Camille’s Outlook on Weddings

           Planning a wedding takes time, thought, and lots of research! The style chosen for the day; from the dress to the hairstyle, from the invitations to the floral décor, everything is an extension of the bride and her personality. I cannot think of another occasion where so many factors come into play to create the final vision of one person. As a florist it is my job to help with what I consider a very important part of this event. It is often said wedding guests remember two things…. the food and the flowers!!! My job is to make sure the floral is fabulous without breaking the budget.

Choosing your florist:

            The venue that you select can offer some advice, they have seen the work of many florists firsthand. Bridal shows are also a great place to see several under one roof, often with examples of their work. But in my opinion, word of mouth can be the best way to find a florist. Many of my bride’s have been referred to me from other weddings that I have completed. Girls talk and that is a good thing!!

Finding the look for you:

           Magazines and the Internet are great sources for floral ideas. When a bride books a consultation with me, I always request that she bring pictures with her that she has compiled so that I can get a feel for the look she wants to achieve. While the magazines and internet do have great floral layouts, they are often beyond the average floral budget.  They also show flowers that are not grown in quantity for commercial use but instead are picked up at a flower market for the photo shoot, therefore unavailable from the local floral wholesalers. I also find that the “premium” flowers most often used in these photo shoots can blow a budget in a very short time!  Flowers that are considered “premium” are orchids, hydrangeas, calla lilies. So, of course, every bride that walks through my shop door wants these flowers!! So….let the fun begin!

­Picking your battles:

         Personal flowers…church décor…reception floral. Where does a girl begin?!?!

         The ‘personal flowers’ are the flowers that the wedding party and family carry or wear. I think it is important that the bride carry ­­exactly what she wants but there are many ways to save money when it comes to the other floral needs for the personal flowers. That is what I do when we sit down during the consultation. I have to discern where the bride wants to spend her money and the best way to distribute it.

         The church should look like something special IS happening but out of respect for the church itself you do not want it to look like a Broadway show is about to begin!! The bridal party will fill the church and the ceremony itself will be what people really see when they are at the ceremony. A couple of arrangements, a touch of pew décor and you can be done.

         That said, I will always recommend putting a good portion of the budget into the reception floral as that is where the majority of the time is spent by the wedding guests. This is where your floral designer can make your wedding day shine for you! I always love to hear that a bride’s breath was taken away when she walked into her reception. It makes my day!!

         This is why. The bride had to have faith that I would follow her dream of what she wanted her reception to look like.  She has the vision in her head from the discussions during our consultations but does not get to see it herself until after her guests have already arrived. So it had better be good!! If she is breathless and misty-eyed, I have done my job!

Less IS More:

          There are so many avenues to take that will make a reception exquisite and not break the bank. Most of the couples I deal with today are paying for the wedding themselves so I HAVE to come up with cost effective ideas. They do not want to start off their marriage in debt! Most brides come in with a basic plan and it is my job to advise them how to accomplish it. So here we go!……

          Centerpieces are the major cost of the reception. The old saying ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’ definitely applies here. All brides want their guests to ‘feel’ the ambiance they have planned for this day the minute they walk in the door.

          Rental vases are a great way to go to get more for less. A mix of vases; tall, short, square, etc. can create an interesting design plan. A single dramatic flower in one style of vase, add a pop of color in a few arrangements with a more abundant floral display in a tall vase and then floating candles in another set. One, two, three, four, even five styles can be combined to create great interest.  By renting them, a bride can get a more upscale look without investing hundreds of dollars in vases that will only be used once. Before rentals came along many brides were buying them and then selling them after the event on Ebay, Craig’s List, or to friends. A lot of hassle! Renting is much easier! Use them on Saturday, return them or have them picked up the following week. Done!

         Just this past weekend I did two weddings where both brides had collected various containers from family and friends. One used old tea cups, family china, teapots, candlesticks, and assorted vases. The other one used all silver and pewter containers. No two alike in either wedding! It was so much fun to see it when it all came together and they both had such a personal feel.

          Last summer I did a wedding that was done with  blue antique Ball canning jars that had been picked up by the bride at garage sales. We used several varieties of flowers but all of the same type of flower in each jar. Such as; babies breath in one, stock in another, monte casino, alstromeria, so forth and so on. It was absolutely charming. With a little thought and help from your florist you can make a fabulous reception that people will be talking about for a long time afterward.

          So often there is a misconception that having a florist do the reception will cost a fortune. Not true. Many DIY brides find that by the time they buy all of the supplies necessary, they have spent just as much as they would have if they had it done for them by a professional and/or renting some of the supplies. Not to mention all of the gas and time spent running around! Some DIY’s do it for the fun of it but I would say most do it because they think it is cost effective. I cannot tell you the number of times that I have walked into the church to deliver the flowers and the bride has that glazed over look in her eyes because she is exhausted from trying to pull it all together.

The bottom line…..

          Make your wedding yours, make it fun, don’t sweat the small stuff…there is no small stuff, and most importantly…Contact Camille’s with any questions!! Call us directly 574-848-4904 or email us