Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Wedding Flower Budget

Last December, I wrote a 3 part blog series about wedding flower budgets (links to those three posts are at the bottom of this one!) and it was incredibly popular, with both florists and wedding couples alike. I was thinking about that the other day, and with us entering planning season, I thought this would be the perfect time to dust it off - but I wanted to add a little more.

I'll be the first to admit that Stone House Creative is not a "budget" florist. I run a profitable business and I'm both proud and happy about that - I think all businesses deserve to be run profitably. If a business isn't profitable, it has no business being a business! But regardless of how much I charge for wedding flowers, something I hate seeing is when couples are over-promised and under-delivered. So, here are some of my top tips for getting the most of your wedding flower budget

Top Tips to get the Most of your Wedding Flower Budget - Stone House Creative

1) First, HAVE a wedding flower budget!
To start, you must understand that flowers are a luxury item. They are a perishable item, just like the food that you're serving to your guests, often having been flown from halfway around the world and perfectly timed in order to make it here in pristine condition (it's amazing how frequently people don't think about this fact of nature). With that comes a price tag. But simply walking into a florist shop and saying "I don't know how much wedding flowers cost" isn't always helpful - often because that comes along with an enormous gasp that makes a florist feel as though she's done something to personally insult you. 

Come prepared with a number that you are both comfortable spending on this luxury item, and one that makes sense for what you're asking for. Most likely, you'll have no idea what wedding flowers cost SO here you'll find a very helpful BUDGET BREAKDOWN of different price ranges associated with pictures to help you get a visual for the size of arrangements that you're interested in. There is absolutely no shame in not having a clue what things cost, and there aren't a lot of helpful resources out there that actually show you want flowers cost, particularly in Manitoba. That link will do so!

2) Discuss with your florist what your primary concerns are.
Is the overall budget your biggest thought? If so, then we (the florists) will make very specific suggestions for lower cost, readily available flower types for you in the colour palette that you want. Maybe your primary focus is your bridal bouquet, and everything else is just background. That's awesome - we'll use the premium flowers in your bouquet, and scale back on the rest of the arrangements. Maybe you couldn't care less what your bouquets look like but you REALLY want flowers on every guest table. Cool! Again, we'll make specific suggestions for the best way we can accomplish this! I might suggest going with a single-ingredient bouquet to keep the bouquet costs at a minimum and then have more fun with different varieties and textures in the reception flowers. The point is, tell us what your top priorities are and then see what we can come up with. It's a large part of our job to be able to create awesome designs that fit your wish list, and we LOVE whenever we get the chance to actually do this!

Tips to get the Most out of your Wedding Flower Budget - Winnipeg Wedding Florists

3) Plan in advance how your arrangements can be re-purposed, and don't forget to let your florist in on this conversation.
I'm a big believer that anything you use at the ceremony should be something that can be re-purposed at the reception. Whether it's two large arrangements set on pedestals at your altar being moved to either side of your head table, or those gorgeous arrangements on your arch being re-purposed into your head table decor or as a backdrop for your cake table, it's great when you can get double-duty out of your ceremony flowers. This is why I'll almost never recommend that a couple opt for aisle bouquets: they're tricky to re-purpose and you'll get a bigger bang for your buck if you keep the focus up on the front. 16 small arrangements on the pews can cost just as much as 2 statement making pieces at the front! 

But, please don't make this plan without your florist's input. The reason for this is because we might need to build an arrangement in one way for your ceremony, but if we had known that it would be re-purposed on your sweetheart table, then we would have built it in a different way. It's our job to think about the mechanics behind the flowers, and it's also our expertise - so let us help and make it go as smoothly as possible!

4) Skip the boutonnieres and corsages altogether. 
This isn't always a popular opinion, but if you're on a tight flower budget, just don't order any boutonnieres or corsages. It's a similar argument to the aisle bouquets at your ceremony: they may be relatively inexpensive little things on their own, but anything multiplied by 3 moms and 2 grandmas, 6 groomsmen and 2 dads plus the ushers, emcee, special aunties, sponsors, etc. is going to add up really quickly! In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this is the biggest waste of money that is a part of wedding flower budgets and is often a trap that lower budget couples get stuck in. And think about it: if you're spending serious coin on a beautiful groom's suit, why would you want to stick pin-holes in it? Why would your mother want to shove a silly flower on her wrist when she's spent hours trying to find the perfect mother of the bride gown, when a piece of jewellery would look so much better? And truthfully, no matter how cute we florists make these little pieces, they're still fussy / uncomfortable / irritating / challenging to put on and make sure they stay put.

