Flowers 101 w/ Rountree Flowers

As you start to move through your “wedding checklist”, a big and exciting step is contracting with your florist.  For many brides who aren’t working with a planner or a designer, this can also be a little bit daunting.  Since most people don’t know anything about flowers beyond what they might carry in their local deli, it sometimes can come with a lot of anxiety as they may have Diamond Dreams and Rhinestone realities (I didn’t make that up, but it’s cute isn’t it?)

I thought I would turn to the lovely Jessie Weidinger of Rountree Flowers for some tips on where to start and what to keep in mind as you decide to hire a florist. Rountree Flowers creates beautiful customized floral designs and decor for private events large and small. Located in Manhattan, Rountree Flowers collaborates with Luxury retail brands as well as corporate clients. Rountree Flowers’ bridal work has been featured in Elegant Bride and BRIDES Magazine as well as on The Knot, and you may have seen her work on some blogs as well.   Below is a pic from her recent spread in the latest issues of Brides.

XG:  What should brides think about when they begin to contact a florist/ What should they know?

JW: Its important to stay flexible I’d encourage brides to fall in love with designs they see in magazines, but a bride must be open to the alchemy that comes from meeting the right florist who will then adapt their wishes to the venue, the bride’s budget and the flowers of the season. Flexibility with regard to budget is important while the bride learns the value of each item, and which designs will give her the biggest impact in the space they’ve chosen.

XG: Is it harder or easier to be given a bottom line from a bride?  What can you tell a couple who doesn’t really know what flowers will cost and is just starting to shop around?

JW: Bottom lines cannot be set without talking to some florists first. It’s not practical to slice up a budget into parts and expect the portion allotted to décor to pay for the design the couple wants, and for appropriate coverage in the venue they’ve chosen. My preference is for couples to decide who among their florists they connect with, who understands them the best, and then work together on a number that suits the couples needs with regard to design and dollars.

XG: What trend are you excited about?

JW: I’m excited about bright contrasting color palettes – it creates a real party vibe.  I’m not sure I’ll ever get tired of “rustic” but each bride and her designer should hone in on how that’s going to play out in an original way, and in a way that’s appropriate for the venue.

XG: What trend are you tired of?

JW: The term “vintage” has been overused.

XG: I often hear brides say that they are “shocked” by the price of flowers, and it’s hard to explain to them how much more work goes into flowers for an event or wedding than into deli flowers. Can you tell us about the process you have leading up to a wedding event?

JW: When people hear about what I do for a living they often swoon about how amazing it must be to “be surrounded by beauty all day”. What they don’t realize is that there’s just beauty as there is budgeting, shopping (before writing the proposal, and for the event itself), coordinating drivers, unpacking cardboard boxes, cleaning glassware with soap and water, filling and emptying heavy buckets of water, broken glass, cut fingers and dry skin. Not to mention the unpacking and conditioning of sometimes thousands of stems of flowers for one event. The stem of each bloom is cut in a certain way (depending on the flower) put in water of a certain temperature, kept in or out of the fridge in order to reach it’s best before it’s cut (again) to be made into an arrangement. Packing up dozens of centerpieces, containers, candles, props and hardware sullies is part of the frenzy on the day of the wedding, and when we arrive at the venue we have to make sure that every delicate item is still in perfect condition.Before the production even begins, I spend a lot of time writing proposals and making revisions to adapt to my clients changing needs. This is a left AND right brain process, and is unique to me as an individual. The price of flowers may appear high to someone who doesn’t realize the value of florists’ knowledge of their unique material, their planning skills, their creative sensibility and the sheer volume of specific physical labor in the days and hours leading up to when the bride and groom walk down the aisle. Those who value their florist’s role in their wedding are those who value the magical transformation of space by the natural elements, the powerful details of design and the orchestration of color and candle light.

4 thoughts on “Flowers 101 w/ Rountree Flowers

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