Rochester Wedding Flowers

Your wedding flowers should exemplify your wedding style. What is more beautiful or more romantic than flowers?

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Rochester Wedding Vendors

Rochester Wedding Flowers

Your wedding flowers should exemplify your wedding style.
What is more beautiful or more romantic than flowers?

Fresh or Silk Flowers

Both silk and fresh flowers are beautiful and popular, and are available for any budget. Keep the season of your wedding in mind when opting for fresh flowers. Seasonal flowers will be more readily available and less expensive than those out of season. Silk flowers are also popular because they come in every style and color. This makes matching any color very simple. Silk flowers also keep for a very long time after your wedding. Dried flowers can also be considered, but may be too fragile to carry, especially for children. You may also wish to combine fresh and silk flowers to create a very unique effect.

Tips on Choosing Flowers

  • The flowers you choose should compliment the style of your wedding and the colors of the attendants’ gowns.
  • Consider how all the colors of the flowers you choose will work together. Warm colors will attract attention. Cool colors will stay more in the background. Adding an accent color will bring more attention to your flowers. But how much accent color should you add? Keep all of these in mind when selecting your colors.
  • What light will there be? Will you be out in bright sunlight, or inside in candlelight? What type of impression do you want the flowers to make? A bold statement might include red, purple, and yellow flowers. A more muted arrangement might be pale blue, yellow, and pink flowers.
  • You may want to select flowers that have a particular significance to you and your fiance, or that have a symbolic meaning. See the article, Floral Significance, elsewhere in this issue.
  • Stephanotis is a white, trumpet-shaped flower. Use it in your arrangements — traditionally it brings good luck to the bride!
  • Look through the bridal magazines or books on flowers. Have some idea before you even begin to look for florists about different aspects; such as colors, how simple or elaborate the arrangements should be, flowers you absolutely have to have, or flowers you absolutely hate.
  • If you know your wedding day will be very long and warm, you might want to ask your florist about flowers that will last longer, such as roses or carnations. Or, you may wish to opt for silk flowers.
  • Check with everyone who will be getting flowers to see if they are allergic to any particular flower

Tips for Beautiful Wedding Arrangements

  • Leave the floral arranging to a professional. Don’t have a friend do the arrangements.
  • Your flowers should compliment the season, your gown, your colors, the church, and the reception site.
  • Set a budget, but be flexible. Sometimes a few extra dollars can make a tremendous difference.
  • If a certain flower is of significance to you, use it in all your wedding arrangements!
  • If you are not sure about how particular flowers will look, ask the florist to show you some samples.
  • When choosing your bouquet, keep your size and figure in mind. A very large bouquet will make a small woman look even smaller. A tall woman should have her flowers proportionate to her size. The right bouquet can also hide or accentuate your waist.

Be Prepared

When you meet with a florist, bring the following items to help make your arrangements as perfect as possible.

  • Photos of the bride’s and attendants’ gowns.
  • Color swatches of the fabric. (The florist may ask you to leave these.)
  • Photos or drawings of bouquet styles that you like.
  • Size of the ceremony site, photo if possible.
  • Description of the size and number of tables at the reception, photo of the site if possible.
  • Number of corsages or boutonnieres needed, names of recipients.
  • Dates, times, and locations that you want flowers delivered. (Remember, if photos are going to be taken at the bride’s home before the ceremony, you may want the women’s flowers delivered there.)
  • Your budget.

Make An Appointment

Making an appointment with prospective florists is the best way to insure that you will both have lots of time to discuss what you are looking for.

Choosing your Rochester area Florist

Begin looking for a florist from twelve to nine months before your wedding date, or as soon as you have decided on the style and colors of your gowns. Good florists may only accept a certain number of weddings on a given day, and may book up early. Ask friends and family for their recommendations.
Know your own particular needs. Do you have very definite ideas, or will you like anything that looks good with your colors and styles? Let the florists know how much you want to decide, and how much you leave to their good taste. Visit at least four different florists who specialize in weddings. An experienced florist should be able to design flowers to suit both your budget and the style you wish. The florist should provide all services including ordering, arranging, and delivering your flowers. The florist should be able to provide you with color photographs of different wedding arrangements. This will give you an idea of the florist’s style of arrangements. Make sure that you like their style. If you like very simple flowers, and all the photographs are of very elaborate arrangements, you may not be happy with this particular florist.
Ask what the cost of different flowers and sizes of arrangements will be. If the florist cannot give you an exact price, because the cost of flowers might change, at least get a good rough estimate, in writing if possible. Ask the florist if he or she is familiar with your ceremony or reception site, and ask for any suggestions they may have about color, or number of arrangements for those locations. Determine if the florist will consult you with every decision, or will simply show up at your wedding with flowers. Choose the florist who will suit your personality the best. Your flowers can be considered a work of art, and there must be an understanding between you and the florist as to how they will look. While at the shop, take a look around. Do all the flowers on display appear healthy and well arranged? Is the shop well cared for? Busy? The shop decor will reflect the taste of the owner.

