What Needs to be in Your Contract with Your Florist

Wedding Flowers 

I was browsing through The Knot website and I ran across an article that I wanted to share with you. These are twelve things that need to be in your contract with your florist. The Knot urges to not to sign anything unless these items are covered.

[] Name and contact information for you and the vendor:

[] Date, times, and locations of your ceremony and reception:

[] An itemized list of all the flower arrangements you’re buying — from bouquets to centerpieces — with exact names, amounts, and colors:

[] Flower alternatives (in your price range) should a specific bloom be unavailable on your wedding day; also include unacceptable substitutions, if any:

[] A list of items the florist will supply — centerpiece vases, trellises, other accessories:

[] Arrival times for setup at the ceremony and reception sites:

[] Where and when bouquets and boutonnieres should be delivered, if not to the ceremony site (to your home, for example):

[] Name of the florist who will be on hand during the wedding:

[] Total cost and payment schedule:

[] Sales tax, overtime charges, delivery fees, and setup fees:

[] Deposit amount and due date:

[] Balance amount and due date:

[] Cancellation/refund policy:

[] Florist’s signature:

[] Your signature:


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What to Tip Your Wedding Officiant



When it comes to tipping an officiant there is no set in stone guidelines. I have done a lot of research and everyone has a different opinion on the matter. So, I have compiled the advice that is most commonly held. Please remember that this is just advice and you should do whatever you feel is proper for your wedding.  

Wedding etiquette says that you never tip an officiant. However, if they did a great job or are doing the wedding for free then tipping may be an option. If you are paying an officiant you do not need to tip them. If you are having your wedding in a church they may ask for a donation to the church. If this is the case the church will normally tell you how much or give you a range of what is acceptable. The confusion comes in when the minister or clergy member is doing the service for free. While many do not expect tips, tipping them may be a nice way to show your gratitude. In this case, gratuity of $75 to about $100 is standard. This may be given directly to the minister or as a donation to the church. You may give more or less if you desire. If your minister is traveling to your wedding destination they should be compensated for travel expenses, which should be added to the tip. Also, it is always courteous to send a thank you note with the tip or donation and most officiants would appreciate a picture from the wedding to add to their portfolios. As for the judge, Justice of the Peace, City Clerk, or any other civil officiant, they are not allowed to accept a tip or donation for a wedding ceremony performed during court /office hours. After hours, they may accept a “donation’ (gratuity) of up to $75. To make sure you are within the legal guidelines of your locale, check with your officiant for specifics.

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Wedding Flowers in Season by Nina Callaway

winter flower 

Find Wedding Flower Availabilities and Colors

Picking wedding flowers in season can save you a bunch of money. Sure, growers are now able to fly almost anything in from the other side of the world, but you’ll pay a premium for that Here is a US guide to what flowers are generally in season to help you get started. Talk specifically to your florist or grower about what is available.

This chart can also help you decide when to get married. If you want huge amounts of different pink flowers, fall might not be the best time for you to get married. On the other hand, if adore zinnias and dahlias, perhaps you should have a fall wedding.  

Spring Wedding Flowers in Season

·        Anemone * Blue, red, pink, white * Jan-May and Aug-Dec.

·        Bells of Ireland * Green * January-October

·        Boronia * Pink * April-May

·        Casa Blanca Lily * White * January-October

·        Daffodil * Yellow * January-Early May

·        Delphinium * White, Blue * April- October

·        Hyacinth * Purple, Pink or White

·        Lilacs * Violet or White

·        Narcissus * White

·        Peony * Pink or White * Late Spring – Early Summer

·        Ranunculus * white, pink, red, orange and yellow * February-May

·        Star Gazer Lily * Pink and White * January-October

·        Sweetpea * white, pink, red/coral, and lavender/purple * December-May

·        Tulip * Many colors, including white, pink, yellow, red, and purple * December-April

·        Waxflower * pinky purple and white

Summer Wedding Flowers in Season

·        Alstromeria * orange, pink, yellow and cream, other colors

·        Bells of Ireland * Green * January-October

·        Chrysanthemum * White, Yellow,Orange, Pink, other colors

·        English Lavender * Purple

·        Forget-me-not * Blue

·        Freesia * White, Yellow, Pink, Blue, Purple

·        Gerbera Daisy * Pink, Yellow, Orange, Red, White

·        Hydrangea * White, Blue, Purple, Pink

·        Iris * Purple, Blue, White

·        Larkspur * White, Purple, Blue, Pink

·        Liatris * Pinkish Purple

·        Lily, asiatic * White, Pink, Yellow, Orange

·        Lily, oriental * White, Pink

·        Lisianthus * Purple, White, Pink

·        Matsumoto Asters * Pink, Purple

·        Monte Casino Asters * White, Purple

·        Queen Anne’s Lace * White

·        Snapdragons * Pink, Yellow, Orange, White, Other Colors

·        Solidaster * Yellow

·        Statice * Purple

·        Stephanotis * White

·        Stock * White, Other Colors

·        Sunflower * Yellow

·        Tuberose * White

·        Yarrow * White, Pink, Yellow

·        Zinnia * Red, Orange, Pink

Fall Wedding Flowers

·        Aster * White, Pink

·        Chrysanthemum * White, Yellow, Orange, Pink, other colors

·        Dahlia * Many Colors

·        Marigold * Yellow, Orange, Red

·        Statice * Purple

·        Zinnia * Red, orange, pink *

·        Dried Leaves

Winter Wedding Flowers

·        Amaryllis * Red, White

·        Anemone * Blue, red, pink, white * Jan-May and Aug-Dec.

