If you’ve watched any number of rom-coms with wedding themes, you’ll know that disasters involving flowers are pretty much requisite plot points: The bride’s bouquet is the wrong shade of white, the flowers are wilted, or the centrepieces simply don’t show up. Inevitably, the day is saved by a free spirit who crafts a bouquet from blossoms plucked from the garden, or a helicopter that arrives in the nick of time to deliver the most exquisite flower arrangements.
Although floral disasters requiring helicopter assists tend not to be the norm, it’s also true that most of us don’t know much about flowers, let alone how to select the perfect bouquet beyond the basics — size, shape or colour.
Samantha Lin owns Cerise Floral Studio in Edmonton and Flowers in the Park in Sherwood Park. Most brides who come into her stores know the styles they want, but they are often unaware that factors like season affect the quality and availability of flowers. Tulips and peonies are popular choices for bouquets, and work well for spring weddings, but they need to be flown in for late summer events.
“Bringing in flowers from Europe or South America, there can be a lot of waste,” Lin explains. “Travel is hard on flowers. If we bring in 20 stems, it’s possible only five are still good. That waste increases the cost.”
That’s why Lin recommends thinking local, being flexible and keeping timing in mind when planning floral designs.
Margarita Barnas, owner of Flower Affairs, suggests that life-like artificial flowers can be used to augment bouquets in the event that issues arise in the supply chain. When the seasons change, or natural disasters stall shipments, they can be integrated with fresh flowers to achieve the exact look and style the bride envisions, despite obstacles.
The bouquets and flower arrangements that adorn wedding parties today have come a long way since the Ancient Romans established them as staple bridal accessories.
“We have product that is durable and practical and no one knows they are not real,” explains Barnas. She recently created arrangements for a movie being shot in Calgary. “Real flowers wouldn’t work because they wouldn’t endure for multiple takes, but I was able to create arrangements that looked identical to fresh flowers. A bride who is planning a destination wedding can order her bouquet, pack it carefully in her suitcase, and it’s still perfect for her beach wedding.
“With creativity and imagination, a floral designer can help a bride achieve her dream bouquet, even on a budget.”
This article appears in the Winter 2022 issue of Edify