Flowers that suit your style

  • Flowers arranged by Marshall Florist for weddings. —Courtesy

  • A bride holds a bouquet arranged by Marshall Florist in Boscawen. Courtesy

  • Flowers arranged by Marshall Florist for a wedding. Courtesy

  • The bride and bridesmaids hold out their flowers at the Pearson wedding in May 2017. Courtesy of Michael Murphy

  • A bride holds a bouquet arranged by Cobblestone Design Company. Courtesy of Ben Thomas Photography

Monitor staff
Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Flowers are a wedding tradition with staying power. First, they are pretty. Plus, arrangements can help bring your personality and style to the venue.

But, with so many varieties of blooms and arrangements that run the gamut from casual to elegant, it can all be a little daunting.

The Monitor heard from three florists to get their advice on wedding arrangements so you can know what to expect.

What should couples have ready before meeting with a florist?

Cobblestone Design Company: We suggest that all couples already have their wedding date, wedding ceremony location, wedding reception location, a color scheme/theme, bride and bridesmaids dresses chosen. So much of the planning for wedding bouquets and floral arrangements is directly based upon all of this information that it makes everything go much smoother if we have general info to work off of.

Cole Gardens: Brides and grooms should have the dates, theme and color scheme, and come prepared to share their vision of their day. We will take it from there.

Marshall Florist: It is important for the couple to know how many folks will be in their wedding party, their budget and color theme. Any color swatches from dresses/tuxes are helpful. Brides love searching for ideas on Pinterest and those photos can be very helpful in developing a unique design for a bride.

How long in advance should couples order flowers for a wedding?

Cobblestone Design Company: Lots of couples now start planning their wedding flowers a year in advance. If you’re getting married in June, its nice to start your floral planning in June. This lets you see what flowers and colors will be in season for your wedding. Three to six months is a good time frame for planning with us. This gives us enough time to get you started and finalized with plenty of time to order all of your flowers and chosen accent items.

Cole Gardens: It is always best to make an appointment earlier than later, so that anything that they are envisioning can be developed and ordered. Sometimes special orders of flowers not normally available can be researched and landed as well as any decor the bride and groom may want to have as accents to their venues. ... Although not ideal, we have had brides arrive at our door just days before their wedding date, and we have been able to create and design for them.

Marshall Florist: Many brides will book a year or more out, especially if their wedding is in a busy season or near a holiday. An off-season wedding can be booked two or three months ahead, but waiting until last minute can be limiting in terms of choice, cost and availability.

What should couples expect to budget for their wedding flowers?

Cobblestone Design Company: Budgeting for flowers is a tricky one. Everything we do here is custom created just for you. ... If you have a specific budget in mind we do everything we can to help you stay within budget. On average, our wedding orders are between $1,000 to $1,500. We have done wedding flowers for as little as $200 and as much as $15,000.

Cole Gardens: This is totally subjective to the couple. Research suggests approximately 7 percent of the wedding budget goes towards wedding flowers. Flowers at any venue seal the event, and they should know that florists can create bridal party bouquets that will match their budget, no matter which side of the research budget the couple falls into.

Marshall Florist: Budgeting for wedding flowers is very similar to budgeting for a dress; there is an enormous range and many variables. The size of the wedding party, the type of flowers, the time of year all impact the cost.

Are there particular colors or types of flowers that are particularly popular for weddings?

Cobblestone Design Company: Every year the popular colors change slightly. For the coming year we’re doing lots of weddings themed in blues and purples in lots of different shades. The classic flowers will always be in style, roses, hydrangea, orchids, etc. Garden-y natural bouquets are huge right now so anything that looks like its just picked from the garden.

Cole Gardens: Some of the more exotic flowers that are seen in bouquets include, orchids, peonies, lily of the valley, stephanotis, ranunculus, calla lily, sweet pea; however, bouquets of simplicity of roses, hydrangea, daisies, tulips are just as exquisite and beautiful.

Marshall Florist: This past year, hand-tied bouquets with flowers such as cottage roses, cabbages, and wildflowers were all very popular. As well as just about anything in a mason jar! New Hampshire brides have been very independent in their color choices, going for natural mixes rather than the color of the year for 2017, which was green. Purple is the color for 2018.

What do you wish more couples knew about wedding flowers?

Cobblestone Design Company: It is our job as wedding professionals to have the knowledge and experience to help guide our clients to make the best choices and decisions for their wedding dream.

Cole Gardens: Wedding flowers are often seen as secondary to the event, and tend to take a back seat, until the actual ceremony begins to unfold. Flowers and accent plants tend to complete the ceremony and venue. They are considered the jewels and will show off the wedding party’s attire and venue. More often than not, guests mention the beauty of the flowers at the wedding just as much as they do the bride and groom. Consider wedding flowers as the final touch!

Marshall Florist: I think most couples buy into the belief that they cannot afford the wedding flowers of their dreams, so they don’t discuss those dreams. In fact, a talented florist can accomplish so much more for a couple who shares what they would really love even if the couple has a limited budget. Many affordable flowers mimic the look of expensive flowers and can be substituted without anyone knowing a substitution was made. A professional florist is skilled in both the areas of design and budgeting.

What is your advice for handling flowers after the wedding is over?

Cobblestone Design Company: I suggest that you enjoy your flowers for as long as you can. Have your wedding party take their bouquets home to enjoy in a vase, send the centerpieces home with your guests. There are a few companies that will preserve your wedding bouquet or a part of it. This is a delicate process and usually needs to be set-up in advance. The best preserved flowers are started in the process immediately after the wedding.

Cole Gardens: Unless there are special arrangements, guests are the winners of arrangements on tables. To help prevent flowers from withering and going by too quickly, flower stems should be submerged in water, with a fresh cut to its stem and periodic changes of water. As a general rule, keeping fresh cut flowers in a cooler spot is best, and away from direct sunlight. Many cut flowers, if cared for, will last longer than you would think!

Marshall Florist: I always deliver my bouquets in a vase, so the bride can use the bouquet at the reception and bring it home with her after the wedding. Hand-tied bouquets can be air dried inexpensively by hanging the bouquet upside down in a cool dry place after the wedding. To keep the original color of the bouquet, there are services which will professionally deconstruct, dry each flower and reassemble the bouquet. This is the most expensive preservation route.

Any final notes?

Cobblestone Design Company: I suggest to brides and grooms that they have a vision for the overall look and feel they would like for their wedding day. Don’t micro-manage by choosing every single detail of the flowers yourselves. Give your florist general guidelines and just let them work their magic. This is our passion, we will make sure your wedding is stunning.

Cole Gardens: As a florist, it might sound self-serving to think of flowers as part of a wedding necessity, and as important as the wedding dress. However, whether flowers are worn on a lapel, carried by the bride, or sitting on top of a wedding cake, they seal the deal and complete a bride and groom’s perfect day. A florist is expert in pairing flowers, and suggesting ordinary and extraordinary combinations, and can create a couple’s vision using flowers. Consider flowers as floral jewelry. Any budget, any venue, any time of year, flowers compliment the wedding.

Marshall Florist: One of the most exciting conversations a couple can have when planning their wedding is to speak to a professional florist about what they would love to see in their wedding flowers. … A wedding is the one time in most people’s life where they get to sit down with an artist and design something totally unique to them. Florists are artists and they are able to create unique designs that are like no one else’s wedding for each couple to reflect their special day.