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The Bride's Guide Blog

Guest Blogger: Sarah Ryhanen of Saipua

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Hi, everyone! I'm so happy to be guest blogging here on the Bride's Guide! You may know me from my work at Saipua, the Brooklyn flower shop I co-own, and I thought I'd let you in on a little bit of the process that goes into creating a truly distinctive floral event. Statistically speaking, most of you have never planned a wedding before. Never thought about ordering 20 lavish centerpieces delivered to a venue of your choosing. Never considered a wide array of ribbons to tie around a perfectly tailored bouquet of flowers to match a dress that may have cost twice your weekly paycheck.

So when the studio phone rings and I hear a hesitant bride on the other end scrambling to come up with even the right questions to ask, my heart warms a little. I stop her in her tracks to sing "Congratulaaaations!" and guide her through the annals of wedding floristry. Here, I've outlined a general overview.

1. Find a florist whose work you like. Obviously we're spoiled by our selection in New York City, but there are so many amazing florists out there, even in smaller towns. Selecting a florist whose style aligns with the general aesthetic you're shooting for will save you time and effort in the long run. A designer who tends to make flowers with a sharp, contemporary edge won't want to make English garden-style centerpieces, and ultimately won't make them with as much verve and gusto.

2. Look at lots of visuals together. As a designer, I love to see images of flowers (and anything pretty) that inspires a bride. The more tear sheets, ripped up pages, and printouts the better. Even seemingly random images help us get a feel for the event. The shoes you bought before you even found the dress? I want to see! All these things help us to conceptualize the mood and look of the party. So if you have them, bring images to the initial consultation.

3. The initial consultation (ideally 6 months prior to your date) is usually a casual meeting where you will chat about what types of flowers you like, the venue, the size of your wedding and bridal party, etc. I like to know what flowers you love! Dahlias? Snapdragons? Wildflowers? Round flowers? Lots of my clients don't know many flower names, and that's fine. We look through lots of images in my portfolio and talk about color and shape more than we talk about specific flowers. Specific flower lists are created later, if ever. I also like to know what flowers a bride is adverse to, so we can be sure to avoid certain stems.

4. After a first meeting, I review my notes and put together an estimate or "bid." Some florists may have package deals (everything included for, say, $7,000) but we itemize everything individually. I think this helps brides easily see the breakdown of costs. Generally florists will require a non refundable deposit to hold your date.

I hope this helps you find the perfect florist for you! What kinds of flowers are you incorporating on your big day?

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