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colour chartWe all know that colour isn’t as simple as just pink, or orange, or blue. My childhood home was a dusty rose colour, and my husband calls it salmon all the time, and they just aren’t the same thing! I get it! Here is the bad news, while you can show us a picture with the exact shade of roses you want, or bring in ribbon/fabric swatches we cannot guarantee an exact shade for your flowers. Majority of the time we can Create the look you want, or at least get very close, but not EVERY time. I know, it can be really annoying for us (the florists) too.  Here are a few reasons why:

  1.  Flowers aren’t available in every colour. This may be a no brainer to some, but not to everyone. It takes awhile to learn which flowers are available in what colour. Or maybe it is available in the colour you want, but not the exact shade. Yes, while you can get dyed flowers, or we can enhance certain colours with spray etc… there is only so much we can do.
  2. Flowers aren’t always the same colour as the picture you found on pinterest. I love pinterest just as much as the next lady and think it is great for finding ideas, but it needs to be kept in mind that sometimes the pictures isn’t how things look in reality. Depending on the lighting in the photo or how they have modified the image… you can’t always get flowers that LOOK like the picture. They might not exist, it might just be the magic of the photo.
  3. There are a TON of different varieties of flowers out there, but our supplier may not have access to ALL of them. We can probably get something similar, but can’t always get the very exact one we want.
  4. Even if you can get the right variety, they aren’t always the same! Sahara is one of my favourite rose varieties. It smells WONDERFUL, it is a gorgeous mix of soft pink tones and beige-y tones that look perfect for that romantic look, and they open up beautifully. But, sometimes they are super pink and not very beige-y, and other times they are barely pink at all.
  5. Flower/colour availability shifts all the time. Sometimes there are tons of rich, deep purple dahlias, sometimes there are barely any and it is all magenta dahlias. Maybe the demand was just too high for something that week, or maybe the farm it usually comes from had a bad storm that damaged their crop… who knows.  We can request what we are wanting, but sometimes we just end up getting what we get because that is the luck of that week.

So, sometimes when the flowers come and they aren’t exactly what you had in mind colour wise, I swear it isn’t because we didn’t try – we only have so much control over the situation! We do try our very best to provide you with what you want. While we cannot control exactly what colour your flowers are, there are a few options to try.

  • instead of trying to get all the flowers to all be the exact shade of lavender that your bridesmaids dresses are, use a range of colour. By using a spectrum of purples, they look beautiful together, and then if the flowers aren’t the EXACT shade, it doesn’t look like you tried to match and failed, but that it all the shades complimented each other.
  • my favourite solution – introduce a new colour(s)! I think sometimes it is easy to get trapped in having two neutrals and one colour for wedding colours (ex. white, black, red or ivory, grey, coral) because it does keep things simple! Or if brides have included a few colours in their scheme, they feel like they have to try to have an equal balance of everything. Throw those rules out the window. If you want you could just introduce a punch of colour JUST in the flowers without having to try to include it in the linens, stationary, blah blah blah. You can’t get turqouise flowers (naturally) so instead of fighting it, you could just throw in a punch of fuchsia for the flowers and keep everything else in your colour scheme. You can do whatever you want!
  • If your colour is something like royal blue or emerald where we don’t have many flower options, you could stick with white flowers and just add non floral accents in your colour with things like the bouquets stem wrap, add feathers to the bouquet, ribbon collar, brooches, glittered succulents… tons of fun options!
  • Use mixed colours in your bouquet. Again, this way if things aren’t the exact shade the mixed colours will compliment instead of looking like a miss. There aren’t a TON of coral flowers, but by using a mixture of pinks, oranges with SOME coral flowers it looks wonderful!
  • another one of my fav options – let your florist pick the flowers! It is kind of our thing and we will most likely know way more flowers than you so if you know and trust your florist if you let them know the look and feel you are going for and the spectrum of colours we could totally make you something gorgeous and unique!

