Choosing A Florist + Wedding Flowers
Choosing A Florist + Wedding Flowers
Wedding Flower Tips with Niki Irving of Flourish Flower Farm
Flowers are one of the most impactful décor elements at any wedding, serving as statement pieces that complement your color palette, season, and venue. If you’re not much of a green thumb, however, choosing a florist and planning your wedding flowers can feel daunting!
For advice on all things floral, we turned to an expert: Niki Irving of Flourish Flower Farm in Asheville, North Carolina. Niki founded Flourish five years ago with the intention of growing local blooms, but soon found that her design services were in high demand for weddings. She loves the balance between creativity in design and hands-on work at the farm, striving to craft the perfect arrangements for every bride. Below, Niki weighs in on how to pick a wedding florist, setting your budget, choosing wedding flowers, and more.
Q: For brides just starting the planning process, any tips on how to find a wedding florist? A: Start searching for a florist as soon as you’ve booked your venue. A good florist can help you make an overall design plan for your décor, so you want to involve them as early as possible when picking your wedding flowers. There are so many florists offering a huge range of styles and budgets, so I recommend starting with a list of florists local to your venue. Narrow it down by browsing examples of their work and seeing which styles you’re drawn to. Do you like their bouquets? Their ceremony décor? From there, reach out to see who has availability for your wedding date. Many florists work with design “recipes” that they repeat with small variations, which are great if you’re struggling with inspiration or want budget-friendly options. If you’re a flower lover or have something unique in mind, look for florists who customize their work based on seasonality and personal style.
Q: When should I book a florist for my wedding? A: I recommend booking 9 to 12 months before your wedding, especially if you’re getting married during the busy seasons—April through June or September and October. Some florists may have availability 6 months out, but it’s best to book around a year in advance to get the dates you want. Q: Are there questions to ask a wedding florist early in the planning process? What are their main responsibilities? A: Experienced wedding florists will have a questionnaire that guides the planning process—they’ll ask for a headcount of who gets flowers at a wedding (bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls), how many tables need centerpieces, etc. It’s important to choose a florist with an organized planning process, because most brides haven’t done this before! A good florist offers guidance and helps you invest in the design elements that will be most impactful and memorable for your venue.
Q: What types of inspiration should I bring to my florist? A: Start with some good, old-fashioned Pinterest and Instagram searching when choosing wedding flowers. First, determine which colors you’re drawn to—do you like bold, saturated palettes or more muted neutrals? Choose between those basic categories, then find flower varieties and design styles that speak to you. You can also search by season; filter your results by spring or fall wedding flower ideas to better understand what’s available. Gather inspiration photos for your first meeting with your florist, but keep an open mind, too! The best designs happen when a bride isn’t locked into using one specific flower or replicating one photo. Give your florist creative freedom and you’ll get something much more unique and beautiful!
Q: Let’s talk budget—what is the average cost of flowers for a wedding? A: “How much do wedding flowers cost?” is one of the most common questions brides ask—and the answer depends on your total budget. If you want flowers to be an impactful décor element, allocate at least 10% of your overall budget. Keep in mind that the price of the flowers fluctuates due to seasonality and availability. When setting a budget, make sure your price is locked in and won’t change based on the cost of flowers as your wedding date gets closer.
Q: Which floral splurges are worth it? What are the best opportunities to save? A: Many brides shy away from a ceremony arch or arbor when they see the price tag, because you don’t spend as much time in the ceremony space as you do at the reception. But I think these are some of the most impactful wedding florals, so they’re worth a splurge! All eyes are on you during the ceremony, so having that wow-factor installation will be incredibly memorable, enhance the beauty of your ceremony space, and perfectly frame your photos. If budget is a concern, prioritize dining centerpieces over other arrangements in the ceremony and reception spaces. While it’s nice to add extra color with aisle markers, arrangements in bathrooms, or a bouquet on the bar, foregoing them won’t have a major impact on your overall décor.
Q: Once the wedding day arrives, how can you keep your flowers looking fresh? A: For any arrangements in water, you can trust your florist to make sure they’ll look great all day! Bouquets, boutonnieres, and hair flowers are trickier; the key is keeping them in water for as long as possible. I deliver bouquets in vases and let the day-of planner or bridesmaids know that anytime a bouquet isn’t being used, it should be put back in its vase. Bonus: you can use the bouquets and vases to brighten up the bar or cake table after the ceremony! Keep boutonnieres and hair flowers in air conditioning for as long as possible before the ceremony. Don’t have hair flowers put in during your 9 A.M. hair appointment—ask a bridesmaid to place them just before the ceremony or photos begin.
Q: What can I do with my wedding flowers after the wedding? A: That depends on whether you’ve rented your vases from your florist or purchased them. If you’ve purchased the vases, feel free to give away your flowers to guests at the end of the night. Many hospitals and hospices also love to receive fresh flower donations! If you’ve rented your vases, your florist will collect them at the end of the night. You can still keep or donate the flowers, just make sure you’ve got other containers on hand. Many florists will also donate leftover flowers; at Flourish, we partner with a local organization that distributes wedding flowers throughout our community.
More beautiful blooms from Flourish Flower Farm!