5) Don't just go for the lowest quote that you receive. 
I've seen this SO many times in my line of work. Couples shop around a few florists and choose the lowest budget one, without much comparison as to what is going into that quote. If there is a large price difference between quotes, then chances are REALLY good that you are not looking at comparable proposals in the slightest bit. A personal story:

Several years ago, I quoted a couple on the wedding of their dreams. We were slightly over their budget, but we had EVERYTHING included that they could have wanted, all of the little "extras" that they were hoping for. They were so happy with the quote, and I was astonished a few days later to find out that they decided to go with another shop. This shop wasn't known for doing weddings at all, let alone doing a nice job of weddings. They also weren't charging tax, which is a major red flag in my opinion (if a business isn't charging you tax, it means that they're not running their business legally. Is that really who you want to be dealing with? What other areas of their business are they running in a shady way?). That being said, I wasn't surprised to get a call 5 weeks before their wedding begging us to take their wedding again. Why? They had realized that the quote from this other shop, which was marginally less than what we had quoted, was not at ALL comparable to what we were proposing to them. A mock up of a $100 centrepiece that was a measly single white hydrangea and feather in a tall glass made them quickly realize that they hadn't done their proper research, and they'd just looked at the lower price tag. This is the perfect example of over-promising and under-delivering, which is totally unacceptable (and yes, we took their wedding on and did an awesome job of it - and there are lots of great, reputable shops in Winnipeg who would do their absolute best to help you if this is the situation you find yourself in).

When you're comparing different florists, it's much more important that you chose someone who you feel really understands the vision you have for your wedding, and will complement it with great floral designs. Choose the company who got you excited about the flower planning and whose work you love. That florist will be able to make the best suggestions to you on how to get the most of your wedding flower budget.

5) Be flexible. 
This probably should have been tip 1, because it's really the most important of them all. If you're concerned about your flower budget, whether it's $500 or $5000, the best thing that you can do to help yourself is to be flexible. Presenting a list of demands to your florist and requiring that he or she fits it into your budget will rarely work in your favour. Instead, I'd suggest that you tell your florist what you're drawn to and what you'd ideally love to see as a general style overview, and then allow her to create an overall plan for you. You might not see flowers filling every table, but you could end up with some of the tables having lush, gorgeous arrangements that make an enormous spotlight with scaled back designs on the other tables - and still within your budget.

This wedding is the perfect example of "be flexib le." The bride, who lived out of town and wanted to minimize her planning stress, told me what her overall vision was, gave me a good idea of her style, and was clear on what budget she was comfortable spending. She knew exactly what she was comfortable spending (and it was a realistic number) but didn’t nitpick the details, which allowed me to make the best decisions for her budget. she let me come up with the entire design plan and we ended up with such a good setup!  Photos by  Kamp Photography  / Planning by  Soiree Event Planning  / Venue  Smith Restaurant

This wedding is the perfect example of "be flexib le." The bride, who lived out of town and wanted to minimize her planning stress, told me what her overall vision was, gave me a good idea of her style, and was clear on what budget she was comfortable spending. She knew exactly what she was comfortable spending (and it was a realistic number) but didn’t nitpick the details, which allowed me to make the best decisions for her budget. she let me come up with the entire design plan and we ended up with such a good setup!

Photos by Kamp Photography / Planning by Soiree Event Planning / Venue Smith Restaurant

Need more help? Here are some of my favourite budget posts that I mentioned earlier: 

Emily and Adam's Romantic Pineridge Hollow Wedding

Emily made such a beautiful bride, and has such great style - as evidenced in the romantic wedding at Pineridge Hollow she planned for herself and Adam! One of my favourite things about their wedding was the palette I got to work with: light but still moody, elegant, and somewhat dramatic. Neutral but still interesting! And I LOVE that Emily chose a soft, dove grey wedding gown!

Kamp Photography ~ Pineridge Hollow ~ Buttercream by Alareen

Romantic Wedding at Pineridge Hollow - Stone House Creative
Neutral Moody Wedding Bouquet - Wedding Flowers Winnipeg

Bridal Bouquet Ingredients: Earl Grey rose (such a lovely, delicately tinged rose that's almost white but is slightly grey/lavender), plum ranunculus and scabiosa, locally grown anemones, iris and foxglove, yarrow, stock, and sweet pea along with mixed foliages including foxglove and Israeli ruscus.

