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        There are a few vendors during a wedding day that I (as a wedding photographer) deem so freaking important, florists hands down make the list. I collaborated with Ashleigh Dinan, from Terra Cotta Studio and Brooke Shoemaker from Wild Flowers San Diego to give you tips on hiring a wedding florist, and hopefully answer your questions in the process.

        They can turn a regular ceremony arch into a wonderland, an aisle into a magic runway, and a normal sweetheart table into a fairytale. Also, THEY GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO DO WITH YOUR HANDS IN SOME PHOTOS, carry that gorgeous eye-catching bouquet. AND of course, this translates into creating and adding to some outrageously beautiful images.

        Both Ashleigh and Brooke are weddings florists based in Southern California’s beautiful city, San Diego. Their work is so incredibly beautiful, I love the way that their bouquets look like they’re coming to life!

        Let’s get into this!!

        Image by Image by Brooke Shoemaker, Wildflower San Diego

        PICKING YOUR FAVORITE STYLE

        Like other vendors, each florist is particular as to how they approach their craft. There are several different types of styles, and every florist has a style that she/he loves more than anything else… SO they’re better at doing it than anyone else. BUT, unlike most other vendors, really great florists can and love to work in creating a variety of different styles to fit you and your day.

        HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN STYLE?

        My design style is very textural and lush with lots of movement. I love to use a lot of different types of flowers in all different shapes and sizes but still following a specific color palette. I also always try to incorporate some sort of element to provide movement throughout my arrangements, like a branch or vine, something fun and different. Although that is my personal style, I love designing in all different types of styles. Anything from light and airy to modern to abstract. I love it all!

        ASHLEY DINAN, TERRA COTTA STUDIO

        Our style is known to be lush & wild, organic & timeless. We take an intentional yet artistic approach to design where arrangements feel found, not fussed over. Expressive, emotive and unique.

        BROOKE SHOEMAKER, WILDFLOWER SAN DIEGO

        Image by Ashley Dinan, Terra Cotta Studio

        HOW DO YOU CREATE A COLOR PALETTE FOR THE WEDDING DAY?

        Usually the color palette is already chosen when I meet with couples, but if they need a little help with incorporating the color palette into the flowers I first ask them for any inspiration photos that they are drawn to and then go from there. I search through Google, Pinterest and the Mayesh Flower Library to find flowers in a specific color that will be in season at the time of the wedding. If a color palette is hard to work with because flowers aren’t available in that color naturally, like turquoise or teal for example, I will find other ways to incorporate the color on the table by using glassware or accent pieces and then choose flowers that will compliment the color palette. Theres nothing worse than dyed flowers! They are much more beautiful in their natural state.

        ASHLEY DINAN, TERRA COTTA STUDIO

        It starts with the couple and understanding their style and vibe of the celebration. Flowers tie everything together – the finishing touch, the chefs kiss that should subtly make the celebration feel just so them.

        BROOKE SHOEMAKER, WILDFLOWER SAN DIEGO

        Image by Ashley Dinan, Terra Cotta Studio

        LET’S TALK MONEY

        Talking about your budget is never comfortable BUT flowers are costly, and the work can be back breaking, but the amazing thing is that most florists I know will work with you based on your budget. Although it’s coming from me, one of the many tips on hiring a wedding florist that I can give you is, set them up on your priority list when budgeting! But, if you’re set on a certain number, they can tell you exactly what you can get for it!

        HOW WOULD YOU WORK WITH A BUDGET?

        I always try my best to create beautiful arrangements that will work with the clients style and budget. Sometimes this isn’t always possible, but I always give the client alternative suggestions that I think would look pretty while still working within their budget.

        ASHLEY DINAN, TERRA COTTA STUDIO

        Obviously the skies the limit but there is nothing wrong with small budget. No matter the size, we always talk about ways to focus those dollars in ways that result in a create a big and memorable impression.

        BROOKE SHOEMAKER, WILDFLOWER SAN DIEGO

        HOW MUCH SHOULD SOMEONE TIP A WEDDING FLORIST?

        Although tips are not required, they are always appreciated! The average tip for a wedding florist is anywhere between $50-$100. A florist puts in literal blood, sweat and tears into weddings (thorns are sharp and buckets of flowers are heavy!) and when a client shows extra gratitude and appreciation for our hard work it always makes my heart happy. 🙂

        ASHLEY DINAN, TERRA COTTA STUDIO

        I leave that to the discretion of the client! Haha – but boy do we pour everything we have into weddings so tips, reviews and kind words are always so appreciated!

        BROOKE SHOEMAKER, WILDFLOWER SAN DIEGO

        Image by Ashley Dinan, Terra Cotta Studio

        HOW DO YOU KNOW THE WEDDING FLORIST IS THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOU?

        Personally, I am very particular about who I let into my favorite parts of life! This is why I think it’s important to have a true connection with your vendors.

        I go through a more personal process with the client by having an in-person consultation (if possible!) to get to know each other and get to know their style. Then we go over inspiration pictures, ideas, quantities, budget etc. After that I create a quote working within the budget in every way possible and create a mood board with all the flowers I plan on using. I guess I’m a little old school, haha!

        ASHLEY DINAN, TERRA COTTA STUDIO

        Image by Ashley Dinan, Terra Cotta Studio (left), Image by Brooke Shoemaker, Wildflower San Diego (right)

        Tips on Hiring a Wedding Florist

        1. Look at social media pages and photos of work they have done in the past. Make sure their work is appealing to you and you like their design style. 

        2. A giveaway for me is if I notice cheap flowers being used WAY TOO OFTEN. (Baby’s Breath, Carnations, Mums, etc.) There is a time and a place for these types of flowers but if they are in most of their work, then they are probably not a quality florist.

        3. Look for florist “no, no’s”- if you see any visible mechanics (tape, wire, foam etc.) showing in their photos this is just a prime example that the florist doesn’t pay attention to detail and is unprofessional. 

        4. Make sure you vibe with your florist! You should feel comfortable with them and feel fully confident that they understand your vision and will bring your floral dreams to reality, even better than you had imagined! 

        ASHLEY DINAN, TERRA COTTA STUDIO

        I hope these tips on hiring a wedding florist really helped you narrow down your list!! Finding vendors is not an easy task, but I hope Ashley from Terra Cotta Studio and Brooke from Wildflower San Diego answered your questions. To contact these ladies please press on their names to head to their site!

        To see other vendors I highly recommend, please click the button below to take you to a blog post for LA Wedding Vendors I absolutely love.

        Fatima Elreda Photo

        Thank You for Stopping By!

        I am a professional wedding photographer based in Southern California. And I’ll go everywhere your love story takes you, whether your wedding is in Scotland, your backyard, or a venue down the street, it’s all worthwhile to me. 

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