Making a bouquet boffo takes planning and style, says florist Michael Fritz
J. DENTON BRICKER | Contibuting Writer
When it comes to décor, flowers are the heart of a wedding. Flowers aren’t just fragrant after-thoughts — something for your niece to drop as she shuffles down the aisle. The bouquets, boutonnieres, the nosegay and other arrangements form a cohesive sense of style that helps to tell the story of your big day. Michael Fritz has been in the floral business for more than 20 years; his budding company, Flora Arts Studio, has arranged more blossoms than Mayim Bialik’s handlers. He shared his advice about tending that heart until it blooms.
Plant seeds of inspiration. Before meeting with your florist, Fritz suggests researching (magazines, Pinterest) for images that inspire you. Bring these along with you to provide a visual aid and inspire a creative discussion. And remember to be realistic; images featured in magazines are intentionally over-the-top (and more importantly, expensive), so unless you have a budget to match, expect a simplified version.
Pick a versatile flower. Similar to the camellia, the ranunculus is loved by both grooms and brides alike: Brides adore them because they are layered, lacey, delicate and girly, but being small, they also work as boutonnieres. Their multi-petals allow for them to offer beautiful detail without overpowering a lapel, as a rose can. There are 600 species of ranunculaceae, which allows for a plethora of color options, suitable with almost any palette. From April through late spring, the Dutch ranunculus is divine.
Be honest with your florist if there are flowers you dislike. It’s your wedding, after all.
Compliment/contrast with color. You don’t always have to match the color of flowers to dresses, but you should know what color your wedding party will wear. “Don’t select blooms that clash, but if they are too matchy-matchy, it becomes easy for them to disappear,” says Fritz.
Think outside the bud. Flowers are all about texture and color. Succulents have gained popularity and are a great way to also add shape to both bouquets and centerpieces. You can also have complete arrangements made solely from diverse plants. Not only do succulents provide a unique textural element, but they also offer masculinity to balance some of the frillier flowers.
Don’t forget the filler. When working with a barrage of spring-colored flowers, especially those of paler shades, remember the greenery — pastels pops nicely amid silvery or gray foliage. “Lamb’s ear and Dusty Miller are common greens that add richness and depth to arrangements,” says Fritz.
Go au naturel. Even though certain colors become trendy, make sure your flowers stay natural.
Especially popular with hydrangeas, florists have a way of tinting and painting flowers to match a custom color. When the specified color is not found in nature, they do not look authentic.
Budget your blooms. People often go into a meeting with no clear budget, Fritz says. “The thing is, we could sit there and talk about gorgeous flowers and show cut-outs from magazines but they set themselves up for disappointment if they don’t know what their budget is for flowers.” Be realistic and do your research. For a common wedding party, altar flowers and personal flowers could easily cost $1,500 to $2,000 — and that’s not even including the reception. Table centerpieces are also a big line item. “Think about how many tables you are going to have and what you would like to spend per table,” Fritz says. If needing to save dollars, do a column of floating orchids in a single cylinder instead of a traditional, fat centerpiece. Ask yourself: Are you a true minimalist or a traditional romantic?
Flower your farewell. Check with your venue on any restrictions on what is allowed to be tossed toward the bride and groom during their exit, Fritz suggests. For example, the Dallas Arboretum only allows white petals because they don’t want color staining the natural surroundings. Or be creative.
“Seize the opportunity to flip a table during the reception and create a departure display accessorized with vases, cylinders and candles, where guests pick up their petals,” he says.
Preserve your petals. The best way to preserve a bouquet is to freeze-dry it — and the cost of that will be more than the bouquet itself. Find a company you can ship it off to. Follow their recommendations and pack your bouquet in a cooler as soon as possible following the nuptials. Some bouquets, depending on what they are made of, may dry naturally but they will not maintain the same color or shape, especially hydrangeas and ranunculaceae.
Visit FloralArtsStudio.com to see Fritz’s work.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 3, 2013.