The freckles on the foxglove worked as the perfect transition between the softer tones and the plum, and the addition of the peachy pink yarrow and the stock just added some more femininity. The locally grown iris was a last-minute find at my wholesaler that I'm sure I'll never be able to get again, and technically I hadn't budgeted for it but I just had to include it! It was the perfect shade of softest blue that tinged more towards the grey and was perfect with her dress. I finished the bouquet with trailing grey ribbons, in silk and pleated satin. I loved this bouquet!

Garden Inspired Floral Design - Winnipeg Wedding Florists
Pineridge Hollow Weddings - Winnipeg Wedding Florist
Romantic Wedding Flowers - Stone House Creative

Emily also asked for a floral crown for herself. I made it with soft pink and white spray roses and yarrow, and it looked really lovely on her. It just added to the feminine, romantic vibe she was going for.

Romantic Garden-Inspired Wedding Flowers - Wedding Florists in Winnipeg
Rose and Sweet Pea Bridal Bouquet - Winnipeg's best Wedding Florist

The reception was at Pineridge Hollow. Emily chose long tables (if this is the way you go, just keep in mind that their tables are very narrow!) and collected a variety of mismatched antique china teacups for centrepieces. I loved the petite arrangements that I got to do in them - soft pinks and lavender tones, with mostly locally grown flowers. A bonus to this day was that I ran into my sister and her daughters while setting up, and my little nieces so desperately wanted to help me set up the wedding! It was the cutest thing - my 4 year old niece Penny went straight to my flower box and started pulling out centrepieces and carrying them over to tables. Not to be outdone, 9 year old Lily very quickly came to my aid as well!

Pinerdige Hollow Weddings - Winnipeg Wedding Venues
Teacup Wedding Centrepieces - Vintage Wedding Ideas

Buttercream by Alareen provided the cutting cake, and I had so much fun adding the fresh flowers to it. This picture below is a little sideways - the flowers cascaded down the front, with ivy trailing with them. Every baker has different preferences about whether or not they want to add the flowers themselves to the wedding cakes, but I'm perfectly happy to do it. I'm totally comfortable making the stems foodsafe and I'm a bit paranoid when it comes down to it - I don't want any flower "juices" making their way into your delicious cake, let alone any chemicals that might on the blooms themselves.

Floral Wedding Cakes - Stone House creative
Weddings at Pineridge Hollow - Stone House Creative

Looking for a wedding florist in Winnipeg?

Getting married in Manitoba? I might be biased, but flowers are the best way to make a statement at your wedding. Whether you already have a specific vision or want me to dream up something custom just for you, reach out to Stone House Creative for stunning bridal bouquets, truly unique ceremony backdrops, and beautiful floral centrepieces to create the perfect ambiance for your wedding! 

Limited summer 2019 wedding dates remain available. Click below to check your date!

Stephanie and Andrew's Stylish, Organic Wedding at Cielo's Garden

Stephanie and Andrew were married mid-June in an incredibly stylish, organic wedding at Cielo's Garden. They live in Toronto, and it was clear to me from our first email exchanges that Steph has a gorgeous personal aesthetic so I was really excited to work with them. I think the biggest challenge was deciding on the colour palette - we started off with Steph telling me that she only wears black and gray, but wanting a bit more colour at the wedding. We thought about lots of terracotta accents (which were eventually removed from the plan), and ended up tucking in a bit of mauves to the loose palette of peaches, plum, apricot, dusty greens, and earth tones.

I worked on their event design along with their floral design, though we ended up doing a bit of a hybrid design package as a result of the features of the venue as it is. You don't need to bring in a lot to make Cielo's gorgeous!

Photos: Ariana Tennyson ~ Floral and Event Design: Stone House Creative ~ Venue: Cielo's Garden ~ Day of Coordination: Melanie Parent Events ~ Catering: Chef Ben Kramer ~ Stationery: Everly True ~ Hair: Mallory at Prep Hair ~ Makeup: Tina at Myuz Makeup ~ Officiant: Colleen Olafson

Stylish, Organic Wedding Flowers - Winnipeg Wedding Florist

Head's up: there are a LOT of really good flower photos from this wedding, and I'm just going to share them all. Sorrynotsorry.

Bridal Bouquet Ingredients: cappucino roses, amnesia roses, ranunculus, scabiosa, iris, flowering ninebark, freesia, magnolia, boxwood, and ruscus. I finished it with a touch of mocha toned  silk ribbon from Tono & Co.

