Ever wonder how your wedding flowers are actually going to look in photographs? It’s a big topic with a lot of variables, but I wanted to break it down for you with one of my very good friends and a very talented florist, Anika of Bad Rabbit Flowers. We discuss working with photographers, going eco-friendly, and all things wedding flowers!
Hi Anika, welcome to my blog! Before we get started, can you please tell me a little about yourself and your business?
Hi Katelyn, thanks for having me. I am a farmer florist/floral designer specializing in weddings. I have a “micro-farm” where I grow about ½ an acre of seasonal organic flowers. I try to use these in every wedding possible but also source from other farms and growers as well as wholesalers. I am mostly a one-woman show, with a few freelancers and a fantastic per diem assistant. My style has a very free, wild, controlled chaos vibe. I tend to design big and I love color! Each wedding I do is completely unique and cultivated to the couple getting married. Beyond flowers, I have a super amazing crew of feathered friends who help me out with “farmy” work like pest control and weeding. To date that includes 18 runner ducks, 6 guinea fowl, 4 teacup chickens, and 8 regular sized chickens. Next year we are adding miniature sheep to the weed control crew and who knows what other creatures might find their way into my world!
Awesome! Today we’re going to be talking about how your choice of a wedding photographer can impact the way your florals look on your wedding day, and steps couples can take to understand the approach a wedding florist has to achieve their vision.
First off, how should couples begin to go about choosing a floral style and florist for their wedding?
Good question. I always tell couples to really look through potential vendors and get a sense of their style of work. If they already have a look in mind it’s a little easier to find the right person or company, but if they are not really sure about flowers, colors, styles it’s great to scan through pinterest or instagram and make note of the sorts of things they are attracted to. For instance, at Bad Rabbit, I don’t commit to specific floral varieties and I don’t mimic other designers’ work, so when hiring someone like me it’s important that they have looked through and liked my past work. For couples who need a little more control over the design process I usually suggest checking out brick and mortar shops and studios that do more than just wedding work, they are usually more amenable to creating a very specific look. If the couple really have no idea where to even begin, I would suggest thinking about seasonality, and possibly researching what sorts of things are blooming at the time of their wedding and what kind of look and feel those things tend to create. I also think it’s important to pay attention to the space they will be married in, if it’s an outside wedding in August, for instance, bright or vibrant colors will stand out from the already present green backdrop of summer, if its an outdoor winter wedding, adding more greenery may offer a lush contrast to snow and a greyer landscape. If the wedding will take place in a dark barn, I would lean in the direction of lighter colors to soften the space, and so on. If that seems too daunting I would just say find a florist whose work you like and ask them for their input, I love when couples do this, it shows me that they have put their trust in my work and allows me to guide the process in a way that I know will have a beautiful end result!
Can you tell us why it matters for you to know which photographer a couple have chosen for their wedding day?
Yes! I always want to know who will be photographing my couples’ weddings. Wedding photography has come a long way and the photographs are works of art in themselves. When you are mixing two different people’s art it makes sense to be sure they mesh. Different photographers have different editing styles and use different filters, each of which can impact florals in different ways and can alter the appearance of flowers (particularly the color of flowers) in photographs. Knowing who a couple’s photographer is helping me guide them in a color direction that will complement that person’s editing style in the best possible way and result in a cohesive and beautiful gallery at the end of the day.
What are your views on gathering inspiration from Pinterest?
I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. It is a great resource for honing in on likes and dislikes, as well as finding ideas and inspiration and being able to communicate that visually. Where it falls short is its tendency to set unrealistic expectations. If a couple has never been involved in planning a wedding before, the cost of florals can be a bit of a shock and a lot of what is popular on Pinterest is at the high end of the price spectrum. It is really important to look at Pinterest for inspiration but be ready to compromise on volume if you are working with a budget. I have had many couples who simply do not realize that the arbor inspiration they are sending me is a $10,000 piece of install. So in this case again I would say, be prepared to make cuts and compromises, and ask your florist to help you figure out where the best places to do that are. If a big huge ceremony is important to you, maybe scale back a little on the table decor or vice versa. I always love when couples are willing to hear me out so that I can help them find the best balance of bang and budget!
What kind of impact do location and season play on a floral palette?
I think I sort of touched on this above. You want to find a palette that compliments your venue and the surrounding scenery, something that stands out a bit from the backdrop of the day so that it does not get lost, after all you are probably paying a decent amount for your flowers, you want them to wow! Seasonality is important to understand, as that background changes over the year, but it’s also important when talking about the feasibility of particular and very specific palettes. For instance, there are a number of “fall tones” that are very difficult to achieve outside of autumn. It’s about product availability as well as the life cycle of particular flowers and foliages. Some things simply are not attainable at certain times of the year. This is again a place where your florist can help guide you in the right direction.
Can you think of any ways for couples to have a more eco-friendly wedding floral experience?
Probably the best way to have eco-friendly flowers is to allow your florist as much freedom as you are comfortable giving. The less rigid you are in variety and color the easier it is for us to use local, sustainable resources. I grow a lot of my own product, many florists in Maine either are growers themselves or are able to source from local farms. If it’s important to you that they do, definitely check in with them on that. If you are set on things like roses, chances are they are going to have to travel from elsewhere, but if you are ok with what your florist can get their hands on right here, dahlias, peonies, snapdragons, zinnias, etc… then your flowers will have a much less impactful carbon footprint!
Any other advice?
When in doubt, trust your florist!