Jeanette Bennett, utahvalley360.com
Weddings in bloom
Utah brides have three factors to consider in flowers: style, season and — least importantly — budget.
Local florists tell brides they can have beautiful flowers on any budget.
“Flowers are so naturally beautiful, and we can make them fit any bride and situation,” says Diane Berntsen, who owns Flowers & Such with partner Barbara Harris.
While national wedding magazines and Web sites emphasize current trends, local flower shops put significance on meeting the bride’s personal needs.
FIT FOR A BRIDE
“We like to meet with the bride, and preferably a mother or mother-in-law, to get a feel for who they are, how tall they are, what they like and what they need,” Diane says. “Our ultimate goal is to tailor the flowers to the bride.”
“We feel our forte is just trimming the flowers to meet the bride,” Diane says.
For sisters Jana Lynn Kofford and Wendy Smith, owners of the Flower Affair in Orem, flowers are not just a business — it’s a passion.
“The fun thing is brides come to us with ideas, themes and colors, and then, in some cases, we educate them about flowers and we create a beautiful product together,” Jana Lynn says.
At the Flower Affair, Jana Lynn says they are always willing to meet the bride’s needs.
“We are very fussy,” Jana Lynn says. “We would never give someone something that we wouldn’t be happy with.”
Although weddings can be a high-stress time for bride and family — not to mention the groom — area florists want to make it an exciting time.
“This is a neat business because we can see how happy we’ve made someone,” Jana Lynn says.
Michele Thompson, owner of Michele Thompson Designs, loves the individuality that wedding flowers offer.
“I like to meet the bride and get to know her personality,” Michele says. “I want the flowers to be ‘her’ and not ‘me,’ and that’s why I have happy brides.”
Michele asks the brides what styles they like in clothes, for example, to get a feel for what type of person they are and which flowers would best represent them.
Siska’s Flower Garden in the Shops at Riverwoods also has a wide variety of choices and ideas, with a large variety of fresh, beautiful flowers. Siska’s wedding packages have the elegant, natural look.
TRENDS FOR 2001
Big colors this year? Eggplant, lavender and yellow.
Perhaps the biggest name in floral trends is Martha Stewart, and the Flower Affair finds that bride’s ideas match those found in Martha’s wedding magazine.
Popular bridal bouquets include flowers clustered together and tightly woven. Having the stems exposed is another popular trend.
“Brides want something that looks like what you’ve gone to the garden and pulled,” Jana Lynn says.
Brides prefer bouquets that mix flowers, color and texture, “which makes them exquisite,” Jana Lynn says.
Utah brides are going for the “less is more” theory.
Michele also finds that along with stem holds being “in,” monochromatic themes are popular, meaning one flower and one color.
Another new option alleviates that tortuous pinning of the corsage.
“I’ve been using floral magnets, which allows women to wear a nice flower without having a large pin through the fragile material,” Michele says. “I always try to do something special for the bride and her family.”
Another natural element used in flowers is fruit, particularly with floral centerpieces or on custom cakes.
LET’S MAKE A DEAL
Many wedding business owners say Utah County residents care more about price than most other markets. In fact, one woman said she could tell if the caller was from Utah County if the first question was “How much does it cost?”
But budgets are not a bad thing.
“Even if you have a large overall budget for your wedding, you still have an amount or budget for flowers,” Jana Lynn says. “And we are able to meet all sizes of budgets.”
Other florists feel the same way.
“We want to work with brides with all budgets,” Diane says. “Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have nice flowers.”
One suggestion florists have for budget brides is daisies, and they come in all different colors.
“You also don’t have to have an abundance of flowers to make them beautiful,” Jana Lynn says.
The pricing for flowers, of course, varies widely. The Flower Affair’s wedding flowers average around $500 and go up to $1,500 or more, depending on the amount and quality of the flowers.
Michele’s floral designs start at $300 and go up to $3,000 or more. Bridal bouquets, she says, don’t go much under $90, and often go up to $200. Boutineurs range from $7 to $12, and corsages from $12 to $15. Therefore, budgets for flowers reflect the number of people in the wedding party.
TIPS FOR BRIDES
One tip area florists give to is to think of the season. For fall nuptials, flowers are often dark and have intense color. Christmas weddings often include colors of the season — black, red and green.
“If you are so set on certain flowers, then plan your wedding around that time of year,” Michele says.
Not all flowers and colors are available year-round, and brides should educate themselves on their options around their wedding date.
“Perhaps the best thing to tell the florist is to find the most beautiful flowers available in the shop at the time that coordinate with the wedding colors,” Michele says.
In line with other Utah County wedding services, florists usually get three months or less notice for a wedding. Although the local florists have been known to create beautiful wedding flowers within three weeks, this isn’t the ideal. Tip: Plan early.