Raise of hands, how many of you have hired a florist to help design an event? It's not uncommon for this to be a first time experience for a bride! If you're anything like me, it's normal to leave a meeting and think of questions you wish you had asked! So this post is to help you know how to be prepared to meet with your florist and feel confident in your choice! Let's get to it!
Question #1: Have you done many weddings?
Why does this matter? What you're really asking here is: Do you know what you're doing? Experience is usually a good indicator of expertise, and that's important because you want to make sure they can guide you through the process easily
Question #2: Can I see examples of your work?
Why does this matter? Pictures of past bouquets and designs will let you know exactly what the florist is capable of and how it compares with your vision. Something to consider when seeing their work, though, is having them tell you if the photo was something they consider their style or if it was the couple's vision. Neither answer is bad--if you love the look, you know they're capable of recreating it; if you hate it, ask to see something they think is reflective of their own style.
Question #3: What happens to the flowers after the wedding?
Why does this matter? When you hire a florist, typically you're quoted a price that includes the vases or other containers you'll be renting for the event. This means, that while the blooms are your to keep, the containers will be going home with the florist. If you're interested in re-using the flowers for a day-after brunch or something of the sort, you'll want to discuss this with your florist. They can often work in the additional cost for the vases.
Question #4: How far in advance do I need to secure your services?
Why does this matter? Due to the nature of ordering and receiving flowers, this answer will be different for different florists. If the florist has a shop and receives orders weekly or even bi-weekly, they may be more flexible in the amount of time they need to secure your specific order. If they only place custom orders, they may need a specific amount of lead time to be able to order, receive, and process the flowers you want. This will also vary depending on the amount of events your florist takes on and how far in advanced they are booked.
Question #5: What is the deposit required to secure my date? When is payment due?
Why does this matter? This seems obvious, but it's very important to be on the same page as far as how much and when payments are due! You don't want to be blindsided by receiving a bill that you didn't expect. This will also help you with your wedding prep timeline.
Question #6: What is your refund policy, if for some reason I need to cancel my order?
Why does this matter? This is always a question to ask before signing a contract. Should any plans change, you definitely want to make sure you know what to expect ahead of time. Asking this questions will alleviate any miscommunication on the subject.
Question #7: How do you charge? Flat fee or per item?
Why does this matter? Knowing how they charge will help you know where your budget will go. If they charge a flat fee, you want to make sure it's all in your budget. If they charge per item, it may be easier to do a custom order and work within your budget to get what you want.
Question #8: Can you work within my budget?
Why does this matter? If you're not upfront about your budget now, you won't be able to pay the floral bill later. Florists want to work with you, not against you. We don't expect you to know what flowers cost, but open communication is best for everyone! P.S. see this blog post to get an idea of how to budget for flowers :)
Question #9: Are the flowers I want in season? If not, can you recommend substitutes?
Why does this matter? Choosing flowers that don't grow during the same season as your wedding can cost you a pretty penny, so ask about the availability of the flowers you want. If off-season flowers will break your budget, ask for recommendations for in-season florals that have a similar appearance.
Question #10: Can I change my mind?
Why does this matter? It’s probably not a good idea to have a complete change of heart about your flowers a week before your wedding! However if you are booking your florist very far in advance then agree a cut-off date for final decisions.
I hope this helps you feel prepared and confident in meeting with your floral designer! There are so many things and people that have to work together when planning and designing and event. Having confidence in your vendors will give you peace of mind and will help make planning your wedding more fun and less stressful :) Happy planning!
Guys... Deming, New Mexico may not seem like much, but I fell even more in love with New Mexico when we pulled up to Keeler Farms the day of this shoot! I mean, look at it!! Now I want to have a second wedding and I want to have it here! Also, my husband, who likes to tag along on my styled shoots, has decided he wants to buy a farm :D
Anyways, ugh, I'm so excited about this shoot! A few months ago, I had the idea to highlight a few wedding venues in southern New Mexico in a blog post, because they are hard to find!! I wanted to show brides that beautiful weddings are achievable in our little corner of the southwest :) I approached a few photographers about real weddings they had shot down here, and little did I know, Erin, from Sunshine Picture Project, was working on a similar project!
