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Best Wedding Florist Nomination

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8 Wedding Issues of Florists' Review Magazine
(International Publication for Professional Florists - USA)
April 2011, March 2010, March 2009, March 2008,
March 2007, March 2006, March 2005, and March 2004

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The Bridal
Bouquet Book

by Ginny Parfitt
Schiffer Publishing

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Woman's World
August 7, 2007

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2 Issues of Floral Design Magazine
(International Publication for Florists - New Zealand)
August 2010
June 2011

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9 Issues of Best Wedding Sites Magazine

Feb-April 2011
June-Nov 2011
(including June & October magazine covers)

Nominated as metro Detroit's Best Wedding Florist 2011 in the WDIV Channel 4, "Vote 4 the Best" contest. Vote for us by 8/31/11 here.

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Thank you for nominating us from 2007-2010, too!

Article 5 - Fourteen Tips for Saving Money on Your Wedding Flowers

By Kim McMullen, Something Floral and Something Spectacular Custom Floral Design
"The Picky Bride's Florist™" and "The Premier Silk Floral Designer
Specializing in award-winning, fresh and silk/artificial floral design for weddings and special events.

As an experienced wedding and special event florist, I'm often asked for floral advice. One of the most frequent questions I'm asked is, "How can I save money on my wedding flowers?" Over the years I've given a number of money-saving tips to brides, mothers, wedding planners, and anyone else involved in the budgeting and planning of a wedding. I've compiled a few of the most common ways to cut wedding floral costs and listed them below.

Money Saving Tip #1 - Keep the number of bridesmaids and other attendants to a minimum
I'm always amazed by the number of brides who say they have a very tight floral budget yet they have a very large number of bridesmaids participating in their weddings. One of the most effective ways to immediately reduce floral expenses is to keep the number of attendants, particularly bridesmaids, to a minimum. For an example of how the number of attendants can quickly inflate or reduce your wedding floral costs, take a look this comparison. A bride who selects an average $65 bouquet style for 8 bridesmaids will spend $520 in bridesmaid bouquets, whereas, a bride who selects the same $65 bouquet for 3 bridesmaids will spend only $195. That's a savings of $325!

Money Saving Tip #2 - Select a florist who offers, and is accomplished, in both fresh floral and silk/artificial floral design
One of the biggest misconceptions a bride or wedding planner can have is that silk/artificial flowers are always cheaper than fresh flowers. That is not always true, especially when you want the most life-like faux flowers available. A florist who works in both fresh and faux mediums can recommend the most cost-effective solution for your budget and floral preferences. If your preference is for silk flowers or if you feel there's a strong possibility that silk will work best for your wedding, it is very important to select a florist who works with both fresh and silk. Silk florists familiar with the properties of fresh flowers can better select and arrange floral materials to make your bouquets and other wedding flowers look very realistic and most like fresh floral designs.

Money Saving Tip #3 - Consider selecting flowers that are in-season
Fresh flowers that are in-season at the time of your wedding are always fresher, more vibrant, plentiful, and much less expensive than out-of-season blooms. Seasonal flowers produce the most consistent and reliable results, and they are often grown locally, significantly reducing shipping/transportation costs as well as providing revenue to local growers and the local economy. Specialty and out-of-season flowers are more expensive and must be imported, traveling long distances with high shipping costs. There is always the risk they may arrive too mature or in wilted condition and the costs for the flowers themselves, not including the shipping, can be very expensive. If your heart is set on higher priced, specialty varieties that must be imported or on out-of-season blooms that are unavailable at the time of the year when your wedding takes place, silk/artificial flowers are likely to be the most cost-effective option for you.

