June 10, 2020
Today on the blog we are chatting with the beautiful Anastasia Andenmatten! If you are looking for a unique floral design, this is your gal. I love encouraging couples to think outside the box for florals, the reality is that florals make a huge difference in photos and the feel of your day. They can be such a statement piece and I find floral designers to be some of the most creative vendors on the wedding day. Ready to get some inspiration and questions answered for florals? Keep reading!
My career in flowers started with a high school summer job at my neighborhood florist in a small town outside of Philadelphia. I learned all the basics at the shop while sweeping floors, schlepping water buckets, and memorizing the names of flowers. While I originally moved to San Francisco for a job in tech, I found myself designing on the side for friends. Fast forward, and I found myself starting my own full-time floral design business. My first-ever San Francisco wedding was at Foreign Cinema for colleagues (turned friends) of mine. Since then, I haven’t looked back! I’m an open book about my small business journey and talk more about it in this blogpost. Sharing my story transparently has been a passion of mine, as I feel the industry keeps a lot of ‘getting started’ information behind closed doors. My hope is that by sharing the gritty details, I can help inspire someone else to take a small step in the direction of their dreams, regardless of what industry they’re in.
I’m always hesitant to recommend trends. Instead, I like to urge my couples to focus on designs that are thoughtful and unique to them and their day. Three areas where there’s are a lot of opportunities to get creative and have fun: small celebrations, custom installations, and ikebana-inspired designs. -Small celebrations: Elopements and intimate weddings are becoming a reality for some during these times. But they’re also economical options that can still be just as special (if not MORE). With fewer guests comes lower expenses, meaning the opportunity for floral designs that really ‘wow’ guests. -Custom installations: Floral design can (and should!) be used to create experiences for couples and their guests. I’m a sucker for custom, unexpected installations that start conversations. An epic ceremony backdrop, a suspended installation over the dance floor, a photo opp moment at cocktail hour — the options are limitless! -Ikebana: A lot of my couples are incorporating Ikebana-inspired designs into their tablescapes and I am SO here for it. Ikebana is the art of Japanese floral arranging known for emphasizing the form and balance of flowers, and is being seen more and more with contemporary, minimal wedding designs. With ikebana, you end up with super thoughtful arrangements that often make guests stop and admire.
Of course! Anything is possible. In the early stages of planning, a floral designer will consult couples to give them an idea of pricing, flower seasonality, etc. in case any expectations need to be set. This is the time to be vocal about priorities and ask questions. That being said, I recommend couples be open to asking their designer for ideas as well. Ultimately, it’s important to choose vendors that are a great fit, who can truly be partners in the planning process. If it’s a match, the vision easily comes to life. Instead of viewing vendors as vendors, view them as artists.
Having planned my own wedding somewhat recently, I recall putting a lot of thought into the budget. I think it’s important for couples to first take a step back and meditate on their wedding vision: write down what they’re dreaming of, what they want their guests to feel as they enter the ceremony, when they sit down to dinner. This will help identify what’s most important and exciting, and what they can skip. While it would be nice to have ALL THE THINGS, your floral designer can recommend areas to save versus splurge. My #1 recommendation is always to go for impact: look no further than floral installations. While installations are pricier overall, they have the power to transform a room (not to mention the photo opp potentials!). Plus: installations can often serve multiple functions, giving couples a big ‘bang for your buck’. This is the type of design that people notice, and a great way to focus the budget.
1- Budget! The floral budget is often overlooked, despite being a priority for couples. Setting priorities and expectations within the budget upfront will save time and headaches when searching for the perfect floral designer. (see more below)
2- Relying on Pinterest! It’s really easy to go down a Pinterest rabbit hole, and feel influenced by trends and what everyone else’s wedding looks like. I urge my couples to go beyond Pinterest and wedding planning sites to find inspiration, whether that be from nature, architecture, food/drink, travels, fashion, art, or music. I recommend creating a vision board (I talk about this concept a lot on my blog and IG!) using a *limited* number of images that truly speak to you. Keeping this board simple prevents the process from getting overwhelmed.
This is always daunting! On average, florals account for 10% of the overall wedding budget. Of course, there are many different variables that can have a big impact on the budget, including the number of guests, location, date, size of bridal party, flower selection, and quantity and types of arrangements. Once a couple knows their preliminary needs and guest count, reach out to one or two designers to get started. While many designers would be providing couples a fully custom design, they are often able to share a high-level estimate based on preliminary details, prior to scheduling a consultation or drafting a formal proposal.