Wedding Evolution! Modern times for our greatest tradition

Long ago are the days of tulle-lined aisles, guys wearing boutonnieres as big as their heads, and guests bustling from a quaint church to a big banquet hall. Those things that used to scream “WEDDING!” are now just out dated, and even unnecessary. Trends come and go in this industry, but traditions “evolve”. 

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“Turn your head to the side, line up, tallest in the center….” Posing is OUT. Traditional wedding albums are a bore, and photographers have become ingenious at creating a picture you never knew happened. Creative locations and backdrops, active “poses”, and intimate engagement and boudoir sessions have replaced the traditional wedding poses of the bride and groom and their wedding party and families. 

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LET THEM EAT CAKE!!!!! Let’s face it, not everyone gets excited about a 5 tier, white fondant frosted cake. With caterers constantly upping their game with innovations, the wedding cake can be replaced with more guest friendly cupcakes, seasonal dessert stations, or even pies. 

Weddings are more “designed” and personal than ever. Each element is carefully selected to create a cohesive design scheme that reflects the bride and groom and what is important to them. Receiving lines have been replaced by guests holding sparklers, tulle draped down the aisle has been replaced by vases full of submerged orchids, traditional ceremonies have taken a backseat to an intimate marriage conducted by a family friend or relative. Brides are more aware of what the wedding means to themselves rather than upholding a tradition.

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Flowers will always be a must at a wedding, but corsages and boutonnieres are becoming a thing of the past. Mom doesn’t want a wobbly thing on her wrist all night, and websites like etsy.com have come up with creative ways to forgo the traditional boutonniere. Even using a bold, brightly colored pocket square looks classier. Church decor has dramatically decreased, and is often forgone, because brides want their budget to go toward making the reception fabulous. Couples really want to create that “Wow!” factor at their reception. So, say goodbye to aisle runners, elaborate unity candles, wreaths on church doors, and yes, tulle. 

 

Budget is more important than ever because mommy and daddy don’t always foot the bill anymore. More and more couples are paying for their own weddings. And the groom’s parents don’t always host a rehearsal dinner, provide transportation, or pay for portions of the flower bill. Brides need to be really creative in how they want to create the wedding of their dreams. They need to select vendors who are helpful in this mission! 

If a couple, or their family, doesn’t belong to a church, or is looking for a way to be a bit more economical, they will most likely have their ceremony and reception in the same location. Reception venues have done a tremendous job at creating a ceremony that can still feel intimate and traditional, and then completely transform the same space into a hopping reception in no time. Couples can trim their budget by having their centerpieces serve as double duty for ceremony decor, and cut down on transportation costs for the bridal party and close family. The trifecta is when you choose a venue that is also a hotel. Perfect for a couple who have a lot of out of town guests. 

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Invitations used to be selected out of a book or bought at a store. Nowadays, everything is custom. “Just for you” is the mantra the wedding industry puts forth, and brides and grooms eat it up. You want your wedding to be all about you, unique, different, special. Just the opposite of “traditional”. You still can’t send out e-vites for your wedding, but you can forgo some of the traditional etiquette of using inner and outer envelopes, addresses can be printed and not hand written, and you can use a post card as a response card. And there is a magnificent stationer available to custom create all your save the date cards, menu cards, place cards, invitations, and thank you cards, to have a “branding” that reflects the bride and groom perfectly. 

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Typically we think of bands and DJ’s providing the entertainment at the reception. But nowadays, bride’s are looking for something more dramatic to surprise her guests. The couple might include a simple cigar rolling bar, or a late night hot dog vendor, or having a photo booth at the cocktail hour to entertain guests. We have seen fortune tellers, magicians, and even hot air balloon rides to give guests a real taste of excitement at a wedding. 

What is the take away from all this? Tradition has been replaced by “custom” and the bride is all about creating a day that is a reflection of herself, well designed, run smoothly, is economical, and surprises her guests. Weddings have become EVENTS!, not just rites of passage. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How do you get the MOST out of your florist?

The big joke in our company is that I like to be the “Floral Psychologist.” I do have a degree in Psychology, and I suppose it is my nature to try to draw out little secrets in people that they may not know are there. It is especially important as a creative vendor to know your clients very well. I am forever diligent in trying to help my brides make decisions that best reflect their true selves, their budget, and the style and themes they want to represent on the most important day of their lives. I ask myriad questions ranging from where they like to shop, to favorite color palettes, to how they feel about circle and squares, just to get to the root of their inner “floral psychology.” So, how that you know what I am trying to do, as a bride, how do YOU come prepared for your “session?”

