I recently reached out to Lori DeNicola of Petaloso here in Charleston, SC to answer some common questions about wedding flowers and working with a florist. Not only is she the bomb at making bouquets, centerpieces, and boutonnieres for weddings, but she also makes these amazing floral dresses. How cool is that?!
I hope you find her answers helpful as you go about your wedding planning and picking a wedding florist!
Answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.
Q: What flowers are in for each season?
A: This will be dependent on your location in a way. Here in Charleston, what’s local and in season is something along the lines of this:
Roses you can pretty much get year round.
Winter: Bulb flowers, i.e. tulips, paper whites, iris and the like
Spring: (AHHH YES SPRING!) All the things…. Peonies come to life, still the bulb flowers for a while, but I don’t recommend them after April so much for the heat of it all, Zinnias start to come back but slowly, Dahlias, Tuberose, and so much more!
Summer: Zinnias, Sun Flowers, Gomphrena, Bachelor Buttons, Daisies, Dahlias
Fall: [Most flowers from] Spring + Dahlias from Summer. A slight of the Zinnias and Sunflowers but once the heat is gone, so are they.
Q: Is it more helpful or harmful to show my florist pictures of what I want?
A: This is helpful, however do not expect a seasoned florist to replicate this. Images are great for inspiration, but inspiration only. Allow your florist to take your inspo for what it is worth, exactly that: inspiration, and let their creative nature run with that to create a day that is uniquely you.
Q: What are the different styles of bouquets called? I don't know how to verbalize what I want!
A: There are so many! But for simplicity sake:
Traditional Round Bouquet
Q: How or wedding flowers priced? Is it per stem or per bouquet? Or another way?
A: Wedding flowers are priced by the wholesaler based on season and availability. Weather is a huge factor. You will likely see a price spike after a hurricane [which is not uncommon here in Charleston].
When working. With a florist there are daily florist aka retail shops who also do events, and then you have event or project based florists such as myself, who order specifically for an event/specific design and therefore the prices will be very specific to your design only.
This is dependent on the florist themselves. If you are working with someone like me, who is an event based florist, your pieces will be priced “per item” i.e. “bouquet” “centerpiece” “arch” and so on.
Q: What flowers tend to be the most expensive?
A: Peonies, David Austin Garden Roses.
Q: What are some tips to help keep my floral costs down?
A: Allow your florist to utilize what’s in season and around the bend. Ordering from afar incurs shipping charges and over ordering due to having to order more for what we call “spoilage”
Q: What trends for wedding flowers do you anticipate in 2018?
A: I anticipate seeing a lot of blue and green hues, which is very exciting! Moving away from the blush and gold and garland phase, which is a nice change of pace. Blue flowers are tough to find so it should be a fun challenge to tackle.
Q: I've seen some really pretty ribbons wrapped around flowers on Pinterest. Do you provide the ribbon or do I?
A: Your florist typically will provide the ribbon unless you prefer to. I usually recommend attaching something special to your wrap, perhaps a piece from your Mother’s wedding gown or your gown or a special locket.
Q: What is something you wish your clients knew about getting wedding flowers?
A: I wish there were more understanding about the seasonality and just how expensive flower costs are. As florists, we are creatives/artists at heart, and flowers are our medium. Trusting your florist to create your vision is very important and trying to pick out specific flowers can be very challenging to create the look depending on what you are going for. I wish I could educate our clients on the entire process and where the flowers come from etc; from grower to bride.