·        Bells of Ireland * Green * January-October

·        Camellias * White, Pink

·        Casa Blanca Lily * White * January-October

·        Cosmos * Pink, White, Brown, Other Colors

·        Daffodil * Yellow * January-Early May

·        Forget-me-nots * Blue

·        Holly * Green with Red Berries

·        Jasmine * White

·        Narcissus * White, Yellow

·        Poinsettia * Red, White

·        Ranunculus * white, pink, red, orange and yellow * February-May

·        Star Gazer Lily * Pink and White * January-October

·        Star of Bethlehem * White

·        Sweetpea * white, pink, red/coral, and lavender/purple * December-May

·        Tulip * Many colors, including white, pink, yellow, red, and purple * December-April

·        Waxflower * Pink, White

Wedding Flowers Available Year-Round

·        Baby’s Breath * White

·        Bachelor’s Button * White, Pink, Red or Blue

·        Calla Lily * White is widely available, other colors, available as well, particularly in mini size

·        Carnations * Many Colors

·        Delphinium * Blue, White, Purple

·        Eucalyptus * Blue, Silver

·        Gardenia * White

·        Gladiolus * Many Colors

·        Heather * Pink

·        Lily of the Valley * White and Pink

·        Orchid * Pink, White, Purple, Other Colors

·        Protea * Pink

·        Rose * Many Colors ***February at a premium

·        Scabiosa * Purple, White


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How To Pick a Florist


Word of mouth is always your safest bet. If the florist’s service and work comes highly recommended, chances are they will do a good job for you. Do your research by going to bridal shows and looking at online pictures from your store’s website. Make appointments to visit at least 3 different florists.
When you visit each florist, look at pictures of their previous work and look around their shop.
• Do you like the arrangements that you see in the shop’s displays?
• Do the flowers in the pictures look fresh or are the petal edges brown?
• Are the pictures dated or are they following the current trends?
• Is the designer willing to work with you or are they telling you that your idea won’t work?
• Make sure you speak to the florist that will do your arrangements.
• Do you feel comfortable with your florist?
• Is your florist paying attention to you while you’re talking and does he/she seem interested?

When To Book Your Florist
6 months before your wedding is a good time to start your search. Book your florist approximately 4 months before your wedding date. You need to have your reception and ceremony sites picked out before you can hire a florist because you’ll need to know how many arrangements you’ll need and that the colors you pick don’t clash with the colors of your venue. You’ll also need to know what color your bridesmaids’ dresses are.

What To Bring To An Appointment
• Pictures of flowers and arrangements that you like (magazine clippings or websites)
• Picture of your wedding gown – swatches of material from your bridesmaids gowns – if available, a picture of your reception room
• If you are supplying the containers for arrangements, bring those too.
• Bring quotes you’ve gotten from other florists.
• Bring a list of all the flowers and arrangements you need and who they are for, so that the florist can label corsages, boutonnieres and bouquets, with names or titles. Example: on a bouquet a stapled piece of paper reads “maid of honour”. This way everyone gets the right flowers.

Questions To Ask The Florist
• When viewing photos of past work, ask if the flowers where arranged by the same person that is doing your arrangements.
• After giving your florist your ideas, ask for their opinion or ideas. You don’t have to take their advice but at least take the time to listen. You never know, you might like their ideas better then your own.
• Is there a delivery charge?
• Is there a setup fee?
• Do they have rental supplies?
• Do they need a map for the different delivery locations?
• Can you change your order if you have another idea? What’s the cut off date for new ideas?
• What times will the flowers be delivered to each location? This question can be asked 1 month before your wedding.
• Will the florist transport ceremony decorations to the reception location? Is there a fee?
• Can they make a sample of your bouquet and centrepiece? Some florists will, some won’t.
• Will they write you up an itemized quote? Some won’t in fear that you will bring it to other florists for a better deal.
• Are the flowers you’ve chosen in season? What flowers are in season for your date?
• You’re on a tight budget, can the florist work with a mixture of silk and fresh flowers?
• Are there any additional or hidden costs?
• Is the florist familiar with your reception and ceremony locations?
• 1 month before your wedding date, call the florist and ask them if they can get the type and color of flower you wanted?

