How To Pick The Perfect Flowers for Your Wedding: Tips from Sought After Society Florist, Maria Parsons


August 10, 2018 | BY Shauna Popple Williams

Lanai’s Maria Parsons, the woman behind their stunning creations, answers the all-important flora questions that every bride-to-be needs to know. Get this talented florist’s 411 here:

What is Lanai : Lanai is a lifestyle store with a distinct sense of style. A well curated selection of home goods, accessories, bath, body and beauty products with apparel sit alongside their flower shop. The Lanai cafe also serves food daily. (Lanai)

How closely linked is the bouquet to the design of a bride’s gown? What tips can you give to brides when deciding on the style and composition of the bouquet?

It definitely helps to see the gown first. I always present brides with several options based on what I think will complement the gown, t with the overall look of the flowers, and, of course, resonate with the bride. I always tell brides that the most important thing is that their bouquet should be a reflection of themselves and their wedding—your bouquet should accentuate both you and your gown, not overpower. It is really the florist’s duty to guide brides through the process, ultimately producing a bouquet that is perfectly in step with the bride, the dress, and the day.

How does one choose flowers for a church ceremony and a reception? Suggestions?

It is important that you maintain a cohesive look for the flowers, from the bridal party, to the church, and reception. I always work closely with brides to get a general feel for the type of flowers they have in mind, and at the very least some style cues and colour palette. From there, I am able to suggest specific flowers that are in season, present pegs for both the ceremony and the reception, and eventually do mock ups so the bride can ne tune long before the actual day. Recommending flowers depends greatly on the venue: delicate flowers will do better indoors for instance; if the venues are outdoors, you need to select orals that can take being exposed to heat.

Church ceremonies can be tricky. If you have very little time to install the décor, then simplicity is key. Decide on the key areas that you want to highlight and focus on those. At the altar, for instance, an elegant arrangement of orchids is a beautiful yet simple way to add both flowers and greens.

For ceremony flowers, if you will be doing photos at the venue, it’s good to have an idea of where and make sure those areas are appropriately styled. If a short ceremony, you may want to focus solely on the area where it is being officiated as the entourage and guests will be moving to the reception venue soon after the “I do’s,” making this an area where you can save.

Reception flowers are where brides can exercise the most creative options and really make their vision a reality. Staying within the overall feel of the wedding, and, of course, the budget, it is important to factor in the venue when making oral choices. Round tables call for more formal centrepieces whereas long tables are a bit more whimsical.

How can one maximise one’s budget. What are beautiful but inexpensive flowers for large receptions?

The best way to maximise a budget is to create a point of interest. With a great focal point, it not only serves as the default backdrop for photos but it can also inspire the rest of the décor. I love bringing trees indoors—either live or building trees. This inexpensive option instantly transforms indoor venues, adds warmth and life. Another way to stretch the budget is by using as much greenery as you can in the form of potted plants and foliage. For tighter budgets, sourcing locally available flowers is key. Maximise the local selection so you can increase the quantity of flowers yet still create the vision within a budget. There are always creative substitutions for flowers that may be out of your price range. Look to your local flower market for varieties that are budget-friendly and then accent with more expensive flowers. Tropical themed weddings are the most budget-friendly for flowers. Our local growers produce the most incredible selection of orchids, bromeliads, and heliconias that can be tailored to almost any colour palette.

Budget being no object, which flowers last the longest for an afternoon to evening reception?

With a “no budget” budget you can have the flowers of your dreams. It is all about how they are handled and cared for, water being the most important factor. Always making sure the flowers have adequate water is key. Keeping the flowers cool and out of direct sunlight will ensure longevity.

What can a couple do with the leftover flowers from the ceremony (and even reception)?

Couples often choose to donate the ceremony flowers to the church, another great option is to donate the flowers to a local home for the aged. I love the thought that your wedding flowers will bring joy to others. Reception flowers are often looked at as additional wedding favours for lucky guests. Always make sure you have cleared this with your florist though—if you are renting vases and they disappear, this could be an additional cost for you.

Are there certain flowers that shouldn’t be used or are considered “unlucky” for weddings?

I don’t know of any particular flowers I would not use, except for fake flowers. Not unlucky, really, but just not your best option.

What are some current key trends for bouquets, confections, and floral décor?

Bouquets are becoming less formal, smaller in size, and incorporating more greens. These looser, less structured rustic styles are for brides with a whimsical side, which I love. For floral tablescapes, I’m using a lot of miniature plants and grouped flowers, which is a very modern approach.