A Floral Expert Tells All: 4 Tips Our Founder Learned While Planning Her Own WeddingJuly 20, 2018
At Alice’s Table, we live, breath, and sleep flowers. From showers to bachelorettes to the big day itself, we love working with brides on all aspects of their special day. So, when it came time to plan my own wedding, (I got married on Nantucket in September of 2017!) it was a completely different experience! First, you enjoy all of the excitement and anticipation, and have so many big ideas that come to mind — and then you have all of your family and friends sharing their excitement and ideas. (And drama, lots of drama, if we are being honest!) I know firsthand that sorting through next steps can be a major challenge, so here are the top tricks that worked for me as I went through the planning process!
1. Get organized on Pinterest!
This might sound silly, but it is key! Create a board called Ideas and one called Wedding. Everything you like in the world of weddings goes onto your “Ideas” board. Pin away like crazy. Even if it is not totally what you think you envision for your wedding, pin it to your ideas board. To be totally honest, I went through binges of pinning everything from welcome bags to shoes – you name it and there’s a place for it on the Ideas board!
My “Wedding” board then became the curated version of my Ideas board. I pinned the exact escort card board I want to mimic and the specific floral style I am going with for the big day. With this semi-obsessive way of organizing your pins, you don’t lose any of the images you love by deleting them as you start to curate your vision. Sometimes a decor element you may have thought was a little out there in the beginning fits into the theme perfectly!
2. Figure out your budget.
This may seem obvious, but clearly outline a budget well before you get started. You’d be surprised by how many couples wing it, and the budget is one of the trickiest parts of planning your wedding. It requires some careful family conversations and a lot of thought. Once you have the big number nailed down – the hardest part is out of the way! Now you must divide up the budget into all of the line items. Find out how much your venue and catering are going to cost and then pick your priorities from there. For me, flowers and music we’re the most important, but you might have “great champagne” on your must-haves list. Once you divide out the costs of each item in your wedding – stick to it! Vendors are so happy when you come to them and say “I have exactly X dollars to spend here”. Also, you can pick your vendors much more easily with a clearly defined budget.
3. My wedding Dropbox folder has saved my life.
Create a Dropbox folder for your wedding and share it with all key stakeholders – your husband-to-be, the MOB, your planner (if you have one), etc. This will save you so many unnecessary emails later… trust me! Dropbox folders single handedly organized my wedding (and saved me some sanity!). I didn’t have to worry about receiving emails from my mom asking for the guest list, or spend time searching for the contract I think I might have signed… but did I pay them yet? Eek!
I created a folder that has subfolders for all Contract, Guests, Decor, etc. Now everything is all in one place and everyone has access to it. It also makes it easier to delegate. So, when my mom was talking to the caterer she has images, floor plans, and more right at her fingertips, and I don’t get the panicked call while I am at work (although let’s be honest, there were a few of those).
4. Simple flowers are the way to go!
With so much to plan and keep track of, keeping your floral vision simple is a fantastic idea! It doesn’t have to mean your flowers won’t be high impact, but rather that you should think about how you can execute your vision in the most straightforward way. Of course, you can achieve a soft, elegant look with peonies, two kinds of roses, dahlias, hydrangeas, anemone, orchids and protea – but you might be able to achieve the same vibe with a simpler bouquet of gorgeous peonies and some soft greens. This allows a few star flowers to really shine, and you won’t drive yourself (and your florist) crazy trying to mix and match 10 different varieties. And peonies bring us to another important point — seasonality! In today’s world, where you can get blueberries from California during a snowstorm in Massachusetts, it’s easy to forget that your flowers are going to look best and last longest when they’re in season. Sure, you can have those peonies shipped in from overseas in January, but your mental state and wallet will thank you for choosing ranunculus for your winter wedding instead. Utilize that Pinterest board I talked about earlier to capture your vision, and then have an open, honest conversation with your florist about how to accomplish it simply, on budget, and with your specific needs and timing in mind.
The wedding planning process can be insanely crazy, but it doesn’t have to be! I found that with a little organization, some helpful tech tools, a strong vision, and some honest prioritizing, you can make your planning experience run a lot more smoothly. In fact, as I write this, I realize planning a wedding and running a business aren’t that different after all!