In this day and age, flowers are a very important part of any wedding day. When I look back at my own parents’ wedding photographs, I notice the presence of wedding flowers, but not very often are they a major part of the whole set of images (not as they are today, anyway!).
We love to photograph every part of a wedding day, most importantly, the story of the wedding day: the steps that are taken to transform from a “regular” couple, into a married one. Nowadays, one of these steps are the the embellishments that a couple spends so much time planning for. An example of these embellishments is the floral decor. Some Portland florists are truly masters at the art of flower arrangements. Not only that, they have knowledge on which flowers are best for which time of year or style of wedding, AND which flower distributors provide the freshest and most long-lasting flowers around.
It’s important to commission floral vendors who are true professionals, and one such professional is the fabulous Alice of Floral Designs by Alicia. We here at MoscaPhoto, really love working with Alicia. She is consistently talented and always delivers some of the most beautiful bridal bouquets we have seen to date. We sat down with Alicia to ask her some questions about her business and about the wedding flower business in general. These are questions that couples are sure to ask (or should ask!) a florist when considering them for their own day.
My Portland Photographer MoscaPhoto asks: Flowers have seasons. is it possible to order out of season flowers from elsewhere? Do you suggest sticking to in-season and local flowers instead? Generally, which flowers are in season in portland during the 4 seasons of the year?
Floral Designs by Alicia Responds: There are always ways to bring in ingredients that are not in season. Many times pulling ingredients from other larger markets work, like California and New York. Or the Portland market does a decent job of pulling in ingredients from specific growers outside of the U.S. Typically the cost will be higher on the ingredients shipped internationally out of season. I suggest sticking with ingredients that are in season if couples have a strict budget. If the couple I am working with has a larger budget and/ or are not concerned about the cost, sometimes they will have no problem paying the higher costs.
Portland typically has a variety of ingredients per season depending on the blooming cycle of every month. Early Spring (Feb-April) locally are abundant in bulb flowers; Helebore, Tulips, Ranunuculus, Anemones, Daffodills. Late Spring (April-June) Ranunculus, blooming branches, lilac, Dogwood, lupine, Peonies. Summer (July-September) herbs, dahlias, hops, hydrangea, sunflowers, grasses. Fall (September-October Late Dahlias, Lots of berries, leaf branches, grasses, rose hips, season greens. Winter (Nov-Jan) typically is the limited months. Roses are available year round and abundant of winter foliage, juniper, evergreen,Snow berries, alderberries, ilex berries, Amarillas.
There are definitely a stable ingredient list that are available year round and without price changes. So definitely find a professional that knows there stuff and can offer cost effect options for planning your wedding floral decor.
My Portland Photographer MoscaPhoto asks: – What is your style? your signature? Your piece de resistance?
Floral Designs by Alicia Responds: My Style is definitely very eclectic and textured. I try to strive on unusual design styles and ingredients. Lot of times clients will come directly to me due to the unique ingredient pallet and display of my work. I feel like a fair label would be somewhere in between European and alternative.
My Portland Photographer MoscaPhoto asks: – Do you make samples for a bride to physically see? do you work closely with the bride to adjust these actual designs? OR maybe you don’t make samples, but have photos to show? How do you show a bride a design?
Floral Designs by Alicia Responds: I definitely can make samples for couples who need a actual live visual. Most of the time showing them pictures of ingredients and a sample style of a bouquet/ arrangement is enough to go off of. I try to display many different varieties of pieces in my portfolio for clients to view.
My Portland Photographer MoscaPhoto asks: – What would you advise on linens, updated decor and table settings (to compliments your flower arrangements)? Do you advise on that? Do you provide vases and candelabras and stands for rent/sale too?
Floral Designs by Alicia Responds: I definitely often help couples chose types and colors of linens that would compliment there vision. And that would not take away from the floral they are trying to display. You really do not want to wash either essential materials out. Example: Not paring a various shade of Purple arrangement with a medium purple linen. I do offer some pieces for rental. All glassware I can reuse I do not charge my clients for unless it’s returned damaged or missing. I have some arbors for rental like my handcrafted driftwood arbor.
My Portland Photographer MoscaPhoto asks: – How do you charge a bride? A flat fee? per item? Do you charge for delivery? Special orders?
Floral Designs by Alicia Responds: The way I charge my clients if based on the ingredient, size and style. I do not have flat fees or minimums for couples to meet. I do charge a delivery and set up fee that is based on the size and destination of the wedding. I service the entire state of Oregon and S.W. Washington. I do also offer out of state service as well which fall into a different category for travel. I always offer special orders:)
My Portland Photographer MoscaPhoto asks: – How about a toss-bouquet? What is your take on this and do you charge for it if you offer it?
Floral Designs by Alicia Responds: The toss bouquets seem to be fading out a bit. I would say 65% of my couples pass on this option. If the wedding total is over a certain amount I will offer this option for free. My personal take on it is I think it’s an old fashioned staple. Which I am definitely old fashioned in a sense and love the idea of throwing some flowers for some single ladies to fight over. 🙂
My Portland Photographer MoscaPhoto asks: – What are the hottest floral trends of the moment? Why do they work or not work? What’s the most innovative concept the florist has recently brought to a design project?
Floral Designs by Alicia Responds: The hottest trends I see right now is a lot of DIY. Which is great and not so at the same time. If you are a crafty person and can handle high levels of multitasking the day before your wedding then DIY flowers are for you. But too often I see couple stressed and regretting trying to put together their own floral decor. As far as color and ingredients. The color themes of green and purple, pale pastels in pink and peach bases and black and whites seem to be always popular. I would say the trends on ingredients are peonies, ranunculus, succulents and garden roses. I see a lot of re-purposing pieces in wedding this year. Reusing ceremony decor for reception or using bride and bridesmaid bouquets for centerpieces etc. Which is a great way to save costs and I highly recommend. I am a thrifty person by nature and love offering these options to couples.
My Portland Photographer MoscaPhoto asks: – What is your main bit of advice that you like to offer couples at their consultation? Is there one piece of information that you really want them to walk away with? Something that you always tell your couples when they see you for a consult? Something you think they should know for sure?
Floral Designs by Alicia Responds: The best advice I try to give couples is really research your options. If they are working with a budget always sign contract for the lowest amount possible (cause you should always be able to add on later, depending on the vendor category) and figure out what is most important to them. you don’t have to spend a small fortune to have a beautiful wedding. If photography, flowers or venue is most important splurge a little and find ways to budget on the things that you can manage or do without.
My Portland Photographer MoscaPhoto asks: – Anything else you’d like to say in this article that i may not have asked you? 🙂
Floral Designs by Alicia Responds: I feel like a wedding is the most important day of your life besides having children. A couple should work with vendors that help ease the stress and make a couples day more beautiful then they imagined. A helpful and honest vendor goes a long way. And when couples look back on their experience they will remember those vendors. With my own wedding I remember there were vendors at that could have been more helpful and less worried about the dollar amount. I strive to offer what I didn’t have at my own wedding to my clients through my services. I often find friendships blossoming from client interactions during wedding planning. And if I can walk away with meaningful experiences and friendships with clients the more satisfaction and gratitude I get out of doing what I love. I’m a passionate person and hopefully that shines through what I do.
Thanks for reading My Portland Photographer’s Wedding Talk section and we hope to have shed some ulterior light on the world of wedding flowers! Be sure to visit Floral Design by Alicia for even more eye-candy! Happy planning!
Interview by Alice of MoscaPhoto
MoscaPhoto is based in Portland, Oregon, USA and available for worldwide destinations. Disponibile per matrimoni ed altri servizi fotografici in Italia ed in Panama!