Amanda Viviano’s Fabulous Tips for Fearless Wedding Florals

. July 5, 2017.
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How do you grow into your own floral style? 

Maybe this is a question you’ve already asked yourself? Maybe this is a question you’ve never considered? But if you’re getting married, or planning another event with florals, one truth holds evident: knowing what you like is the first step in getting what you want.

To help ease you down the garden path, we asked an expert: Amanda Viviano, the Lead Weddings & Events Designer at Bartz Viviano, Florals, Decor & Rentals. 

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What’s your personal floral style?

Personally, I love more of a boho ‘gardeny’ feel. Right now, I’m into mixed colors of bright blooms. It’s also fun to see new elements incorporated into something unique and different, like fruit stems, cacti [and] geometric shapes. That said, tight arrangements of all blooms, and no greenery, can be perfectly modern in the right setting.

What do you love most about your job? 

My favorite part is seeing the couple’s vision come to life. It’s so important to me that I make the bride and groom happy, and create exactly what they are looking for. I love seeing the bride excited, as her vision is translated into the proposal, during the initial consultation. The best part is hearing how much they loved the flowers, after the wedding is said and done.

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How do you determine a couple’s floral style?

I can tell quickly what style they are going for. Typically, couples bring in photos of bouquets and centerpieces they like. If not, I’ll show my past work. I’ll ask questions about what they do and do not like, to clarify their style.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Daily observations! I’m constantly paying attention to the details around me to balance an on-trend style with my own unique spin. I’m constantly analyzing and keeping notes, so I can continue to improve for my clients.

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How can I maximize my budget for blooms?

A lot of couples have strict budgets, so I am always exploring unique ways to save and spread budget around. Some of my favorites include using bouquets as part of the centerpieces, transferring ceremony decor for the reception, using small bud vases and votives for centerpieces, and [to] have a few different centerpieces at different prices.

How does seasonality impact my florals?

Some flowers definitely are more seasonal than others, but we always have recommended substitutes if a certain flower isn’t available. For example, everyone loves peonies, but they are very seasonal, so we recommend substituting big garden roses.

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What kind of inspiration should I bring to my florist?

Photos— whether they are tear outs from magazines, or on your phone— are important. A good florist should critically look at your photos and take notes to understand your style.

What’s the first step I should take in deciding what kind of florals I want?

It’s important to decide your color scheme first. From there, start researching, and find photos of favorite bouquets and decor to use as inspiration.

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What are the most popular wedding flowers?

Everyone loves peonies (but we use a lot of beautiful garden roses if peonies are not in season). Dahlias, especially the Café au Lait variety, are very popular. We can get them locally, but they have a short season (towards the end of the summer). I find myself using a lot of ranunculus in bouquets and centerpieces. To me, they are the perfect wedding flower and are available in many colors.

What new trends should I look out for?

Big, wide bouquets with trailing ribbons are on trend right now. I’m also seeing the cascade-style becoming more popular.

Floral jewelry is huge right now— gold cuffs, rings, necklaces. These pieces are so unique and can be tailored to any color.

It may seem odd, but carnations are being used more often in centerpieces. A lot of people turn their noses up at carnations, but there are beautiful varieties that look great in both flowy and tight centerpieces.

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Where can I save, and where should I splurge, with my florals?

Splurge on your bridal bouquet! This is going to be in the most photos and will have a lot of eyes on it.

Save by keeping your bridesmaid bouquets more simple— they don’t need as many flowers as you, and if you have a lot of bridesmaids, the cost can add up quickly!

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What’s worth renting, and what’s worth buying?

Many people think we do just flowers— that couldn’t be further from the truth. We also help with linens, chairs, ceiling treatments, lighting and other decor.

Some shop around for a proposal with a low price point. Keep in mind, one proposal may cost less than another because of the flowers or size of the pieces. If you want to use a specific florist, but their proposal came in higher, ask how you can get it down to be within your budget. I am always willing to work with brides who want to cut down their final cost.

We have a lot of rentals, such as different styles of vases, candelabras, and other decor. Often, a couple will see a vase they like and, if we don’t have it, I will buy it to place in our rental inventory after their wedding, or any other special event we do, such as bridal shower, baby shower, birthday party, anniversary parties, among others.

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