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Wedding Florists and What They Provide
Although the main business of any florist is providing beautiful flower arrangements for every customer and for every event, wedding florists provide so much more to their couples. Consider the beautiful vases and other containers that are provided by the florist. Many florists also provide the centerpiece trees dripping with candles and crystals that adorn many a wedding guest’s dinner table.
Florists can offer plants and trees for filling empty space, columns and candlesticks to light up the wedding reception, and pomander balls for the flower girls to carry or for decorating a ceremony aisle. Even the incredible archways, mandaps, and chuppahs seen at many weddings come from these creative professionals.
Being that decorating the many areas used on the wedding day is the job of a florist, they do and provide a great many things besides flowers. Let’s look at all of the possibilities when it comes to wedding flowers.
- Bridal Bouquet – This is the large arrangement of flowers intended to be carried by the bride down the aisle. This bouquet may come in many forms, such as a round, hand-tied, nosegay, cascading, pomander, or even a ballerina bouquet.
- Toss bouquet – Many florists provide a much simpler, smaller version of the bridal bouquet for the bride to toss the single women at her wedding, instead of tossing her actual bridal bouquet.
- Bridesmaid Bouquets – These are the bouquets carried by those women standing up for the bride at the front of the ceremony. These bouquets are normally smaller and of a different color. Although brides are choosing tons of different bridesmaids bouquets to match their different tastes and wedding themes.
- Boutonnieres – These are smaller, much simpler arrangements of flowers for the groomsmen, and possibly even the male vendors and fathers, to wear on the lapels of their suits. These usually consist of one or two flowers and some accents wrapped at the bottom to put a pin through.
- Corsages - These are much smaller arrangements of flowers for the female vendors and mothers to wear on their wrists. They usually consist of two to three flowers and some accents attached to an elastic band. Sometimes they are even arranged for the women to wear similar to the men, on their blouses or the top of their dresses right below the left shoulder.
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- Ceremony Décor – Décor of this nature typically includes three altar arrangements, one in front of the couple and one on either side, pew or row endings, rose petals, candles, vases, or ribbons down the ceremony aisle, wreaths on the doors to the ceremony, and any other décor a couple may want for their wedding ceremony. (These arrangements can always be moved to the reception for double duty.)
- Reception Décor – This décor typically consists of stage arrangements, centerpieces for each guest dinner table, head table arrangements, and small collections of flowers for the food tables, cake table, gift and guest book table, etc. The wedding couple may also have other requests for decorating their reception with flowers.
- Flower girl flowers – Many flower girls carry flower petals in baskets or bags to scatter before the bride down the ceremony aisle, but they can also carry a small bouquet, a pomander, a wreath, or just about anything else a bride can dream of.
- Flower petals – If flower petals are not already being used by the flower girl(s) to scatter on the aisle, they may already be scattered on the aisle ahead of time. Florists do this in many ways. I always tell my brides that petals could be piled down the sides of the aisle, scattered lightly down the center, or even fashioned into patterns before the bride even arrives at the ceremony. Many different types of flowers can also be used; real petals, which are usually the most expensive, fake flower petals, which are usually the least expensive, and even freeze-dried petals, which are real but preserved.
- Wreaths – Wreaths can be created and used for a great many reasons at a wedding. They can be put on the door to the ceremony, the entry door to the wedding location, the doors of the bride’s home or bridal suite, on the couple’s car at the end of the evening, or any number of other places.
- Centerpieces – These are the arrangements or other decorations placed in the center of each of the guest dinner tables. They can range from a simple mirror and candles, to the most elaborate trees with candles and crystals dripping from the branches. Most centerpieces are simply beautiful flower arrangements in vases with candles surrounding them.
- Aisle Arrangements – These can be as simple as cones, buckets or baskets hanging from the end of each aisle (or row of chairs), all the way to trees being put at the end of every row and strung with fancy garland of flowers and lights (and everything in between). One popular look is to have big hurricane vases at the end of each row with one big candle and rocks inside of each, amongst piles of white flower petals down each side of the aisle.
- Napkin Flowers – Many brides are choosing to decorate even the napkins on their guest’s dinner tables with flowers, herbs, or other pretty décor, like jewels, beautiful napkin rings, or even twigs and acorns.
- Cake Flowers – Flowers placed on the wedding cake are an extremely popular trend for brides, especially as the wedding cake is the main focal point of the wedding (other than the bride of course). Cake flowers can range from just one or two blooms, to covering the entire cake with flowers.