Erin told me she was working with Kursty from Keeler Farms on putting together a styled shoot to show off their Keeler Farms as a new premier wedding and event venue. I told her I would love to feature it on my blog when they were done, but I also snuck into the convo that if they were looking for a florist, I was available! Haha, I was super excited when they asked if I would help with their project! Even if that meant I was 38 weeks pregnant and literally praying I wouldn't go into labor until after the shoot! Haha! Love these behind-the-scenes shots that Erin got :)
Okay, so now onto the real pretties!! Kursty did an amazing job styling everything! It was so fun to use such bright colors, and Erin did an incredible job at capturing it all!
It was so fun to have some of my friends be our models for the shoot! Mandy and Russell did an amazing job!
You can see why I can't wait to work with any of these girls again! They are amazing and I'm so glad to have met them and made some new friends with this project that all speaks to our passion!
Venue - Keeler Family Farms
Styling - Kursty Keeler Pickup
Photography - Sunshine Picture Project
Cake - Melanie's Sweets and Treats
Okay, so remember the last styled shoot I posted about was taken about 20 minutes from my house, at White Sands National Monument? Well, Lincoln National Forest is like, 30 minutes the opposite direction. Yeah, I live in the coolest place! :D But this styled shoot was a little different than previous ones because it was specifically for the March Volume II issue of Sheeba Magazine! So I'm super excited to share these photos!!
Jess Jones is a talented photographer in El Paso, TX and I was so flattered when she asked me to help her out with this shoot! Meri Palko was our model, also living in El Paso. It was fun to get to know them while passing off the flower crown :)
I'm seriously having so much fun working with these photographers in New Mexico! I've got some more awesome projects in the works, so stayed tuned!!
In a recent post, we talked about how to budget for your wedding flowers. So now that you have an idea about how much money to set aside, let's talk about choosing your flowers! Usually, this comes down to a few different factors - your budget, your style, and your colors.
If you are one to scroll through Pinterest for ideas, you might've happened upon the Pantone Colors of the Year for 2017. Every year, Pantone Color Institute chooses a "color of the year" that reflects the current cultural climate. The color they choose has historically influenced trends of all types of design. This includes fashion, interior design, architecture, and, of course, weddings!
You guys, I was so excited to see the color released for this year!
How pretty is that?? Forbes has a pretty good article on the choosing of the color, but in the interview, Laurie Pressman, the Pantone Color Institute's VP describes this year's culture as having a growing desire to connect with nature - to find way to disconnect from technology and to stop and breathe. She says, "[Greenery] is about unity and community--connecting to oneself and others and a higher purpose, Nature." I LOVE that! When I see this color, I think of new life, fresh, and simple. I love how it's just so...natural!
So, obviously, greenery is my jam :) but Pantone doesn't leave us hanging! If you need some inspiration for your wedding day color palette, they release a palette of 10 colors that will be popular for 2017.
I love that this group of colors encompasses all types of styles! So what do you say? Shall we have some fun? Here are some palettes of my own that I've put together for a little inspiration:
Want a bolder look for spring or early summer? Those coral Peonies are stunners!! I also love the pop of color with the yellow Ranunculus and the texture that the pink astilbe adds. The Dusty Miller accents add a soft touch a blue. Here are some more options:
favorite ways to add some blue. Hot pink Carnations are a lower price point than garden roses and a great way to add that great color!
Getting married in the summer? This is one of my favorite palettes because my own wedding had oranges and blues :) This bouquet has standard orange roses and light pink spray roses. There's that Eryngium that I love! And I love the seeded Eucalyptus that adds that green color with a seed-looking texture. Here's some more options to think about:
love the natural flowy-ness of green Hanging Amaranthus and orange tulips? You can't go wrong :)
Here's a nice fall palette. This arrangement obviously added some deep red, which adds some more depth! I love the orange lilies and the bi-color roses of red and yellow. The fall foliage in here also adds some of the great "greenery" color!
