I love flowers as much as the next person but when it came to helping you choose your wedding florist, I knew I wanted Janette Byler from Cedar and Sweet Pea to share her thoughts! Her arrangements are absolutely stunning but even more, I love her philosophy of your wedding day florals being a unique reflection of who you are. She’s sharing a guest post and I know you’ll enjoy hearing her story and tips on how to choose your wedding florist as much as I did!

“I’ve always noticed flowers, even as a child. But I didn’t know that I actually liked making things with flowers until I was planning my wedding. The flowers were the most important part to me. I couldn’t have told you why at the time. But I knew it mattered. That it would be big part of the atmosphere of our wedding. I loved dreaming up the design and choosing the kinds and colors of flowers. But I didn’t have the confidence to actually create them myself and I also wanted to hand out as many tasks as possible so I can could be as stress free as possible. One of my best friends and her mom made bouquets and the bridesmaids and I did centerpieces.

My friend’s wedding was three weeks later and we were doing the same thing. I had made one of the arrangements for the church when my friend’s mom pointed out that I had an eye for it. This coming from her was a big deal to me because I looked up to her as a designer. She grows TONS of flowers in her garden and that was/is goals to me. This sparked something in me and ever since that day it stayed in the back of my mind. Here and there, I did the flowers for friends’ weddings, not taking it very seriously. But I knew if I was ever going to venture into doing something that I loved, it would be flowers. And I’ve had so many wonderful people encourage me to pursue it. 

I’m not a seasoned floral designer but I know what flowers mean to me, what they mean to many brides. They speak a language of personality. There are so many kinds of flowers and foliage that I believe every bride’s unique taste can be reflected in their bouquet. We have so many different textures and colors to choose from. My philosophy is that your florals should reflect who you are and where you are. Whether that is minimalism or extravagance. Elegant or whimsical. Fun or soft. Romantic or wild. A bride is a representation of purity and of giving. And she should get to feel adorned and beautiful for her groom, whatever that looks like to her.

I love to gather inspiration from nature.  Using foliage and flora that is cohesive to the local environment, speaks of what makes a place and a season special. When I create things that mimic the things around me, the centerpiece or bouquet feel like they belong there. There’s always a lot going on at weddings. I think flowers are something that should feel easy to be drawn into, simple to enjoy.

As a bride, I know it’s not always easy to know what you like. And that is why a florist can help you. We spend much of our time getting to know more about different kinds of flowers and the role they can play in an arrangement. Experimenting to find out what lasts well out of water and what textures and hues can paint an accurate picture of what we want to represent.

Floristry is SO much more than playing with pretty flowers. Most of it is getting to know your client, researching, analyzing, sourcing and math, and more researching. There is no better reward than to pour your heart into something and have your client love it. And that is what makes it all worth it.

 So as a bride, look for a floral designer that understands this and wants to get to know who you are and can tell your story well. Look for someone that you feel comfortable making decisions for you. Because for me, the goal is to take away the burden of making more decisions for the bride since she’s doing so much of that throughout the entire wedding planning period. Find someone you trust to handle the details and take a weight off of you. Your florist is going to know better than you do what’s in season, which flowers work well for different design elements and how every part plays in the big picture. So trust your designer. That’s when we can truly flourish doing the work we love. 

When working with your florist to choose flowers and designs, my number one piece of advice is to have an open mind. If you’re set in stone about things, it doesn’t give your designer much room to put their talents to work. Most likely, if you allow them to share their ideas with you, you’ll be happier with the outcome. 

A mistake that is easy to make is simply finding the cheapest florist. While I definitely understand this mindset, it does not guarantee it will be worth it to you. If one is more expensive than the next, there is a reason. So just make sure you know WHY they are cheaper. Find out what they do, how they do it, and what they are willing to do for you. 

In the end, I know that often money still speaks louder than what you actually want. So don’t think that because you can’t afford the most expensive flowers and the largest arrangements, (or even want those things) that you can’t have flowers that you love on your wedding day. An excellent florist will try to work within in your budget and let you know what your budget will afford you and do their utmost to create something you’re thrilled about.

Be aware you might have to prioritize what’s most important to you. And understand that a piece of us is in everything we create. The expertise and care we put into a brides bouquet is worth the time spent and your acknowledgement. I don’t believe in making a client feel bad for not having a larger budget, but just know that we don’t want to be taken for granted. We are after all, selling a piece of ourselves. So do your research. Because I am. And you should feel you’re worth it, because you are.”

How to Choose Your Wedding Florist | Karen Elise Photography


Photography: Kristiann Photography

Floral Design: Cedar and Sweet Pea

How to Choose Your Wedding Florist | Karen Elise Photography

How to Choose Your Wedding Florist | Cedar and Sweet Pea

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