everything that doesn't fit into your vision. If you end up with 3-15 images, that's great. Much more than that, and you won't really be looking at your "favourites" anymore, but just a large selection of things that you like.

Here's why it's important: your wedding in an amazing opportunity to celebrate your unique relationship and your decision to commit yourself to your fiancé, honouring and supporting each other throughout your lives. Pinterest shows us a lot of awesome ideas on how to do that, but the thing is, once you've seen something on Pinterest, it's no longer unique. It's much better to find ideas that you love on Pinterest, and consider WHY you're attracted to them. Then, think about how you can personalize that to your own wedding! "When you replicate things seen on Pinterest, you are doing what was right for THAT bride, not what is right for YOU" - Every Last Detail (more on why you don't want to have a Pinterest wedding, here).

SET YOUR BUDGET AND YOUR EXPECTATIONS

I know that setting your budget can be incredibly tricky. After all, you've never planned a wedding before! A general rule of thumb is to allot 10% of your total budget to your flowers. If you want floral decor at your reception, you'll probably need to increase, but if you just need bridal party and family flowers, you can probably get away with less. It all depends on what your floral needs are. 

Knowing what to expect can be even harder, again, thanks to Pinterest. I have spoken with brides who have a $20 budget/table centrepiece, while the image they're showing me that they want is at least $500/table. Ouch. That sucks for all of us. We'll talk more about budget specifically in your consultation, once I get a good feel for what you're looking for, but in general, be flexible. If you don't know what to expect, just tell me. I'll do everything I can to come up with some awesome ideas that you'll love, that fit your budget, and that create the look and ambiance that you're looking for. Being flexible with your expectations will go a long way. 

 

Keep your eye out for Part 2 next week: What to look for when researching local florists and inquiring! 

Planning your wedding flowers? I'd love to help. Click the button below to connect with me!