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How to Hire the Perfect Florist | Interview with Danielle Clarke of Floral Fixation | Wedding Secrets Unveiled! Podcast

wedding secrets unveiled! podcast episode

Planning and picking out flowers for your wedding day is one of the MOST exciting parts of wedding planning. But, do you know anything about setting up your budget for flowers? Or what the trends are right now in the wedding industry when it comes to your floral displays? And most importantly, how on earth do you hire the perfect florist who will bring together all of your inspiration and ideas for a clean, gorgeous floral display on your wedding day? Today’s episode of Wedding Secrets Unveiled! is all about wedding flowers and florists, thanks to Danielle Clarke of Floral Fixation!

How to Hire the Perfect Florist: interview with Danielle Clarke of Floral Fixation on Wedding Secrets Unveiled! podcast

Meet Danielle!

I’m the owner of Floral Fixation and I love all things flowers! Floral Fixation is a wedding and event florist that also offers design classes and pop-up events. Currently, we serve all of New England and we do book destination weddings, too! I spend my days consulting with my clients and planning out their floral dreams for their wedding day. I also handle the back end of the business including planing and ordering products, designing florals, setup and delivery for events. Now, I’m so lucky to have a team of freelancers and my boyfriend, Dan, who help out regularly through the season!

I started my career in florals in a grocery store florist shop (embarrassing now!). Then I went on to intern for a local florist where I learned the basics of traditional design. After that, I went to school in Boston and became inspired by high-end designers before beginning to work for another florist. Then, I took the leap to do this full-time and here I am!

So you officially launched your business last year right before COVID-19! Wow! How did you stay busy?

I began booking for 2020 when I started my business and then the pandemic hit. So that was really scary, but our team adjusted. We began to offer more holiday arrangements and delivered Mother’s Day DIY kits for kids at home along with planned styled shoots with other Rhode Island vendors to network and create. During that time, I was involved in 4 styled shoots which helped me update my portfolio and website. Surprisingly, bookings went up not long after that as couples were starting to worry about availability since we had to accommodate rescheduled events. So now, I tell clients that they need to make bookings a priority once they start planning so they don’t miss a chance to work with their dream vendors! Focus on your priorities first and then find those vendors and book them!

Let’s talk about floral trends! What’s out there and trending now?

Oh, I love talking about this! Right now, we’re seeing a lot of classic and timeless palettes: white and green, blush and white. We’re also seeing a lot of organic, lush greenery using fruit, crystals, and colored candles to accent your floral displays. Dyed flowers are also coming back into style which is a pleasant surprise! For years, I wasn’t really into the whole idea of dyed flowers but growers have really been experimenting with flower coloring and now it’s kinda fun. It’s not for everyone but it’s a great way to mix things up.

A lot of clients are going “all out” on their florals right now because they’re still having smaller, intimate celebrations. It’s been a lot of fun for me! We’ve created long, lush table displays, special backdrops for sweetheart tables and installations for arbors and hanging displays. And we’re also seeing an increase in more moody tones and darker, bold palettes!

How to Hire the Perfect Florist: interview on Wedding Secrets Unveiled! podcast

Tell us about floral budgeting myths! What’s true and what’s not true?!

People think that greenery can be cheaper than full out floral displays but it’s important to remember that costs aren’t just about the flowers you pick. It’s also about labor, setup, and product amounts. And many couples think they’ll just cut their budget by using “cheaper” flowers. But, you usually need multiple types of flowers for the looks you want. For example, the industry average for a bridal bouquet is between $200-$300 because florists need to be able to mix in various flowers and create the look that you want. Your budget does matter when you’re choosing flowers but not quite the way you think.

Another thing to remember when you’re thinking about your florals is non-floral related items (candles, stands, etc.) may have a retrieval fee and will increase your budget line. Finally, when you’re thinking of your designs remember that you can repurpose items but that then requires your floral team to stay and move items during your event. This may also increase your labor or service fee. I think it’s great to repurpose your items, though!

how to pick the perfect florist: interview with Danielle Clarke of Floral Fixation

Now that life is getting back to normal, I’ve heard that it’s actually hard to get more popular flowers. Is that really true?

It’s true! Essentially around this time last year, events were cancelled overnight and flower production was still happening. These producers still had to cut and process the flowers, even if no one could buy them. I remember scrolling on Instagram one night and watched a grower in Holland having to cut and burn flowers because they had no where to send these flowers and had no choice. It was so devastating. As a result, so many growers had to lay off staff and change their production teams. But the reality is that these flowers still take awhile to grow and produce, so now that weddings are back, we’re suffering a little bit. These companies are still trying to get back up from how they were impacted last year.

Our clients have to be flexible and more willing to trust us about the kind of flowers we have to use: like if you want a peony, I may have to use a garden rose instead. And that’s just something couples have to be understanding about. When I work with clients, I create a huge vision board so they can see other potential flower options that would work with their plans. I want to make it clear that I’m still following what they want in the best way I can at the moment!

how to find the perfect florist for your Rhode Island wedding day

One thing I’m asked a lot as a wedding photographer is how to put on a boutonnière! Can you give us some tips?!

So, I like to put on the boutonnières for my clients because I want them to be perfect! And for so many weddings, those beautiful photos of moms helping with the flowers are staged. But, if you don’t have the florist available, the boutonnière goes onto the left side and it’s pinned to the lapel part of the jacket. If there’s a button hole, I’ll use that and cover it up. I provide 2 pins to make it a little bit easier, too. On the back, I put a pin going down into the boutonnière and then one going up so it’s secure.

I love that! Now, how should brides hold bouquets or any tips you have for them?

I tell my brides when I’m delivering the bouquets: the pins are forward facing so when you’re holding the bouquet, you want your pins facing forward. Brides should hold them around their belly buttons – traditionally, bouquets were given to women so they had something in their hands when they walk down the aisle so they didn’t fidget. Relax your arms, hold your bouquet and take a deep breath.

And remember, about half an hour before you take your photos, take your bouquet out of the vase of water and wrap some paper towels around them to avoid dripping on your gown. And when you’re done, drop them back in the water again so they stay fresh throughout the day!

Wrap Up Question!

What are some key points that couples should be asking their floral companies when they are inquiring to make sure they are working a professional company to ensure that their wedding day is a perfect event?

Ask your florist if your vision is realistic for your budget.  We will help guide you and prioritize certain items to give you a similar look. Maybe it’s a specific flower or swapping an arbor for two lush ceremony pieces or focusing the budget in the reception space instead. 

Interview multiple florists. Read reviews. Make sure there is a connection between you and all vendors. You want to feel comfortable and trust all your vendors.

Ask your florist about their team, policies and make sure they have insurance! Go over their contracts and ask questions!!

how to find the perfect florist for your wedding day: interview on Wedding Secrets Unveiled! podcast

Links Mentioned in the Episode

You can find Floral Fixation: Instagram | Website | Facebook

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