From the Experts: Wedding Flowers
Eight questions about wedding flowers for Carine Bonnet of Winston Flowers
What is the most elaborate display you have ever done for a wedding?
There have been so many. The possibilities are endless especially when our creative team collaborates with some very creative brides. What comes to mind, especially as we head into our busy spring and summer wedding season, is the warm and residential feeling we often create under tents, especially by the coast. For a wedding on Nantucket, we literally made flowering trees on every table, hand stringing flowers from the branches. That was an especially stunning and dramatic look upon entering the tent. The cascading branches made guests feel like they were sitting and dining under a tree. For a Cape Cod wedding, we made these enormous urns filled with vibrant summer flowers that framed the bride and groom as they got married overlooking the ocean. We also installed ribbon hand strung with orchids from the sides of the tent that were flowing with the ocean breeze as the bride and groom exchanged wedding vows. Calming and romantic at the same time.
On average, how many flowers do you use for a wedding?
I would say about 1,000 - 1,500. It obviously depends on the size and scope of the wedding. Just as an example, a bridal bouquet with lily of the valley requires about 150 stems.
Where do you get exotic flowers for wedding arrangements?
We receive orchids from Thailand but also from Holland. We also get tropical flowers from central America and the Caribbean. What most people do not realize is that Winston Flowers works with specialty growers and farmers around the world and here in the US exclusively. Some of these growers are only growing flowers for us, and we've had these exclusive relationships for years. We're fortunate to be getting in some of the prettiest and most vibrant flowers from all over the world.
What has been your favorite flowers for wedding arrangements?
I love peonies for weddings. It is such an elegant flower. I had a bride who chose her wedding date solely around the peony season because her dream was to have an abundance of peonies for her wedding.
What are the best flowers for each season?
For Winter: Tulips and amaryllis
For Spring: Peonies, lilacs and flowering branches.
For Summer: Hydrangeas and delphiniums.
For Fall: Dahlias and calla lilies.
Roses and calla lilies are beautiful for any season.
What is the most common flower that is used for weddings?
I think roses but calla lilies are also becoming very popular for bridal bouquets.
How many days before the wedding are the flower arrangements started?
We usually start designing the day before. Some delicate flowers are designed the day of the wedding. We receive our flowers 2 to 3 days before the wedding date, which allows the flowers to open and look their best for the wedding. Large pieces are most likely designed the same day on site to ensure that they remain fresh and we can place them delicately where they need to be.
What can couples do with the flowers after the wedding is over?
They can take them home; it's always nice to share a reminder of your wedding with others. Or they can give them to guests which is often appreciated, or donate them to a local church, shelter or another non-profit organization.
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