TO the Feathered Arrow blog. I'M Kari! A WEDDING PLANNER, PODCAST HOST, BIZ EDUCATOR, AND A LOVER OF COFFEE, ALL THINGS OUTDOORS + A SUCKER FOR A GOOD LOVE STORY.
We’re sharing another dear friend in the series of Feathered Arrow Community: meet Laura Williams of PoppyHill Flowers. Laura is an uber talented, sweetest, most loving, powerhouse woman you’ll ever have the pleasure of knowing! She’s sharing a little bit about PoppyHill Flowers and her tips behind picking a florist for your wedding. It’s not easy hitting the flower mart in downtown LA at dawn, but Laura does it and does it well! Read more of her story below (and you can see more of the Feathered Arrow Community here)!
I’m Laura and most mornings you can find me rushing around the LA Flower Mart at 5am with list in hand. I’ve learned the hard way, to NEVER go there without a plan. Most of my orders have been placed in advance, but for the others, I know I must act swiftly. The best flowers are almost always snatched up by the most prepared floral designers. Although that 4:15am alarm clock can be painful, it’s always worth it (as is that 2pm nap)!
In 2012, I started PoppyHill Flowers and began working exclusively with weddings and events a year and a half ago. I love everything about the wedding flower process. Especially taking a bride from, “I’m not sure” to “I’m so excited!”. One of my favorite parts is handing over the bridal bouquet and seeing how wide her eyes get. Additionally, dressing the beautifully set tables with flowers for reception fills my heart. I love seeing the wedding pictures and hearing my husband whisper “Imagine what that picture would look like without the flowers”. And I love seeing the bride after the wedding and getting a gushing hug. In my opinion, there’s nothing like a happy bride! If you’re planning your big day, below are a few tips to finding your wedding floral designer and choosing flowers.
When I got married in 1993 (dinosaur age, I know) our local florist pulled out a photo album, blew the dust off the pages, and asked me to choose my bouquet. Naively, I pointed to a standard 12 rose cascading bouquet on a plastic holder with a whole lot of greenery. Thank God times have changed. Each and every bride should have her own uniquely customized bouquet, specifically crafted with her in mind. One of a kind. I strongly believe this. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest as much as the next person. However, use Pinterest as inspiration mixed with your story, style and the perfect aesthetic to create a bouquet.
A good floral designer will listen! We listen to your love story, your likes, your dislikes, etc. By the end of your meeting, you should both walk away exhilarated at the floral dreams we discussed. Your floral designer should understand how you want guests to feel walking into a venue and what you want to feel walking down that aisle. There is a good balance of listening and trust. We listen, then you trust us to do what we do best!
There is probably nothing more important when creating your vision, then matching your venue to your vision. Is it a museum with a modern twist, or a giant red barn with a vintage feel? Is it a beach setting with cool tones and a relaxed vibe, or a beautiful ballroom screaming for crystal accents? Make sure your venue matches YOU and match your floral decor accordingly. Oh, and never underestimate the power of linens and lighting!
Don’t be scared! I promise I’m not trying to force you to kick your distant relatives off your guest-list so you can afford the flower budget. What I am saying is those pricey flowers make a much bigger impact than you might imagine. A single peony in a bridal bouquet can make a bigger impact than an added dozen roses. Flowing phalaenopsis orchids added to a centerpiece are pricey yes, but they will take your centerpieces to another level. And speaking of roses, a garden rose is SO not a grocery store rose, and I promise in those pictures, you will be glad you splurged a bit.
If your budget is limited then prioritize the standouts in your wedding. Your bridal bouquet will not only be in almost every picture, but will also be photographed alone. Whereas bridesmaids bouquets can be pretty, but simple. Your wedding arch or ceremony pillar arrangements will frame the moment you say “I do,” and will be in some of your most cherished wedding photographs. People won’t focus too much on what the flower-girl is holding.
One of the most common questions I get is “how much are your wedding flowers?” The truth is when I pause and squirm, it’s not because I’m being stubborn and thinking “mwaaa-ha-ha, let’s see how much I can get out of her,” it’s because asking that question is a little like walking into a mall and asking, “How much are your purses?” A good amount of information is collected and understood to get your vision, so have a good meeting and be patient with your floral designer to get a clearer vision so he/she can get you the most accurate quote.
Always…. Always. This a such a smart thing to do. Aisle flowers to reuse on the cake table, bridesmaids bouquets to line the sweetheart table, flowergirl’s pomander to set by the guestbook. Let’s stretch out your floral budget and transfer your ceremony flowers to your reception space.
Hope these tips have helped a bit in your search for your perfect wedding floral designer and happy planning! -Laura
Laura is a beautiful person, both inside and out. Loved the article and always love seeing her creations.