Earth Toned Wedding Flowers - Stone House creative
Cappucino Rose wedding bouquet - Wedding Flowers winnipeg
Blush and Mocha Wedding - Stylish Wedding Flowers

The girls chose their bridesmaid dresses sort of at the last minute. The one thing Stephanie said at the beginning was that she didn't want them to wear blush 😂I absolutely love their choices - both dresses complemented Steph's so well and I love that they're obviously not "bridesmaid" dresses. They just look stylish.

Below is Stephanie's second dress of the night - see what great style she has?

Cielo's Garden Weddings - Wedding Photographers in Winnipeg
Cielo's Garden Wedding - Stone House Creative

They loved the hanging greenery pieces that I've done for other weddings, but asked that I sort of mimic the shape of the window. I really love how this one came together - we used several different types of greenery so it was really textured, and almost looked more like a living plant wall.

Cielo's Garden Weddings - Stem Vase Wedding Decor

Because of the features of the venue itself, Steph wanted to really load up the tables and make them look full, but also keep them really in keeping with the natural environment. With the clear walls and ceiling giving you 100% views of the woods around the tent, I think it's really important to suit the views with the design. Steph's personal preference was for nothing to look perfect, so I used several different types and cuts of glass vases (keeping them all in clear glass maintained the overall design integrity while bringing visual interest), and a mix of fuller arrangements, individual floral or greenery stems, and greenery arrangements.

Stephanie and Andrew dropped by the studio a couple days before the wedding and she saw my scraps jar, and really liked that - which I thought was hilarious. So, I made sure to add in lots of texture and dried "weedy" bits into the floral arrangements, and almost went a little haphazard with the greenery arrangements to keep them messy.

Winnipeg Event Designer - Stone House Creative
Garden Inspired Wedding Centrepieces - Wedding Florist in Winnipeg
Peach and Mauve Wedding Bouquet - Stone House Creative
Stylish Wedding at Cielo's Garden - Cielo's Garden Weddings

Looking for a wedding florist in Winnipeg?

Getting married in Manitoba? I might be biased, but flowers are the best way to make a statement at your wedding. Whether you already have a specific vision or want me to dream up something custom just for you, reach out to Stone House Creative for stunning bridal bouquets, truly unique ceremony backdrops, and beautiful floral centrepieces to create the perfect ambiance for your wedding! 

Limited summer 2019 wedding dates remain available. Click below to check your date!

2019 Wedding Bookings Update

Hello everyone!

Wedding season is underway (and with a bang...I've got three weddings this weekend!) and I'm excited to also be heavy into my booking season for 2019 weddings. I know it seems crazy to be booking your wedding flowers so far out, but we tend to have long engagements here in Winnipeg with couples that like to plan their weddings far in advance. 

Here's an update on my 2019 wedding availability: 

May 2019: Limited dates still available in the earlier half of the month
June 2019: Fully booked
July 2019: I've got space for 2 more weddings depending on their size
August 2019: 3-4 more bookings are still available, on August 3, August 10, and August 24!
September 2019: 3-4 more bookings, depending on their size
October: Pretty flexible, aside from the Thanksgiving weekend which is fully booked

So, if you've been wanting to sit down with me to discuss your wedding flower needs, click the button below to set up an appointment. 

Next year, I'm really excited to be working at many incredible outdoor venues and properties, designing in some really fun and creative colour palettes, and with couples who love flowers and want to put a major focus on unique designs (not just what they've seen on Pinterest). I'd love to create a floral design plan just for you!

I've got some other great things going on these days!
-Last week I hosted two Mother's Day flower classes (SO much fun!) and I'll be planning another floral arranging class mid-summer with all locally grown flowers. 
-I also took part in a creative photo shoot last week, with Casey Nolin and Inspired Elegance Events, with a delish palette of peaches, corals, orange and salmon. So refreshing and I can't wait to show you the photos!
-One Tuesday, May 22 between 3 pm and 8 pm I'll be at Cielo's Garden for their open house. If you're a 2018 or 2019 couple getting hitched at Cielo's, make sure you come by to talk details with Carla and talk flowers with me!
-One of the things I'm looking forward to the most is a free week coming up in June, during which I have no weddings and instead will just be playing with flowers for myself, trying new techniques and new-to-me varieties of flowers. I can't wait!
-Wedding season is underway and I think I'm more excited for this season than ever before. It's going to be so great!

Behind the Scenes: Wedding Planners Styled Day

Aimee De La Lande Photography

Aimee De La Lande Photography

I am a HUGE believer in community over competition. The wedding industry is an interesting one because we all create so much - and that can make it very competitive and judgemental ("will that couple book with me or with them? This thing that I just made is total crap. This thing I just made is incredible and no one will ever beat it."). It can be hard to find the balance between viewing the other people in your industry as colleagues versus competitors.