Okay winter brides, this one's for you! What I love about weddings in winter is being able to show that there are actually flowers and they are pretty! Haha, this little boutonnière is a great example of some gorgeous colors we can get. I've mentioned the Dusty Miller leaves to add a blue hue, and the blue delphinium is also a great option. This also has some Veronica, which usually comes with green tips and Pieris Japonica has the prettiest little pink flowers (insert heart eyes).
this post! The first thing I learned in my floral classes was that if you think the colors look good together, then they do! This post helps you see that you can get flowers to go with any color palette but I hope this gave you some ideas if you have no idea where to start! Your florist will certainly have some ideas for you and will help you along the way as well. Good luck, my wedding planning brides-to-be! :)
Have I told you that I'm in love with where I live? In June, my little family moved to a rural town -basically in the middle of nowhere, haha - in southern New Mexico. My husband was a little bummed to find out this was where his job was taking us, but I was determined to find the positive - and it turns out, there is a TON of positive!
My husband and I are of the adventurous spirit. We love to travel, but what really makes us excited is finding cool attractions off the beaten path...maybe places that not many people know about! This has led us to discover so many random and interesting places, and guess what?? New Mexico is FULL of these!
What I love about where we live is that I get my mountains and snow and pine trees by driving 20 minutes to the northeast. But 20 minutes southwest is the most beautiful park of literal white sand dunes!
White Sands National Monument makes up the southern part of a 275 sq mile field of white sand dunes made from gypsum. It is the largest of its kind in the whole world and it is breathtaking! So imagine my giddiness when Ashley, of Ashley Marie Photography, asked me to collaborate on a shoot there in December.
My family was also pretty excited about this because we love any excuse to go hang out at "the white sands", my daughter talks about it constantly :) But this time was especially fun because Apple Jack was one of the models! My daughter was ready to take him home with us :) Let's be honest, I was ready to take him home with us, too! How cute is he?
Our other models were the gorgeous couple (and owners of Apple Jack), Shanna and Chance Means, from Means Performance Horses. They were so fun to work with and did amazing! Check it out...
Such a dream, working with all these people. And now, every time we go back to White Sands, my daughters ask us where Apple Jack is, without fail :)
Photographer: Ashley Gonzales of Ashley Marie Photography
Hair and Makeup: Jacqueline Chavez of Makeup by Jacqueline C
Venue: White Sands National Monument
Oh my goodness, you guys, I have been waiting FOR.EV.ER to blog about this shoot I participated in back in September. Why did I wait so long, you ask? Because all the vendors had to wait for the shoot to be published in a little old blog called 100 Layer Cake. Yeah, not so little, I guess haha, so we're all really excited!
of rock columns that are up to 40 feet high! Which makes it even cooler to drive up to and randomly see all these huge rocks standing all grouped together.
When we pulled up, my husband immediately went to work, setting up camp with my daughter (not a task I would deem easy with a 2-year-old, haha) and I set out looking for the spot for the shoot! The girls ended up being just on the other side of the hill, so I unloaded the flowers and got to work.
So have I built it up enough?? Are you ready to see the final product?? And now...for your viewing pleasure ;)...
Design and Head Photographer: Trisha Shelley Photography
Organizer and Photographer: Marquette LaRee
Photographer: Nicole Burrup Photography
Facebook: Nicole Burrup Photography
Photographer: Shutter Force Photography
Photographer: Sunshine Picture Project
Venue: City of Rocks, NM
Florals: Flowers by Ashlee
Models: Sasha Ute and Stephen Sandoval
Hair: Michelle from Curl up and Dye Salon
Makeup: Ezmia Bascom (Instagram: @ezmialove)
Cake: Melanie's Sweets
Tables and Chairs: The Furniture Gallery
Dress: Maui by Sorreto and Midgley from Suzanne's Bridal Boutique
Nothing feeds my floral passion like meeting with a new bride-to-be to discuss ideas for their wedding for the first time! My excitement feeds off my client's as we plan their big day together! It’s so fun for me to personalize inspiration pictures that brides bring to me from their Pinterest searches and talk about colors and styles. Once we’re on the same page, I often ask about their floral budget. Would it surprise you to know that almost 100% of my brides tell me they don’t know??
