How to Plan a Floral Arrangement

Learn the factors to consider when planning wedding flowers or a centerpiece from floral designer Sarah Brysk Cohen in this Howcast video.

There are so many factors to consider when thinking about planning for the flowers for your wedding. A really important place to start is, what is the wedding venue? Are the flowers going to be an element that are outside? Are they inside? Some combination? Is perhaps your ceremony outside and your reception inside? What kind of venue is it? Is it a very traditional, grand ballroom setting?

Or is it a more rustic, outdoor setting, perhaps by a river or a lake? So, the venue, as it dictates a lot of the elements of your wedding, like your dress or your guest list, can also dictate the flowers. So, start with your venue, and also think about what is it that I really can spend on flowers? It’s sometimes an uncomfortable conversation to have with yourself, with your family, and even with your florist or other vendors, but it’s perhaps the most important conversation to be having, to be very realistic about your budget so that your expectations can be set realistically. So, when you sit down with the florist to have that conversation, be very, very straightforward – this is my budget, this is what I can spend, this is what I want to spend. And, if you can be somewhat flexible, you can allow your florist to let you know: these are the things that are in season, these are the things that I can do little tricks to give you more bang for your buck, and let them come up with some ideas for what works within your price point.

That’s very, very important. And also, in terms of the style of your wedding. If you have a venue that’s a traditional ballroom, and you come to your florist with ideas using found objects, and containers, and funky wooden and things like that, and you want to put those ideas to work inside a very traditional setting, your florist might say to you, "look, we need to make a different choice here. And you need to decide to have a line through design style for your wedding that makes sense." And so, as you’re planning for your wedding, and certainly as you’re planning for your wedding flowers, think about pulling all of the ideas that you’ve been inspired by into one singular vision. And if you’re having trouble doing that, sit down and talk to your florist about it, and let them, as a designer, help you plan that out.

Venue is incredibly important, price point is very, very, important, and also picking and choosing the things that are most high-priority for you. If your bouquet is an incredibly important element of the wedding – which for many people it is, it’s in a lot of your pictures, it’s a memory that lasts forever, what did my bridal bouquet look like – spend money there. Spend money on centerpieces, because that’s a place where your guests spend a lot of time, at your wedding reception, and the majority of the time is there, and frankly, sitting at their table, enjoying their meal, socializing, right in front of that centerpiece. That’s where the majority of the time is spent, so spend the money where it’s important and where it’s important to you. And that also might be very different for you.

Perhaps you are having a very lengthy ceremony, or you feel like, this is my wedding day, the ceremony is why we’re here, so spend the money on the flowers for the ceremony. But, be very clear about what your goals are and how you want to enjoy the day, and how you envision your guests enjoying the day, and then communicate that as effectively as you can with your florist.