*Do your research! It is imperative that you do some homework before you come in to meet with your florist. The amount of time you have spent searching for things you love, helps me establish how important flowers are to you and your big day. I don’t ever want to over sell to a bride. I also need to be realistic with you, if you have ten thousand dollar ideas, and a two thousand dollar budget, it’s going to make my job harder. As a bride, you have infinite resources to help you do your homework.

*Even if you are introverted, you have to be able to communicate with me. If you are a non-verbal person, email me, text me, send me pictures, anything to help me get the gist of what you love. If you find that kind of communication too impersonal, request more meetings, schedule a phone consult with me, hell, come over for dinner. If we don’t establish a relationship, I cannot get to know what really makes you excited, and that’s my job, to create something that you LOVE. 

*Be open to my expertise. If you love peonies but are getting married in September, you will need me to help you make different flower choices. You may have spent the last year looking on Pinterest at every style of purple and pink bouquet you can imagine, thinking you know a LOT about flowers now, but, what can happen is that you will create a disconnect between ALL the things you like, and the ONE style that will truly reflect who you are. Your wedding day is the most important day of your life, and should be a reflection of who you and your fiance are as a couple. Let me help you sift through the various things you like, and narrow it down to what you are really looking for. 

*Make sure you understand what your florist has said to you! If you read through a quote and can’t visualize what they want to create for you, ask them to help you understand. If your prototype isn’t matching up to what you were expecting, ask them WHY and find out HOW you can get your vision into their hands. Again, this is why it is so important that you establish a relationship with your florist, so you can feel open and honest to communicate effectively. At the end of the day, it is all about YOU! 

*At a certain point, it is important that you give your florist some creative license. If we have communicated well, I know what you want. I know the best way to give it to you. If certain things are not available or not up to par, I need to know that you trust me to choose something else and provide you with the best possible products available. 

Selecting vendors for your wedding are not like transactions you have when you buy a nice outfit, or go out to dinner. It is all about creating relationships, so treat each relationship as you would a friendship. Hold people accountable, communicate effectively, trust each other, and have fun! Image

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How does your florist SELL YOUR WEDDING?

ImageI read an interesting article this morning posted on “Flirty Fleur,” (a floral inspirational blog I follow) called “How to Sell a Wedding.” It really made me stop and give pause to how I approach the sales aspect of my business. Doing weddings for people is my livelihood. I stopped focusing on the retail side of things because it just doesn’t make enough money. So, clearly, my objective when trying to make a sale should be to make the maximum amount of money I can. After reading this article, I realized I don’t actually approach it this way. I provide a very “bride focused” environment where education, priority, style, and helpfulness are my key guidelines when trying to make a sale. It made me think about things from the consumer’s side and how you might benefit from thinking about these things when you meet with a florist. 

*Budget-You probably have a good sense of what you can AFFORD to spend, but as a florist, we are here to EDUCATE YOU on what those dollars mean. If you come into my office and tell me you want to spend 1500.00 on your wedding, and that is all I listen to, I may be missing out on some key facts about what you really need. Most clients avoid giving a budget for fear that they will either not get the value they deserve, or for fear of looking too cheap. A good florist wants you to have what you need, what you love, and what is a priority, and that doesn’t always come with a ten thousand dollar price tag. I try to never ask what your budget is, until I have heard all your hopes and dreams for your big day. That way I get a full scope of what your style, taste, and priorities are, and can better help you decide where to spend those floral dollars. I always say “I like to start you out on the moon, then I will help bring you back down to Earth if we need to.”

