Wedding Flower Checklist
by Casey Schwartz
Pass the Duct Tape
Flower Duet loves creating beautiful floral designs for all types of weddings (see above – Casey’s backyard wedding with her husband Randy) and we know how important it is to be prepared for anything.
Kit and I created the floral designs for both our weddings. For Kit’s garden wedding at La Venta Inn in Palos Verdes Estates, she wanted all the arrangements and her bouquet to look like she walked through the garden and gathered a few stems of each flower that was blooming. Her bouquet was a mass of blooms and very full of stems. (See below with Kit’s husband, Greg). It was the first wedding we ever did together and when we were about to finish it off at almost midnight before the big day, we realized we had left the floral tape with our Mom at her hotel.
We were committed to the bouquet’s design and so we got out the versatile and ever useful Duct Tape and started wrapping. We then of course covered them stems and lovely silver Duct Tape with ribbon and only Kit and I knew the secret mechanics underneath the wrapping. My wedding bouquet was just as full of blooms, but was created with the appropriate tools and supplies. As our Dad always told us, “You need the right tools.”
Lots of Learning
We’ve designed countless bridal bouquets and centerpieces for weddings since Kit’s in 1997 and mine in 2003 (Casey with our Dad walking the aisle with her packed bouquet of Hot Princess Roses and Kermit Mums) and we’ve most certainly learned a great deal from each of them. Whether it be the bride’s color combo and flower choice, maybe a new venue with specific requirements or simply an issue brought on by Mother Nature, we keep learning and figuring out new tools to get the job done. Experience under your belt is helpful and planning is essential for being prepared for oddities is necessary, but hopefully not the standard routine.
Plan A and Plan B and Plan C…
What we do to ensure a smooth wedding is communication with the bride and groom combined with lots of planning. We work closely with our brides and wedding planners to be sure the right flowers are chosen and the taste of the bride is really reflected. If the groom wants to learn how to make the bouquet, we teach him. We always visit the venue to see how the arch is built in order to know how to add that floral spray when time is tight. Or to see how narrow the aisle is and how long the runner needs to be. It is a long list, however it does have an end. The goal for any wedding florist is to ensure that beautiful, fresh flowers arrive on time to each event, so plan well and allow plenty of time.
Wedding Flower Checklist
We have many weddings on the schedule and even more upcoming appointments with brides as we start planning the late summer and fall weddings. It is fun to sit with each of them and make a plan to create their vision. We use a great checklist for them to fill out and submit to use. Your local florist would be delighted to see such an organized bride – it will help you too realize how much or how little you need to budget for.
In the middle of prepping for weddings it comes time to prepare the boutonnières and corsages, perhaps a hair wreath of flowers. All of which take wire, tape, flowers, and patience and fine motor skills. This is when we clear the table, organize our supplies, pull up a chair and put on a good wedding movie or at least a good romantic comedy. Here are some of our favorite movies to watch for inspiration of flowers or just pure entertainment.
The Wedding Planner
The opening scene to us is worth a few rewinds. Even though many brides have a planner, there have been some weddings where we are overlapping a bit with other vendors and end up being a bit of a planner. So we could appreciate the detail in which her character handles the job.
It is all about preparing for a wedding, that does not really happen and the drama of a wedding that should have happened and then eventually…well you need to see it. The music is great and you will have your wiring done in no time!
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
We grew up watching this movie and it is a great watch any day. The singing and dancing is such a joy and again, makes the work just fly by.
The Philadelphia Story & High Society
Two of our favorite wedding movies. We are often quoting many lines from these movies on a regular basis. The dialogue, the designer dresses, the flowers…are all a joy to see.
Any Fred and Ginger Movie
Dancing and romance in classic black & white are all great picks and we love the floral designs in the background. Always bold, and larger than life. Similar to the two stars in these wonderful movies. Check out Swing Time or Top Hat.
It amazes us during the wedding scene that they pulled together this beautiful barn full of fresh flowers in less than two days, in Alaska. But, that’s Hollywood and this movie is a fun romp. Love Sandra Bullock!
Four Weddings and a Funeral
When this first came out, Kit saw it twice in the theater. She just loved all the weddings and Hugh Grant of course.
Okay…so it’s a bit of a guy’s movie, but if you fast forward to the end, you’ll see an amazing wedding scene with gorgeous flowers.
My Best Friend’s Wedding
Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz are great in this romantic comedy where the heroine ends up with her best friend, Rupert Everett. The scenery of Chicago is great in this movie and of course, there is a wedding, too!
Casey and Kit’s favorite movie of all time. We can quote every line before it happens on the screen. The last part of the movie is Molly Ringwald’s character’s sister getting married. This movie is worth every minute.
We love the scene where they eat the marigolds that they are using for the wedding flower decoration.
A neat website that is all about flowers has a fun quiz on your own Floral Signature. Casey is Eclectic. Kit is Natural. Take the quiz and have fun!
flower Magazine’s, spring issue just shipped and is on sale. It is full of beautiful weddings and some fun floral fashion. Photo of Spring Runway fasion is from flowermagazine.com.
Check out the California Cut Flower Commission to see what is grown locally for a “greener” bouquet! Photo is from the CCFC.org website.
Wedding Bouquets: Over 300 Designs for Every Bride by Wedding Flowers Magazine
There is a wonderful magazine that is all about Wedding Flowers that is published in the UK, but available here. We’ve purchased it at Borders.
Each magazine features pages of bouquets and companion centerpieces that capture our attention page by page. It comes out six times each year and is full of colorful ideas for brides. It prints what the flowers are in the bouquets, it has great images and we often bring a stack of them when we meet with brides.
Then one of our students came to a workshop and she pulled out this darling square book out and it looked familiar. The magazine had compiled 300 wedding bouquets in one wonderful book. I opened and it and what an incredible collection of bouquets. It is done in order of color beginning with whites and creams and then leads you through wonderful combinations of yellow, pinks, reds, purples and oranges. There are so many combinations and a large range of styles and techniques that will inspire you. Available at Amazon.com.
Stephanotis blossoms are the flower from the Madagascar Jasmine vine. Like most jasmine flowers, the blooms are quite fragrant and lovely to look at. These are very popular wedding flowers and are often featured as accent for a bride’s hair.
The name derives from the Greek ‘stephanos’ crown and ‘otis’ ear which refers to the arrangement of the stamens in the flower which (supposedly) are ear shaped.
In addition to the hair décor, we often feature these small flowers in boutonnieres, & bouquets. The flowers are sold wholesale, cut and boxed in sets of 25 and are kept in the refrigerator as they have no water source.
In order to add these flowers to a bouquet or other design for a bride’s wedding day, a florist needs to use a tool called a Stephanotis Stem.
These are made for fresh Stephanotis flowers specifically. Each stem is just about 6 inches long and helps the flower stay fresh longer. At the end of each wired stem is a cotton reservoir that the florist dips in water for about ten seconds and then inserts it carefully into the stephanotis head.
After the flowers are held by the stem, the florist can add an accent of a pearly floral pin to cover the cotton reservoir of the stem.
Stephanotis Essential Tip
When working with stephanotis blossoms, it is essential to keep your fingers wet. If you handle a blossom with dry hands, the oil from your skin will bruise the bloom and cause it to turn brown.