Three Reasons Why Staying In Season With Your Wedding Flowers Is Best
I'm planning my wedding right now, and as a wedding florist, you can imagine the plethora of ideas I have for our own wedding flowers. The most difficult decision so far, however, has been picking a date when certain flowers will be poppin'. The thing is, every season is truly unique when it comes to flowers. Fall and winter have some of the most dramatic and moodiest blooms, whereas spring and summer have a wide array of delightfully bright flowers. Then there are the fascinating "in between" seasons when interesting mixtures of stunning blooms textured foliage are in their prime. I came to realize, our wedding date wouldn't really matter because I'd be happy with any season and what floral it has to offer us.
This led me to wonder what my clients think about when they pick their date and start to think about flowers. More often than not, my clients trust me to bring the best, most interesting flowers to their wedding. I love when they provide me with the "floral freedom" to pick and choose as I see fit, knowing how it will all turn out. Seasonality is a challenging reality we face in the floral world, but when embraced with love and an open mind, it can work to our advantage. I love explaining this is when I meet with clients, but I thought I'd do some journaling today, focusing on three reasons why staying in season with your wedding flowers is always best.
1. Flowers Simply Look Better When They Are In Season
Flowers, like produce, have seasonal tendencies that make them more beautiful, more impressive, and more "delicious" during certain times of the year. I love explaining this concept using corn, my favorite produce of all time, as my example. When I think of corn I think of summer. The grocery store is filled with large, juicy, corn cobs wrapped in their bright green husks, and stacked in tall piles in the produce section during summer and fall months. During those months, cooking corn on the cob is a delight. The cob is a vibrant, rich yellow color, the individual kernels are huge, and each bite is more enjoyable than the last. Have you ever eaten corn on the cob when it's out of season? It's not as fun, because it's just not the same. The kernels are much smaller, they're more of a whiter color, and sometimes the kernels are missing entirely from the cob.
This is the same concept for most flowers, only in a non-edible way. Asking for peonies for your October wedding, for instance, is going to be like trying to eat corn on the cob in February. Sure, we can get them and we can do all we can to prepare them for the big day, but they're not going to look and smell like the peonies you love when you imagine them. And if we're lucky enough to have them open up for us, their petals may be puny or even fall off completely. Peonies are spring flowers, and when they are in season, they smell immaculate, have layers of petals, and totally thrive. Sometimes we'll get lucky and have a really good crop year with certain flower types. During those years, peonies may thrive in their prime a few months longer than they typically do due to weather patterns, insect pollination, or other crazy-interesting, earth and science-related things. However, it's never a guarantee, and I make sure to let my brides and grooms know that.
2. Seasonal Flowers Allow For More Interesting Varieties Within Your Color Palette
My process has evolved over the years, but I've come to learn that, at least for me, floral color palette precedes actual flower selection when it comes to creating impactful and beautiful weddings. Once the colors have been determined, selecting the right flowers is something I do with my wholesalers who have an absolute passion for connecting me with the most beautiful floral product on earth. My wholesalers and I talk through the color palette for each wedding and discuss, based on the season the wedding will take place, which flowers will look the fullest, healthiest, and most abundant, and will be perfect for the colors of my client's wedding. A lot of the time, and I always make sure my clients understand this, I don't even know what flowers we'll be using for the wedding until about a month or so before the wedding. I have an idea, but I purposely wait until my wholesalers can actually look at the floral product in front of them and know how the flowers are going to be. If dahlia are not having a good year, guess what...we're using something else that fits the color scheme and will be just as fabulous if not better.
It's important that my clients get the best flowers available for their wedding day, and that almost always means working with flowers that are in the prime of their season. My clients are also very trusting and typically hire me because they love my floral style. My wholesalers know this, and send me items that are in season, are hearty and full, match the color palette perfectly, and are the aesthetic I tend to lean toward when I design. Keeping an open mind about using seasonal flowers allows for more dynamic and interesting floral designs at the wedding. The quality of blooms we use are absolutely perfect because they will always be in season, and the variety we receive is always uniquely different than the last, which makes it special for each couples' wedding day.
3. Flowers Out Of Season Cost More Than Flowers In Season
Let's go back to corn. Corn in the winter is bad enough because its no longer on crop, but if you've ever noticed how much more you pay for corn during those off months, you'll understand why flowers are so expensive out of season also. I usually try to talk my couples out of specific flower types if I know they're out of season because they're going to be paying so much more for something and they probably won't even love it.
So here's a story...Lily of the valley grows for several weeks between April and May. During that time, it's super affordable at the wholesaler because its everywhere. Where I grew up in the Midwest, you could literally go outside in the spring and pick some from someone's lawn. I tried ordering lily of the valley for a September wedding for a bride that had her heart set on a Kate Middleton-inspired bouquet despite my warnings about premium prices and poor quality blooms for lily of the valley in early fall. Not joking, it was $15.00 a stem for that flower at that time of year. When the flowers arrived, they looked just how I suspected they would look. The blooms, known for their small, delicate, white, bell shape came in brown and scarce. Instead of 8 to 10 blooms on a stem, there were maybe 3 to 4. There was no way I had enough volume to make them into a full bridal bouquet, let alone was I going to deliver a sad, brown bouquet. I ended up having to buy silk lily of the valley mixed with seasonal (shocker) white flowers that were airy and light and could get the job done in a similar aesthetic. This bride ended up paying $300 more for a bouquet that she couldn't even use in addition to paying for a second bouquet we had to create for her so that she could carry something halfway decent.
You could end up paying an arm and a leg more for your flowers simply because they're not in season. Seasonal flowers just work, they will never fail you, and your florist should know this. When they offer advice about your blooms, listen to them and trust their judgement, especially when it comes to behavior and seasonal tendencies. If you're someone who wants beautiful flowers to make your wedding look beautiful, using flowers and foliage that are in season is a fool-proof way to guarantee gorgeous blooms on your wedding day.
I no longer guarantee certain flower types to clients because I know how many risks are involved with working with flowers. If my client wants certain flowers, I always let her know I will do my best to get them for the wedding, but I won't make any promises. Instead, I can guarantee they will have the best, fullest blooms, imaginable, and they will be spot on to the colors they are envisioning. I prefer to work with clients who are super excited about their wedding vision and have a clear idea on how they want their wedding to feel. I love translating those elements into their wedding flowers, and my clients have always appreciated my honesty and transparency. In the end, it's my job to make sure they're happy with their flowers, and this is how we do that.
So as your floral consultation approaches, remember to keep an open mind. You can have a favorite flower, but sometimes that flower won't be the best option for your wedding depending on what time of year your wedding will take place. Trust your floral designer to guide you with fun alternatives to make your wedding day beautiful. I promise, it's worth it, and you'll be so happy with your flowers.