My wedding day was the happiest day of my life. Really. Even today, almost 9 years later, all I need to do to feel a tingle of pure joy is remember that day. Besides the sublime wonder of officially becoming family with my fantastic husband, it was amazing to be surrounded by family and dear friends, to be wearing a gorgeous dress, and carrying the most spectacular wedding bouquet in the world.
I had to have my bouquet surgically removed from me to dance our first dance as man and wife. At one point, our photographer begged me to put it down: “Just one picture without the flowers, please?”
Today, I still think of the questions my wedding florist asked me and the advice she gave me when working with clients to create the perfect floral design for their weddings. Below are a few tips for busy brides planning their weddings in New York, from someone who knows:
Wedding Florist Checklist: Wedding Planning Made Easy
- Budget and prioritize.
Different things are important to different people. Some couples are focused on creating a spiritual ceremony, some on the biggest and best reception, some with the pictures, and some people just want to dance! Take a moment to examine where you want the most impact to be in your wedding. For me, the flowers and the reception were the most important aspects.
I had the best party of my life in The Palm House at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a glorious Victorian glass green house. My wedding table centerpieces brought the garden in and added vibrant color to a very simple space. I told my florist what I was comfortable spending as part of my wedding flowers budget, and she advised me to use the majority of the money on my fabulous wedding bouquet and really cool wedding table centerpieces. The church flowers, cocktail party, and bridesmaids received minimal attention.
- Do your research.
Before a consultation with your New York wedding florist, sit down for an afternoon and allow yourself the luxury of a visual vacation. Comb the web, flip through bride magazines, garden magazines, interior decorating magazines, or pottery barn catalogs and tear out the wedding pictures and images that speak to you – flowers, landscapes, rooms, fabrics, artwork. Don’t worry if they don’t match or don’t have a theme or are the homes of multi-billionaires. Bring these images to your florist. These images are your dreamscape, and create a framework for discussion and will help the designer understand what you like.
- Bring pictures.
Bring pictures of your wedding venue, your wedding dress, and anything else you think might be helpful. A good NYC floral designer does not necessarily need to see the space, but if your floral aesthetic is ultra-modern and your venue is a turn-of-century town-house, there’s a sensible way a floral designer can balance the contrast.
Your wedding dress also speaks volumes to a designer when they are creating your bouquet. Your wedding bouquet is a glorious and important accessory. It should enhance the beauty of your gown – not compete with it. A good New York wedding florist will offer suggestions based on the shape and style of your gown.
My wedding day was a dream come true, and the wedding flowers were a delightful aspect that made it even more memorable. So much so, that after my wedding I realized that I had a true passion for flowers! I quizzed every florist I met on how they learned their craft and took floral design classes all over the metropolitan area from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, to New York Botanical Garden, to individual flower classes in shops in Manhattan. Now I have the opportunity to share my love of flowers and plants, as well as the joy of an active, engaging career as a New York wedding florist in my own right!