Today's guest is Jenny from Willows by Wehr! She is florist based in Columbiana, Ohio. Not only is she AMAZING at her craft, but she is also such a vibrant, kind and fun person! The first day I met her was at a Rising Tide Society Tuesday's Together meeting and I've been chatting and collaborating with her ever since! She's a great person to go to for an honest opinion. She would never steer you in the wrong direction because she truly cares about her job and her clients. She wants to make your wedding day floral arrangements perfect! That being said, she was kind enough to write up some tips for all ya'll engaged chicks out there :P
Hi! My name is Jenny and I am a professional florist. What's the difference you ask? I would like to welcome you into my world. The industry of Floral culture is filled with DIYers and everyone's favorite Aunt Tillie that has made every cousin's wedding flowers for them since the beginning of time. Well I am not her - not that "aunt" and certainly not a flower arranger. I am a designer and I know what blooms will withstand your particular wedding day. I was professionally trained at the prestigious Hixon's School of Professional Floral Design in Cleveland, Ohio. I have been in the floral industry for 32 years. All of this time I have been honing my craft into being a creative and cutting edge designer in my field today, and in March of 2014, I made my dream into reality when I opened my very own shop in Columbiana, Ohio! Now I'd love to share my expertise with you to help you in your search for a florist for your wedding day!
Choosing a florist is much like choosing a pair of shoes - crazy analogy but so true. No two florists as no two photographers are alike. We may all be wedding professionals; however, our line of passion is a strong thread - which is our style. So when choosing a florist, you're choosing a stylist. I have gotten haircuts, and then I have gotten a HAIR CUT. You understand what I'm saying! Choosing the right florist can have the same affect.
Making choices such as these for your wedding day can be a daunting process. I have seen many brides "shopping," which they're usually price shopping. Sometimes they're style shopping and looking for availability. Being a small business, I limit my availability for a weekend. Occasionally, we find ourselves overwhelmed with a wedding on Friday, two on Saturday and a big Bridal Shower on Sunday. That being said, once you have selected your professionals for your day it is a great idea to book with them while they're available. That means a retainer and a contract, even if the actual wedding order process for your flowers has not begun. At least you are guaranteed a spot on the professional's calendar!
Once you are ready for a floral consultation, you need a few things:
1. Your dress - not just the idea of it, but an actual picture of YOUR dress.
Your gown is as individual as you are. Did you pick a ball gown? A princess dress? Mermaid style? Fit and flare? Something vintage? Something with tulle and chiffon? This leads me to my next point.
2. The look, style and feel you want your wedding day to portray.
What is the look you want to create or the atmosphere you're wanting your guests to remember? If you have a princess dress or a ball gown, you may want to create a fairy tale so that your guests are transported via aesthetics to another place and time. If your dress is classic and formal, perhaps you go with red roses, black tie with white chair covers and black sashes? Or what about formal candle light in red and white roses and lilies? Or maybe a little Gatsby flare with big plumes of ostrich feathers and diamonds dripping from the chandelier. Shabby chic and rustic is a popular trend at the moment, with burlap lace and a casual atmosphere of mason jars, wood stumps and baby's breath. All of these looks are vastly different and require different styling, so it's a must know when meeting with your florist.
3. The venue - this must be booked and confirmed.
Your wedding venue can be part of the style of your wedding day. For instance, if you choose to have a barn wedding and reception, that will not lend itself to your Gatsby theme. You'd be more likely to eat BBQ without being surrounded by white feathers and chair covers. So where your reception is to be held and the unique surroundings you choose will have all the bearing on what your guests are served for their meal and what your decor will look like.
4. Bridesmaid and Groomsmen attire planned and set in stone.
The attire of your Bridal Party also has an effect on things. Perhaps you have chosen a Disney sparkle princess gown and it is a full ball gown with a full skirt, crinolines, glitter and rhinestone embellishments. You don't want your bridesmaids in flip flops or your groomsmen in suspenders and khakis. That being said, you need to know what your bridal party will wear and what the theme and style of your wedding is in order to choose the flowers and decor that matches it.
5. Budget. Make sure you have a plan with an accurate budget.
All of these points come together in your budget. Some brides have caviar taste and a sprite budget. Be realistic. For the sake of being a mom, I want you to live happily ever after with your groom in the home of your dreams! If you throw an elaborate $35,000 wedding and you can't afford the postage for your invitations, perhaps something isn't budgeted right. You can have a very nice wedding in just about any budget, but if you're wanting a lot of beautiful flowers and have selected 14 bridesmaids, your $5000 wedding budget is just not realistic. I am happy to work in any reasonable budget! If you have those 14 bridesmaids and you have a $500 budget for flowers, perhaps they could carry a few roses instead of a full bouquet? There are options I will guide you with to help you as best as I can.
If you'd like to read more about these details when planning for your floral consultation, you can check it out on my blog by clicking HERE. A little extra information may be helpful!
One more thought I would like to share is about Pinterest. I love Pinterest. You should too! However, make your wedding board private for starters. This way, only the people you allow can see the intimate plans for your very own day. Another thing about Pinterest is about photos on there. Many photos you find on Pinterest are from Styled Shoots. That means it is not an actual wedding or event and the photographer, florist, stylist and other professionals collaborated on the theme and made the shoot happen. Often times, those flowers are hand selected that very day from a personal garden and used for an hour or two during the shoot and that's it. The florals might not actually sustain an actual wedding day. Usually those types of blossoms are fragile and delicate - not a bloom that could withstand transportation or 5-6 hours of wedding day fun. Please trust your professional to know what would work best for you and your day. Knowing the style and theme of the day and then trusting the florist to choose what would go best with those plans to make it happen.
To end, I'll say that my favorite part of the day is when I had the bride her bouquet, she looks at it, beaming, and says, "It is all I have ever dreamed of and so much more!" That makes my job complete!