I get asked a lot of questions about wedding flowers, arrangements, and bouquets.
I’m not an expert when it comes to wedding flowers, so I called on my pal Jenna of Amethyst Floral to answer all your questions!
Before I get into the details of answering these questions I just wanted to preface that I’m answering all this from my own perspective, and via my methods. Every vendor, florist, etc. would have their own individual answers and ways of doing things, so just note, this is my way and someone else might do things differently 🙂Jenna, Amethyst Floral, Ottawa Florist
Danielle: how did you get started in the floral/wedding industry?
Jenna: I used to work for a planner and took a chance at doing my own florals for my own wedding that just so happened to be during that time.
My mom helped me and we had a blast (it wasn’t my best work AT ALL but I was really excited and proud).
A few months later I took a course and upon completion I registered my company and started booking couples. It was really all “everything happens for a reason” now that I look back.
D: how does the planning process work?
J: My initial contact with my couples is via my contact form on my website. I have an outline of items that they might want/require for their wedding and this helps give me a “scope” of their wedding.
From there I schedule an initial meeting. This is often via a phone call, or an in person meeting. I go over the details, get to know the couple better, and really tailor what I plan to create, to them.
After that meeting I’ll send them my vision board (inspiration) along with their quote and contract.
I always give clients the opportunity to go over the details together, my style is really not hard sales which means I don’t book every client, but I book the clients that really want me to do their work and that’s what I really want.
Booking requires a deposit, which I think is an industry standard, and then we talk very little until a month before the wedding date. At that point I schedule a final call (if you’ve hired a planner I now do this with the planner) and all the final details are sorted.
Your floral order is placed a month before the wedding and then I see you on your wedding day 🙂
D: how far out from the wedding date should couples start searching for a florist?
J: In my dream world you would contact me a year or more before your wedding, that way I’m likely available. The majority of my bookings come in around a year before.
D: what’s the best way for a couple to find a florist they love?
J: Ask your other vendors who they recommend.
I can’t emphasize this enough, your vendors know the industry best. Your venue, photographers, bridal shop, decorator, planner, etc can recommend someone who will suit your style and needs.
You can definitely browse instagram, facebook and google too, great tools with no bias – but trust your vendors, you’re hiring us for a reason.
D: aside from a bouquet or boutonniere, what are some other pieces/arrangements that couples may need for their wedding flowers?
J: As far as personal arrangements go, think outside the box. I’ve made some gorgeous hair comb pieces, flower crowns, I’ve wired flowers to hats and to dog collars. What’s important to you? and how could flowers (or greenery) be part of that?
D: how do you determine what style/colour palette/size/vibe is going to best suit the couple?
J: I don’t know if this is from working many years in customer service, but I feel like most people give a “vibe” and I’m good at reading it. I’ll also admit, my couples typically book me because I lean towards a rather boho and earthy look, so that makes it easy if that’s their vibe too.
As far as colour palettes go I am always throwing ideas out there that speak to the client, rather than “the latest trends”. I want my clients to look back at their photos in 10-20-40 years and say “I still love my bouquet/centerpieces/etc”
D: what can couples expect to spend on florals for a small wedding? Elopement? Larger, more traditional wedding?
J: $$$ is a hot topic, I tell ya.
Plus flowers are kind of all over the place, I’ll throw some $ out there for work I have done, this is different for everyone but I also want to paint a clear picture for prospective couples whether you hire me or anyone else.
- Elopement pricing $350+ (just a bouquet can be $350, and more if you’re adding a boutonniere)
- Average wedding (small wedding party and 100-ish guests) $4000 – $6000.
- Larger weddings (more than 10 people in the wedding party and over 150 guests) $8000 +
I think couples get sticker shock when they get quotes for wedding flowers, and I do hear “I’ll just get my flowers from costco” at times, but there’s more to it than just the flowers. I could write a whole post just about pricing.
Wedding flowers – what you are paying for:
- space where the work takes place;
- heating/cooling costs;
- staff to help produce the work;
- any product it takes to make your arrangements (vessel, vase, tray, tape, wire, etc);
- ribbon (my “cheap” ribbon is $10 per roll and my silk ribbon is $25+ per yard at cost);
- gas to drive to and from the venue and to return for tear-down;
- the food I hope to consume while this is all happening (but let’s be real, who has time – shoutout to Carla at Captial Florist Ottawa for never missing out on that cake though, I need to start doing that!);
- and then the cost to dispose or #rebloom product after the wedding.
This is JUST for the week of the wedding, I could go on forever about the other costs. (but like I said, maybe that’ll be another post.)
D: what are some of your favourite plants/flowers to work with? Do clients request specific things, or do you usually tell them what looks best?
J: This changes for me on a seasonal basis. Right now I’m obsessed with smokebush (not the foliage, but rather the big floofs). This is because I love texture. You might be wondering, “Jenna what does that mean?“
Texture is such an important aspect of floral arranging for me.
Big soft blooms like dahlias and peonies paired with almost harsh greenery like magnolia leaves or olive branches. I love foraging too – you can find so many great textures right outside.
D: what’s the process? how do people book their florist? why is having kickass florals so important?!
J: Always always always hire vendors that you love. Odds are they love you back and your wedding day will be SO much more special because of that connection. Seeing a vendor that makes you happy and excited just adds positive vibes (getting basic with the lingo) to your day, so remember to just listen to your gut and stick with vendors who make you smile.
Why are kickass wedding flowers important?
It’s honestly the cherry on top. Without kickass flowers, your wedding looks unfinished. Your photos are enhanced because of them. Your personal arrangements (bouquets/boutonnieres) are an extension of your whole wedding design, palette, and should speak to who you are and both your personalities.
Jenna is such a delight to work with, and believe me when I say she’s magical! If you’re looking for your Ottawa wedding flowers, you can find her at the links below!Danielle, Danielle Aisling, Ottawa wedding photographer