3 Floral Design FAQs Answered | Virginia Wedding Photographer | Audrey Rose Photography

February 24, 2016

3 Floral Design FAQs Answered

wedding floral design tips by aleen floral design | virginia wedding photographerI am SO excited to start this new blog series! One of the ways I like to utilize my blogging platform is providing tips for brides planning their weddings! Wedding planning can be quite stressful and overwhelming at times, so being able to provide practical and sound advice to these ladies is something I am honored to be able to do. But I am only an expert on one aspect of the wedding planing process! So I’ve decided to do a little blog series where I feature tips from the other pros of the wedding world!! Each week I’ll be sharing a post featuring a wedding vendor sharing vital information about their particular aspect of the wedding planning process!

First up is Karen of Aleen Floral Design! I met Karen last summer when she did the florals for our Master’s themed styled shoot  at Ford’s Colony. She is an amazingly talented floral designer based out of Williamsburg, VA. Picking and designing your florals for your wedding can be one of the most fun aspects of the wedding planning process! But it can also be a little daunting with all the options you have to choose from! Enlisting the help of an expert floral designer, like Karen, can ensure that you have your dream wedding florals!

So enjoy this post from Karen as she answers shares some of her expertise on wedding floral design! And enjoy the photos of her beautiful work from last summer’s styled shoot!wedding floral design tips by aleen floral design | virginia wedding photographerWhen Audrey honored me with her request for a guest post pertaining to the floral design industry the seemingly endless list of topics to choose from was overwhelming.  But then I started to question what would be the most beneficial to you as a bride planning her wedding.  I started mentally cataloguing the various questions brides, as well as fellow wedding professionals, were asking during consultations, bridal shows, and everyday encounters.  Three questions kept repeating, so we are going to tackle them today.

What does the title Floral Designer entail?  
There is a murmuring of this question rippling through the industry as more event focused floral designers launch businesses.  Designer by definition is a person who plans the form, look, or workings of something before it is being made or built.  In the case of a Floral Designer this entails one who takes in the full scope of an event – attire to be worn, color of linens, type of chairs, style of tables, etc. – as they form their plan for flower accents and focal points throughout the event or wedding.  They approach their line of work as an art form, thus the importance of knowing the backdrop to which their labors of love will be set. 
Floral designers often work out of a studio, whether based in their home or tucked into an industrial space in the city.  Functionally this gives them the freedom to focus on weddings, events, and hosting workshops without the interruption of daily orders and large holidays that a typical storefront florist juggles.  Relationship is another hallmark of a floral designer; they swill want to get to know you as a couple, learn your style taste, and then guide you in how to incorporate specific flowers, vases, ribbon, table numbers, candles, etc. to complete the overall ambiance desired. wedding floral design tips by aleen floral design | virginia wedding photographer

What is a reasonable timeline for floral design planning?
If you are aiming to enlist the artistry of a floral designer, then plan to book them at least 5-8 months before your wedding.  Most designers will limit their bookings per day or weekend to ensure they will be on site to execute the details of your floral creations personally.  Thus if there is a designer’s work you’ve been admiring for awhile connect with them as soon as you have a date and location.
Each business handles the planning process differently, but there is a handful of designers in the Virginia area who adhere to the the following pattern:
  • 5-8 months from wedding date: conduct an initial phone call or FaceTime to gain an understanding of color, style, and floral piece quantities desired
  • Within two days of initial consult: a general suggested budget sent for scope discussed, date is held for 7 days, contract sent with invoice for date reservation retainer
  • 4+ months prior to wedding date: enjoy a full design planning session either on location or in studio to pick containers, ribbon, candles, and specific flower varieties to be used.  A detailed design plan sent within 2 weeks of the meeting.
  • 2 months prior to wedding date: floral design plan sent for review and sign-off
  • 45 days prior to wedding date: final table count to be communicated
  • 30 days prior to wedding date: final invoice paid to floral designer
  • Day of wedding: floral designer along with the creative team will deliver, setup, and breakdown the floral pieces for the wedding
For your part in the design planning process, share your Pinterest, some inspiration images you enjoy, and the colors you envision before the initial conversation.  Then as you continue to mold the atmosphere you desire, clean off your Pinterest board of ideas you no longer enjoy. This will aid in shaping the overall vision during the full design planning session.  If you will be using a family heirloom such as a family ring, pendant pictures, or a handkerchief on your bouquet make arrangements to get it to your floral designer two weeks before the wedding in a labeled container.  This will get it off your mind before the fullness of the wedding week arrives.

wedding floral design tips by aleen floral design | virginia wedding photographer

What happens to the flowers after the wedding?  
After you enjoy the splendor of your design plan coming alive the day of your wedding it is understandably hard to think of where all the beautiful blooms may end up.  There are several ways you can share the joy of their beauty with others.  Depending on whether your centerpieces are in rented vases or not will direct you in what can be done.  Our typically practice is to come at the end of the wedding to take flowers out of rented vases, tie them up and hand them to guests to enjoy at home.  If there are flower left after the guests leave they are given to other vendors who contribute to your wedding as well as servers on the catering staff.  Beyond these avenues you may consider donating the flowers to a local woman’s shelter or nursing home.  If this is the avenue you choose, you will need to plan for a family member or good friend to pack up the blooms and deliver them to your location of choice following the wedding.
I sincerely hope this helps answer some of your questions as you delve into planning your once in a lifetime day celebrating the start of your marriage.  I am glad to answer further questions pertaining to the floral design process, so please feel free to drop me a note at www.aleendesign.com.


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  1. Natalie says:

    This is absolutely incredible, Audrey! Love all of these tips!

  2. Olivia says:

    Wow! This was so beautifully written and so informational! Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Linnie says:

    This is so wonderfully informative, a really great read for all of my clients! I’ll be sure to pass it along :) Thank you!

  4. Katie says:

    I always wondered the difference between just florists and the designers ;) great post!

  5. Kristie says:

    Great info from a pro.

    (Total side note: My youngest daughter’s name is Audrey.)

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