With the change in seasons (but let's be honest, not the change in temperatures here in Virginia and North Carolina!), comes the addition of my fall floral workshop schedule! These floral workshops are so much fun, and I look forward to doing them every single year. So if you've always wanted to attend one, but haven't had the chance, I'll be spending the next few days highlighting each workshop and what we'll be doing at them!
My first fall floral workshop is on October 21st at 3:00 in the afternoon at Ballad Brewing. Side note: If you're a beer aficionado and have never been to Ballad Brewing, I highly recommend florist in richmond !
This kickoff to the fall floral workshop season is going to be a classic fall design. I'll demo how to make a hand-tied arrangement that you can place directly into almost any vase you'd like (and clear glass vases will be provided for you to take your creation home with you!). I'll show you how to make your garden-style arrangement look large and lush, overflowing out of your vase - my favorite style to create! After the demo, you'll have the opportunity to spend the rest of our time together playing with beautiful, richly-colored flowers, and I'll spend one-on-one time with each and every attendee, answering any questions you have and making suggestions to your bouquet. At the end of our workshop, I'll share tips with you on how to keep your arrangement looking fresh as long as possible, and how you can manipulate them to fit in the space you want to display them - making them look like they were created to go right there!
All materials for each attendee are provided, including floral shears, vases, flowers, towels, and fasteners! And you get to take your beautiful creation home with you!
I hope you'll join us on October 21st at Ballad Brewing for a fun afternoon of beer and blooms! You can get your tickets right here (tickets are limited, so make sure to snag yours and share with a friend!)
Now that September has arrived, 2020 is just around the corner, and we know many of you are busy making decisions for your gorgeous 2020 celebrations. Some wedding day decisions and details can seem like a breeze to make (like when you step into a gown and know instantly that it is THE ONE) and some can seem incredibly overwhelming (like do you really have a preference of dusty blue vs. slate blue linens?).
One of my goals as a designer has, and always will be, to make the floral design process stress-free and transparent for you. One of the first things I often hear out of a bride’s mouth (and 110% out of the groom’s mouth) is, “I know nothing about flowers, I just know what I like!” So it’s no wonder investing in floral design can seem a little stressful at first.
Today, I’m debunking several floral design myths and misconceptions that many engaged couples have specifically said to other floral designers, planners, and myself in the past.
“But greenery isn’t that expensive!”
Yes and no. Greenery in itself is not expensive. However, oftentimes with greenery, couples want a LOT of it because it’s so gorgeous and provides a beautiful backdrop. More volume of greenery is also needed in order to provide a fuller look without a ton of flowers. One bunch of greenery may be more than enough for a garden-style bouquet that includes full, fluffy blooms, whereas 4-5 bunches may be needed for a bouquet that is almost all greenery with just a few blooms. As florists, we are also required to purchase some types of greenery in bulk (like smilax), so before even a single item is created, you’ve already spent hundreds of dollars just on greenery. Lastly, the labor and setup costs do not change - it takes the same amount of labor and time to create something with just greenery as it does with a mixture of greenery and flowers. And if you’re looking at garland, those labor prices increase pretty substantially!
“Can you bring a few extra leftover flowers for the cake?”
I’m not sure where someone first published that cake flowers could be added at no cost, but there is a cost associated with this detail. First off, I can guarantee that you do NOT want “just a few leftovers” for your cake. Oftentimes, the leftover flowers are the ones we would never put in your floral design because they are flawed, wilted, the wrong shade, or simply do not look up to par. Especially for a cake that is going to be displayed front and center in photos! Cake flowers are something that needs to be discussed and budgeted for - not only are you getting flowers for your cake, but someone also has to place them on there.
“I just want roses because I know they are more cost effective.”
Welllll…yes and no. Are we talking roses you get at Kroger? If so, then you are absolutely right. But 100% of the time I have heard this, the flowers shown to me as an example are garden roses, not your standard grocery store pick-up. Garden roses start, at the bare minimum, at a few dollars per stem and can end up being just as expensive as peonies, depending on the type you are interested in. Keep in mind, too, that roses still have to be bought in bulk, so a minimum cost is always associated with them - the amazing, hardworking farmers I get my roses from require a minimum purchase (as they should, that’s hard work for a small return!).
“I want to use seasonal flowers because they will be cheaper.”
This is absolutely true to some extent; HOWEVER, “seasonal” flowers are not always “cheap.” Peonies are in season in the spring…that doesn’t mean spring brides get a bouquet full of peonies for $100. Likewise, cafe au laits are in season in the fall, but that doesn’t mean couples can have a room covered in cafe au laits with a $2,000 budget. If you truly want seasonal flowers on a budget, I’d venture to say you’re looking at a wedding covered in local wildflowers. And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and it can still be beautiful, 90% of the couples who have said this to me are NOT on the hunt for wildflowers.
"I want the bouquets and centerpieces to be small to cut down on costs.”
Floral designers absolutely must purchase more flowers than is necessary for your design - because flowers are living things, some of them can end up looking wilted, sad, brown, or off-color and we cannot use those for such a special celebration. Your floral designer is truly doing you a favor by weeding out the flowers that don’t belong, and that is certainly an expense that is well worth it when you hire an independent designer. Additionally, small does not always equate to less expensive. I’ve created some extremely small bouquets that ran upwards of $300 or more because the flowers chosen were on the higher end of the cost spectrum.
