Advice from a Wedding Floral Designer

Indianapolis Indiana Wedding Engagement Photographer Cassie Dunmyer Photography Wedding Floral Designer Woven Blooms

Your wedding flowers are one of the biggest ways you can create a cohesive look to your wedding. From your ceremony space to your reception tables, your bouquets to your boutonnieres – flowers and the décor elements that go with them help carry your color palette as well as create an overall vibe. I asked owner and lead floral designer Lauren Brown of Woven Blooms for some tips when it comes to planning your wedding florals. 

Before we dive in, here’s some of my own advice 

Indianapolis Indiana Wedding Engagement Photographer Cassie Dunmyer Photography Wedding Floral Designer Woven Blooms

Before you sit down with a floral designer

Like any vendor, it’s important to reserve your ceremony and reception venues first. That not only sets your wedding date, but a starting point for your overall aesthetic. Knowing what site(s) you’re working with tells your florist a lot about what the space needs and how to bring out your vision. 

Pinterest vs. Reality

Pinterest is great for gathering inspiration and giving your florist a visual of what you like. But, I suggest just getting ideas beforehand and mostly familiarizing yourself with what’s actually going to be in season. A florist will be able to tell you what’s realistic for your budget and wedding season and build from there. 

Woven Blooms

Indianapolis Indiana Wedding Engagement Photographer Cassie Dunmyer Photography Wedding Floral Designer Woven Blooms

Lauren is easily one of my favorite floral designers both for her aesthetic and commitment to sustainable design. I’ve seen her designs evolve from ideas and sketches to incredible installations. Her personal approach even includes growing a portion of the flowers she uses from her garden in Indianapolis! I love her personalized approach and how she’s able to evoke such a unique feeling to each event she designs for. 

Hey Lauren, introduce yourself!

“I am the owner + lead designer of Woven Blooms. Trained as a visual artist, I love working with flowers as my medium. I express my intrigue with nature by marrying different shapes, textures, and colors, enhancing the natural artfulness of each stem. I am committed to a more eco-friendly approach to floristry by limiting the amount of floral foam consumed in my art, compost as much waste material as possible, and source as many locally grown flowers as possible.”

Indianapolis Indiana Wedding Engagement Photographer Cassie Dunmyer Photography Wedding Floral Designer Woven Blooms

What are some of the benefits of working with a smaller floral design company?

“Always ask your florist how many weddings they do in a weekend. If you are working with a smaller studio based florist, chances are the answer to that question will be one.  While bigger brick and mortar florists can provide cheaper costs, they also service sometimes up to 15 weddings in one weekend! The difference between 1 and 15 is huge when it comes to the customer service you will receive during your planning period and the design quality of your florals on the day of your wedding. By taking on only one client a week, I can devote ALL my time and energy to that particular client when their wedding week comes.”

How can people think outside the box when it comes to wedding florals?

Color Scheme

Indianapolis Indiana Wedding Engagement Photographer Cassie Dunmyer Photography Wedding Floral Designer Woven Blooms Mavris Arts and Events Center

There are so many ways you can get creative with your wedding starting with your color scheme. I think that any wedding industry member would agree when I say that if I didn’t see another blush and burgundy wedding for a while I would not be upset. Not that it’s not beautiful; it’s just been done and done again 3,000 times over. How about doing peach and plum or a spectrum of sunset tones instead?! I hear the words timeless, classic, and romantic over and over again while talking with brides. A soft palette in a mixture of pastel tones can be just as timeless and classic as a blush and ivory palette. No matter what color palette you choose, just make sure that it compliments your venue!”

Indianapolis Indiana Wedding Engagement Photographer Cassie Dunmyer Photography Wedding Floral Designer Woven Blooms Mavris Arts and Events Center

Decor Elements

“In terms of getting creative with individual décor elements, don’t feel like you have to come up with all the ideas. You have hired a team of vendors who are artists in their own right. Ask them if they have any good ideas for certain décor items like your altar arrangement or wedding cake decorations. Chances are they have a few things in the back of their minds that they have wanted to do or think would look amazing for your big day. Give them a few days to brainstorm and come up with example photos or sketches!

