Today I am so excited to share this wonderful guest post from Alicia Reilly of William’s Florist:
As the floral wedding consultant at William's Florist, I often have brides tell me that flowers are one of the hardest elements they need to shop for during the wedding planning process. Why? Often times, a bride gets 3 VERY different quotes from 3 VERY different florists, which can be stressful when they think they are getting the same thing at each place.
Why are floral quotes so different? Think of florists as steakhouses! That sounds strange but hear me out - you'll get a very different steak if you go to Applebee's than if you were to go to the Chophouse. There's nothing wrong with an Applebee's steak if you're just craving some beef, feel like dressing casual and don't want to spend a lot. But there's also nothing wrong with putting heels on and dropping a pretty penny on a filet mignon if you really value a gourmet meal and a fancy ambiance. Florists are the same. You often get what you pay for. Also, Pinterest can be helpful but is also difficult. When you show a florist a picture from Pinterest, you need to make sure they are quoting true to picture.
When planning your wedding, I highly recommend placing value on each element of your wedding. What is most important to you? Your dress? The food? The decor? The photos? I would set your priorities and then budget accordingly. When it comes to flowers, some people really value them and some people... don't. And that's OK.
As a florist, I fall in to the category of designing for the brides who really value the look of their flowers! I feel as florists, we are one of the few vendors that can really speak to the personality of the couple through the creative use of flowers. We do not offer floral packages, and every wedding we design is unique. Here is why I would recommend using a high quality florist if you really value the flowers at your wedding:
1. QUALITY OF PRODUCT: There is nothing more terrifying to me than a bride carrying brown or droopy flowers. When purchasing flowers for your wedding, they should be what you've always dreamed of! It's important to hire a florist that knows their varieties and knows how to maintain quality... experience is necessary in this category. For example, there are certain varieties of roses that just don't open. Who wants a tight bullet-looking rose in their wedding bouquets!? I have studied the best varieties of roses and only use top of the line for our weddings. Another example: hydrangea. This popular wedding flower wilts VERY EASILY when it doesn't have enough water. For that reason, I never recommend using hydrangea in bouquets since they are often out of water for hours on end. When we use them in centerpieces, we process them in a unique way to make them last!
2. QUALITY OF SERVICE: You can tell a florist is all about service if they make the process of shopping for your wedding flowers easy for you. They must be organized, detail oriented and timely. If they do this, you can have faith that the day of your wedding, things will go smoothly. Our product is all about TIME. On a hot July day, your flowers need to stay in the cooler as long as possible. The flowers are often delivered when the bride is getting dressed and about to start pictures. There is no time to be late. There is no reason to have your Uncle Joe pick up your flowers and deliver them to where they need to be in his 80 degree car, making fast turns as the flowers flail around in the car! Hire a florist that will deliver to you and will be on time!
3. CREATIVITY: Hire a florist that you trust creatively. Look at pictures of their past work to ensure your vibe matches their style. Give them creative freedom to design your dream wedding flowers. I am so lucky to design for these types of brides! This is when we do our best work! With creative flexibility, I can often buy really unique elements that are available on the flower market that I didn't necessarily discuss with the bride, but fits her style and color palate perfectly. Those week-of purchases are what really make the florals attention grabbing.
Below are some pictures of me that Dawn of Dawn M Gibson Photography captured while I was setting up a wedding at a private residence in Eden, NY. I feel as if this wedding captures all 3 elements really well. First, it was hot as Haiti that day. I was chugging water like crazy... imagine how thirsty all my flowers were! It was so important that we chose high quality flowers and didn't set them up too early. As for creativity - this was a fun one! It took a lot of logistics and creative thinking to design the hanging chandelier and get it hung with McCarthy Tents. I also was given permission to cut some florals from the property's yard to make a couple arrangements for the bar. How fun!
Overall, it's my goal to design a bride's dream wedding flowers. I am so grateful to have such a passion for my career and am thankful for the couples that hire me to live out this passion. It's a lot of detail oriented planning combined with intense physical work... but so worth it! My overall recommendation when choosing a florist is to choose one that you trust. When you hire a florist you trust, you can relax and actually enjoy your wedding day instead of worrying about dead flowers and running late. My favorite part of the wedding day is showing a bride her bouquet and showing her the reception room all set up. The creative process comes to life in those moments, and there is nothing better than making flower dreams come true!
Inquire for more details from Alicia and the rest of the wonderful staff at:
William's Florist & Gift House
1425 Union Road
West Seneca, NY 14224
Thank you, Alicia, for stopping by and sharing your expertise!