Floral Styles

The style of your flowers should enhance the overall style of your wedding. Simple, elaborate, Victorian or sophisticated, the flowers you choose will be a big factor in creating the mood.
Formal: The bride and groom have white flowers, usually accented with colored ribbons. The bride’s bouquet is the largest and most elaborate in the wedding party. The bride’s attendants all carry the same type of bouquet and while they may be mostly white, they can also be colored to reflect the wedding’s colors. Flowers decorate the ceremony and reception sites. All flowers should follow a one- or two-color scheme.
Semi-formal: The flowers are more loosely arranged, a hand-tied bouquet or a basket of flowers. These bouquets are more colorful than for a formal wedding. Attendant’s flowers need not match, but they should be compatible.
Informal: The flowers should be smaller and less prominent. A single rose, or a small bouquet would be carried by the bride. She may only have one attendant, who wears a small corsage.

Here is a quick list of the more common floral terms.

Biedermeier: A small, tight nosegay made of circles of different colored blooms. Each circle has the same type and color of blossom.
Boa: Blossoms and greenery wired to be worn around the shoulders, like a shawl.
Boutonniere: Men’s flowers; either a single flower or a cluster of small blooms. Designed to be pinned to the lapel.
Bouquet: Classic for brides and her attendants. A cluster of blossoms is either tied together or arranged in a plastic bouquet holder which holds water to maintain the freshness of the flowers. There are many different sizes and shapes.
Cascade: This type of bouquet has blooms and greenery (ivy) spilling down from a bouquet holder.
Composite: This is when individual petals of a flower are glued or wired together to create a larger, more spectacular single bloom.
Corsage: One large bloom, or several small blooms, designed to be pinned to the bodice, or waist, or with a strap to be worn on the wrist.
Nosegay: A round of flowers in a bouquet holder or tied with a ribbon. A posy is a small nosegay.
Pomander: A small globe, covered with small blossoms and suspended from a satin ribbon. This is very easy for a small child to carry.
Tussie Mussie: A bouquet of flowers which are gathered, then the stems are cut to the same length. May be held in a silver cone-shaped tussie mussie holder. These arrangements can be made of dried flowers or with a lace hankie as a holder.
Wired: Each bloom in the arrangement has a wire through its stem so that it can be decoratively arranged.

Who Gets Flowers

Bridal bouquet: Most popular is the cascade bouquet. There is also a round bouquet, a single flower, or a spray of long-stemmed flowers held across the arm. The most popular color is white, sometimes with accents of color to match the attendants’ bouquets.

Bridal headdress, wreath: Many brides wear either wreaths of flowers, or a garland as a headdress. Also, many opt for trailing branches, which trail across their face.

Throw-away bouquet: This can either be a detachable section of the bouquet the bride has carried all day, or a small bouquet especially for throwing. Many brides choose this so that they may keep their own bridal bouquet.

Female attendants: All female attendants; maid or matron of honor, bridesmaids, and flower girls carry flowers and may also wear some in their hair. Their flowers should be complimentary to the bride’s (but not the same), and to their gowns’ color. The bouquet should be smaller and differently shaped than the bride’s. The honor attendant may have a bouquet that is a little larger or otherwise different than the other attendants’.

Flower girl: She may either carry a basket of petals to toss, or a miniature bouquet. Check with your ceremony site about any restrictions on a flower girl scattering petals. Whatever you choose for her, it should be easy for her to carry.

Mothers: They wear a corsage to match or compliment their dresses, or the colors of the wedding. The corsages can be worn at the bodice, waist or wrist.

Groom: He wears a boutonniere. This should complement the bride’s bouquet, perhaps with the same type of flowers as hers. His is usually a little different from the other men’s flowers. You may consider using a cluster of flowers for his boutonniere, and single flowers for the rest of the men.

Male attendants: All male attendants; best man, groomsmen, ushers, and ring bearers wear boutonnieres. These may be white or may compliment the colors of the wedding. The best man’s may be slightly different from the other men’s.

