Planning a wedding can be a truly stressful ordeal. I have only ever seen this from a photographer's perspective so I asked Anna Starkey to share some insight on picking floral arrangements for weddings. Anna Starkey is the owner/designer of Fleurt, a home-based wedding studio in Mesa. She has been in the floral industry for 22 years and is an Arizona Master Florist. She has won Arizona State Designer of the Year in 2010 and 2015. She has also competed in the California Top Ten and came in 3rd and has been an exhibitor in the annual Phoenix Arts & Flowers at the Phoenix Art Museum where she has won both Best Floral Interpretation in 2011 and Most Creative in 2013. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Instagram at @fleurtaz and on Facebook under "Fleurt Floral Art".
Nowadays, it seems the choices of flowers are quite limitless, and for some it can be a bit overwhelming. You want your bouquet to be memorable, photogenic and to reflect your style and personality, but you also want to stay within your budget. I feel that you can have the best of both worlds as long as you are realistic and give your wedding floral designer a little artistic license.
I have a list of the top 10 flowers that I like using in wedding designs and what the pros and cons of using these flowers may be.
#1 – The Rose. It’s a timeless classic, comes in a multitude of colors and holds up quite well in bouquets and décor. The open cut and garden varieties are especially lovely and romantic. And when compared to some of the other popular flowers out there, can be quite cost effective.
#2 – The Peony. This bloom is a stunner! But it is also a seasonal flower and can be quite expensive. If this is a must on your list, check which time of year it is available (mainly late Spring, early Summer) and plan your date accordingly. A very regal and distinctive flower.
#3 – Ranunculus. Also a seasonal flower but less expensive than it’s showy counterpart above, it is a charming little bloom and can add a fresh and fun splash to your wedding look.
#4 – Calla Lilies. Elegant, modern, clean lines. This flower is one of my favorites, it holds up very well in design work, even without water for quite a while! And if you are wanting to incorporate black into your color scheme, this is one of those flowers that comes naturally in a black or deep plum palette.
#5 – Hydrangea. Big and lavish! A single bloom can be as big as your hand, they are available all year, and are one of my favorite blooms to use as a base of the bouquet and nestle all the other blooms within. Limited colors available (White, blue, pink and purple)
#6 – Orchids. Unusual and exotic look, many sizes and shapes and available all year round, but these do tend to be pricey as well.
#7 – Dahlias. “A symbol of a commitment bond that lasts forever” these spiky, luscious blooms are quite the wild card. These beauties come in a variety of colors, but also are very seasonal (late Summer to Fall) and can be very short-lived and heat sensitive.
#8 – Tulips. “Perfect love”. These colorful, fresh, springy bulb flowers are the perfect complement to a spring wedding, but are actually available almost all year long. Budget friendly and great for a modern floral statement.
#9 – Succulents. No, they are not actually a flower, but they are super hot right now! They hold up great, and their funky, organic rosettes create a memorable style trend for years to come.
#10 – Protea. Another unique flower, exotic and textural. This is also an expensive flower, but just a few blooms can create a visually stunning look for that wild, boho bride.
Of course, there are many more flowers available, in all colors, textures, sizes and shapes. So to choose the right combination, you may want to do some research on your own before your initial meeting with your florist. Magazines, Google, Blogs, Pinterest and Instagram are all good outlets to see countless number of bouquets, just keep your color scheme and budget in mind. Also when choosing a bouquet, remember, the bigger, the heavier, you will have to hold your flowers for quite a while during photos and throughout the day. Your dress can also determine the shape and style of your bouquet and the venue can lead you as well, depending on whether it’s a garden setting, resort or an industrial building as to the type of decorations needed. Once you have a basic idea decided upon you can set up an initial consultation with a florist. Make sure you bring your wedding inspiration photos, color swatches, and anything else you want to show or talk about, your florist will need to know all the details, as in the number of bridesmaids, family members that will wear flowers and the number of tables that will require centerpieces and your budget to accommodate all these needs. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and to make sure you are dealing with a reputable vendor, always check out their reviews and ask to see a portfolio (or you can check them out on their social media as well). And if you are still a bit unsure, let your professional guide you to what your best bets will be, give them a little artistic freedom and let them wow you on your big day. Some of my favorite and most memorable bouquets were the ones where the bride gave me little instruction, just the colors and general style. Don’t forget, florists love flowers and we want to make your wedding day one to remember and to cherish always. Cheers!