As Sacramento wedding planners we’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the best vendors in the business! Vendors who have shared invaluable advice, tips + tricks and have educated us + graced us with their knowledge. This allows Alluring Events to better serve our clients in so many ways.

We are really excited to begin our next series of blogs, straight from the pro’s. Every month we will introduce a local vendor, and they will share their know-how and behind the scenes advice with you! This week is all about florals, and La Raye with The Blonde Bouquet has a lot of guidance to give!

“Hello wedding world! If you don’t know me, I’m La Raye, the owner and lead designer for The Blonde Bouquet Floral Design. Based on my experience as a wedding and event floral designer, I have picked up a few tips that most couples should know before booking their wedding florist. Let’s face it, most people are not master gardeners or botanists (a bota-what??), but from my experience, they don’t need to be in order to love flowers. So here are some of our top tips:

  • Social media is not always “real”… be weary.
    In an online world overloaded with breathtaking photos, I think it’s very important to know what is real
    and what is staged. This is where social media gets tricky. It’s easy for artisans to fabricate florals that make for the perfect Instagram moment, but is it realistic to what most clients can afford? You would be surprised at the number of beautiful Instagram “weddings” that aren’t actually real. Ask your florist/floral designer for a portfolio that showcases their actual work. You’re paying good money to have your dreams brought to life — can you trust them to execute it to your standards?

  • Seasonality and Budget go hand-in-hand
    If you are set on particular types of flowers for your wedding, check if they will be in season locally for your wedding month. Flowers sourced locally and in-season will always be higher quality and a lower cost than their jetted-in counterparts from the other side of the globe. Ask your florist what is in-season during your wedding month, particularly if you are trying to stay on a strict budget. I put together a quick list of the most popular flowers, and when they’re ‘best in bloom’.

Here are the best SPRING flowers:
Tulips, Peonies, Daises, Daffodils, Ranunculus, Lilac, Jasmine, Roses

Sunflower, Zinnia, Dahlia, Roses, Marigolds, Lavender, Hydrangea

Chrysanthemums, Balloon Flower, Celosia, Helenium, Heliopsis, Cosmos, Roses

Jasmine, Honeysuckle, Cyclamen, English daisy, Hellebores

  • Book the vendors you want to work with early. Don’t wait too long.
    Once you have a special day in mind, put your “petal” to the metal to book your vendors. I often get requests a month or two before a wedding date, and I have to regretfully turn down a lot of those couples. If flowers are important to you, don’t wait to book your florist. I recommend booking a florist 9 months to a year in advance. However, If you’re planning to get married in May, June, September, October, or on any 3-day holiday weekend, then it’s even better to book 12-18 months ahead. That being said, many couples have sent me a last minute request to do their wedding because a previously hired florist fell through, and sometimes it works out perfectly (I love it when that happens!) So plan ahead if you can, but if you are not a natural planner I would say make your request anyway and who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky!

  • It turns out size DOESN’T always matter.
    Different flowers can vary widely in cost, and it can be easy to be deceived into thinking that a smaller arrangement is cheaper. Of course, if a small arrangement and a large arrangement are created with the same flowers, the smaller one will indeed be cheaper. But in some cases if more premium flowers are used (HELLO Peonies!!!), the cost of the arrangement can increase. That’s not to say that a large, dramatic arrangement can’t be created on a budget — it can often be achieved by choosing the right flowers. Your florist can suggest the right flower mix to fit your budget and goals. Now, if you just really love peonies or garden roses, but are on a tighter budget, one tip to maximize your dollars is to splurge on a few key elements — like the bridal bouquet — and use less expensive florals in your table arrangements. But keep in mind, only so much can be done. Sometimes you may have to compromise in either size or flower type, if your budget does not allow for your dream scenario. Again, the right florist will guide you on the best way to get the most out of your budget.

  • Using more greens isn’t necessarily less expensive.
    This point goes along with point #4. It can be easy to assume that using more greenery and less flowers will keep cost down. This generally is not true, because many of today’s popular greens, like silver dollar eucalyptus, are not as cheap as one might assume. I like to think of greenery as more of a style choice rather than a budget saving choice. Greenery acts like a frame to the florals. It helps the flowers come to life and can elevate the overall look and feel of your event. Again, your florist can help you navigate the right greens for you and your budget.

  • Money is not the bottom line–Do you trust the florist you have hired?
    Lets face it, most couples are on a budget. However a sharp quote shouldn’t always be the bottom line in your decision of who to hire. There are other important factors to consider, such as, are they listening to your vision, or are they pushing their own vision on to you? If you are unsure if the florist can deliver the look and feel you want for your special day, ask more questions and interview more florists. Find a florist that you feel you can trust. Don’t settle — this is your day, not theirs. If a florist is more concerned with what is going to look best on their Instagram feed, or on their website, instead of what you, the client, are asking for, it’s time to find someone new. Go with someone who listens to you, and who wants to execute your vision. When you find the right person you will know!

I hope these tips will help you! Weddings are exciting times, so enjoy the journey. And always remember, flowers don’t last forever, but the way they make you feel does.”

Happy Planning!