Fathers: They wear boutonnieres like the male attendants.

Grandparents, godparents, other special family members: It may be appropriate to provide the ladies with simple corsages, and the men with boutonnieres. In general, any person who is considered a part of the wedding party should receive some flowers.

Where Flowers Are Placed

Usually there are flowers every place that guests will be during your wedding day. This includes the ceremony site, the reception site, and any other place that guests may be going, such as if they are invited to a pre-reception party between the wedding and the reception.
Ceremony site: Check with your celebrant about any restrictions on flowers at the ceremony site when you make the arrangements for your ceremony. You probably want at least one arrangement for each side of the altar. A trellis or arch of flowers may also be used at the altar. You may chose to have flowers or ribbons attached to the seats along the aisle you will walk down. An arrangement may also be placed at the entrance to the church. A bouquet in each windowsill will also set a tone for your wedding.
When choosing flowers for the wedding site, they should be rather showy. It can be dark in the church, so make sure your flowers will stand out.
Reception site: Plan on having centerpieces on at least the head table, on tables where food or drink is served, and the cake table. This will include tables where hors d’ouvres are being served, or where wine or champagne is taken from.
It is lovely to have an arrangement on every table. Just make sure that the arrangements will not interfere with the people around the table talking to each other. The flowers on the tables should be lightly scented - the aroma shouldn’t overpower the food. Also, make sure there is enough room left on the table for place settings and serving pieces. When choosing table arrangements, consider if people will be viewing them standing up, as at a buffet table, or sitting down, as at a dining table. And you may want to have someone at each table take the arrangement home, so that the flowers are not just discarded.
If you will have servers passing trays, ask that they include a small bloom on each tray.
Remember to put some flowers near the guest registry book.
If the room is larger than you will need, you may want to rent potted plants to section off the room, to make it smaller and more intimate. A nice touch is to fill the branches of the plants with small white lights, to give them a glow.
Many brides are opting for cake top floral arrangements, rather than the traditional bride and groom statues. These flowers should closely coordinate with the other flowers on the cake table.
Other occasions: All pre-wedding events should also have flowers, such as showers, your rehearsal and the dinner, and any other parties. These are traditionally supplied by the groom. You may also wish to have flowers at any other sites on your wedding day where guests will be.
Miscellaneous: It is a nice touch to order some flowers to be sent to your parents’ homes a few days after the wedding as a thank you. You may also wish to remember a deceased family member, such as a parent or grandparent, with some flowers at their grave.


The cost of your flowers will depend upon the number of arrangements, how simple or elaborate they are, the season, and the types of flowers used. Different flowers are differently priced. For example, carnations are usually readily available and inexpensive, while roses are more expensive. Flowers in season will be easier to obtain, and are less expensive.


Once you have decided on a particular Rochester area florist, you should book him or her. This will require a deposit, usually 50% of the total price. The balance may be due before your wedding date. Have all the details of your floral needs written into a contract. The contract should spell out all the details and fees exactly. All special requests should be included in this contract. The contract should include the florist’s cancellation and refund policies. Ask any questions before signing it! The contract should include: Date of the wedding, time and place of all flower deliveries (bride’s home, ceremony site, reception site), all types of flowers and their colors (the florist should retain a small swatch of the attendants’ gown fabric for color matching), amounts of each kind of flower, descriptions of all bridal party floral arrangements, style and color of ribbons in arrangements, any extras (aisle ribbons, trees, candelabra, etc.). All fees should be spelled out, even if the cost of the actual flowers is approximated. Delivery and setup costs should be included. The contract should also note the particular florist you chose, if there is more than one. All payments (deposits) and when the balance is due should be noted. If you have chosen very specific flowers, you may also need to note acceptable and unacceptable substitutes.

Money Saving Ideas

You can cut costs somewhat, without sacrificing quality or looks.

  • Use flowers that are in season, preferably locally grown. These will be the least expensive.
  • Use smaller bouquets and corsages.
  • Intersperse more greenery, ribbons, or baby’s breath in the arrangements.
  • Use the flowers from the ceremony at the reception site. Take the larger pieces to the head table. Or you can have your attendants arrange their bouquets along the front of the head table.
  • Check with your ceremony site for other weddings being held that day. You may want to ask the person being married just before or after you to use the same flowers at the ceremony site (This will only work if you are having the same colors.)
  • Consider using a single dramatic flower rather than a cluster.
  • Ask about renting potted plants, flowering plants, or trees as decorations.
  • If you must skip any flowers, cut down on those at the ceremony site. You will probably be there for a much shorter time than at the reception and your guests will be paying more attention to the two of you than your decorations at the ceremony.
  • Look into purchasing your own antique lace or ribbons at antique stores or flea markets. It will cut costs and be more distinctive.
  • Use pots of blossoming buds as centerpieces, such as tulips, amaryllis, or daffodils.
  • Select wedding and reception sites that require little in the way of decoration, or use the arrangements the sites can provide.
  • Don’t get married near any of the major “flower” holidays: Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or Easter. Flowers will be much more expensive, and the quality may suffer.

