Discovering gorgeous bouquets on Instagram is a huge part of wedding planning fun. But actually selecting a bespoke design for your big day? Not as simple as checking out your favourite blogs. How are you supposed to know what flowers will match your wedding gown, or if your favourite blooms will be in season?
This is where a skilled wedding florist comes in to create a concept for your picture perfect day.
We asked florist Vivienne Hollingsworth of Flos Botanical to share her advice to help you get started selecting your wedding florals. Specialising in creating emotive floral displays for each unique client, she provides seasonal, artisan arrangements for weddings in Melbourne, the Yarra Valley and the Dandenong Ranges.
There are so many different types of florists to choose from. What’s the difference between them all?
The main difference between florists is that some will have their own bricks-and-mortar stores, while others operate as design studios for hire. These design studios specialise in events, not retail floristry. Design studios will use freelance florists – and to speak very generally – will have a specific style and approach floristry from a design perspective.
Shop florists will focus on retail and might do weddings here and there. For example, you would tell a shop florist what colours you like, and they’d select the flowers for you. With a design studio, they’d take you through a consultation process and come up with a concept for you.
Most couples will choose custom design floristry, but it all depends on your budget. Larger budgets will allow for more creativity and more complex concepts with a design studio.
A lot of couples reading this blog will be organising a wedding for next year. What’s on trend for wedding floristry next season?
Lots of foliage-heavy designs, lots of installations, and lots of plum, burgundy and dark, moody tones will be on trend for the cooler seasons.
How do you find a qualified, reliable and talented florist?
The best place to start your search is on Instagram. There are loads of accounts out there – particularly wedding blogs – that will feature the work of florists and design studios. A simple search for #melbourneweddingflorist will do the trick! It also helps to ask around, so ask your friends, family, and even other suppliers. Other wedding vendors – caterers, photographers, and dress designers – will recommend other quality vendors.
How do you choose a good florist? What questions should you ask to make sure they’re qualified, professional and reliable?
The first step, once again, is Instagram! Make sure they’re posting pictures of their actual work and not just inspiration from other accounts. A good florist will also have an excellent eye for detail, and be able to make decisions easily. This is handy when they’re helping you make a decision!
You should also ask them where they buy their flowers from, how many staff they’d use on the day if they’re needed, and make sure they have consistently good work.
What information is vital to provide to them?
It’s important to go to your chosen florist with some visual references of what you like. This helps prevent confusion, as what I might think is ‘wild’ might not be for another person. You also need to tell your wedding florist when and where the wedding is, of course, as well as how many tables, what kind of tables (round or rectangular?) as these can affect your floral design.
When should a couple start thinking about a wedding florist?
It’s best to approach a wedding florist for a quote when you’ve locked in a venue for a specific date. If you don’t know the exact location of your wedding, it’s hard for your florist to put together a style that suits the venue’s aesthetic. Once you have all of that information finalised, your florist will be able to put together a concept.
Tell us about the process you take each couple through to design their perfect blooms…
After someone reaches out via email or on the phone, I bring them in for a meeting. I ask them to bring pictures of flowers they like, and we also go over the size of wedding party and guest count, and when and where the wedding is. After I have all of this information, I then put together a concept for them. This concept includes a quote with a number of options to suit a range of budgets, and they’re not locked in to anything. Anything we’re potentially going to do is on the quote.
I’ll show them what their design could look like using images I’ve selected myself. If I were to just copy and paste their images, this doesn’t demonstrate that I’d heard what they’re after. When I curate my own mood board, this shows that I have a clear understanding of what they’re after.
I’ll also include a page that outlines the colours and flowers I’m going to use. We can then continue to refine the concept until they’re happy with it.
After that, they pay a 30% deposit to lock in the date. Three weeks before the actual wedding, we meet up to ensure that we’re all on the same page. Things like dresses – which aren’t finalised until a few weeks before – can change your floral design. For example, you might suddenly realise green really doesn’t go with the shade of your gown.
Then on the day of the wedding, we drop off the flowers in the morning with a bridal delivery sheet to ensure we have everything requested in the quote, and begin arranging everything.
During the actual ceremony and reception, you won’t see your florist at all because we want to be invisible.
If you love Vivien’s work, you can check out her Instagram for more wedding inspiration.
Flos Botanical is located in Melbourne at 250 Johnston Street in Abbotsford. She also works with corporate clients, organises workshops, styles photo shoots and events, and can create a bespoke design for your weekly floral fixation.
Phone: 0438 562 792