As actor Steve Martin hilariously discovered in 1991’s the Father of the Bride, there’s more to a wedding than two rings, a dress and a pair of vows. A lot more.
There’s the food – chicken or fish? The music – 80s cover band or DJ? And, of course, the attire.
Oh, and the flowers, too.
From chrysanthemums and calendula to alstroemeria and poinsettias – there’s a lot to choose from.
That’s where Stacie Smith comes in. She’s the owner of Flowers North, a flower and cake shop – located on the bottom floor of the YK Centre – that specializes in weddings and other events.
Ask Smith, and she’ll tell you the right flower arrangement is just as important as the right slow song in setting the mood for a couple’s special day.
So, what do would-be bride and grooms need to know before settling on a flower arrangement that’s perfect for them – and their big day?
Smith, who offers clients a “stress-free” experience, says it’s all about having a vision when you come into the shop – but also keeping “open mind.”
“Come in with a few ideas, because nothing is certain,” said Smith, adding couples should keep in mind that not all flowers won’t be in season at the time they’re getting married.
But from April to June, she says, “there’s very few flowers that you can’t get.”
There’s three questions Smith asks all clients next:
What are the colours for your wedding? Most couples have a wedding colour scheme picked out before tackling flowers. “Then we can usually match the tone and hues,” said Smith.
When is your wedding? The date of the occasion plays a big role in flower decorating. “Is it in the fall, winter, spring? That can really determine what kind of flowers we can get in.” Peonies, for example, only stick around for about three months in the summer.
What’s your budget? “It’s all about budgeting.” Smith says she’ll nail down a couple’s minimum and maximum budget and work from there. Price all comes down to preference, says Smith. Clients can opt for something modest and minimalist or splurge on the “ostentatious” and lavish, from simple bouquets to elaborate centrepieces.
“You have some couples who are very simple, so it’s a matter of maybe two Calla Lilies in a tall vase. Some couples want seeded eucalyptus and they want high-end garden roses, they want lamb’s ear, they want lavender. It varies.”
From there, Smith takes photos and prepares mock-ups leading up to the wedding day, where she’ll come and decorate and organize the arrangements herself.
“All quotes are different because each flower is different.” Base prices for any bridal bouquet is $100. Boutineers are $20. “If they have 30 tables, want garland, want an archway with greens on that, you’re looking upwards of $2,000.”
The Dos and Dont’s
Smith, a florist for six years, knows a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t:
Hygrendas: The “gorgeous” yet thirsty flower is great for centrepieces at weddings, but not so great for bouquets. They need constant watering, and will droop in certain weather conditions.
If you’re looking for long-term, Gerber daisies have an “amazing” shelf-life, says Smith. So, too, do roses – despite popular misconceptions, she said. Roses look great in bouquets, too, she said.
Which flowers are ‘in’ right now?
Wedding venue and attire trends are constantly evolving – and in the wedding flower game, it’s no different. According to Smith, the ‘in-style’ wedding flower right now, which carried over from last season, isn’t a flower at all. “The past season was all about the greens and about the fillers (for bouquets and centrepieces). Seeded eucalyptus is one of the top items people request in their bouquets,” said Smith. “It’s more about the aesthetic than smell.”
Smith said the popularity of greens speaks to a trend of couples’ opting more more “rustic” weddings.
Most popular flowers
Roses and lilies take the number one spot, respectively, year-round. From May to the beginning of July, peonies are all the rage, said Smith.
Winter weddings are a thing, too
Just last winter, Smith decorated for a destination wedding for one Toronto couple at the Snow Castle. The Dendrobium orchid bouquet Smith prepared froze, of course, but made for a great photo-op, she said.
Smith, who juggles her florist role and job as full-time mom as a newly elected councillor, says she gets “less sleep now,” but bringing clients’ visions to life keeps her going.
“It’s totally rewarding to be like I helped make that moment magical. When you actually put it all together – there’s no words for it.
Alternative flower options in town:
Store: Rebecca’s Flowers, Too
Address: 100 Borden Dr #19
Store: Let Me Knot
Address: 5112 52 St., Suite 200