You’ve booked your wedding venue and major vendors like your planner, caterer, and photographer. What’s next on your wedding planning to-do list? Your wedding flowers and decor!
Flowers can make a huge impact on the look and feel of your wedding day. There are so many ways to incorporate beautiful blossoms into your celebration, including bridal bouquets, bridesmaids’ bouquets, boutonnieres, wedding ceremony decor, reception table centerpieces, and so much more!
With so many options to consider, choosing your wedding flowers can initially seem overwhelming. The Treasury on the Plaza team interviewed two of Northeast Florida’s best wedding florists, Tula Rose Floral and Event Design and Malia Floral Design, to demystify the wedding floral design process.
Read on for our ultimate guide to wedding bouquets and flowers, from when to hire a florist, how to make your wedding design vision come to life, and some of the latest wedding floral trends.
Do You Really Need to Hire a Professional Florist For Your Wedding?
Having flowers isn’t necessarily a requirement for your wedding. Some couples choose to have a flower-free wedding, opting instead for rentals or other unique decor options as a substitute. But if flowers are important to you, we highly recommend hiring a professional florist specializing in weddings.
As we’ve already mentioned, there are many things to consider when it comes to wedding flowers. Your florist can take the vision you have in your head (and hundreds of inspiration photos!) and help you build a realistic plan for your wedding flowers within a budget that works for you.
Tessa Manton, the owner of Tula Rose Floral, advises, “Couples should hire a professional wedding florist because we can take a beautiful venue and personalize it to the couple’s style and personality.”
“Florals bring your event to life, and I think it’s the best part of the wedding day! (Besides getting to marry your soulmate!)” adds Susan Casper of Malia Floral Design. “A professional florist can help you make your vision a reality and give you alternate ideas to maximize your budget.”
In addition to helping you personalize your vision and stick to your budget, a professional florist is typically in charge of all the logistics surrounding your flowers for your big day. They will ensure that your flowers arrive at your wedding venue on time, are set up properly, and are taken care of at the end of the evening. The last thing you want on your wedding day is to be worried about handling your flowers when you should be focused on enjoying the day!
How Do You Find The Right Wedding Florist?
There are so many great wedding florists out there! How do you narrow down which one is right for you?
Many venues and wedding planners have a list of preferred florists that they trust to take care of their clients. These florists often have the most experience, along with a track record of great service.
Social media can also be a great resource for finding florists and other vendors. Most wedding vendors tag other wedding professionals in their posts on Instagram. When you see a photo that fits your style, save it to your inspiration boards and consider reaching out to the florist for more information.
When inquiring with florists, Tessa with Tula Rose says she believes “you will know the right florist upon the first conversation. Your florist should understand your vision, have the expertise to direct that vision, and have the tools and team to execute.”
Susan Casper at Malia Floral recommends that you pay attention to the level of communication you receive from florists when you reach out. “Communication is key. Is the florist responsive and do you feel they understand your vision? Does their work/style look like it’s in sync with yours?”
Being on the same page with your florist from the beginning will ensure smooth sailing later in the planning process.
When Should You Book Your Wedding Florist?
We asked our expert florists when they recommended couples lock in their wedding florist.
Tessa Manton with Tula Rose said, “I love to start the design process when we are within a year of the wedding. If we are outside that window, I cannot guarantee accurate pricing. But we do book up fast and are happy to put together a working proposal outside of a year!”
Susan Casper’s process is slightly different. She said, “As soon as the venue is booked and you know your overall color scheme or color of the bridesmaids’ dresses, you can start the design process. Make sure the florist allows for design changes if you are booking far in advance. Your ideas can change as time goes on and you want to feel comfortable conveying those changes without feeling like you’re burdening anyone.”
Making Your Wedding Floral Vision Come to Life
Like with wedding venues, color palettes, and almost everything else in the wedding planning universe, you have a nearly infinite number of floral styles to choose from. Narrowing down your vision can take some time, but that’s why most couples start to plan their wedding more than a year in advance!
Choosing your wedding venue can help you narrow down your floral design style. You can find inspiration in the history and style of your venue, its layout, or the color palette. For example, an old Florida hotel like the Don Cesar in St. Petersburg would be perfect for tropical flowers in bright pink colors. A modern art museum like the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville might call for minimalistic flowers and very structural shapes. The neutral color scheme and architecture of The Treasury on the Plaza in St. Augustine works as the perfect blank canvas for many different floral styles and colors.
When you start talking to florists about your wedding vision, you don’t need to know exactly what type of flowers you want for your wedding. Susan Casper says that “flower types are like learning a whole other language. No one comes into the process knowing more than a few types of flowers, which is perfectly okay! Photos are everything. I have my couples convey what they like through photos or a Pinterest link. I communicate the same way back with photo examples, which works perfectly since the whole process is very visual.”
Tessa with Tula Rose says that she asks all of her couples to have an idea of their color palettes, target budget goal, and a few photos of bouquets, ceremony design, and centerpieces that reflect the vision they are going for. “We will then suggest specific blooms that will best fit the vision and budget.”
What Floral Options Should You Consider For Your Wedding Ceremony and Reception?
You can incorporate flowers in a variety of places during your wedding ceremony or reception. Think through the flow of the day, and where flowers will make the biggest impact. Below is a wedding flower checklist that will help ensure you have everything you could possibly need for your big day!
