"A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet," Shakespeare said. When you are the bride, whether you are familiar with flowers or not, selecting your bridal bouquet can often be a challenge.
I spoke with Sarah Tallman of Sarah Tallman Design in New York City to take a special look at this particular aspect for your wedding day.
How does a floral designer determine which flowers might best represent the personality of the bride?
Sarah Tallman: Florists and floral designers should exchange pictures with the bride. The pictures don’t have to be of flowers. They can be pictures of whatever the bride finds inspirational and important to her. The floral designer will also want to see the "Save the Date" reminder, the invitation, color swatches from her dress and those of the bridesmaids, pictures of the cake and as much as you can share. Flowers for a wedding are not just about what flowers you like. The designer has to consider what mood and atmosphere you are looking to create.
How much does the bride need to know about flowers before working with a floral designer?
ST: As a bride, you don't have to know anything about flowers to work well with a floral designer. If you do know about flowers, that's great. If you don't, you too will have no problems working with a floral designer.
How do you work as a floral designer for weddings?
ST: I don’t focus on what flower you like; rather I want to find out what mood, feeling and look you want to create. The flowers are a major contributor to making that happen. I go to the venue and I’m onsite personally to create the look and feel that day. When floral designers get very big, they sometimes don’t go to the venue or get as involved.
What is the difference between a floral designer like you and a florist?
ST: A florist can mean a "stand-alone shop." A lot of flower people call themselves a "florist." A designer is not a "shop." Sarah uses studio space to create her arrangements. That’s why she chooses to call herself a designer. The term "florist" is not descriptive enough for what Sarah really does. She focuses on the atmosphere to provide the right floral arrangements and she is there onsite to make sure the flowers are done correctly on the big day.
What should a new bride ask when interviewing people to work with the flowers for their upcoming wedding?
ST: Look at any floral designer’s work to see if his or her style appeals to you. Their style and work should speak for itself. See if you like what they have done for others. You want to get a good sense that the vendor knows who you are, not just what color rose you want. Flowers are an expression of who you are. When people come to your wedding, you want them to look at the flowers and get the feeling that of course those are the kind of flowers you would have. You don't want your flowers to be a disconnect for your guests, especially the ones who know you well. Keep reading...
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