Lee Bouras runs her thriving, nearly 10-year-old business, Wyld Orchids, from the flower studio at her home.
And although her studio is bigger than most average-sized shops (not counting the shedding for her extensive range of vases and accessories) and she employs a flower courier plus the added help of other florists in peak season, she still prefers to keep her work in house and bespoke.
"I like to do all of Wyld Orchids' creative floristry myself because I am a perfectionist!"
Striving to ensure that her unique creations exceed her client's expectations, Lee believes that the honest relationship she fosters with brides and grooms during the course of their planning makes all the difference to (and in fact, enhances) the final product.
Lee joins the ranks of Unbridely's expert contributors with her first post for budget conscious couples. Here she outlines her 4 key tips to working with your florist in the hope that it will help you gain maximum effect from your gorgeous blooms on your wedding day and be a fun process too.
Thank you for being so gracious, Lee!
Secret # 1`- Share your budget and expectations with your florist upfront.
An experienced and innovative florist will be able to give you options and paint a realistic picture of what your budget may achieve. My goal as a wedding florist is to try and create your dream flowers within your budget. Most wedding florists can be very creative when given a challenge.
I had a client say to me recently; 'this is my friend's budget and this is what she likes colour-wise. Can you come up with an appropriate design?' Her wedding flowers were amazing as she was not stuck on one particular flower choice.
And to that point..
Secret #2 - Try to be flexible and have a 'Plan B'.
Despite the flowers being an important part of your wedding's overall look and feel, please remember that we are still dealing with Mother Nature. Things happen.
There are (rare) times when an unseasonal heatwave or wild storm may affect the quality, growth, delivery and cost of certain flowers.
The more relaxed you are about the specifics of your flowers and design, the better result we can create for you.
Secret # 3 - Be realistic about the cost of high quality flowers.
Flowers set the scene and can play a key role creating the ambience for your wedding, but please keep in mind that, as the number, size and quality of your flowers increase, so does the cost.
Examples of high cost flowers include: Peony roses, Phalaenopsis orchids and David Austin roses.
While lower cost flowers are things like: Baby's Breath, Daisy flowers and Carnations.
The other consideration is the quality of your florist's skills.
High quality flowers also depend on freshness and good ancillary suppliers (wholesaler, delivery etc.).
Secret # 4 - Embrace the concept of 'double duty'.
Making your flowers work hard can help stretch your budget further.
For example, flowers used on the altar at your ceremony can be (expertly and very carefully!) transported to adorn the entrance of your reception venue or set-up behind the bridal table.
Another great example of double duty is the use of bridal bouquets at the reception. After holding onto them for a couple of hours, bridesmaids are generally pretty happy to put their bouquets down at the reception, but there's no need to let them wither in a corner for the rest of the night.
Stunning bouquets can be enjoyed long into the wee-hours of the wedding celebration, by placing them in gorgeous, antique vases on the bridal table or displaying them against a feature wall.
We'd love to hear about what you are doing (or did) to stretch your flower budget while still achieving a great effect. Let us know in the comments below.