Spring is the perfect time to think about all the gorgeous flowers brides can choose to make their wedding beautiful and unique. I’ve been so happy to see crocuses and tulips sprouting in the parks around town, and I know the daffodils and rose bushes aren’t far behind. This reminds me that the possibilities for wedding floral design are truly limitless. One can imagine endless possibilities of flower combinations with beautiful ribbons and accents to match. And while the variations can seem a bit overwhelming, the good news is that no matter what your taste, it’s virtually guaranteed that no one else’s arrangements will ever match yours! So what better way to showcase your individuality than through your floral design?
To gather a bit of inspiration and expert advice, I chatted with Dana Markos of Dana Markos Events. One of The Knot’s Top Picks of 2007, Dana’s name is synonymous with gorgeous floral and event design here in Massachusetts (he’s also the man responsible for the amazing arrangements at my wedding!). Here’s what he had to say about how to pick your floral designer, how to know what will work for your event, and how not to end up with tables full of baby’s breath!
ME: How will a bride know she’s picked the right floral designer for her wedding?
DANA: Rapport, Rapport, Rapport! There are many talented designers to choose from but it is important to find the blend of imaginative design and dynamic personality. A bride will know she has chosen the right one when, through the initial interview and proposal process, the designer has created a visual presentation for her close to what she had in mind.
ME: How does the design process usually unfold? Is it essential that a bride come to you with a lot of information on how she wants her flowers to look?
DANA: I begin the design process with all my clients by asking them this important question; “if I were a guest at your wedding what would you want me discussing on the way home in the car with my wife?” The buzz words the bride gives can tell everything about the ambience they want to achieve for their wedding. I encourage all brides to prepare for all their design meeting with tear sheets taken from magazines that will help convey the style and design they are looking for. The designer will place this in a ‘storybook’ to use as a reference and ultimately create a visual aura that will radiate during the event. Some clients are very visual and, if so, may request a sample arrangement be done prior to the event.
ME: What are your favorite trends for floral design these days?
DANA: One of my favorites is mixing the tables in a combination of squares or rectangular and rounds. This stimulates the guest’s visual sense and adds to the ambiance of the event. Another popular trend is defining leisure/lounge space within the venue, close enough to the dance floor as it gives a nightclub party feel and is very chic!
ME: Are there any common issues you see brides encountering when designing their flowers? If so, how can they be avoided?
DANA: Two common issues are availability and price. Although more flowers than ever before are available year round, there are some that will require the bride being open to alternatives. For example, if peonies have gone by, then perhaps a large bloom like a dahlia would be a good substitute if it were in season. Pricing can be an issue as often times the cost of flowers can be surprising and it is a myth that flowers that are in season are somehow less expensive, often times they are not.
ME: What advice do you give to brides who don’t have a big budget for flowers?
DANA: My approach to budgets is that I don’t discuss them in the initial interview with the bride. Rather, I like to use that first meeting as the creative brainstorming session to get all the ideas on the table. It is the best way to create the overall vision. My philosophy has always been that you do not have to do everything, but what you do choose to do, you do exquisitely. One single arrangement can have the most impact if done well and creatively. Another piece of the wedding that can drive the budget is the centerpieces. If budget is a concern, the bride and her florist should create a centerpiece that has elements to it that the bride can contribute to keep cost down such as supplying votive candles.
Thanks to Dana for his wonderful insights on beautiful wedding flowers!