Flower Power

Selecting the Best Bouquet for Your Wedding

Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photography Provided

Flowers represent one of the most beautiful ways that brides and grooms can make their weddings unique. Susan Perry, owner of White Lilies N ParadiseWhite Lilies N Paradise, has worked in the flower industry for more than three decades. She loves doing weddings, particularly when a bride provides her with color and flower choices and gives her free reign to design.

“We’ve done some weddings that incorporate succulents and vegetables into bouquets, such as kale and oriental cabbage,” Perry says. “We did a wedding where we cored out green apples and put them down inside the vase. Bridesmaids stuck their bouquets into the core of the apple.”

A lot of these ideas are generated because increasingly, brides want to bring an outdoor and garden vibe into their weddings, even if their ceremonies are inside.

When selecting flowers, Perry suggests that brides start by researching different types of bouquets online, to get a sense of the style and colors they gravitate to. This will help them figure out if they like an open or close-knit style. This is also the time for a bride to consider an informal, outdoor look, or a classic, formal look.

“Once you have an array of options that interest you, you can start eliminating based on budget,” Perry says. “A lot of brides don’t know what they want when they come in to see me for the first time. That’s why I suggest they start looking at ideas early on.”

After setting a date, it’s time to start considering what kinds of flowers will be in season at that time of year, because that will help determine the colors. For instance, peak peony season is April, May and June.

“You can get them when they are out of season, but they will be double and triple in price,” Perry says.

As for color, some flowers don’t come in a preferred shade, but Perry has a spray used to tint flowers.

Certain types of flowers hold up better than others when not in water, though Perry has some techniques for treating them ahead of time to make them last. Still, should a bride want to utilize her flowers throughout the day and carry her ceremony flowers into her reception area, it’s important to put the stems in vases so they stay fresh.

Unfortunately, some flowers have increased in cost due to COVID-19. This is because many growers can’t get flowers picked and processed due to a lack of employees.

“Roses have doubled in price,” Perry says.

Given the shortage, it was difficult for Perry to fill all of her Christmas and Valentine’s orders, and she says it’s hard to predict what will happen going forward. It’s always wise, however, to take note of whether there are holidays right around your wedding date, because that can affect both pricing and availability.

White Lilies N Paradise

“With certain holidays there is a big demand for flowers, so there could be a shortage on them,” she says.

Perry assures couples who are on a tight budget that they can still design a gorgeous wedding with limited resources. For starters, not all flowers are priced the same. For instance, carnations, daisies, mums, sunflowers, alstroemeria and snapdragons are on the less-expensive spectrum, so often brides opt to use these flowers in bridesmaid bouquetsand centerpieces. Perry is seeing more and more brides make their bouquets using predominantly baby’s breath, which is big yet inexpensive.

“Baby’s breath fills in a lot of area, and then we put a few prominent flowers like roses, lilies or hydrangeas in the bouquet,” Perry says. “Stock flowers also have a good fragrance, and come in several different colors but are not as pricey.”

As far as trends, Perry is seeing a lot of hand-tied bouquets, with just the stems showing and ribbon wrapped around the stems.

“Brides are choosing a lot of things with eucalyptus and foliage, where it’s big, open bouquets,” Perry says. “Simple and outdoorsy is in.”

White Lilies N Paradise is located at 333 North Philips Street in Kokomo. For more information, call 765-459-0637 or visit m.whiteliliesinparadise.com.

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