When planning a wedding, a budget is such an important thing to have. While flowers may be some of the first things you think about when planning a wedding, it’s hard to fit what you want into your budget if you don’t even know where to start! I know how hard it is to have a vision in your mind that you can’t feasibly achieve, and I’m not a huge fan of presenting a proposal that causes "sticker shock" for anyone, so this post is to give you an idea on just how much you should plan to spend on flowers for your big day!
First off, a little game :) I asked a group of family/friends to review the following images and guess how much they cost. These people ranged in ages and stages of life. Some were engaged, some recently married, some married for a long time and had experience planning weddings for their kids. Most were not affiliated with the wedding industry but some were (not floral). If you’d like to play along, I’ll reveal the guesses and answers at the end of the pictures. Ready, set, go!
#1 - A bouquet of babies breath, lavender, and fever few from aisleperfect.com
#2 - A bouquet of Peonies, Lisianthus, Snapdragon, and other filler flowers by Flowers of Yarra Glenn
#3 - A bridesmaids bouquet of a single garden rose, lisianthus, delphinium, and other filler flowers
Photographer - Engelby Images
Florals - Flowers by Ashlee
#4 - Bridesmaids bouquet of a single sunflower, standard roses, astilbe, veronica, and other filler flowers from www.lovemydress.net
#5 - Cake Flowers of standard roses, spray roses, wax flower, veronica, and greenery from Pinterest
#6 - A babies breath flower crown from Pinterest
#7 - A flower crown of assorted flowers from Lilies of the Field
#8 - A floral backdrop of carnations and larkspur from Lizy's Lilies
#9 - A eucalyptus garland from Candlelight Florist
#10 - A lantern centerpiece with roses, lisianthus, astilbe, wax flower, brunea, and other filler flowers from bridesupnorth.com
#11 - A centerpiece with standard roses, spray roses, stock and hydrangea from Blush Botanical
#12 - A centerpiece of hydrangea, peonies, standard roses, tulips, and pussy willow from Flowers by Ashlee
#13 - Centerpiece with garden roses, standard roses, succulents, and greenery from Walton's
#14 - Centerpiece with standard roses, larkspur, stock, and greenery from Flowers by Ashlee
#15 - Flower ball centerpiece with carnations from Flowers by Ashlee
#1 - Range of guesses - $10-$55
Average guess - $26
Approx. actual cost - $125
While the guesses on this bouquet were quite low, I interpret the low guesses to mean that participants recognized these flowers to be on the low end of the price spectrum. What isn't taken into account most often is labor costs, which we'll talk about in a bit.
#2 - Range of guesses - $15-$100
Average guess - $56
Approx. Actual cost - $245
These guesses were still much lower than actual cost, but they were higher than the bouquet pictured in #1 and that would be because the flowers in here are obviously higher up on the price scale. Peonies are probably one of the flowers at the top of the price scale and you'll see why in a little bit. That being said, could you achieve this look with flowers that aren't as high-priced? Yes :)
#3 - Range of guesses - $15-$100
Average guess - $42
Approx. Actual cost - $75
This bridesmaid bouquet also has some higher priced flowers, namely the gorgeous Juliet Garden Rose *swoon*. Some of the filler flowers are higher priced as well-there's just nothing like Pieris Japonica (the pink, almost berry looking flowers in the front). Those who participated could tell that these flowers were more expensive than #1 but the bouquet is smaller than #2, so they were correct on that, but again, there's those labor costs sneaking in.
#4 - Range of guesses - $15-$110
Average guess - $36
Approx. actual cost - $60
Such a pretty wildflower/summer look! I liked this example compared to #3 because the price isn't so different but the size is! That's because in this example, the flowers are much lower priced than in #3.
