May 4, 2009

You're the one that I want

In early March, before flying off for his tour, MM and I went to check out a little country inn near our city. It turned out to be beautiful, and while not perfect (what venue is?) we had high hopes for it, based on what the proprietor told us. It seemed like all that was left was for us to get the contract, confirm that the pricing and terms matched what we'd been told, and voila! the search would be over.

It was the one we wanted. Or so we thought. MM flew away thinking it was all over but for the ink.

It was not to be.

After a long and frustrating wait, in which Susan followed up several times, the prices and contract landed on her desk and whoa! it turns out that the prices quoted on that visit didn't begin to truly approach the reality. Despite some forthright and honest attempts to negotiate, the gap between what we are willing to pay and what they expected to get paid could not be bridged. Thus, no matter how beautiful, that venue was not the one for us.

So now we are back to the drawing board. Same three issues as before exist. There are three bigs ones:
... our wedding size
... the kind of sophistication and intimacy we want
... cost

Our seemingly healthy budget is not really up for negotiation. We want something that feels beautiful, sophisticated and polished, yet not cavernous or impersonal. And we are still facing the issue that the Ontario venue market doesn't think that people invite 30-45 people to weddings.

I'm trying to keep an open mind and realistic expectations though, along with a much shortened list relative to last fall. The biggest problem right now is my time. Between my thesis crunch time and my upcoming vacation (going to spend three weeks with MM in Europe in June whoohoo!), I don't know how or where I'll find the time to be jetting all over Eastern Ontario looking at places.

Wedding flowers 101- First lesson: The bridal bouquet

Jessica from Periwinkle here- Yet another bridal appointment began with the bride to be uttering the words “I don’t have any idea about flowers for my wedding…” This happens often, and has spurred me to this- the Periwinkle guide to what you as a bride need to think about when thinking about your wedding flowers in order to get the perfect mix for you.

First up, let’s do as we at Periwinkle do in our wedding consultations and start from the top with the bride herself. The very first thing we as a florist want to know is what the dress looks like. This always gets the bride talking, which is great and we usually get way more detail than we need. Essentially, what matters is the colour, the style and if there is any ornamentation. So let’s tackle these one by one.

The colour:

Very seldom do we get brides going with an actual colour over a shade of white, but when they do it opens up a world of possibilities for the bouquet. But neutral still reigns for the bridal gown, and so what we need to know is are we talking true white, natural white, off white, ivory, cream….you get my drift here. Because the dress is the background for the bouquet, the flowers need to compliment it while actually showing up in front of it, so if it is a true white and you have your heart set on only the purest white flowers, we will recommend having a greenery collar at least, probably mixing some greenery into the posy itself. This is because if you don’t, all your photos will show you holding basically nothing in your hands as the white flowers will be indistinguishable from the white of your dress. Choosing an off white heading into the creamy tones means we will try to avoid using too much pure white in your bouquet, as this can often make the colour of the dress seem “dirty” or “muddy” against the pureness of the flower colour.

The cut:

Again, we get a lot of detail about this, but what we want to find out is how full the gown is and if it is following a particular era in styling. For example a gown with a full skirt and sleeves will need a fuller fancier bouquet, perhaps getting into a teardrop or cascade even, to balance out the visual weight of the skirt- a delicate posy of lily of the valley would be totally lost. A slender, body skimming fit lends itself more to elegant architectural bouquets, such as three stems of calla lilies left long and simply bound. If the gown has a princess feel we will know you are heading for a different look overall in the wedding than the bride that has chosen the 1930’s art deco gown.

The ornamentation:

Is there some delicate beading around the waist band? Embroidered vines all over the skirting? Your florist needs to know if the dress is calling attention to a particular area so the bouquet doesn’t take away from that- A too full posy will block that beading from view entirely, and we’d want the posy for the embroidered dress to have some echoing of the vines within it, without making it feel like the whole look is overgrown!
Ornamentation can also give some great little details that we can then pull through the rest of the wedding- One Periwinkle bride had a beautiful coloured sash around her waist- this was repeated with similar satin ribbon at the necks of the centerpiece vases and was a wonderful personalization of the event.

You chose your gown because it makes you look how you want people to see you, even if this wasn’t a conscious part of your decision process, so a good florist can glean a lot of information about what your want in flowers from hearing about your dress. Breaking down the elements of colour, cut and ornamentation is a great way to help guide you in your bridal bouquet choice, even if at first you really do feel you have “no idea ” about the flowers.

In my next installment we will tackle the bridesmaids and flower girls so stay tuned!