Friday, November 5, 2010

Pickin' a Posey Provider

If we had to cut back on something, it'd be flowers.

Not that we don't care about flowers. We're getting married in a garden. In the summer. It's already gorgeous. Plus, don't flowers wilt and die?! They're pretty but not permanent. Spending 10-20% of our budget on a non-essential when that money could be earmarked for photography or music? Nuts. Nuts to that, I say. The problem was, I was smitten with blooms styled by some of the area's more expensive florists.

Determined to find a saner option, I polled friends, clients and a few friendly-looking strangers. One of the recommendations really stuck with me. This florist went above and beyond: hand-wiring dogwood blooms to branches when they weren't in season. The bride was so pleased with the service, quality and value... here she was two years later raving about them.

In the nights leading up to our meeting with the florist, I hunkered down with the laptop to pare down the hundreds of inspiration images. First by mood: whimsical, bold, lush, natural and wild. Then, by my favorites. Sorting this way made it easier to spot themes in flowers or colors. Mr. P leaned over several times to check on my progress. His only comment was to limit the number of photos so the florist wouldn't be scared away. (When setting up the appointment, the assistant did instruct me not to bring too many images. )

Here's a sampling of favorites.


(source: 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5)


(source: 1, 2, 3 & 4)


(all three sources)

(source: 1, 2, 3 from La Partie Events & 4)

(source: 1 & 2)

So when the appointment arrived, I showed up with not only my laptop but my 3" binder of imagery - just in case. Barb, the owner, walked us to a small table in the back of the work area. We started with general questions: season, formality, indoor/outdoor, etc. She studied the bridesmaid dress (in the approximate yellow) and my gown (Mr. P turned his head). When she asked to see our inspiration photos, I sheepishly produced my laptop and apologized for being so Type A. Thankfully, Barb wanted to see lots of photos and didn't know why her assistant insisted upon less. A sigh of relief! As I opened the folders, explaining the "system," she asked me to pause so she could examine the file names. A big grin spread across her face. She turned to me and said NO bride had ever done it this way. She was thrilled and absolutely awed -- her words.

After this point, I knew we'd be in good hands. We completely trusted her to deliver on our vision. She gets what look we're trying for and helped pare down all my divergent ideas. In under an hour, Barb had isolated the flowers we'd use, their colors, and whipped up an estimate for everything for HALF the amount I was expecting. Heaven.

So what flowers are we using? Craspedia, succulents, yellow protea, peach dahlia & hypericum, green trachelium & celosia, and yellow oncidiums and ranunculas. Unfamiliar with any of these flowers? Not to fear, our florist threw together this helpful board.

(courtesy of Belak Flowers)

How did you find your florist? What flowers are you using?


  1. Gerbera's! Everywhere! I'm doing them myself! I love your inspiration photos!

  2. I've been avoiding my visit to the florist =( I feel like I have nooo idea on what type of flower(s) I would want! I know for sure I want fuschia roses, but I'm still being a procastinator. I seriously have to buckle down and get this done. Your flower choices seem so exotic to me =)

  3. Those images are the result of a LOT of internet browsing... that may or may not span several years. Save photos you like and trends will emerge. It may be a repeating color (fuschia), flower, shape (loose vs tight, cascade vs round), but it will be there. For extra credit, keep a folder of arrangements you don't like. Sometimes that is just as helpful to your florist.