#5 - Range of guesses - $14-$80
Average guess - $40
Approx. actual cost - $40
The average for this one was spot on! Some cake flowers don't always take a lot of labor, but the type of flower you want on your cake will definitely affect your price the most. Being very specific when it comes to cake flowers and flowers other places in your wedding will be talked about in just a minute.
#6 - Range of guesses - $10-$60
Average guess - $28
Approx. actual cost - $30
The average for this one was really close too! Flower crowns don't take up a ton of flowers (normally), but the labor cost in these is a big part since they take a lot of time (and sometimes supplies) to make. Babies breath is one of the least expensive flowers I know of...and most brides know that too :)
#7 - Range of guesses - $18-$100
Average guess - $53
Approx. actual cost - $70
Obviously, these flowers are higher-priced than the babies breath crown, and the survey participants knew that. Not crazy far off for this average either! So good job :)
#8 - Range of guesses - $40-$750
Average guess - $151
Approx. actual cost - $385
I was actually pretty interested in seeing what everyone viewed as the worth of this gorgeous piece. Carnations are definitely a lower priced flower, but everything adds up, especially when you've got over 100 of them here. But the real kicker with something like this is the labor. It takes a good amount of time to individually string those babies up and make them so pretty :)
#9 - Range of guesses - $15-$90
Average guess - $47
Approx. actual cost - $40
Ah, garlands. Such a gorgeous way to get that green in there! This average guess went over and I'm impressed! Greenery is definitely a lower priced way to fill some space, but garlands take a lot of work to make! One way to get this look for at a lower price point is to have your florist lay it out on the table instead of make an actual garland. It won't be as full, but it's still really pretty :)
#10 - Range of guesses - $10-$95
Average guess - $38
Approx. actual cost - $50
Centerpieces! These are pretty little things, aren't they? But don't let the size fool you, these take some work and some supplies to create as well. All in all, though, the average guess isn't so far off, and you could get these at a lower price point by using different flowers as well.
#11 - Range of guesses - $20-$75
Average guess - $39
Approx. actual cost - $50
This is another example on how you can have a fuller arrangement with lower priced flowers when compared with #10. They cost pretty close to the same and the average guesses were so close, so good job!
#12 - Range of guesses - $10-$120
Average guess - $50
Approx. actual cost - $155
Okay, so this was a fun one, because pretty much all the flowers in this arrangement are on the high end of the price scale :) They make for a very elegant centerpiece! But could you get an arrangement of this size for a lower price? Sure thing....but I mean, Hydrangeas and Peonies?? Do you really want to replace them with something else?? ;)
#13 - Range of guesses - $10-$85
Average guess - $53
Approx. actual cost - $35
This was another fun one because there were so many guess that were over actual price! I love being able to show elegant floral centerpieces at a lower price point. You could get them for an even lower price point with lower-priced flowers! I think succulents are higher-priced than people think...
#14 - Range of guesses - $20-$120
Average guess - $63
Approx. actual cost - $115
Some of you guessed pretty darn close to this! But most of you were quite low :D Standard Roses are actually pretty decently priced but there's a lot going on here with labor and supplies.
#15 - Range of guesses - $25-$175
Average guess- $55
Approx. actual cost - $85
Flower balls, the bane of a wedding florist's existence...Haha, no! I'm teasing. They are gorgeous! And these are carnations, so you'd think they'd be pretty inexpensive, but they take quite a lot of time to make!
So, how did you do? Were you way off or pretty close? It’s pretty surprising to learn that most guesses were very low compared to actual cost. So let’s talk about what goes into designing wedding flowers!
First off, every florist prices things differently. This is mostly attributed to labor costs being part of the equation. A designer with a shop and employees-think overhead and wages-may price things differently than someone who works out of their home, like me! Their training, skills, and experience will also affect how their prices. That being said, the above prices are by no means an industry standard, only how I would personally price each item.