At the end of the day just exercise some flexibility. While we can’t guarantee colour, there is more than one way to do things and we CAN guarantee that we will do our very best to make you happy with your flowers on your very special day!

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The weather has finally warmed up and the snow is gradually starting to melt….could it be that spring might actually be on its way?! One of my favourite ways to make it feel like spring even when it is still a little on the chilly side is to have flowers in the house. Especially during this time of year, tulips are an awesome way to go, you can find them just about everywhere!! They usually run about $5-6ish for a bundle of 5 stems, but lots of the time you can snag them on sale for $3 per bundle, can you say steal of a deal?! I like to grab several bundles and have a full vase of them on our island. They aren’t a SUPER long lasting flower, typically only last about a week, but for less than $30 for a weeks work of happiness I think that is a great value!

Now typically I am very much about supporting local florists, but I have to confess I am guilty of just getting tulips at the grocery store while I am out and about getting groceries for the week. So – whether you are going to your local florist or getting them from your fav grocery store I thought I would share some tips on picking out the FRESHEST tulips and how best to take care of them so that you get to enjoy them for the full week and not just a couple days.

Here is a list of things that you will want to look for:
– feel the stems, they should feel nice and crisp, easy to snap. They should NOT feel limp and floppy. Sometimes they have curved stems, but so long as they are FIRM stems that is okay, once you cut hum and put them in water they typically straighten out within a day.
– this is a pretty basic one, but look for bundles with blooms that are still tightly closed and not already open. Sometimes I even pick up bundles that are so closed they are still green.
– you will want to look for bundles that have leaves that are a healthy shade of green and not yellow
– take a quick look at the bottom of the stems and make sure they are also healthy, not soft/moldy or anything.
-keep an eye out for broken petals and/or stems
– this is one of the BEST signs to look for (in my opinion). Look for the length of the stem between the bloom and the first leave from the top. Lots of people don’t realize tulips continue to grow once you have cut them and put them in water, so if there is a very short distance between the bloom and that first leaf they are fresh tulips, but even if there is a smaller/unopened bloom but there is a long distance between the bloom and that first leaf that bundle isn’t very fresh.

Side note – if there aren’t a ton of bundles out on display and maybe they aren’t looking the best don’t be scared to ask if they have more in the back! It isn’t unheard of for there to be more product in a back cooler that just hasn’t moved out yet, and it never hurts to ask! The worst they can do is say no.

With those tips you should be able to pick out beautiful, healthy bundle(s) of tulips. One of the things I love about them is that you can mix them with other flowers and greens, but they really don’t need anything else, you can go home with them and be guaranteed a pretty vase of flowers. Anyway, now that you have got them home, there are a few things you can do ensure they last longer.

The number one thing is to have CLEAN water. One of the things that prevents flowers from lasting very long is bacteria in the water. You will want to make sure that your vase is 100% clean (bleach if you have to) with no remnants of gross bits from the last time it was used. You will also want to have clean water, so I know there is that old wives tale about putting the penny in the water with your tulips, but I don’t recommend it! Coins get touched by a lot of hands and are typically not very clean, by throwing one in your water it is asking for bacteria growth. If your tulips came with a packet of flower food, make sure you follow the instructions on how much water there should be in ratio to the flower food. Flower food has sugars in it, so too much flower food in your water is also going to increase growth of bacteria. If they didn’t come with flower food, that is just fine! I typically just use plain ol’ tap water. You will want to make sure he water is free of ‘debri’ like broken leaves, petals etc as they will also increase bacteria growth. As the days go by, if the water begins to get cloudy you will want to take the flowers out, wash the vase again and put in fresh water. Since the tulips will have sat out of water they will need to get recut.

Okay, you have your clean vase, with clean water and you want to put your tulips in. You may want to rinse the stems a bit as they can have a decent amount of sand on them. Then you will cut them with a clean, sharp knife. Not a serrated knife, and not scissors because they won’t provided a clean cut or can even crush the stems which will prevent them from drinking. Lots of people talk about cutting your stems at an angle, which is beneficial as it increases the surface area that is able to drink up water, but it isn’t a HAVE to so don’t stress too much about it here.

