There was a time, not so long ago, where I dabbled with the idea of training to be a florist.
When I was a child our home and garden were full of flowers, I adore roaming around a flower market, putting together DIY bouquets as gifts, and when I'm feeling particularly creative, even making flower crowns and button holes.
But being a real life wedding florist is about so much more than wandering around a market on the weekend with a chai latte in your hand.
It's physical, it's logistical, it's precise and it's artistic. It's 4am starts, it's dealing with last minute changes and living produce and it's not simply creating one beautiful centrepiece at your own pace, it's about being able to do that, and then make 39 more identical ones, in just a couple of hours.
It's safe to say, I don't think I'd make a very good wedding florist!
But you know who does make an exceptional one? Rachel Cho of Rachel Cho Floral Design. A New York florist, who grew up in her mom's Bronx flower shop, and is our resident go-to on all things floral.
And today Rachel is bringing us behind the scenes, and sharing a little insight into the time, creativity and logistics that go into every single wedding she works on (and she's left out all the admin and early mornings!).
So many couples ask us why florists charge what they do for weddings, I think when you read this, you'll have a good idea…
As we near the end of one wedding season and look forward to all the new brides and grooms-to-be come the holidays, I’m thinking about something that’s never far from my mind: wedding flowers.
Specifically, I realize more and more that the world of wedding flowers and wedding floristry can sometimes be a place of misconception and confusion for wedding-planning couples. With all of the different elements of a wedding to think about (and the associated price tags), it’s easy to lose sight of what it’s all about.
However, a wedding truly is a once-in-a-lifetime event, a unique moment in time where those you love join under one roof to celebrate your commitment to one beloved person.
And while it takes many elements to make for a memorable event, décor is certainly an important one.
Décor helps set a tone and mood for the wedding that is all your own, achieved through thoughtful touches like candle lighting, linens, and of course, flowers.
And I would say that flowers in particular are a very special part of décor – bringing in the beauty of nature, tailoring Mother Earth’s elements to help bring across your specific vision – that’s an opportunity that occurs very infrequently in life.
“So, what actually goes into one single centerpiece or bouquet?,” you might be wondering.
I invite you to step behind the scenes with me.
Understanding the Vision
The most important aspect for any wedding florist is the couple’s vision, first and foremost.
Executing and fulfilling your vision to a tee is the most satisfying feeling in the world to us in the floral business. So, understanding your design scheme inside and out is of course paramount to our process.
Detailed proposals will be prepared after in-depth, in-person conversations, as well as many emailed Pinterest links and completed client questionnaires!
In the months and weeks leading up to the wedding day, it is the florist’s goal to fine-tune the proposal as much as possible – again, with the end goal of perfectly presented wedding flowers.
The time between a client signing and the wedding day is an important period of time, wherein we make note of any updates, from simple things like a change in table counts, to big-picture items, like a change from low centerpieces to tall centerpieces.
We are there along the way to make sure we have all the logistical details we need to make sure setup goes off without a hitch.
And we are of course on hand to offer guidance should a bride or groom run into a conflict as far as overall décor scheme goes – sometimes, visions change, and we’re happy to help steer the way to a new plan.
The Artistic Process
A part of wedding flower planning that doesn’t often get discussed, this is also one of my favorite aspects – this is the part where your flowers first start to “bloom” and take life!
In the week leading up to the wedding, it’s time to create a flower “recipe”, a comprehensive list that details each and every bloom and choice greenery items that will be used to create your wedding floral.
The recipe is prepared in consultation with trusted contacts at the flower market to ensure certain specialty blooms are available and looking good the week of your wedding.
Once the list is prepared, we head to the market to hand pick the blooms, choosing them by a combination of touch and sight. Only the hardiest, highest quality flowers are selected, and substitutions to the recipe are made on-site if certain blooms don’t turn out to be up to snuff.
“Petal” to the Metal
Of course, there can be no wedding flowers without some serious hands-on work!
Once flowers have been chosen from the market and processed at the studio (cleaned, trimmed, and hydrated), the actual act of arranging comes into play.
The studio is a frenzy of cut stems and loose greenery, until finally, all these various parts come together to form your beautiful bouquet or centerpiece.
The final crucial aspect of the wedding flower process is setting up the flowers on-site, exactly as discussed.
Arbors are built, centerpieces are placed, candles are lit, and the couple is handed their flowers.
I will never forget the look of joyful surprise when a bride first sees her flowers! That, combined with her pre-married “glow”, make the wedding setup an unbelievably fun, heartwarming, and memorable part of the process.
This is just a brief sneak peek into the “real world” of wedding flowers, but as you can see, it is a world filled with energy and care.
I hope this is a source of information and inspiration for you as you embark into the world of weddings!
I love learning more about the logistical side of the wedding industry. It's fascinating, but it also makes you appreciate the work and talent that goes into your wedding.
Thanks so much to Rachel again for her insider know-how, read her other guest posts here (they’re so helpful), and be sure to to visit her website and follow her on Instagram for more inspiration and advice.
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