“We’re having a small wedding, so we don’t need many flowers.”
I get that. I totally do. But your labor, delivery and setup costs don’t change that drastically (in fact, your delivery and set-up likely won’t change AT ALL, you’ll just be paying a little less in labor hours). So while we’re speaking of labor and delivery costs, let’s just break it down for a minute. Your labor cost essentially includes your floral designer paying assistants or a staff, keeping flowers at the perfect temperature for several days (that does NOT mean sticking them in a cooler and being done with it - we want the blooms to be big and beautiful, so it may mean sitting them in the sun for a few hours before placing them in the cooler or vice versa). It also means prepping vessels, trimming stems, peeling back and discarding ugly petals, sanitizing buckets, washing glassware, and a hundred other tasks that keep us busy on one specific event for days leading up to it. Regardless of whether you’re having a small wedding or a large wedding, these tasks must always get done.
“We don’t want the full arbor covered, just the top so we can cut costs.”
You’ll absolutely cut costs simply by cutting out quite a bit of floral and greenery, but more times than not I find that couples think this means they essentially just pay for the equivalent of a few dozen flowers. But not only are you paying for those 3-5 dozen flowers and several bunches of greenery, you are also paying for the supplies it costs to get those flowers on the arbor (which can sometimes be upwards of $100 just in supplies) before it is even touched, as well as the labor to install it. This can be said for any installation, no matter how big or small - an escort card wall, a floral backdrop, chandelier draping, etc. It’s never JUST the cost of flowers - a real, live person is there working hard to make sure it gets installed perfectly and securely!
Believe me, I understand it can seem daunting to pay thousands of dollars for flowers, especially when you feel like you’re in the dark when it comes to floral design. But I promise floral designers have your best interest at heart and work SO incredibly hard to make your dream a reality (ask any florist richmond what they do the day after a wedding weekend and I’m guessing most will say they can’t move!). And most floral designers are happy to answer your questions because we know it can be an overwhelming line item in your budget!
Readmore Floral Designers vs. Florists
Even though their names are really similar, there are some key differences between Floral Designers and Florists. In today’s post, I’m hoping to clear up any confusion between these two!
Just this week on Instagram, I asked you all to tell me what you thought of when you heard the words “Floral Designer” and when you heard the word “Florist.” I’m sharing a select few of these responses below!
According to Instagram users, a Floral Designer is….
A magic maker
A flower genius
Luxury, high-end, boutique, comprehensive
Peonies and ranunculus
Experienced, not grocery store arrangements
And according to Instagram users, a Florist is…
Only uses hydrangeas, lilies, and roses
Fern and carnations
Where to get flowers
A lot of these are really great responses! But you know what is even more telling? Many, MANY people only answered one of the questions and not the other. That tells me that there is some confusion between the two - likely the second question wasn’t answered because you thought it was the same thing. So let’s break down each of these roles and figure out when you need a Floral Designer and when you need a Florist!
According to Wikipedia, floral design (and thus floral designers) is, “the art of using plant materials and flowers to create a pleasing and balanced composition. Professionally designed floral designs, arrangements or artwork incorporate the elements of floral design: line, form, space, texture, and color, and the principles of floral design: balance, proportion, rhythm, contrast, harmony, and unity.
Floral Designers use flowers and foliage as their medium to create art. This means that you can sift through a Floral Designer’s portfolio, website, or Instagram all day long and almost never find two items exactly alike. It also means that a Floral Designer will not replicate another design for you. Floral Designers will use almost any type of flower or foliage we can get our hands on. Because Floral Designers have spent a great deal of time studying art, design, and a huge variety of flowers, you can expect prices to be higher than those of a Florist.
So when should you hire a Floral Designer?
A Floral Designer should be your option if you want something created for a once-in-a-lifetime event or are on the hunt for something completely unique. A Floral Designer will also be your best bet if you’re looking for customized installations and designs. Know that when you hire a Floral Designer, you will spend some time looking at various flowers, styles, and aesthetics. Also know that you will not know EXACTLY what your arrangements will look until the second it is handed over to you. This is not to say you won’t have an idea of what will be provided, but because Floral Designers are artists, we put a creative spin on each and every item we create based on the principles of design.
According to Merriam-Webster, a florist richmond is “a person who sells or grows for sale flowers and ornamental plants.”
Oftentimes, you’ll find a florist’s website shows photos of exact arrangements you can purchase, and they will deliver what you purchase exactly as it’s shown. More often than not, they use well-known, standard flowers and foliage such as white and red roses, baby’s breath, fern, lilies, hydrangeas, daisies, sunflowers, and mums. They have a staff who is provided with instructions on exactly how to arrange products based on the photos you see, and very rarely (if ever) will create something new and unique. For these reasons, florist prices tend to be less than floral designers because their labor and time involved in putting together a pre-designed arrangement is much less - not to mention their flower choices are less expensive as well.
So when should you hire a Florist?
Florists are an excellent choice when you need something quickly! They are also a better choice when you are on a very tight budget. Just know that when you hire a Florist, what you see in photos is likely what you get. You will spend very little time, if any, chatting through an actual design because it’s already been created.
Still have questions on what a Floral Designer will provide or what a Florist will provide? As always, I am an open book, so feel free to email me or leave your questions in the comments and I’ll answer them there!