Wedding Flowers

Q: After our wedding, what can we do with all the flowers from the ceremony and reception? I can’t bear the thought of just throwing them out!

One thing I suggest is to donate the centerpieces and arrangements to a senior center, The Pioneer Home or a church. Another idea, and most popular, would be giving them away to key family members, the bridal party or guests who had a part in the wedding preparations. I find that most people are very appreciative of the thoughtful gesture of receiving an unexpected bouquet of beautiful flowers.

Q: What’s your best advice for brides on a tight budget? Any tips for keeping our wedding flowers budget friendly?

There are many creative ways to get the “look” and “feel” of the lavish arrangements and bouquets found online and in magazines. For example, a flower such as the peony has become increasingly popular, however, a beautiful garden rose has the same “look” and is half the price. Another example is to use the bridal party bouquets as centerpieces for the head table at the reception. Most importantly, find a florist that is willing to work within your budget and be open minded to more economical substitutions. Planning a wedding can be tedious, so, remember above all else… be flexible, relax and HAVE FUN!

— Louise Davis, owner of Flowers by Louise,

Q: What’s the latest trend for bouquets?

I have noticed a lot of texture being incorporated into bouquets lately. While blushes and whites and wildflower arrangements continue to be trendy, so are larger, chunky flowers combined with elements such as burlap roses, large leafy clusters and softer flowing pieces.

Q: How much of my wedding budget should I plan on spending on my wedding flowers?

There are flowers for every budget. Try to decide what elements are priorities for you, and work out the smaller pieces with what is left. If you would like extravagant arrangements at your ceremony AND your reception, consider moving the pieces to the reception after your ceremony is over. You can also double your bridesmaids’ bouquets as decoration for your head table. You CAN have it all.

Q: Any suggestions for ways to preserve the bridal bouquet?

You can dry your bouquet, at home, using sand, borax or silica gel. You can also press a few petals in books or place them in a shadow box. To keep colors vibrant, you will need to dry them as quickly as you can. Look online for detailed instructions.

— Cory Jacobson, owner of AK Bouquet & Event Design,

Q: How does a couple convey their vision to a wedding florist?

The new way to completely share a vision comes from what we all learned in elementary school: Show and Tell. Sharing photos, copies of invitations and fabric textures is the best way to ensure a bride's vision is properly expressed. With so many ideas coming from sources online such as Pinterest, nearly all consultations include photo sharing on phones and ipads.

Q: What are some ways to personalize a bridal bouquet to make it more meaningful?

Because so many brides see the same things repeated through social media and online sites, we recommend getting creative through personal touches. An outdoor theme may include a love for beach combing with seashells, driftwood or fishing lures. A vintage style may include adding a brooch, grandmother’s pearls or stem wrapping with a keepsake handkerchief. Adding indigenous floral like forget-me-nots or greenery can be a great way to bring the “Alaska grown” touch to life.

— Chanda Mines, owner of Bagoy’s Florist & Home,

Q: How does the month I’m getting married affect my flower choices?

If you are trying to get a specific type of flower in its off-season, you might not be able to get the color you want or the cost could be much greater. Some flowers have a very short season – peony being a common one – and are only available a few months a year. If you run into this problem, ask your florist if they have a suggested substitute. For example, there is a cross between peony and roses called a garden rose which is available year round.

Q: Can you share some creative ideas for wedding flowers?

I like to make flowers more fun and personal by including something unique, such as the wedding where the bride brought antlers from her ranch back home and wanted them designed into her centerpiece. Feel free to ask for something personal to be tucked in your bouquet just for you, such as a brooch or piece of jewelry passed down to you.

— Joy Hill, owner of Mylords Floral,