Money Saving Tip #4 - Be flexible when selecting flower varieties
Season aside, certain varieties of fresh flowers are consistently more expensive than others based on a number of factors (how they grow, how fast they grow, where they grow, how many are grown, how they are harvested, etc). Use this guide as a general rule of thumb when selecting fresh flowers for bouquets, centerpieces, and other wedding arrangements:

Lower Cost
Button Mums

Average Cost
Gerbera Daisies
Dendrobium Orchids
Asian Lilies

Higher Cost
Calla Lilies
Mini Calla Lilies
Orchids (most varieties, incl. Cymbidium)
Stargazer and Casablanca Lilies

Money Saving Tip #5 - Avoid scheduling your wedding on or near a holiday
Fresh flowers are more expensive near holidays due to supply and demand. For example, florists stock more flowers to meet the demand for holiday (such as Valentine's Day) orders, however, flowers are a natural, perishable product and only a certain amount are ready to harvest at the time they are needed. Because there's a limited supply available and demand is greater near a holiday, prices rise as wholesalers and florists each "compete" for a share of the limited supply. If your wedding is scheduled two weeks before to two weeks after a major floral holiday, such as Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and Sweetest Day, fresh flowers are typically higher in cost and varieties are more limited in supply at that time. If your heart is set on a wedding date close to a holiday (particular one of the three mentioned above), silk flowers may be the most cost-effective option for you.

Money Saving Tip #6 - Choose simple vs complex designs
The price of flowers is only one part of your total floral costs. Labor is another factor. Larger, more complex designs, such as cascade and waterfall bouquets typically are more labor intensive and costly than simple, round designs composed of long-stemmed flower varieties. Also, flowers that require tedious wiring and taping, such as stephanotis, orchids, and thin, short, or brittle-stemmed floral varieties, are more labor intensive and add to your floral costs.

Money Saving Tip #7 - Know when to select a hand-tied bouquet vs one created in a holder
If you're looking for the illusion of larger, fuller bouquets and more "bang for your buck," choose bouquets created using hidden, slant-handled, holders. The holder places flowers at the proper angle for full visibility, the bouquet is lighter in weight (no heavy, bulky long stems), and all the flowers comprising the bouquet are visible with the viewer's focus on the flowers and not on the stems.

Hand-tied styles are very popular right now for both fresh and silk bouquets, but the style makes petite and smaller-sized bouquets look even smaller to the viewer because not all flowers comprising the bouquet are seen at the same time. The viewer's vantage point is of the side of the bouquet so the viewer's focus is split between the stems and the half dome shape of flowers. To dress up the stems, an elaborate stem wrap is often required and that increases your labor and material costs. Note that hand-tied style silk bouquets may require more labor (equating to higher cost) than hand-tied fresh bouquets as any visually unappealing faux flower stems require either replacement/substitution with new, more visually appealing stems or complete stem coverage with ribbon.

Identically-Sized Bouquets - One Created in Bouquet Holder and One Hand-Tied

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Bouquet in Holder
Focus on Flowers

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hand tied hand-tied bouquet
Hand-Tied Bouquet
Focus on Flowers and Stems
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Money Saving Tip #8 - Minimize bouquet accessories and "bling"
The past few years have seen an explosion of bouquet designs featuring jewels, crystals, pearls, rhinestones, crystal butterflies and dragonflies, feathers, bows, ribbons, and other add-in accessories. When used in moderation, the additional detailing and sparkle are beautiful, but if you're on a tight budget, this is one easy way you can reduce costs. If you're trying to make a small budget stretch further, go for the natural look and let your bridal jewelry be the "bling" that sparkles. If your flowers are well-designed and of top quality, they will command attention all on their own, without the use of add-ins.

Money Saving Tip #9 - Reuse bridal bouquets
After all formal photographs are taken, reuse your bridal and bridesmaid bouquets to decorate your head table, gift table, guestbook table, cake table, cocktail tables, bar, etc. This is an excellent way to stretch your budget and ensure that your bouquets are seen and enjoyed at the reception as well as the ceremony.

Money Saving Tip #10 - Reuse ceremony arrangements
To save money on decorating costs, reuse ceremony arrangements at the reception. If designed properly and in a style that will transition well, your ceremony flowers can perform double-duty at both events. Many florists, including Something Spectacular and Something Floral, will safely transport your flowers after your ceremony and set them up at your reception location so they can be enjoyed and photographed in both locations.

Money Saving Tip #11 - Use fewer, but larger arrangements
Larger, but fewer, floral arrangements offer more visual impact and "bang for the buck" than lots of smaller arrangements scattered around the reception facility that are likely to be overlooked. This is especially true if you'll be having a dimly-lit or candle-lit reception. A qualified, professional designer can assist you in finding the most visually strategic locations at your reception facility, and will place your large arrangements there.

