Pickin’ a Posey Provider

If we had to cut back on something, it’d be flowers.

Not that we don’t care about flowers. We’re getting married in a garden. In the summer. It’s already gorgeous. Plus, don’t flowers wilt and die?! They’re pretty but not permanent. Spending 10–20% of our budget on a nonessential when that money could be earmarked for photography or music? Nuts. Nuts to that, I say. The problem was, I was smitten with blooms styled by some of the area’s more expensive florists.

Determined to find a saner option, I polled friends, clients, and a few friendly looking strangers. One of the recommendations really stuck with me. This florist went above and beyond: hand-wiring dogwood blooms to branches when they weren’t in season. The bride was so pleased with the service, quality, and value…here she was two years later raving about them.

In the nights leading up to our meeting with the florist, I hunkered down with the laptop to pare down the hundreds of inspiration images. First by mood: whimsical, bold, lush, natural, and wild. Then, by my favorites. Sorting this way made it easier to spot themes in flowers or colors. Mr. P leaned over several times to check on my progress. His only comment was to limit the number of photos so the florist wouldn’t be scared away. (When setting up the appointment, the assistant did instruct me not to bring too many images.)

Here’s a sampling of favorites.


(sources: 1, 2, 34)


(sources: 1, 2, 34)


(sources: 1, 2)


(sources: 1, 2, 34)


(sources: 12)

So when the appointment arrived, I showed up with not only my laptop but my three-inch binder of imagery—just in case. Barb, the owner, walked us to a small table in the back of the work area. We started with general questions: season, formality, indoor/outdoor, etc. She studied the bridesmaids’ dress (in the approximate yellow) and my gown (Mr. P turned his head). When she asked to see our inspiration photos, I sheepishly produced my laptop and apologized for being so type A. Thankfully, Barb wanted to see lots of photos and didn’t know why her assistant insisted upon less. A sigh of relief! As I opened the folders, explaining the “system,” she asked me to pause so she could examine the file names. A big grin spread across her face. She turned to me and said NO bride had ever done it this way. She was thrilled and absolutely awed—her words.

After this point, I knew we’d be in good hands. We completely trusted her to deliver on our vision. She got what look we’re trying for and helped pare down all my divergent ideas. In under an hour, Barb had isolated the flowers we’d use and their colors, and whipped up an estimate for everything for HALF the amount I was expecting. Heaven.

So what flowers are we using? Craspedia, succulents, yellow protea, peach dahlia, peach hypericum, green trachelium, green celosia, yellow oncidiums, and yellow ranunculus. Unfamiliar with any of these flowers? Not to fear, our florist threw together this helpful board.

(courtesy of Belak Flowers)

How did you find your florist? What flowers are you using?


Mrs. Pain au Chocolat

Wilmington, DE
Wedding Date:
June 2011
Taco Supreme: Drool, Baby, Drool
First Comes Love, Then Comes...a House?
Add a comment


  1. Member
    sarah21911 60 posts, Worker bee @ 10:26 am

    I live right over the MD/DE line (on the MD side), do you mind sharing your florist’s name with me? Thanks!!

  2. crepe Member
    crepe 331 posts, Helper bee @ 10:28 am

    Thanks for sharing; it’s so good to know how best to approach florists! I’m going to take a note here and start organizing my pile of images before I have my meeting. 😀

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Aspen Wedding+Photographer, Guest @ 10:32 am

    I’m glad you’re considering the photography more important (although I might be a bit biased towards this). You’ll always have the images of your beautiful flowers long after they have wilted and died. Good Luck.

  4. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:43 am

    @sarah21911: Belak Flowers in Wilmington — http://www.belak-flowers.com/. Barb is FAN-tastic.

  5. Member
    sarahnyc23 366 posts, Helper bee @ 10:54 am

    We felt the same way — there just isn’t a need for tons of flowers at GCC, it’s so beautiful as it is! :)

  6. Member
    ssoblit 54 posts, Worker bee @ 11:32 am

    I agree that it is nuts spending a ton of money on flowers. My wedding is at a plantation and there are tons of greenery and flowers already, so we are only buying my bouquet, the guy’s bouts, and a couple swags for the gazebos for the ceremony.

  7. meerkat Member
    meerkat 3257 posts, Sugar bee @ 12:31 pm

    OMG I love your flowers you are using. Those are going to look amazing together!!

  8. Member
    xtatic1 783 posts, Busy bee @ 3:03 pm

    I am obsessed with succulents! They are so pretty and are the one plant I can manage to keep alive. We also aren’t spending much on flowers. Luckily I won a $500 gift certificate to a florist but was floored to learn that would only cover 3 bouquets and 3 boutonnieres! Our centerpieces will not be very floral with those prices.

  9. Member
    Lexsy 537 posts, Busy bee @ 6:55 pm

    Your florist is great, love the flower pics he sent you! I have discovered that finding a great florist is already challenging, but great and affordable? There’s very few, and I’m glad that I found one of those myself :-)

  10. rainbow Member
    rainbow 1525 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:52 pm

    Yay! you’re using succulents! Can’t wait to see how your flowers turn out!!

  11. bacon Member
    bacon 695 posts, Busy bee @ 11:44 pm

    I love that your florist threw together a reference board! Totally meant to bee :)

  12. husky Member
    husky 1750 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:54 pm

    Loving your inspiration photos – particularly the first one under wild!

  13. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:02 pm

    @Mrs. Husky: Yeh, loving the celosia/cockscomb and protea.

  14. Member
    nightcheese 1836 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:52 pm

    this is sooooo late but i’ve gotta admit, i’m stalking your old posts, as i’m getting married in wilmington.

    were using barb, too! i love her. i rolled in there with a full on powerpoint presentation, hahaha

  15. Member
    nightcheese 1836 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:53 pm

    2386945″>September29: p.s. i cant wait for your re-caps!

  16. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:34 pm

    Barb is amazing! Recaps are coming soon. We got the photo rights in February and work has been unusually busy. I hope to kick them off before our one year… hope being the operative word.

    Where are you getting married?

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