On occasion, I have even taken it upon myself to send alternative ideas to clients during the planning process to see if they would like to switch up some of their design elements. Long story short, if you have seen it on Pinterest, it has been done. Work with your team to come up with something that is unique and perfect for your big day!”

Yes!! I think Pinterest gives us a great jumping off point. But to really have a wedding that feels “you,” it’s better to consider personal style and trust that your wedding vendors can create something even better than a copy of what you found online. 

Indianapolis Indiana Wedding Engagement Photographer Cassie Dunmyer Photography Wedding Floral Designer Woven Blooms

How can you get that wow factor without breaking the bank?

Backdrop

There are a few ways that come to mind. First, if you are on a tighter budget but want to create a wow factor for your big day, I suggest putting a bulk of your money towards a beautiful floral backdrop for your altar. After the ceremony either have your florist or day of coordinator transition this backdrop to behind your head table or maybe create a photo booth with it (even friends or groomsmen could move it). For your guest tables, go with something smaller and more simple like bud vases. After all, I don’t think you will be printing and framing the photos of your guest table arrangements.”

You can see how some arrangements were used in both the ceremony and reception spaces in our shoot Notes of Gold! This dual purpose made it easier to stretch our floral budget and keep a consistent look. 

Carnations?

“Next, CARNATIONS! I know a lot of the readers probably just shuttered in disgust, but I beg for all of you to reconsider the carnation. They are making a huge comeback in the floral industry with so many new and beautiful varieties! I show people photos of them and most people don’t believe that they are carnations. At a cost that is about 1/3 of what a rose costs, you can’t go wrong!”

Indianapolis Indiana Wedding Engagement Photographer Cassie Dunmyer Photography Wedding Floral Designer Woven Blooms Mavris Arts and Events Center

Bridal Bouquet

“Last, remember not to skimp on your bridal bouquet. It will be the number one most photographed floral item of your wedding!”

Totally agree on that one! Another tip when planning your bridal bouquet with your florist is to have your dress already picked out. Now, I wouldn’t wait to book them until you have your dress. But, this will help you determine the right size and shape of your bouquet to compliment your dress silhouette. For instance, a small, simple bouquet could look out of place against a large ball gown. 

Indianapolis Indiana Wedding Engagement Photographer Cassie Dunmyer Photography Wedding Floral Designer Woven Blooms

How early should couples book their florist?

“This really depends on how important flowers are to you for your wedding. Is there one particular florist you want to work with? Or is there a specific aesthetic you are wanting? The more particular you are about your flowers will determine how soon you need to talk with a florist.

Since smaller studio based florists take a limited number of weddings per year, it is important to know that they tend to book up quicker than larger brick and mortar florists. Typically, I would say 9 months in advance is about an average time frame for booking a florist, but if you are planning a wedding during peak wedding months such as June, September, or October, I would suggest at least 1 year in advance.”

Indianapolis Indiana Wedding Engagement Photographer Cassie Dunmyer Photography Wedding Floral Designer Woven Blooms

What’s a common misconception about florals?

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the number one misconception is that greenery is cheaper than flowers. Don’t get me wrong. I love the botanical yet romantic feeling achieved with an all greenery look. It’s magical, BUT IT IS SIMPLY NOT LESS EXPENSIVE THAN FLOWERS! Particularly when talking about eucalyptus, smilax vine, and Italian ruscus which are used in all of those dreamy Pinterest images.

Why you may ask. Supply and demand plays a big factor. With the current trends, the cost of some greenery varieties has increased so much that they are more costly than certain flower varieties. It also takes just as much time and labor (if not more time when you are talking about garland) to process and arrange greenery as it does flowers. And when thinking about how much space has to be occupied in an arrangement, it takes more stems of greenery to occupy just as much space than one flower of certain varieties does.”

Indianapolis Indiana Wedding Engagement Photographer Cassie Dunmyer Photography Wedding Floral Designer Woven Blooms Mavris Arts and Events Center

While we could go on about wedding floral design for awhile, I think the advice here is a great starting point. I learned so much from Lauren and I hope you did too! To follow along with her incredible work at Woven Blooms or get in contact with her for your own wedding, follow the links below. 

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