One of my favorite vendors to work with is local, Seattle florist Carlee Donnelly at Rusted Vase Floral Co. After reading this blog post you will feel confident in maintaining a fresh bouquet on the day of your wedding! Carlee has given us a variety of tips that encourage us to shop locally and seasonally. Keeping your florals fresh on your wedding day does wonders for your photography, read on to make sure you use these tips!
Sourcing Seasonal & Local Flowers & Foliage
Why should you source local? Sourcing seasonal and local flowers for your wedding is not only the most sustainable option, but also provides you with the freshest product. When you source seasonally, the flowers are being grown by flower farmers in your state and surrounding counties. Instead of shipping flowers in from Colombia or Australia for example, you are supporting a local farmer and their family by using what is readily available for your wedding. They will also be FRESH! When purchasing local flowers, they are cut on Tuesday or Wednesday the week of your wedding vs. when you ship them in, they have likely been cut and held for 3+ days before getting in to your florists hands.
I also think keeping your wedding flowers seasonal is a fun way to have your theme and style show through the flowers. So keep the seasons in mind when planning your wedding. If you know you love Peonies, you will want to get married in May or June; Dahlias, July – September; Sweet Peas, June – July; Ranunculus, April – May etc. As the seasons change, you will see the flowers take shape and style along with them; Soft and dainty in the Spring, lush and full in the Summer, bold and bright in the Fall, and natural and textured in the Winter.
How to Source Seasonal Flowers
Talk to your florist about sourcing seasonal blooms, they will likely steer you in that direction anyway as most times it is the most cost effective model for their business. The Seattle Wholesale Growers Market has an amazing break down of flower availability by month for the PNW.
Day of Care
When your florist brings you your wedding flowers, they will be fresh and hydrated to last all day if you take care of them! Baby your flowers and keep them in water as much as possible. Whatever you do, do not set them down for a photo. Each flower is picked especially for your bridal bouquet, and many will be dainty and could break if you set the bouquet face down. There’s nothing like getting a gallery back and seeing broken stems or dead flowers. For elopements, it is especially important to have a water source with you. I personally use EcoFresh Bouquet Wraps. I send one with all of my elopement couples. It is a hydration wrap for your stems and works really well when carrying a vase is not an option. For a more traditional wedding at a private residence or home, it is important to put your bouquet back in water in between photos, ceremony and reception especially when it is hot out.
Preserving Florals Post Wedding
There are so many options for preserving your flowers post wedding. The most common being to dry your bouquet or press it. You can then display the blooms in a frame, vase or shadow box. I offer drying and pressing services for my couples. It is a super fun keepsake to have and something interesting to have in your house. The most important thing for drying and pressing is to get your flowers back to your florist before they start to wilt or die on their own. I suggest within 1 – 2 days time to insure the best product.
Paper Flower Keepsake Bouquet
Another phenomenal wedding vendor to work with is Quynh Nguyen of Pink and Posey! She is an incredible PAPER florist who is often commissioned for recreating a brides bouquet with paper flowers. Here is what she had to say about the process:
“I love being part of a bride and groom’s special day and beyond. From creating one of kind bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and one-year anniversary presents. Getting the chance to create the bride or groom’s favorite flowers and being able to create in the bloom stage, color, and size that they want is so much fun. I love that paper flowers can become a special keepsake that will last forever. I also get a lot of husbands approaching me to create their wife’s wedding bouquet for their one year anniversary because the first year anniversary is paper! “
Tips for Photographers
I alway recommend taking a pause and thinking about how you can best represent each vendor on a wedding day. Florals are really important! Here are a few photo tips.
- Make sure the bride or groom is holding the bouquet correctly. Most bouquets have a front and a back. Make sure you are photographing the bouquet from the angle the florist intended. Hint: the pins that hold the ribbon are meant to be in the back. This is a great indicator of where to hold the so you shouldn’t see the pins in the photos.
- Take note of the type of flowers in your couple’s bouquet. If the flowers are very delicate, keep the bouquet upright and in water most of the time. After the ceremony and main photos with florals, you can use it to style details and lay it down. If you do lay the bouquet down, do so on the backside gently so it doesn’t break a stem or keep parts on the front of the bouquet.
- Editing.. remember the couple loves the tones they choose for their wedding day. Try to keep your editing tones true to the day, especially with flower photos. When you desaturate the greens too much it can make the flowers look dead and no one want thats. :) Florists will LOVE working with you if you help make their work really shine!