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Picking the right flowers

After the engagement has been announced and a date set, there are several important steps that must be taken right away to ensure the wedding day will be everything the couple hopes for.

First, it must be decided where the wedding and reception will be held; second, what style of wedding – formal or informal – they wish to have; third, the colors they wish to use; and fourth, which florist will provide the perfect flower arrangements for this very important ceremony.

Flowers are much more than mere decor. For as far back as couples have been getting married, flowers and plants of all kinds have been an integral part of the matrimonial ceremony. For centuries, the language of love has been conveyed through flowers, adding much more to that special day than mere decor. Greeks used ivy to symbolize everlasting and unbreakable love. Roman brides carried herbs, such as rosemary, to symbolize fertility as well as to ward off evil spirits that may endanger this sacred union. Orange blossoms represent happiness and fulfillment. And Marigolds were believed to have aphrodisiac qualities, especially when eaten.



Whether planning a traditional spring wedding, a modern blacktie evening ceremony, or a casual back-yard Renaissance gathering, it’s very important to find the right florist to handle all the floral arrangements. Because the bride’s family typically is responsible for the wedding arrangements, it’s important to find a florist who works well with everyone involved in the planning and who has experience in designing arrangements that reflect your personal style and preference.

Before interviewing florists, spend some time looking through bridal magazines and cutting out photographs that reflect the style of wedding desired. take color samples, or better yet, swatches, of the fabrics chosen for all the gowns and tuxedoes to be worn by the attendants. If possible, also include a swatch of fabric from bride’s gown, to ensure the white flowers in her bouquet will match the white of her gown.




Consider the time of year for the wedding. While nearly all flowers are available regardless of the season, flowers chosen out-of-season will cost a little more. By choosing flowers that are normally in stock, the florist can divert money that would go toward the cost of shipping imported flowers into additional time spent in creating more elaborate flower arrangements.

Nevada City Florist owner Bimmy Rode says her most elaborate and challenging flower arrangement was creating a floating bouquet that was nearly five feet tall in the middle of a swimming pool. “We floated candles and gardenias in the water,” Rode said, “I only had so much time to get it done and get out of there. … It was quite spectacular.”

“I do a lot of Irish and scottish weddings where the men wear kilts,” she said. “And the bride will have the pattern of the kilt in the ribbon of her bouquet and in the men’s boutonnieres.”

For a more traditional wedding, Nevada County has many century-old churches to choose from; and Foothill Flowers owner Marie Johnson has been providing floral arrangements for weddings in these historical sites for 40 years.

“Weddings can be very casual or very formal,” she said. “I’ve got one coming up where the girls and men are all wearing black.” only the bride will be in white and she will be carrying an all-white bouquet. “It will be quite elegant.”


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