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Hi, I'm Jennifer, owner and lead designer at Petals a floral design firm in Boulder, Colorado.  Along with my husband and two children, I  grow my own organic blooms using the greenest and most sustainable processes available.  

This blog is where I explore topics from floral design, wedding planning, organic farming and gardening, sustainable living, and our family's quest to find the perfect farm! 

I'm so glad you are here! 


10 Things Your Florist Wishes You Knew: Wedding Edition

You have filled a Pinterest board with gorgeous images of all things wedding flowers! Now you just need to find the person who will bring those dozens of photos to life, in July, for a weeding outside, at 2 pm, and stay under budget. In comes the florist.

Yes, wedding florists are floral magicians who have chosen to spend their lives producing bespoke art out of highly perishable materials. But they are also humans constrained by the natural world and global economics. Here are 10 things your wedding florist wishes you knew.

the sun sets over a grassy courtyard overlooking vinyards.  A castle wedding reception
A reception we had to joy of being a part of at a castle in Italy

1. Time of Year Matters If you ask for peonies in July or dahlias in December, best case scenario you will pay a premium, worst case (in the case of peonies) it simply won't be possible. Keep in mind that only certain flowers are available at certain times of the year. Also, just because a flower is available does not mean it will be viable. Hydrangeas may be purchasable in August but they will not hold up in an outdoor ceremony under full summer sun. Do you need to become a flower expert before talking to your florist? No. But they should be. Trust your florist and be flexible.

2. Florists have different specialties When choosing a florist look for one that has similar values and aesthetics to your own. At Petals we are flower farmers so we know a lot about growing flowers and sustainability. We also LOVE local, organic flowers so if you are looking an English garden explosion of blooms that will take your breath away, we HERE ARE FOR YOU! If, on the other hand, you want Ikibana designs with sparce blooms and stark architecture, we might not be the best fit. Check out your florists instagram and website portfolio and see if their work reflects the kind of event you are hoping to have.

3. There is no such thing as the "wedding tax" Your florist isn't just jacking the price up because you are getting married. The same florals would cost you the same amount if it was a birthday or a random Tuesday that you decided a year and half before to order a bajillion coordinated flowers for. Flowers are a large part of your budget (traditionally 10% of the total wedding cost) because of the extraordinary number of hours that go into them. Between communicating with the bride, designing the florals, ordering the florals, and actually executing the floral plan, florists spend hours upon hours bringing your floral dream to life. In reality, you are actually ordering custom art and in many cases, multiple pieces.

4. Its not as easy to DIY as one might think and never trust Instagram It can be appealing to think about heading to the grocery store and loading up on $300 worth of flowers and mason jars and putting together your wedding flowers yourself. If that's your idea of fun and you don't have much else going on surrounding your big day, great—but make sure you do your research and practice. It looks a lot easier than it actually is to create a centerpiece and wedding bouquets in particular are aesthetic marvels that go against the laws of physics. Think about it: The stems point downward but the blooms should face toward the front (the camera), most flowers don't bloom at a 90 degree angle so some floral magic is happening in your bouquet design. Magic that a florist has spent hundred if not thousands of hours practicing.

Which brings us to instagram: Keep in mind, most of the florals you see on the gram and Pinterest were produced for a stylized shoot. This means the flowers were not used in an actual wedding. They were designed on site for a photoshoot and had to look good for a hour tops, they were also probably repurposed for the centerpiece and the arch and the cake flowers which means there were no budgetary constrains in these designs. Social media images are rarely reality so take them with a grain of salt.

5. Outdoor events can be killer on blooms. The longer your florals spend in direct sun, the more worn out they'll look. This is especially true if you have a floral installation that has limited access to water, this means arches or pillars or basically anything that isn't in a vase and that includes the bouquets. Flowers are perishable and most look best when they've just come out of a refrigerator or have just been cut from the fields after a good watering at 5 am before the sun rises. And yes, Petals Flower Farm will cut your flowers at 5 am the day of your event. Just limit the amount of heat and sun exposure your flowers will be exposed to and if you can't, allow your florist to make the necessary substitutions.

6. Sustainability and the environment is important. When you hire Petals Flower Farm to do your wedding you are more than covered here as we are organic flower farmers with sustainability and the environment at the core of everything we do. If you aren't in our area do try to find a florist that uses local growers, this will mean less jet fuel and refrigeration went into your flowers. As a bonus: organic flowers tend to last longer and you won't be breathing in chemicals when you stop to smell your roses!

7. You can mix fresh and faux florals. This is a great way to achieve a look you saw on Pinterest but that might not be in season or feasible given the location of your wedding. Especially if you have an arch for your ceremony, tucking in some faux flowers (say hydrangeas that would otherwise be destroyed in the summer sun) especially high up will be a lifesaver for your design, and no one will be the wiser.

8. Think about the photos and wedding day vibe. Try not to select flower colors for your bouquet that will clash with your bridesmaid's dresses, even if you love them. Letting your florist know the other colors that will be in the wedding party or venue can help them bring together a wow-worthy event. If your venue is over-the-top colorful and already full of decor and pattern, consider going simpler with your color scheme. If you chose a barn for the reception you may not want all wood vases as they might fade into the background. Thinking about your aesthetic as a whole will help you make better floral decisions and when in doubt, trust the person who styles multiple weddings a year (your florist) over the person who will probably only do this once in their lives (you).

9. Think outside the box. Adding a personal touch, like a family heirloom a or a section of your grandmother's veil wrapped around your bouquet, is a super-simple way to bring a more personal feeling to your flowers. It's also easy to do—just don't forget to give your memento to your florist well in advance. At Petals we also love creating unique details like flowers for your cake, flat-lays for your invitations, or entrance arches for your reception. Dream big and check out your florists portfolio to see some the their best work to fully appreciate what they can do.

10. Trust your florist.

Know that your florist wants your day to be perfect and will do everything in their power to make the florals stunning. Weddings can be stressful, also for the florist, but a good one will bring organization, skill, and preparation to the event so that you sit back and enjoy the beginning of your happily ever after!

An explosion of pampas grasses and protea wedding installation
An explosion of pampas grasses and protea

Looking for a wedding florist? Petals would love to bring your floral dream to life

so please, reach out!

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