Wedding Flower Inspo - A Q & A with a Wedding Florist

 We turn this week to our expert Jules Wild from Wild & Co, where she brings a key insight into all things floral related, a wealth of of planning advice and a great Q & A with a great dose of wedding inspiration.

Without further ado...over to you Jules: 



______The Flower Q & A_______

At what stage of the planning process should you start to think about florists and flowers?

If you love flowers and want them to be an important part of your wedding day then I would suggest gathering lots of reference material once a date and your venue have been booked. Pinterest is a great place to start for inspiration and can get your creative juices flowing! Your boards will also help your florist get a better idea of flowers/colours that you love as well as the overall look you want to achieve. I would also recommend looking at preferred suppliers who work at your chosen venue. Look at their Instagram posts and their websites for examples of their work to get some more ideas. I personally won't quote on anything more than 12-18 months in advance. The last couple of years have been extremely challenging, for many reasons, but especially when trying to gauge how flower costs will be affected by what is happening in the world. Brexit and the pandemic have already had a huge impact, and now the substantial hike in fuel and energy costs will undoubtedly see flower prices increase again this year. A good florist should keep you informed throughout the duration of working together and give you plenty of notice if they foresee costs escalating. As with everything in life, good communication is key.

Top Tips on choosing a florist and questions you should ask?

Finding your wedding florist is no different to finding a great pair of new shoes! It’s got to be the right ‘fit’. The first thing to check would be availability - are they free on your date, or if not and they have another wedding, can they easily accommodate both. Whilst I prefer to have only one per day the last two years have meant that we have had no choice but do multiple weddings on the same day. However, I have a fantastic team who will oversee everything when I can’t be in two places at once. Again, your florist needs to be upfront about this from the outset. Do you love the style and aesthetic of the florists work? A quick glance at their Instagram or website should give you a good indication of their capabilities. Do they also work sustainably and support local growers during summer months? Have they got experience of working at your venue? Check Google reviews for testimonials or ask for a couple of references if that helps give some reassurance.

Floral budgets - how much and why?

Before getting into too much detail after contacting a potential florist I would be very honest about your budget. At the early stages check if they have a minimum spend so neither of you waste too much time discussing the finer points when your budget and their minimum spend are at totally different ends of the spectrum. I don’t have a set price list as it depends on so many variables when it comes to flowers and the time of year of your wedding will also affect costs. Be prepared that flower prices rise significantly at busy times such as Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Kings Day in Holland and over Christmas/New Year when there are fewer flowers but demand is still quite high. I often get asked what a couple ‘should’ spend on their flowers, or give an average, but it’s impossible to give a % of your overall wedding budget. It all comes down to how important the flowers are to you, and the look you want to achieve. A good florist will quote accordingly and should be honest about what they can or can’t do for your budget. Unfortunately many bridal magazines and wedding blogs are very misleading with their cost guides for wedding florals. Far better to contact 3 florists whose work you love and see how they handle your enquiry. Aside from their quote, do they get back to you promptly and do they seem genuinely excited about your special day?

Things to communicate with your florist…e.g. colour palette etc

Do ask your florist to suggest ways in which your ceremony displays can be repurposed for your reception to help make your budget go further. And whilst Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration remember that many of the wedding florals featured are extreme - both in scale and budget! When a couple get in touch with me for the first time I check availability and then send them a simple consultation form to complete and return. With just a few details and a Pinterest link I can quickly see if I’m actually the right florist for them. I wouldn’t commit to a wedding if the style of the flowers didn’t suit the way I prefer to work. With almost 18 years working as a wedding florist I know from experience that it’s always easier and far more enjoyable to work with a couple whose vision and ideas are similarly aligned to my own. Another factor to understand and be aware of is all the prep work before your actual wedding day. Many of my couples are surprised when I tell them that my team and I have actually worked an average of 2-3 days on the run up to their big day, not including the wedding day itself. This doesn’t include my admin time over last 12+ months or any meetings that I may have had with the couple, nor going back to the venue on the following day to collect any hired items etc, etc. Once you are a little further down the line and would like to book your chosen florist do check their T’s & C’s and make sure you are aware of how much you have to pay as a booking fee and if a payment plan can be arranged, or when the final payment is due, so everything is transparent. I ask for a 50% booking fee to secure the date and the final payment is due 6 weeks before the wedding, as an example. Working with a wedding florist should not feel like hard work… organising your flowers is the fun part! Don’t worry if you don’t know the names of flowers, or what is available when - that’s the job of your florist. I know I may be slightly biased but flowers really are a key component to a wedding celebration. They add colour, texture, interest and set the mood for your special day. And whilst they don’t last forever, some really beautifully designed florals, that reflect you as a couple and are in keeping with your wedding venue, will always be preserved forever in your photo albums for years to come.

A Real Wedding Inspiration look back - Sara & Luke

Being an October wedding Sara and Luke wanted a beautiful autumnal scheme with a colour palette ranging from soft peach to burnt orange and dark burgundy. Flowers included David Austin roses, locally grown dahlias, scented stocks, thistles, scabious, ammi, wax flower, astilbe, euphorbia, hydrangea, lysimachia, skimmia, snapdragons…to name but a few! Foliage is especially lovely at that time of year, so we also included lots of it, including copper beech leaves as well as a variety of textures including thistles, berries and seed heads. The couple live in the US so all our communication was via email and zoom, and after a thorough consultation process I created several mood boards to help them visualise the overall look and feel of their florals. These boards provided a great reference point throughout our time of working together. As Combe Lodge is a such an impressive venue they also wanted some impactful and dramatic installations to match - both as a backdrop for their outside ceremony as well as top to bottom florals along the main staircase in the house. Sadly, along with thousands of other couples in the same predicament, their initial date in 2020 had to be postponed to 2021, but when the big day did finally arrive it was definitely worth the wait! It was an absolute pleasure to be part of their special day and create some really beautiful florals that fitted the venue, the time of year, and them as a couple, perfectly. 

For more imagery - why not check out the gallery below! Enjoy!

____Supplier Shout Outs_____

Photography: Albert Palmer

Floristry: Wild & Co

Styling: The Little Wedding Helper



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