With clients like Erykah Badu and members of the Dallas Cowboys, Lucy Diaz-Flores of Bella Flora is one of Texas's go-to floral and event designers. Here, her tips for perfect blooms on your big day.
Lock down your florist at least nine months before your wedding.
The best, most reputable ones book up very quickly.
You don't need to interview every place in town.
Talk to your other vendors and friends and look at florists' sites and blogs. Then call several to see if they're available on your date and if they require a minimum budget. And if you're going for a certain style — say, modern and clean — ask if they have experience with it. Pick two for in-person interviews; compare two proposals directly and you're less likely to get overwhelmed.
For best results, bring inspiration.
When we meet, I like to see photos of your gown, bridesmaids' dresses, and a wedding from a magazine or blog that you love. You want to make sure your designer can capture your vision and work within your budget.
You'll spend about 15 percent of your wedding tab on flowers.
Stretch your dollars by renting round tables that seat 10 instead of eight. Fewer tables means fewer centerpieces.
Candles are another gorgeous way to cut costs.
Decorate a third of your tables with candles en masse, another third with low floral centerpieces surrounded by votives, and a final third with tall arrangements with votives at the base. The key is to disperse visual interest throughout the space.
If you love flowers, get married in April or May.
You'll have the best selection, including all varieties of tulips, blooming branches like cherry blossoms and dogwood, and bulb blooms like muscari and sweet peas.
Blue is a tough wedding color.
There just aren't a lot of naturally blue flowers out there, so I'll use, say, white hydrangeas and blue delphiniums in the centerpieces, then tie everything on the reception table together with blue-and-white china, ribbons, or linens.
Hold your bouquet at your waist, right in front of you.
It's the best look for photos and won't obscure your dress.
By the way, your bouquet doesn't have to match your bridesmaids'.
Or your reception flowers. In fact, I'd rather see totally different looks.
More is more.
Don't just sprinkle petals on the aisle, carpet it! We've even displayed a cake on a table covered in blooms, corner to corner. But we go big in Texas.
Want more genius planning tips? For the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration, pick up the BRIDES June/July 2015 issue, on newsstands now and available for download here!