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7 things your florist wants to tell you

Rose gold bouquets
Dress, check. Venue, check. Flowers, check... ish. 
You have enough flowers on your Pinterest boards to fill the Botanic Gardens and a couple of florists' numbers saved in your phone from friends' recommendations, but what next? Whether you're envisioning a flower wall to rival Kim and Kanye's or simple posies of local blooms, the secret to bringing your floral A-game is tapping into the insider knowledge of your florist - so that's exactly what we did.

Come prepared

You don't need to know everything when you first meet with your florist, but you do need to know some things. "It's always best to have your overall theme and colour pallet sorted before your initial meeting with your florist," says Bridget Savage, owner and creative director of Poppy & Willow in Perth. "This way we are able to offer more specific suggestions and recommendations to suit the exact look you're after. Colour swatches of the bride's and bridesmaids' dresses are also great to bring along so we can colour match bouquet ribbons and flower tones."

This first meeting is also the time to whip out your iPad. “Bring inspiration pictures to show your florist what style of flowers you like," says Bridget. "Pinterest is a fantastic way of sharing inspiration so your florist will get a true idea of styles you love.”

Be realistic about your budget

Bridal bouquet with greenery
“Florists are generally always willing to work with all budgets, but be realistic with expectations," advises Bridget. "Premium flowers such as peonies, David Austin roses and imported roses unfortunately come with a premium price, so be open to using seasonal flowers if your budget is restricted. Adding plenty of greenery with pops of blooms is another way of reducing costs, and will still give you stunning-looking flowers." 

If cashola is an issue, Bridget says there are other ways to keep costs down. "Often delivery fees can quickly add up if your florist has to do multiple drop-offs and running around on the wedding day. Ask your florist if you can pick up the bridal flowers to reduce the delivery fees. This can often be done by the father of the bride, who is probably in need of a job to do when all the ladies are getting ready!"

Know the rules...

Bridal party lavender bouquets
While we're all for going your own way and creating your own rules (it is your day, after all), there are certain guidelines to follow depending on the style of your gown. “If the dress is full and very detailed, I would always suggest going for a natural stem posy style bouquet, nothing with too many hanging or cascading pieces as this can be all a bit too much," Bridget recommends. "It's the same with the bouquet stems, if the dress is very detailed I usually keep the stems wrapped with a simple band of ribbon to match the colour of the gown."

...but don't be afraid to break them, either

Bridesmaid wrist corsages
OK, now it's time to shake things up! "Step outside the tradition of 'rose dome' bouquets," suggests Bridget. "Open bloomed seasonal flowers, berries, foliage and textured filler flowers create stunning bouquets that give a more relaxed feel. You can also step outside the tradition of bouquets for your bridesmaids - I have created wrist corsages, hair flowers and even floral clutch handbags!”

The bride always comes first

When it comes to flowers, we all know the bride is really the main event. Amy Verduyn from Bella in Bloom in Adelaide recommends keeping this in mind while budgeting for bouquets. “A bride’s bouquet is the one that will be seen and photographed the most, so don't skimp there,” she says. “Make the size of the bridesmaids’ bouquets smaller or change to wrist corsages so that you can afford your dream bouquet.”

The bride is also numero uno when choosing a colour or theme. According to Amy, you should decide on the colour or theme of your own bouquet and then work out how to carry it through to your bridesmaids', not the other way around. 

White, ivory, cream and champagne are not the same colour

Never mind Fifty Shades of Grey - when you're trying to choose your bouquet, it can feel like there are 350 shades of white. “It's important to be aware that the different segments of the wedding industry will have different and unique names for their products,” says Kellee Pham from Melbourne's Kellee Flowers. If the endless colour palettes are giving you nightmares, provide your florist with a swatch of the colour you’d like and leave the rest in their very capable hands. 

But if you want to get your lingo sorted, Kellee has some tips. “White is the pure paper white colour. The next shade is ivory, which is less white with a tiny tinge of lightless cream, then cream is a shade of white but with a light warm hue of yellow. Finally, champagne is the lightest, palest and only a tiny hint of apricot colour."

Don't forget the finishing touches

If you thought it was as simple as choosing some flowers and whacking a ribbon around the stems, think again. There are countless ways you can personalise your bouquet. "Think of ideas about how you would like to decorate your bouquet, like ribbon, string, remnants off your dress or trinkets," says Irene Webb from The Lone Hydrangea in Melbourne. Why not add a family heirloom like a brooch or locket to tick off your 'something old'?
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