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Local florists offer tips for wedding beauty in blooms


For most couples “the big day” brings with it the need for extensive planning. From the location to the officiant, the food to the apparel, the decisions can seem endless. One wedding day detail not to be forgotten is the flowers, and local florists have some tips and tricks to make sure couples get hitched without a hitch.

Set a budget

“They are going to want to think about their budget,” noted Baylee Pharr, floral designer at Ewing Variety in Red Bay. “We try to be reasonable and work with everyone and have something for everybody, as far as price.” Pharr said brides really need to know in advance how much they are willing to spend and whether or not that figure is flexible. “Weddings are expensive, and with flowers, it adds up quickly, especially if you’re having a big wedding. Brides really need to sit down with whoever is paying for the wedding and have a pretty strict budget set and know whether they can have any wiggle room.”

Time is of the essence

Especially for the bride planning a big wedding, or hoping to purchase exotic or unusual florals, “the sooner the better” is the best time to sit down with a floral and discuss the details. Tom and Angie LeMay, who own Consider the Lilies in Red Bay, said three months in advance of the wedding, and Pharr said six months will give the florist even more time to make sure the bride gets exactly what she’s looking for at the best price point. Florists have to place their orders with suppliers weeks ahead, so this isn’t a good place to procrastinate. “If you come in at the last minute, we’ll work with you and get it done, but you’re going to be limited in what you can get,” Pharr said. Sam Warf of Sam Warf Florals in Russellville agreed, adding that timing continues to be a factor throughout the wedding day. “Make sure and tell the florist if it’s going to be an in-town wedding or if it’s going to be in an event center, and allow them enough time to set their products up, to be sure they look good, and enough time for them to take them down,” Warf advised.

Communicate and be open-minded

With the popularity of Pinterest and other online resources, local florists said many brides come to a florist with an idea in mind of what they want – and that’s a good thing for the most part. “She needs to have something in mind that she wants. She can look on Pinterest,” Warf said but added, “but we can’t do everything that’s on Pinterest. Some of those designs are made in Europe, and that product is not available in the United States.” So it’s good for a bride to communicate clearly with the florist on her vision and also be open to other options the florist might recommend. Pharr said the well-prepared bride will have a list of flowers she likes and doesn’t like to aid her planning. A good florist can help a bride stay in budget by choosing flowers that are in season or in some other way more budget-friendly. “Be open with the florist and ask,” Pharr said. “There’s ways we can help them save money that they probably don’t realize.” Warf added, “You will get the best service if you are completely honest with your florist or your designer.”

Choose your colors

One of the most important starting points is color scheme. Pharr recommends brides think about the season in which they are getting married – spring lends itself to pastels, while summer weddings tend toward brighter colors, with even shades like teal and vibrant purple possible through dye. Burgundy is a popular color for fall, and Christmas red dominates winter. Of course, shades of white are classic, and Pharr recommends an abundance of seasonally-appropriate greenery.

Options abound

A bride who hasn’t done her research might not realize the vast variety of flowers available to perfectly accent her special day. LeMay said they find peonies and lilies are popular options, along with freesia. Lisianthus are becoming another popular choice. “It has a different look you don’t see very often,” LeMay said. While a bride might be tempted toward delicate and fragile flowers, like orchids, Pharr pointed out that a hearty bloom, like the classic rose, will often hold up better throughout the long day of preparations, pictures, the ceremony and the reception. Aside from the flowers themselves, options are plentiful when it comes the style of arrangement – a bride has to decide whether she wants a small, large, or perhaps trailing bouquet, for example.