What Your Florist Wants You to Know - Guest Post by Trillium Floral Designs

Hello fans of Samantha Marie Photography!

I am Mandy Drew, the wedding consultant at Trillium Floral Designs in Kanata. I thought I would hijack Samantha’s blog to write a little bit about things that us florists wish you knew.

Being in business 18 years, we have seen and heard many things that go on throughout wedding planning process and, hopefully, by giving you some insight into our industry, it will help make the planning stage a lot easier.

On with the list!

Pricing

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There are many myths surrounding the pricing of flowers. A lot of it could be due to incorrect information online or from your mother when she got married 25 years ago that no longer applies. Whatever the reason, hopefully this list clears up a few of those myths.

  • Local/Seasonal flowers are not less expensive: In other countries, where there are larger greenhouses that can mass-produce and hire cheaper labourers, it brings the cost down. Think of it the same as buying strawberries from the grocery store vs. your local farmer’s market. On the flip side though, local flowers are a much better quality as they’re not out of water as long and not getting “thrown around” as much during the shipping stage! With seasonal flowers, they are available for a shorter amount of time which usually means they are in higher demand, which also unfortunately lends to higher prices.

  • Greenery is not less expensive: You likely have noticed that greenery is EVERYWHERE in weddings right now. Before they were trendy, yes, they were cheaper! But as with most things that become popular, when the demand increases so does the price. We have witnessed eucalyptus go from $20 per bunch to $40 in the past 3 years. Also, with some types of greenery, they are cut in the wild by suppliers and not grown in a greenhouse or farm therefore supply can run out quickly. Now, there are still less expensive greenery types, however they’re certainly not the ones you commonly see all over Pinterest.

  • Roses are not expensive: I’m surprised by how many times I’ve heard this when meeting with couples. It’s usually one of my go-to’s, mainly because of the large array of colour varieties available, but am often told that they don’t want roses in their wedding flowers as they’re too pricey. Well, surprise! They’re actually mid-range in terms of price and if you use large headed roses, they can really fill a bouquet.

Flower Colours

The colours available in flowers have come a long way in the past 20-30 years. I think back to when my mom got married and everyone seemed to have the same types of flowers in very generic colour schemes. Now growers know how to adjust the colours of many flowers like roses and dahlias to keep up with the colour trends. Blush roses aren’t just a coincidence! Growers, just like florists, have to anticipate trends and produce their products accordingly (or as close as possible). That being said, we need to be reminded that flowers are still found in nature!

  • We can’t match the Pantone colour of the year: Every year when the new Pantone colour is revealed, I’m sure every florist has a mild heart attack and prays it’s a colour that at least 1 or 2 flowers come in. Trust me, we can try our very best to match to a colour swatch of your bridesmaid’s dress or table linens but please keep in mind that flowers are natural beings and we are not in control of the colour. There are SOME florist who will tint and dye flowers (we are not one of them) so you can get a closer colour but dyed flowers come with other issues that we just don’t want to risk.

  • We likely substitute more than you think: We try our very best not to promise exact varieties of flowers as we need to be prepared for availability issues and come up with substitutions at the last minute. However, in the wake of trends like the blush fad, there are really only 2 flowers that fit the bill...and we’re one of thousands of florists all over the world ordering that specific type of flower during a specific window of time! Being that most florists order their flowers a month to 3 weeks in advance, the farms only get that much notice and once they’re sold out for that week, they certainly can’t grow more in that time. As a result, we have to scrounge around the week of your wedding, to find a similar substitution. It almost always works out but it causes a lot of stress and extra time on our part!

  • Likely the colour you see in pro photos isn’t realistic: There is a trend in photography for light and airy photos which, don’t get me wrong, are beautiful and really capture the flowers nicely! However, in editing these photos, oftentimes colours are muted so what, in reality, is a dark pink ranunculus may look light pink in photos. I remember one time specifically when a bride chose a specific antique-mauve rose from a photo in our album. I brought it in to show her and she was so surprised as she thought it was a variation of pink!

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Logistics & Flower Availability

There are many logistics involved in the planning of your wedding flowers. For a lot of couples, it is your first time planning a wedding and don’t know what goes on behind closed doors of the wedding vendors. We work long hours, strategically and carefully planning each detail of your order. For most of us, we have a lot of experience and expertise, that’s why you come to us!

  • You don’t need to do your homework: We’ve had some couples come to us with a list (clearly copied from blogs found on Pinterest) of flowers that they would like used in their wedding. As great as it is to come prepared when chatting with your florist, sometimes it is best to come with general ideas and let us guide you to what’s in season for your date. It breaks my heart when a bride has fallen in love with a very specific bloom found online and I have to tell them it is not available. We are here to help and educate you so please let us! Which brings me to my next point…

  • Don’t let the Internet tell you what’s in season: I have come across many flower availability guides online that are incorrect. The reason being is because they’re probably not in Canada! Flower availability here is quite different than other places in the world. The best way to know what’s available for your date is to ask a florist in your area, or at least make sure the article you’re reading is local.

  • Most of our part isn’t actually spent designing: If I had to estimate how much a wedding order is spent on logistics vs. actually designing the flowers it would be 75% on logistics and 25% on designing. Most couples would likely be shocked at that number but if you think of how much time is spent consulting, emailing, ordering (and reordering), packaging and labeling…it really adds up!

  • Ghosting doesn’t only exist in the dating world: In this day and age, most correspondence is done by email which I think is great. The only thing that bothers me is that it’s a very impersonal form of communication which leads to potential clients not feeling an obligation to respond to an email from a wedding vendor. I have spoken to many vendors about this and it really hurts us when we don’t hear back. A lot of time is spent responding to inquiries and providing quotes for potential clients. If we simply received a kind message like “thank you for your time but we have chosen a different vendor“ at least makes us feel like our time was appreciated. Better yet, if you can give us some feedback as to why you went elsewhere it’ll help us adjust our process and improve for the future.

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Hopefully this information has helped to give you some insight into our flower world! We are so fortunate to have such a fun and creative job where no day at the shop is ever the same. Even with 18 years behind us, we still learn every single day from our suppliers and customers. We hope to chat with you about your upcoming wedding day!

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