Expert Tips and Techniques for Wedding Flowers

Crystal Schwanke
Amy Child Marella, owner of Hidden Garden Floral Designs

Want wedding flower tips and techniques before diving too far into the planning process? Amy Child Marella, owner of The Hidden Garden Floral Designs in Los Angeles and floral expert for Inside Weddings Magazine has an obvious knack for flowers. LoveToKnow Weddings recently had the opportunity to speak with her about how to choose the right flowers for your wedding.

The Beginning

Tell me more about The Hidden Garden Floral Designs. How did you get started?

I started the Hidden Garden 8 years ago because I loved flowers…really.

I used to be in the music industry and flowers were a hobby. Lots of friends would ask me to do things for them and finally one day I thought "I should just do this for a living." And here I am.

What to Know when Ordering Flowers

What are the pros and cons of fresh and silk flowers for wedding use?

Fresh flowers are always the best option when showcasing flowers for a wedding. They look amazing and often smell great too. Quite frankly, it would be a faux pas to have a guest touch a silk flower. The only time it might be acceptable is if you are creating a backdrop of flowers that will not be physically touched by someone. For example, cherry blossom trees on a stage.

Any tips for saving money on wedding flowers?

Ask your florist what flower will give them the most "bang for the buck." For example, roses are in full swing in the summer so that is a great choice! Peonies are readily available in the spring rather than the fall.

Vibrant Purple Bouquet

Also, if you give your florist a little leeway with flower choice and let her/him pick out what looks best on the market that week, you can really get a good deal. You would definitely want them to stick to your color pallet and flower preferences but give them a little "wiggle" room when buying your flowers. For example, if you want roses, hydrangea, dahlias and tulips in your centerpieces but the hydrangea was a greater value that week then let them use more of that flower and less of the dahlias. You might get a bigger arrangement for the same price.

How far in advance should the flowers be ordered?

Clients should book their florist six to eight months in advance. This allows them to have their "pick" of florists. The later they book, the more likely their date will be booked up.

Do you have any wedding flower tips and techniques for the bride who's shopping for her floral arrangements? Any tips for choosing the right florist?

You should always choose a florist whom you feel comfortable with. Choose a florist that has experience with your location. If they don't, be sure to schedule a walk through meeting with them at the facility. You don't want someone showing up on your wedding day who is not one-hundred percent aware of basic installation issues on the day of the wedding

Choosing Flower Types and Colors

Do you have any tips for choosing the right type of flower for your wedding?

Choose colors based on the feeling or setting you are trying to provide for your guests. If you are going for a traditional romantic look you will probably choose a white, ivory, and champagne pallet--very traditional, yet romantic.

You might also choose color based on location. Certain color combinations work better in different facilities based on wall, curtain, or carpet colors.

Seasonal Wedding Flower Colors

What do you consider to be the epitome of a fall bouquet?

Leonidas roses, black magic roses, privet berries, eucalyptus berries, hanging amaranthus, fall leaves, mini fire orange calas.

Winter?

All-white bouquet created with winter white roses, white hydrangea, white amaryllis and white tulips.

Spring?

Lilac, viburnum, sweet peas--sherbet tones!

Summer?

Hot jewel tones with roses, lisianthus, and dahlias.

Gorgeous Fall Colors

Discovering the Perfect Flowers

Is there a type of flower that works beautifully but is often overlooked?

Hydrangea. It is a gorgeous flower that comes in many shades and can work as a filler as well as a main flower.

What are the keys to finding the perfect accent flowers?

[The bride] should determine if she is going for a "punch" of color of if she is looking for a soft romantic setting. If you wanted a fall wedding and choose peach as your main color, you can go in two different directions. Adding accents of deep burgundy, brown, and rust - this is a much stronger pallet than say peach, rust, and butter. Both color pallets would be considered fall, but different degrees. Both pallets can be accents with fall elements (berries, leaves, fruits) to help carry the theme through.

Do you have any tips for aisle décor?

Try to create aisle décor that you might reuse in your reception room. For example, planter boxes filled with iceberg roses can later be placed in front of the stage for added décor.

DIY? You Should Probably Skip It

Do you have any tips for brides who want to make their own bouquets?

Be certain that you know how to make a bouquet! This is actually an area I would leave to a professional. You don't want your bouquet to fall apart or die on the wedding day. There are so many intricacies to a bouquet (when to buy the flowers, how to store them properly, how to wire specific flowers, how to arrange them so your "handle" isn't to thick, etc).

IF you want to make your own, don't buy your flowers until the day before the wedding because chances are, you don't have a cooler to store them [in]. Make the bouquet the morning of the wedding. Mist with water and store in the refrigerator until just before photos.


So the best wedding flower tips and techniques include:

  • Shop early and work with a florist you trust!
  • Don't try to do it yourself.
  • There is no specific right way to work your color palette; it depends upon the feel you're going for, the location, and more.
Expert Tips and Techniques for Wedding Flowers