DIY Wedding Flowers + Advice From Import Flowers!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
We like giving you the resources with which to accomplish your wedding vision. A lot of you are DIY brides who love being more hands-on with certain details with your wedding and we're all about that too and today's post is for you - the DIY Flower Bride. If you haven't yet, definitely stop by Import Flowers, right off Murphy Road and 37th Avenue North in Sylvan Park. Run by Lou Farrell, Import has been providing flowers to Nashville's professional florists and flower enthusiasts for years. But, they also serve lots of DIY brides and are there to help should you choose to take on your wedding flowers yourself.
"Ive passed this building many times and never knew what wonderful goodies were inside!" - Ashley
Lou introduced me to Jasmin Trenary, one their floral designers who has, in her three years with Import Flowers, worked with tons of the D.I.Y. brides who walked in the door. So as you endeavor to take on their wedding flowers by yourself, know you'll be in good hands when you seek her guidance. She and the rest of the very experienced staff at Import Flowers are extremely knowledgeable and are there to answer your floral questions. I asked her to give us some good advice for how to succesfully achieve great flowers and to get as close to a professional look all by yourself, as well as what is available for Fall weddings.
Know your date first, it will impact flowers, colors
Jasmin advises looking through magazines and websites to figure out what colors you are going for, and when you've picked a date so they can advise you on getting flowers that are available. Try to have at least that (the date and the colors) and have that settled upon before you go into Import Flowers. The staff there start by providing you with a list of flowers avaialble for that season or time of year. With Fall in mind, I did ask her what flowers would be great for, say, a September wedding and the options seem to be pretty endless - hydrangeas, calla lilies, roses, mums, carnations, gerber daisies, bells of Ireland and lots of greens.
Vibrant, blue hydrangeas and some softer lighter blue hydrangeas.
Gorgeous calla lilies.
If you look carefully you'll see my new favorite lily - a goth-y, all black calla called the Schwartzwalder. Talk about dramatic! And of course, gorgeous orange/yellow callas. I think they're called Sunset callas.
Gerber daisies and a few purple hydrangeas sneaking into frame.
"If you choose purple for your color palette, be sure to avoid going monochromatic. Instead, pick one flower that is the shade of light lavendar and one that's a darker shade so the tones are complementary and not clashing." Advises Jasmin, "If brides don't have a color palette in mind, I suggest they go with neutrals like greens and white." When it comes to working with ribbons or dresses to pair with bouquets, "try to complement instead of trying to match your swatches" says Jasmin.
Other great Fall color options to try are using food rather than foliage like pumpkins or berries. However if you're going for something less masculine and would like to use mainly flowers, Jasmin suggests the Camel rose and to try "magentas and brigheter golds vs. yellows - it's more feminine, fun and festive vs. it looking like a holiday centerpiece."
Camel rose - a softer, rust colored rose. (Image courtesy of sepaldesigns.com)
Lighter shades of hydrangeas
Jasmin showed me some succulents they had at Import Flowers that day, that she's helped D.I.Y. brides use in centerpieces and even bouquets. "They will root and grow, and are often used in Terrariums, or in living centerpieces of some variety. They can be used on bouquets too, or in arrangements that aren't necessarily "living" they're tough as nails and will live for weeks, re-root from small cuttings, and can be removed from bouquets and centerpieces and be planted."
Echeveria Agavoides succulents
As a fan of terrariums, I think living centerpieces are a fantastic idea - it's unique, they're a great way to start conversation at the table and maybe if you're feeling generous, guests can take them home to keep for much longer than cut flowers. I'd mused that it's interesting these were catching on and Jasmin had a great point, "I think thats one reason why they're so popular right now, they fit in with the "green" lifestyle, as there is no waste from them, they continue living. As well as how cool they look."
Image courtesy of StyleMePretty.com via GreenWeddingShoes.com
Wedding Flower Tips & How-To's
Because ABG brides are internet savvy, I asked for some recommended websites for great D.I.Y. tips and Jasmin suggested WonderHowTo.com which has instructional videos. They have great how-to's, from picking the right flowers for your wedding to creating your own centepieces. Another site is Save-On-Crafts.com which is a HUGE resource for supplies for floral needs as well as other wedding and craft supplies that will make any D.I.Y. bride giddy with glee. The internet has tons of wedding sites with flower inspirations but bear in mind that it's always best to get a second opinion - bring pictures of what you like to your meeting and Jasmin and the Import Flowers team will be able to tell you if what you are looking for is available, and if it's not they can work with you to find alternatives to achieve the same look.
Import Flowers carries many varieties of flowers. With a large front area filled with buckets of flowers to their three coolers of roses, lilies and varieties of gorgeousness I can't name, you have so many options from which to choose so make sure you give yourself a lot of time. The best part is, they never rush you, and are always at the ready to answer your questions.
Roses in every color of the rainbow!
DIY Flowers Pros & Cons
"It can save money to do the flowers yourself and it's really really fun for some people" Jasmin told me when I asked what the realistic pros and cons of DIY flowers are. "However, it's a lot of work, a lot of phyiscal, tiring work to do your wedding flowers on your own." She also pointed out a few more things to keep in mind like 1) Keeping the flowers fresh till the day of your wedding: Do not refrigerate the flowers. Keeping them in an air conditioned room is enough. 2) Transporting flowers - "it's best to build and put everything together there. After teh ceremony or reception, check with the venue to see what the policy on flowers are. Some churches will use the flowers the next day for their service. Check with your caterer or relatives to see who can help remove the flowers after the reception. If you rented the vases, the rental company will have their own return policies so check with them as well and plan everything."
A huge thank you to Lou Farrell, Jasmin and the wonderful staff at Import Flowers who let me snap pictures and talk to them when I came by. You can find Import Flowers online at their website. Don't hesitate to give them a call, or just stop by and have a look - you'll be amazed what you'll find for your Fall wedding, and your DIY floral needs!