So, for the last two years, one thing that I've really enjoyed putting together is a Styled Shoot day for a handful of wedding planners in the city. My goals are primarily to have fun (they have stressful jobs!), fostering community, creating connections, and building portfolios. But, I do it a little differently than other styled shoots which are usually planned down to the last detail. I do it as a surprise for them! I usually give them the overall colour palette, and that's it. When they show up on the day, they'll find tables full of options that they can pull from to create a look that they love. This includes dresses and accessories for their models, plenty of vase options for centrepieces, flatware and dishes, linens, chairs, stationery, and so on!

Here's a little behind the scenes from that day! It's pretty different than the behind the scenes for a wedding day, but it's still fun!

Video by Prairie Wedding Films

A HUGE thanks to everyone who took part! 
Venue: Alloway Hall, Manitoba Museum | Linens and Chairs: Planned Perfectly | Tabletop Rentals: C&T Rentals | Stationery: Jennifer Bianca Calligraphy | Makeup: Jessica Kmiec Artistry and Lidia Najera | Hair: Annette Wilkinson Designs and  @steph.wall | Dresses and Accessories: Bliss Bridal Boutique | Favours/Sweets: Jenna Rae Cakes and Bronuts | Video: Prairie Wedding Films

Esther Funk Photography

Tell you what, guys: designing on site with a limited amount of ingredients for a lineup of wedding planners is a little tricky (as you can see from that first pic! ha!).

We also had an amazing crew of photographers who volunteered their time and were each partnered with a planner. 

Reanne Berard Photography with Amanda Douglas Events
Victoria Anne Photography with White Ivy Weddings
Esther Funk Photography with Feast & Festivities
Aimee de la Lande Photography with Ashley Brooke Weddings
Casey Nolin Photography with Inspired Elegance Events

Below are some images from a demo table that I put together, photographed by Esther Funk Photography. With the warm fall tones in the flowers I thought the light blue linen would be a nice contrast. I was planning to do something completely differently, but I love how it turned out!

Fall Wedding Flowers - Orange Wedding Flower Ideas
How to Plan a Fall Wedding - Wedding Florists Winnipeg

And now for the finished design!

Blue and Orange Wedding Ideas - Wedding Florists in Winnipeg
Warm Fall Wedding Decor - Autumn Wedding Flowers

Below are some of the details from the tables that each of the planners put together! 
First up, Emily from Feast & Festivities. I have to give her major kudos for taking on the challenge of a chartreuse velvet linen. This woman is not afraid of colour and I love that she dubbed this an "Oscar the Grouch" wedding look! 😂

Vibrant Green Wedding Inspiration - Wedding Planning in Winnipeg

This feminine, pretty table was designed by Ashley at Ashley Brooke Weddings. She's a girly girl so I wasn't surprised when she chose a feminine palette. I love the gold accents and that deep hit of plum. And I love that photographer Aimee de la Lande chose that black wall to take photos in front of. Wooo!

Berry Tones Wedding Inspiration - Wedding Flowers winnipeg

Up next is Sheila from Inspired Elegance Events! It was funny to chat with her while she was putting this together. Her only thought coming into the shoot day (knowing that there was nothing she could do to prepare) was "I'm not going to do pink." ha! I liked this take on pink. Instead of the light, airy blush that has been going around for a few years (and let's be honest, is always beautiful), she added some serious depth with those dark wood crossback chairs and berry toned flowers. I also loved that she chose to go with a tall arrangement. I'm not usually a huge fan of tall centrepieces, but sometimes and in some spaces, tall arrangements are perfect.

Feminine Pink Wedding Inspiration - Wedding Florists in Winnipeg

This design was put together by Amanda Douglas Events. I like that it really plays off of natural tones as the base, and then layers in some of that brighter, richer warm tones. Those wood charger plates are such an awesome texture that's added in, and Amanda tucked in a few of her own details - the candles and black plates. 

Warm Fall Wedding Inspiration - Winnipeg Wedding Florists

And finally, we've got a newer planner: Ashley from White Ivy Weddings. Her favourite element from everything that was available to choose from was the rich, warm orange copper beech leaves, and she built her entire design around them. I LOVE the orange ranunculus paired with those golden mustard roses, the addition of the burgundy taper candles, and the warm brass coloured linen.

Manitoba Museum Weddings - Fall wEdding Flowers