Singaporebrides | Essentials

June 2015

What Wedding Florists Want You To Know

Even if you know next to nothing about flowers, it is possible to get your dream wedding bouquet. SingaporeBrides speaks to some wedding florists and lists the common mistakes brides tend to make with their wedding flowers – and shares how to overcome them.

Don’t know the difference between a rose and eustoma? Or whether poppies are available in Singapore? For many brides-to-be, choosing flowers is one of the more exciting tasks during the wedding planning. But deciding on the right blooms and trusting your wedding florist may be trickier.

“I am not a ‘flower person’, and my husband never gave me flowers during our courtship,” reveals corporate planner Nikki Tang. The sporty 28-year-old adds: “So when planning my wedding, I felt overwhelmed by the floral choices I had to make.” One major mistake Nikki made was thinking that she could just pull out a wedding magazine and order the exact same bouquet.

“It was fortunate that I met a well-meaning florist, who patiently explained that flowers are seasonal so it may not be possible to replicate the same bridal bouquet for my December wedding,” says Nikki. The florist also managed her expectations and added how bouquets that work well for magazines may not always work for the actual day wedding. For instance, hydrangeas look beautiful but wilt easily in Singapore’s hot and humid weather. “That made it unsuitable for my wedding, which was a full-day affair from the morning gate-crash to the afternoon outdoor solemnisation and hotel banquet at night.”

Floral conundrums like these may be bothersome, but you shouldn’t have to be a flower expert just to be able to have stunning blooms accompany you down the aisle. To make the selection process easier, here are some common mistakes – and tried-and-true tips – to help you achieve the wedding flowers of your dreams.

wedding florists Image cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by cariberry.

Mistake #1: Casting your net too early – and too wide.

As a bride-to-be, it’s only natural to want to kickstart the wedding planning as soon as possible. But checking out florists more than a year earlier may be counterproductive, as it’s unlikely that major decisions like venue, gown design and colour palette have been decided. Without these, your florist may not be able to give you an accurate quote. Wedding plans – and details – may change along the way as well. Also, many brides-to-be make the mistake of blasting emails to too many potential florists – this may actually mean that they end up drowning in too many quotes.

Try this!
Shortlist no more than three florists and compare their portfolios and prices. Generally, you should start contacting potential florists only after major decisions have been made. This is usually between six months to a year before the wedding date. That said, certain smaller independent florists accept no more than one wedding a day. If you’re concerned that your preferred florist may be booked in advance – especially during the year-end peak period – check if you can book their services earlier.

Mistake #2: Being too obsessed with Pinterest.

While Pinterest may prove to be an invaluable wedding planning tool, brides-to-be should avoid getting too hung up over it. If you send your entire Pinterest board – showcasing 55 bridal bouquets, 10-odd table centerpieces and a dozen different floral crowns – to your florist, it may serve to confuse instead of inform. Also, if you keep pinning new photos that look nothing like what you’ve ordered, your florist may also start wondering if you’ve changed your mind about the floral designs.

Try this!
Devote some time to choosing a few snapshots that evoke the overall look and feel you hope to achieve. Then, go through them with your florist so that she understands exactly what you like and don’t like in each snapshot. At the same time, she will be able to share what is achievable within seasonal or budget constraints.

Mistake #3: Being inflexible.

Being too specific limits your florist’s creativity. This is especially true in Singapore, where florists rely almost entirely on imported blooms and need that creative license to exchange one bloom with another to evoke the right look and feel for your wedding. For instance, setting your heart on only one type of bloom, such as Sarah Bernhardt peonies. But if peonies are not in season, there is absolutely nothing your florist can do to conjure them up in time for your wedding. In a worst-case scenario, she may even have to give you her last bunch of out-of-season (and thus, small and poor quality) peonies just to get the job done.

Try this!
Instead of refusing to compromise, give your florist permission to replace what’s not available with similar flowers instead. Decide on a back-up so you have a idea of what to expect. Be open to suggestions, but also highlight what you don’t like (such as not having too much foliage). In fact, many florists work best with brides-to-be who have a clear brief indicating their preferred colour palette and floral style, as opposed to a set idea.

wedding florists Image cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by lindsey child.

Mistake #4: Using subjective colours.

Colours are subjective, and may vary from person to person. So, don’t be surprised if your idea of violet blooms may not be the same as what your florist envision. While some brides-to-be are not bothered by subtle variations in colour, others may have a real issue if the colours of their flowers don’t match with the overall theme or venue decor. That’s why trying to describe colours may turn out to be a futile effort on your part.

Try this!
Instead of using words to describe your colour palette, search for the colours online and show them to your florist instead (such as “this is what I mean by ‘violet’). Then, consider giving your florist a rough percentage of how much of each colour you’d like for your wedding flowers (such as “50 per cent violet, 30 per cent lavender and 20 per cent cream”).

Mistake #5: Bugging your florist at every opportunity.

While asking for periodic updates – such as whether that vintage gold urn you want has arrived in store – is reasonable, expecting your florist to report every minor detail to you is not. So if you think SMS-ing your florist at 4am in the morning is a good idea, think again. Florists, like regular folks, need sleep too. Disrupt that, and it is highly likely that she won’t be in top form to work on your wedding. Also, your florist may be less inclined to give you a better price if she feels she needs more time and effort to deal with your frequent demands.

Try this!
Resist the urge to call your florist every time there’s something you are unsure about. That also means not dropping by the flower shop “just to check how things are going”. Instead, consolidate your queries before checking with your florist – after asking her preferred mode of communication.

Mistake #6: Not trusting your florist.

Although you may feel insecure about not knowing how your bridal bouquet may turn out, insisting on seeing your wedding flowers weeks in advance is simply not possible. That’s because your florist will only be able to work on your wedding one to two days before the actual date to ensure that your flowers are at their freshest. The same goes for asking to go to the nursery with your florist to pick your own wedding blooms. Most florists do care about their craft (and their reputations!) and will do their utmost to make your wedding a memorable one. Being demanding will not make your wedding flowers look nicer.

Try this!
In a nutshell, trust your florist once you have engaged her. After all, you are paying to delegate that aspect of the wedding to a professional. So, remember why you hired her and give her the much-needed license to work based on your budget and preferred look and feel for the greatest results!

Featured image: Image cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Jerry Ferguson.