Last, you will want to make sure you place the arrangement in a good environment. You will want to keep it away from vents, appliances that let off heat, and direct sun. By doing this it will prevent the flowers from getting too hot or drying out.

There ya go! Now you have the guide to picking out the freshest tulips along with tips on how to make them last. I hope you are all enjoying the sunshine as much as I have been and that you go pick up some flowers to bring spring inside too!

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming business. There are so many details to plan, decisions to make and it feels like it all needs to be done at the same time. Weddings are so customizable these days, which is great because you can do what you really want, but sometimes seems to make them more complicated because there are SO many things to decide. Should you do a regular guest book or thumbprint art with signatures, unity candle or sand ceremony, traditional cake or a table of different pie (your favourite!), fresh flowers or DIY fabric flower bouquets, and so on. Especially with all the wedding blogs and Pinterest and Facebook it feels like there is all this pressure to have the PERFECT wedding. Well I’m here to help! First of all, it will all be okay – everything will come together, you will have a beautiful day, no one will remember the one or two things that go wrong (or if they do it will at least make a funny story!) and at the end of the day you are marrying the person you are head over heels with! I have a few tips that will hopefully help with planning your wedding flowers a little easier so you might even have a little fun with it! This post is a little long, but bear with me!

1. Before you even start thinking about flowers, you should really pick out your wedding colours and also decide the style you are going for.
It is so important to know the style you are going for so you can make sure the details you plan are cohesive with your theme, starting with the colours you pick out. Champagne/ivory/gold is great for a classic, sophisticated and elegant look. Mint/blush/ivory is perfect for a cutesy vintage wedding with little personal accents. Turquoise/coral/gold is super fun for a bold, modern look. Flowers are really so flexible – you can design them in so many ways so they should compliment the overall look and feel of your wedding.
Colour tip #1- don’t be scared of colour! Lots of people seem to stick with two neutrals and one colour (grey/white/yellow, brown/ivory/green etc), but don’t be afraid to pick a few colours! Having several different colours can actually be easier than trying to make sure everything you get is the same shade of one colour.
Colour tip #2- If you are still in initial stages picking out colours check out Design Seeds. They have a ton of super cute and unique colour palettes to look through!

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Colour tip #3- The colour of the bouquets doesn’t have to be the same colour as the bridesmaids dresses. There are some colours that flowers don’t naturally come in, or have limited options, using complimentary colour(s) can sometImes be WAY prettier than just trying to match the flowers to the colour of your girls’ dresses.

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2. Start looking!
You should start looking for wedding inspiration BEFORE you meet with florists. While they are professionals and capable of suggesting ideas/styles etc to you during a consultation, there are literally endless options for flowers! Different design styles (cascades, handtieds, contemporary), so many unique products we can design with (dried pots, ornamental grasses, decorative wire), a bazillion flower options, you name it! By having a few inspiration photos it can really help give your florist an idea of the style you like and what you naturally like to use as a starting point. Also, the consultation can be really fun so if you haven’t done research beforehand sometimes brides can get inspired during the consultation and go home and want to start looking at flowers. All of a sudden find something completely different from what was discussed and it results in starting the whole process over again which is counterproductive and ends up taking more time for you as well as your florist who probably isn’t charging you anything for this time.