Money Saving Tip #12 - Use flowering plants as centerpieces
During the spring and summer when plentiful at home and garden shops, purchase and use flowering plants in pretty, decorative pots for your reception table centerpieces. Most plant varieties are larger than equally-priced, formally arranged centerpieces. After your reception, guests can take the plant centerpieces home as a living favor, always to remember your special day.

Money Saving Tip #13 - Skip the bouquet and garter toss
The bouquet and garter toss, popular in the 1970s and early 1980s, are fast becoming antiquated wedding customs as perspectives change and fewer single guests feel comfortable participating in the activity. As such, increasing numbers of couples are opting to skip the bouquet and garter toss altogether, eliminating the worry that few, if any of their guests, will participate when the event is announced, and eliminating the need to purchase a separate toss bouquet and garter.

Money Saving Tip #14 - "Do-it-yourself" often costs more
Sometimes brides and/or their mothers think if they construct everything themselves, they'll save money. However, that's often a false assumption and frequently "do it yourself" projects end up costing much more in the long-run and less than professional results. There are a lot of materials required for both fresh and silk special event floral design, and often do-it-yourselfers don't realize the overall cost of all necessary materials, tools, and supplies to do the job properly. The costs really add up, especially when you're purchasing materials and supplies as a retail consumer and are forced to buy large quantities of everything, such as a gross (144) of boutonnierre pins, when you may need only a few. Add to all the tool, equipment, and material costs the stress and emotional pressure, the last-minute design of all flowers the day of the wedding, the ticking clock as the deadline approaches, the dirty and chlorophil-stained hands that ruined your manicure, the logistics and stress of who will deliver and setup everything since you cannot rely on the best intentions of friends or family members who might not setup everything properly, on time, or safely without damage.
When you add up the time, money, and risks to make everything yourself, the cost is much greater than if you went to a professional.

When you do-it-yourself, there are no guarantees that everything will turn out correctly and with visually-aesthetic results. With a professional floral designer, there's no stress, no worries, and you know that everything will be designed, delivered, and setup properly. By using an experienced, qualified floral professional, you never have to worry what your guests are thinking about the flowers or that the expensive wedding photographs (and costly wedding video) you're paying thousands of dollars for will capture and forever remind you of the not-quite right, lopsided, do-it-yourself bouquets, wilting corsages, and bruised boutonnierres that were well-intentioned in the name of saving a few dollars.

I cannot tell you how many frustrated, stressed, and time-crunched brides, mothers, and wedding coordinators have contacted us over the years, requesting that we "fix" do-it-yourself attempts with either silk or fresh wedding flowers. In every case, the repair job resulted in much higher material and labor costs to correct than it would've to hire a professional florist and use quality materials from the start.

It's nearly impossible to tear apart incorrectly constructed items and produce good results with a mish-mash of lower quality or overworked materials. As such, we no longer accept do-it-yourself project repair jobs. We have a reputation for exceptional quality, and nearly 90% of our clients are referrals from past clients and others who have seen our work in person. Our goal is to continue creating wedding and special event floral artistry that exceeds our clients expectations and keeps their guests buzzing for months and years about the beauty of their flowers.

For more information about how we can design and create spectacular fresh or silk/faux/artificial wedding or special event flowers for you, call us today at 586-778-4624.

NOTE: This article was written by, and is the property of, Something Spectacular Custom Floral Design. It may not be plagerized, and it may not be reproduced in any form without express written consent of the author. The information is provided to assist Something Spectacular clients with their special event planning. If you would like to use this or any other article from this website for your website, newsletter, or printed publication, permission must be granted by Something Spectacular and must be requested (and approved) in advance of being published. Any images that accompany this article in your publication or on your website must be designed or provided by Something Spectacular and no other florist. Copies of the publications and/or links to the location where articles appear must be provided to Something Spectacular. If you would like to request permission to use an article, please contact us at 586-778-4624.

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Something Spectacular
P.O. Box 755
Warren, Michigan


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