Floral Designers

These are professionals who do much more than simply arrange flowers. They may be called upon to totally redecorate a site. They are more like set designers. Their services are more specialized than florists, and also more expensive. But if you wish to create a specific mood, a floral designer may be just the person to call upon.


If your florist is delivering your flowers, make sure to provide maps to all wedding day locations. It might be a good idea to write the expected delivery times on the map, so that it can’t be missed. It might be helpful to have someone at those sites early to help the florist place the flowers.

Be Flexible

If a particular flower is suddenly not available, let the florist choose a flower that can be substituted for it. If there is a problem with your flowers, carry on as if nothing had happened. Don’t let it spoil your wedding day. Mention the problem to the florist, see if anything can be done, and if not, deal with it a day or two after the wedding. Your guests will probably never know the difference.

Preserving Your Bouquet

If you want to keep your bouquet, make sure that you order an additional throwing bouquet for the reception, and throw that one rather than your actual bouquet. You may wish to try to preserve it yourself. If so, wrap your bouquet in a brown paper bag and leave it on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Leave it for three weeks, then remove it and hang in a cool, dry room. This may or may not work, depending upon how well the flowers you have chosen dry. Ask your florist about preserving your bouquet. If they will do it, they will need your bouquet within a day or two of your ceremony. If you will be leaving right away on a honeymoon, arrange for someone to drop off your flowers.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • DO create a setting for your wedding ceremony. Artful arrangements can transform a plain room into a floral arbor.
  • DON’T overdo, especially at the reception tables. Striking arrangements may be memorable, but not if they interfere with the conversation at the tables.
  • DO carry a bouquet you are comfortable with. If the bouquet is too large or unwieldy, you may not be able to carry it gracefully.
  • DO make sure someone will be at the site(s) before the florist arrive to take charge of the flowers.
  • DO assign someone to make sure that everyone receives their flowers. The florist may not know who Aunt Mary is, and you will be too busy to help.
  • DO ask to have the flowers well misted before they are delivered so they will retain their looks.
  • DON’T use flowers that wilt easily in the heat of the summer.
  • DON’T ask a friend who is not a professional to arrange your flowers for you.
  • DO begin to decorate the ceremony site at least an hour and a half before the ceremony, if possible. It should be done well before the first guests arrive.
  • DO consider silk flowers as at least part of your arrangement if you want to retain the arrangement forever.

Questions To Ask

  • Can you show me photographs of arrangements you have previously made?
  • Can you provide me with arrangements to suit my color swatches?
  • Are you familiar with my wedding and/or reception site?
  • Will these flowers show up well in a dark church?
  • How will these flowers look in a large church (small church)? Will they stand out too much? Will they be lost?
  • Can you offer suggestions about colors, arrangements, etc.?
  • Do you have any suggestions on how I can make my wedding unique?
  • Is there a certain person who will arrange the flowers?
  • Is there a certain person who will deliver and/or set up the flowers?
  • Will all the flowers be labeled with the recipient’s name?
  • What flowers are in season on my wedding date?
  • Will the flowers I have chosen stand up to the conditions (heat, cold) of my wedding season?
  • Are silk flowers available as well as fresh?
  • Do you offer wedding packages or quantity discounts?
  • Exactly what is included in these packages?
  • What are the prices of these packages?
  • What exactly do your services include?
  • Do you provide other decorations (aisle ribbons, chuppah, etc.)?
  • Do you rent potted plants?
  • Will you pick up these items (if required) after the ceremony (reception)?
  • How much of a deposit is required?
  • When is the balance due?
  • What are your policies on cancellations, or refunds?
  • What will happen if you cannot provide the flowers I have ordered?
  • Can I make substitutions?
  • Do you deliver and set up the flowers?
  • Is there a delivery fee to the bride’s home, the church, or the reception site?
  • Can you preserve the flowers?
  • If so, is there an additional fee? How much?
  • Do you have a standard contract?



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