*Style-I use a lot of tools to find out what you are really looking for in a wedding. Because you are not experts, it can be easy to get lost in all the pictures of pretty things on Pinterest, The Knot, and wedding magazines. You may have complete incongruence with the styles you like. A good florist wants to bring the YOU out in their designs, not follow a formula in a magazine, or create something just because THEY think its outstanding! First, I assess a lot about your style by the way you dress, the type of bag you carry and the shoes on your feet. If you are all about fashion and not at all about comfort, that tells me something. If you wear Uggs and carry a large Boho bag, that tells me something else. I can tell if you are organized, easy going, nature loving, or super contemporary almost at first glance. Next, I ask all my clients to bring pictures. (Or we look up your Pinterest accounts) I go through them and ask questions about why you like each one. Often it isn’t about the whole picture, its about a specific detail. If you do have asymmetry in the pictures you are showing me, I will try to help you sort out what you really feel is YOU and what you think is PRETTY. I will point out how one bouquet differs from another, and define them. I am here to educate and facilitate, NOT dictate. Many designers have their own style they like to adhere to in order to protect their “brand”. This can be great for the consumer who doesn’t have a need for a personal touch on the decor (corporate work for example) or the bride whose goal is simply to WOW their guests and doesn’t care how it’s done. I prefer to work with girls who want to have an event that showcases who they are. I want  my bride to walk into a room and think “This is so me!” 

*PriorityNot all brides come to me with the same objectives. One bride may place a higher priority on the ceremony, others feel their dollars should be spent on the party. Some girls want a room covered in diamonds, but could care less about flowers. Some girls really want to give their guests a “WOW!” when they walk in the room, others just want their guests to have fun. It’s my job to listen to you, and help you put your floral budget where it’s going to give you the biggest impact and help you achieve your goals. Knowing the venues very well is very important when assessing things like this. 

At the end of the day, your proposal should reflect your style, the look and feel you are going for, should be close to the budget you had in mind (which I assess on my own through myriad questions), and only include the things you have prioritized. If I know you are on a tighter budget, I might recommend doing 5 or 6 large focal centerpieces to give the room some impact, where we might skimp a bit on the outlying tables and focus more on inexpensive candle light there. If I know you really want to make mouths drop, I will be more likely to suggest WOW! pieces that might hang from the ceiling, or put your cake up on a floral riser, or completely cover your head table with lush cascades of flowers. Even if you have a huge flower budget, you may not want to spend it at the church. A good florist asks the right questions, listens well, and helps find the YOU in your wedding decor. 

 

Hugs, TiffanyImage

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Wedding flowers design class! Such a success!

I have been so honored to meet these lovely ladies as I TRY to teach them how to make things for weddings! It’s my first time teaching the class, and so I have found out very quickly the best way to learn something for the future, is to screw it up in the present 🙂 After the myriad of mistakes I’ve already made, I was surprised and excited to see that we still turned out great results!!! These ladies are so talented! Each of the ladies has come to the class for different reasons. I recommend highly  that you look into your local university’s continuing studies program to see if they offer any of these types of classes for you. It is such a blessing to have this skill of making things beautiful! 

 

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Five HOT ways to use burlap! Not just for potatoes any more.

Who would imagine that we would take the most expensive, lavish party we will ever host, and use a burlap sack to dress it up? A few years ago, I would have said you were crazy, but now I am in LOVE! When you want to create a soft vintage, rustic, or organic feel to your wedding, burlap and lace says “wedding” like nothing else this year! Here’s 5 ways to use it. (Disclaimer: These are not original images….)

*Bridal bouquets: Use a simple burlap, jute or sisal as the handle on your bridal bouquet. Add a little lace overlay, ribbon treatment, or a special brooch to dress it up.

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*Use burlap as table runners, chair ties, or napkins.

How cute is this with the silverware in it?

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*Dress up centerpieces, candle holders or table numbers with this inexpensive, do-it-yourself touch. Don’t be afraid to dye it in the color of your wedding. LOVE this touch of pink.

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*Create custom favors for your guests using burlap as a satchel holding fresh lavender or potpourri, seedlings, tree saplings, or home made candies.

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*Create a beautiful back drop for your outdoor “I Do’s”….

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There are myriad ways to use this inexpensive fabric to add that special vintage, outdoorsy touch to your wedding. Add pearls, diamonds, colored ribbons, satin fabrics, lace, mosses, and vintage fabrics to make this personally catered to your tastes.

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Cannot WAIT to sell these to a bride!

Succulents were super hot last year, now it is time to take them up a notch! Got this picture sent to me from my wholesaler this morning and I am STOKED!!!! Who’s going to be first????     Image

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“Ruff” day at the office

Just a reminder that no matter what it is doing outside, someone wants to be a part of it.

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