Everyone wants to make a good first impression! Flowers can be incorporated into many ways at entrance ways or welcome areas around your wedding ceremony. Here are some of the places to consider adding flowers in these areas:
- Guest book table arrangements
- Gift table arrangements
- Photo or memory table arrangements
Wedding Ceremony Flowers
Flowers can add elegance and romance to your wedding ceremony. Consider adding floral arrangements in the following areas:
- Wedding ceremony signage
- Arrangements at the entrance of your aisle
- Down the aisle along guest chairs
- Wedding backdrop: Consider having flowers on the ground, along a ceremony arch, or accenting a chuppah or other drapery
Cocktail Hour Flowers
Cocktail hour is typically not an area that many couples focus on for wedding flowers. However, small arrangements in the cocktail space can help make your wedding feel more cohesive as you transition from the wedding ceremony to the reception. Here are some of the places you may want to plan to have flowers during cocktail hour:
- Small arrangements on cocktail tables
- Accent flowers on any food display tables
- Seating chart signage or escort card tables
- Small arrangements on your bar
Wedding Reception Flowers
During your wedding reception, your flowers really have a chance to shine!
Flower arrangements are the most popular centerpiece options for reception tables. There are numerous stylistic choices you can make here. Taller arrangements are excellent for glamorous weddings where you want your decorations to make a statement, while smaller, more understated arrangements give your reception a more intimate or modern vibe.
Each table should have some sort of decor, but not every table needs to have a flower arrangement. You can get creative with candles, candelabras, or other unique decor that speaks to your personal style.
Here are all of the places to consider adding wedding reception flowers:
- Wedding reception table centerpieces
- Buffet tables or food stations
- Powder rooms
- At the bar
- Sweetheart or cake table backdrop
- Sweetheart or head table arrangements
- On tables around lounge seating areas
- Decorations on or around the wedding cake
- Bouquet toss (often a faux flower arrangement)
- Photobooth backdrop
Don’t be afraid to repurpose floral arrangements from your wedding ceremony to the reception. If your ceremony and reception are held at the same place, your ceremony arrangements can easily be moved to different locations for the reception while your guests are enjoying cocktail hour. If you’re traveling from your ceremony to the reception, talk with your florist and wedding planner about whether flowers can be transported from one location to another.
Wedding Bouquets and Personal Flowers
Wedding bouquets and personal flowers are another important part of the wedding floral planning process. Personal flowers are considered any flowers that are held or worn on the wedding day. This can include:
- Bridal bouquets
- Bridesmaid bouquets
- Flower girl petals, bouquet, or other florals
- Corsages and other flowers for important family members
- Floral collar for pets
Don’t forget to also request a few extra blooms from your florist to give to your photographer for photos of your invitation suite, rings, and other small details!
Another great cost-saving tip is to repurpose your bridal bouquet and bridesmaids bouquets as decor for your reception. A popular option is to use them as centerpieces on a few of the guest tables, but you can get creative with where you repurpose flowers. Wedding bouquets can be used to accent the cake table, sweetheart table, or really anywhere that you might need an extra floral touch!
We asked our floral experts for their advice on how to determine how much floral couples need for their wedding day:
Tessa Manton told us, “The conversation about what [each couple] needs starts from the initial inquiry! We chat through what is included with the venue, then what their style is, and how we can enhance the space based on all of those factors.”
Susan Casper shares this advice: “Know your budget. A lot of couples will tell me they don’t know what flowers cost, but it’s easier for the florist to work around a budget so we direct you toward the right design options. I let my couples know that I will still price everything on their wishlist, but I’d rather create a design that’s in their comfort level. We can always scale back or add more.”
Wedding Floral Trends
Wedding floral trends change quickly and often! We asked our expert florists some of their favorite trends that they are seeing at the moment.
“We are seeing a lot of whites, brights, and clear designs trending!” shared Tessa Manton. “Glass and acrylic are in, but gold will never go out of style! Baby’s-breath is super hot, as well as focusing on a single bloom, like roses, and going over the top with it! Greenery seems to be none or a ton, and dried ingredients are here to stay!”
Susan Casper is seeing similar requests from her clients. “Modern florals, black and white color schemes, candle decor, ceremony floral stands, bold blooms, baby’s-breath. There’s a lot of new trends and they are always changing.”
At The Treasury on the Plaza and our sister property the Lightner Museum, we’re starting to see colorful flowers make a comeback, especially in the spring and summer months. We always love a neutral color palette, but there’s something about bright blooms that add warmth and vibrancy to a wedding. We’re excited to see where floral trends will go in the future!
Stunning Floral Arrangements to Match a Stunning Wedding Venue
Your floral decor can go a long way toward making your event spectacular. From small arrangements to big beautiful blossoms, you can’t go wrong with pretty flowers!
Building your floral vision starts with picking a venue that will serve as the canvas to bring your wedding design dreams to life. Whether you’re a St. Augustine native, or looking for the perfect destination wedding venue, look no further than The Treasury on the Plaza. Our venue offers the perfect elegant backdrop, and we have numerous wedding packages to make planning your wedding a breeze.
Contact us today to schedule an in-person or virtual tour of the venue and make your dream wedding dream a reality.
Thank you again to Tessa Manton with Tula Rose Floral and Susan Casper with Malia Floral Design for sharing their expert tips and advice. For more information and inspiration, please visit their websites.