- Pomanders – These are simply balls of flowers hanging from ribbon. These are normally carried by flower girls or used as aisle decorations.
- Archway swag – Just as they create bridal bouquets and wedding centerpieces, swags for doorways, arches, head tables, and other areas can easily be created by these professionals. Swags are essentially garlands attached at each end and allowed to hang freely in the middle.
- Candles – Candles are a consistent guest at just about every wedding. They create a subtle ambiance during the day and romantic lighting once the daylight disappears. These are a critical décor item for any florist.
- Plants – Real or fake plants are an easy and in expensive way to decorate blank areas and empty corners at a wedding location. Florists will offer these as an additional option when further flower arrangements are not desired.
- Balloons – These are becoming more popular as many brides are trying to save money on their wedding decorations. Get on the internet to check out all of the popular ways to use balloons at weddings.
- Flowers in Bulk – When brides choose do create their own flower arrangements and bouquets, rather than hire someone to do so for them, florists will provide flower in bulk (in groups of 100 or more), bound and shipped in boxes, more than likely just as they themselves receive them. This way, brides can separate them and create their own arrangements in their own time.
- Chuppah, Arch, and Gazebo arrangements – As each bride and groom are different, so are these arrangements. These structures can be strung with garlands of flowers, include candles, crystals and ribbons, and can be covered and twisted with flowers just as easily to suite any requests.
- Car, Stage, Lobby arrangements – Similar to altar arrangements, smaller, or even bigger, arrangements can be created in a like style for any area of the wedding location.
Along with the beautiful products that these professionals provide, they also have a number of items they can rent to couples in case they have additional needs that can be met.
- Containers – These may be vases, bowls, baskets, buckets, boxes, crates, barrels, mason jars, lanterns, cones, or any other container able to hold anything at a wedding. Florists carry a number of these for just these kinds of events.
- Shepherd’s hooks – This is a long thin piece of iron with a hook on the end that, at weddings, is usually firmly planted into the ground at the end of each ceremony row to hang a container of flowers or a candle from.
- Candelabras – These are essentially large branched candlesticks for holding a number of candles. When used at weddings, these are usually wrapped with flowers.
- Columns – Made from a variety of materials, coming in a great many different sizes, these are typically used to drape swags of garland from, or to place flower arrangements on top.
- Mirrors – Florists normally supply these in squares, circles and rectangles to be used in the center of guest’s dinner tables for candles and flowers to be placed atop.
- Aisle Runner – Once again, these come in a variety of fabric choices and colors, but are essentially long pieces of fabric used to fill the center aisle of a church or wedding location. The bride and her party walk down this aisle runner to the front altar to get married. Many couples decorate them with flowers and other symbols, and some even have their initials or monogram put on them.
- Garden Lights (twinkle lights, Christmas lights) – Christmas lights can quickly and easily create a romantic and fanciful ambiance for any event by simply wrapping them around columns, twisting them around banisters, and draping them through fabric.
- Chuppah, Arch, Mandap, Gazebo, etc. – Not only will florists decorate these at wedding locations couples choose, but they will also supply them for interested couples that do not have access to one at the location of their choice.
Finally, we cannot forget about the extras that most couples would not have originally considered. This is why florists offer them. Who would have thought about delivery and setup? No bride wants to have to worry about her flowers on the wedding day. She simply wants to wake up, think about her impending walk down the aisle, and prepare herself for her big day.
- Initial Consultation – Florists provide these initial meetings in order to get to know the potential couples they may be working with, and find out more about what they are looking for in a florist and in their wedding flowers. Sometimes these come with a small charge that will be rolled into the total payment if a contract is signed.
- Delivery and Setup – We discussed how “florists” typically do not deliver and setup, but floral designers will. Many of these professionals will charge for these services, if they do not normally deliver and setup, to come and quickly drop of the flowers and put them in their rightful places.
- Additional Designers – This service will only come into play in the case of a particularly large wedding or event where the main florist (or floral designer) needs additional help with arranging the flowers and decorating the wedding.
- Retrieval of Items – Normally the options for the items needing to be returned to the florist are for the couple to leave them behind at the venue for the florist to pick up at another time, or for someone (usually the wedding planner or a family member) to take the items back to the florist after the wedding. If the florist needs to go back to the venue and pick them up, they will normally charge the couple a small fee.
No products and services come free though. As dreamy as so much of this sounds, and as easy as flower arrangement may seem, it all comes at a cost. Although many florists charge a hefty price for the use of their services, there are many honest florists simply living out the dream to arrange beautiful flowers and bring smiles to the faces of their customers.