Flowers are key element of wedding ceremony | SteamboatToday.com

Flowers are key element of wedding ceremony

Melinda Mawdsley

— On her wedding day, the bride isn’t the only one scrambling around to get things done. For a florist, the busy work of putting together bouquets, centerpieces and other floral arrangements usually happens the day before or day of the wedding.

But the planning process leading up to the wedding day can take anywhere from a week to many months, depending on the size of the wedding and the couple’s budget.

“Some brides walk into the store and don’t have a clue what they want,” said Cathy Vogelaar, owner of Steamboat Floral and Gifts. “We have a form that we hand each bride. It makes it easier for us. We start with the basics.”

For a florist, the basics often deal with theme, color and bridal dress. After a florist or wedding coordinator gets a feel for what the bride and groom would like, the planning process is that much easier. Of course, there are those brides who walk into a store with specific details on bouquet looks with specific flowers and colors.

“I usually ask them what their budget is,” said Lindsey Grannis, wedding coordinator and owner of One Fine Day Floral. “I can usually make it work for any budget and get a feel for how important flowers are to them. I want to put the bride and groom’s feel into it and not make it all my ideas. I want an idea of their personalities.”

Personality profiling is one reason florists in Routt County prefer to meet clients face to face, even those from out of town who are using the scenic backdrop of Northwest Colorado as a destination-wedding site.

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For simple weddings, Grannis and Vogelaar said they don’t need much time — a week or so — to arrange a bouquet, a couple centerpieces and a boutonniere. For grander weddings that incorporate elaborate arches and multiple, large centerpieces, florists need more time.

“Obviously, the sooner they book the better,” Grannis said. “In a small town like this, you want to make sure you have a florist for the date you pick. Before visiting the florist, have your date and your location. The sooner you can visit with a florist the better because it’s always a good idea to shop around.”

Grannis said it’s important for a bride to get along well with her florist, considering a florist often is heavily involved with planning the decor of the occasion.

And it’s planning and flower arranging that excites Grannis the most.

“I love doing everyday flowers, but weddings are the most fun,” she said. “You can get so creative. Everyone has a different style of what they want.”

Some brides prefer to stay traditional, while some prefer to personalize their bouquets with jewels, beading or even feathers. Vogelaar has worked rustic, outdoor weddings with wildflowers and done several tropical-themed weddings with orchids and Birds of Paradise flown in from Hawaii.

Despite the remote location of wedding sites in Northwest Colorado, florists are able to get their hands on an array of flowers. There are certain times of the year when particular flowers don’t work well in the climate and altitude of Northwest Colorado, but florists handle each case on an individual basis.

The most important thing, florists say, is to walk into the shop with a date and a location and some colors. Brides are encouraged to bring ideas, clip things from magazines or even bring in paint charts to mix and match colors.

“We really like to make sure we’re talking about the same flower and same color or same theme,” Vogelaar said.

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