Where to look though!? I personally don’t really recommend buying magazines because they can really add up price wise and are often full of rings, wedding dresses, and advertisements without offering a lot for ideas. Some are better than others, but I haven’t found them to be overly inspirational. The web has a ton of options AND it is free. There are several really fantastic wedding blogs that offer overall wedding inspiration – some of my favourites are Green Wedding Shoes, Style Me Pretty, Wedding Chicks, Once Wed, Wedding Obsession (Canadian!) . Blogs are great to show how they carried their colour and style throughout their wedding and get ideas for fun details. BUT! They can be super time consuming, searching for specific colours or styles isn’t always fruitful, so you can spend a lot of time looking at pretty things without really getting anywhere. Last, but not least good ol’ google and Pinterest. These are my favs because you can be more specific in your searches to come up with what you are looking for. Also, one of my fav things about Pinterest is if you find a picture you LOVE it the connections you can find. When you find a picture you love it also shows what else has been pinned by people who pinned the original item (so often related inspirational pins) OR you can check out the board of the pin you really like to se if they had other related ideas you might like. That being said, it can be really easy to get sucked in and keep randomly clicking on stuff and all of a sudden you have been on Pinterest for like 3 hours. True story, it has happened to me. ?

3. Be smart about searching!
It can be easy to get overwhelmed when searching through Google and Pinterest by all the pictures, but there are a few things you can do to save on time.
#1- If there is a wedding blog or florist you really love, check them out on Pinterest. Lots of the time they have their boards organized neatly so you can look specifically at bouquets, or by colour. If you want to check us out on Pinterest you can find my boards HERE or Find Travis HERE. It takes just a minute or two to scroll through a board to see if any of the bouquets/centrepieces/boutonnieres catch your eye before you move only saves searching through a gazillion photos of dessert tables and backdrops to see a few bouquets. Done.
#2- This one is really huge, but simple. Search using keywords. It can be really easy to aimlessly click on pictures and end up all over the map, but by using smart keywords it can really help. Instead of just searching blue wedding, narrow it down. Use more specific shades, use descriptive words from your style (rustic, modern) and what specifically do you want to see. Instead of searching blue wedding you could search fuchsia bridesmaid bouquets and find the perfect bouquet that would compliment your navy blue bridesmaid dresses. Be specific! This will honestly go a long way.

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4. Keep your voice!
This tip isn’t just for flowers. When it comes to wedding planning, lots of the time you are getting help. Your mom, sister(s) and/or bridesmaids are often there to help. This is great! Some of them are already married so they might have some tips and tricks to make the process a little easier. However, sometimes these helpers can be really opinionated and vocal about how they think you should do things. You wedding day is for you and your spouse, you guys know what you would like and you should stick to your guns. Otherwise you might find you have planned your wedding to make someone else happy. By sticking up for yourself it should help cut out some of the random details that don’t match with your overall theme.

5. Remember inspiration is just that – inspiration.
While it is good to find some inspiration photos, don’t get lost going overboard trying to find THE perfect bouquet that makes you want to cry. Even if you find a photo of something you like the recreated design by your florist will never be EXACTLY like the picture. Every florist has a little bit of a different design style (same as an artist!) so they will always have their own spin that will be a touch different. it is also possible that the bouquet you like isn’t possible to recreate for you – perhaps that particular flower we can’t get in, or maybe it isn’t in season for your day (peonies are bad for this!), OR if your inspiration picture was created with artificial flowers there might not be a fresh flower that comes like that (ex. blue lilies). This is okay! Or maybe you find a bouquet that you just LOVE, but it isn’t in the colours you want or you don’t like one of the flowers in it. This is also okay! This is where it is important to have a florist who you trust! You should like their portfolio and enjoy working with them and trust that they are going to do a good job for you. The inspiration photos are just inspiration. At the end of the day we are going to take in your inspirations and talk with you about what you want and create wedding flowers that are completely custom for you to suit your needs.

So remember, it will all be okay – everything will come together, you will have a beautiful day, so have fun with it!

On a related note, Travis and I are going to be at With This Ring Bridal Gala on February 2nd, which is a great place to see some of the really talented local wedding vendors and get some inspiration. Grab a girlfriend and come out for the day, we will have some super pretty flowers, there are fashion shows AND you can win prizes! The tickets are now available – you can get them online here, at the Bay or at Bridal Couture Designz for just $10, or $15 if you wait to buy your ticket at the doors. Hope to see you there!

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Katrina