Location can factor into prices where an east coast florist could charge drastically different than a west coast florist for the same item. Location can also help determine prices based on flower availability in the area. For example, a florist in California has easier access to flowers that are locally grown where someone say, in Southern New Mexico who would have to have virtually everything shipped in :)
A pink peony and a white peony may have different prices in the same weekend, and finding a peony out of season is doable, yet significantly more expensive. Speaking of peonies, flowers are much more expensive when they are difficult to grow and are produced in smaller quantities. A peony takes 2 years to bloom! Which is another reason why they are among higher priced flowers. This is also why Orchids and Calla Lilies are among higher priced flowers, so if you choose these, you’ll see the cost rise accordingly. But don’t let cost be the only guiding factor, because any florist will tell you the value of a gorgeous stunning peony ;) And nothing compares to a pretty orchid or calla lily
Another thing that can affect cost is when brides are particular about where they want flowers. Let’s say a bride wants a dozen roses in her bouquet but nowhere else. Roses generally come in bunches of 25, so only using half of those would be a big waste! See the explanation of #5 for another example. You definitely want a florist you can trust to execute your vision in the most cost-effective way, since they are familiar with how this works.
So how does all of this help YOU?? The average amount that a bride spends on flowers in the U.S. is just over $2000, that's about 7-10% of the average wedding budget. Now, believe me, I understand that every bride prioritizes each aspect of her wedding differently than the next, but I hope this gives you a good starting point on what to look at when determining your floral budget. P.S., to put you at ease if you’re already experiencing the dreaded “sticker-shock”, look for future blog posts on how to get more bang for your buck! Don’t worry girl, I got your back ;)
Last weekend I had the privilege of attending - and arranging florals - for one of my best friend's wedding! We were roommates at BYU-Idaho and since she got married in Rexburg, I also got to visit campus since I hadn't been there for 5 years.
It was a gorgeous day for a wedding in Rexburg! I seriously love this girl with all my heart :)
The reception was at this amazing barn, basically in the middle of farm country, with no cell phone reception. And it was lovely :)
I love everything flowers, but I think my favorite piece for this wedding was decorating the father-of-the-bride's antlers. It was so cool to incorporate antlers in the rest of the decor as well!
Congratulations Whitney and Matt! Thank you so much for letting me part of the start of your beautiful adventure!
This last week I participated in a Styled Shoot at The Woods on Ninth, featuring the Pantone Colors of the Year for 2016. These colors are just so soft and a delicate and it was so fun to put together florals that just added to those "feels" :)
First off, the models were STUNNING! Lisa Frehner did a fantastic job on hair and makeup and the bride, Geena, with bridesmaids, Emili and Oakley looked amazing in their dresses from Bridal Closet! And Orlando was definitely a dapper groom ;)
I think my favorite detail was the cake! Kelli Totten at Sweetest Things Cake Shoppe made this beauty. Ruffled cakes (insert heart eyes) and mismatched layers?! You can't go wrong.
If you're looking for the perfect shade of "serenity" and "rose quartz", look no further than Rent Event Utah. The linens used for the shoot could not have been more perfect!
The little detail shots of the invitations and menus were just so fun! Mckenna from Lynn + Lou Paper Co. provided the most perfect paper goods for our shoot!
And how do you have a photoshoot without photographers?! The two amazing ladies that I got to work with did such a great job! Lindsey Black gets the credit for putting this shoot together and getting some great shots of the venue! Nikki Engelby got some gorgeous shots of the details as well. It was so great to work with local vendors who really pulled through to put together an awesome shoot!
Lindsey Black Photography
Rent Event Utah
Hair and Makeup:
The Sweetest Things Cake Shoppe
Lynn + Lou Paper Co.
The Woods on Ninth
I was so excited when Tela contacted me to do her flowers for her wedding! I grew up admiring this girl and how cute and fun and happy she always was, it was so incredible to be part of her special day!
Tela's request for Quicksand roses and burgundy hypericum was such a gorgeous combination. We also included some Eryngium to add a little bit of texture and get that subtle navy color.
The wax flower we got had some reddish buds at the tips and it was perfect for her toss bouquet. So pretty! I had so much fun doing this wedding! Congrats Tela and Hauns! You deserve all the happiness in the world!
Thanks for reading! If you like what you see, feel free to contact me for a consult.