Things To Keep In Mind
If your wedding date is around the time of a flower giving holiday (mother’s day, valentine’s,etc) you’re going to pay more for your flowers. The florist will also be very busy during this time and you can’t expect to be the centre of attention. Meet and speak to the person that will be making your flower arrangements.
A good place to start is with the bride’s and bridesmaid’s bouquet, work with those colours and flower types to create your centrepieces, alter arrangements and other floral decor.
You don’t have to book on the spot. Take your quote home and think it over.
The more information you give your florist the better they will understand what you want.
If you choose flowers that are not in season and have to be shipped, you’re looking at a bigger expense and you don’t know what effect the shipping will cause on your flowers.

What Goes On The Contract
In most cases your bill will be your contract. Read the small print on the bill. Everything the florist is supplying should be on the bill:
• Your name, address and phone number.
• The contact person’s name, address and phone number for every delivery location.
• An itemized list and description of every floral arrangement, the number required, colour of ribbons and other decorative accents.
• Time of setup
• The name of your floral designer
• The service they will provide. i.e. setup and delivery to each location and what this entails.
• The total cost, your deposit and the amount still owing and the date for the last payment.

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Wedding Photography Advice from the Little Wedding Guide


Researching wedding photographers online first can save a lot of time before setting up any actual appointments.

View different photographers’ portfolios and read about their experience and approach — from this, you’ll quickly be able to tell if this is someone with whom you share a similar vision.

Ask how many weddings the photographer has done and whether or not he or she has photographed at your wedding venue. Familiarity with the space ahead of time will allow for more efficiency on the part of the photographer, who will be able to plan for different shots and situations unique to that venue.

Also, make sure that the photographer you choose will be the one who will be at your wedding. If you’re dealing with a large company who has several photographers available, they may send whoever’s available on your wedding date. Be sure to get this in writing, as part of the contract with the photographer.


Once you narrow down your list and choose a photographer who meets your needs and style, talk with him or her about the various wedding services that they offer. Typical services include:

  • Engagement Portraits

  • Wedding Proofs

  • Wedding Albums

  • Parents’ Albums

  • Extra Prints

  • Negatives

The cost for each of these services varies greatly from photographer to photographer. Decide what you need before interviewing someone so that you have an idea of what the total cost will look like after ordering extra prints, purchasing the negatives, etc.

Note: Most experienced wedding photographers will charge quite a bit extra for orders of extra prints (which is also how they make their money) and for selling you the original negatives. Some photographers won’t sell the negatives at all. Find out up front what these costs are, and what your photographer’s policy on obtaining negatives is.

Some final questions to ask include the following:

  1. What is your payment/deposit procedure?

  2. What is the cancellation policy?

  3. What is your policy/cost for overtime, should my wedding run longer than scheduled?

  4. Do you offer any sort of money-back guarantee?

  5. Do you have a standard list of photos/poses that I can choose from? (Ex. Bride and Father Dancing, Exchange of Rings at Ceremony, Cake Cutting at Reception, etc.)

  6. How soon after the wedding will I be able to review the proofs? How many proofs will I receive?

  7. When will I receive my wedding albums?

  8. Do you have a website where our family and guests can order additional prints?


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Make Your Own Bouquet


Whether you like this bouquet or not this is a great article for any bride looking to save a ton of money by making their on bouquets. I love this article because it shows step by step how to tie your bouquet. Be creative and pick your own arrangement of flowers that best fit your needs. If it is this bouquet, that’s great. But if not totally replace the flowers with ones that are more your style.



1. Select a collection of flowers and berries in different sizes, textures, color shades, and shapes. Remove all of the foliage from the stems, and wrap each stem with floral tape. Begin arranging the flowers and berry stems in your hand to create a tight, compact ball of flowers. Wrap the stems together with floral tape just below the flower blossoms. 

2. Cut the stems from seven large grape leaves, and make stems using 22-gauge wire. Arrange the leaves around the flowers to form a collar, and join all stems into one main stem cluster with floral tape.


3. Using 2-1/2-inch coordinating ribbon, begin wrapping the handle at the top of the stem cluster by holding the bouquet in your hand so that the flowers are facing away from you. Leave a tail of ribbon about 2 feet long on the left side. With one hand, pinch and hold the ribbon together at the stem top. With your other hand, tightly wrap the ribbon down the stem, covering the pinch with the first wrap. As you wrap, make sure that the ribbon remains flat.


4. When you have reached the bottom of the stem handle, fold the ribbon over the bottom end of the handle so that the back of the ribbon is facing up, and begin wrapping back up the handle. When you are finished there will be ribbon tails on both sides of the bouquet. Tie a large, full bow at this point. Secure the ribbon in place with 2-inch pearl-headed corsage pins. Trim the tails of the ribbon to the length desired.




Tip: Complete collections of classic bridal flowers are available, or you can choose nontraditional blossoms for one-of-a-kind bouquets. Via


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Who Pays for What in a Wedding


Deciding who pays for what is sometimes a really hard decision when planning a wedding. It is becoming more and more common for the Bride and Groom to completely fund the wedding themselves. However, when making this decision, it may be easier to start with the traditional list of who pays for what and then narrow done your decision. Just remember that ultimately it is up to you and your family. Think of it as a starting point, because how you get to your bottom line is up to you!


  • Bride and family pay for church or synagogue, sexton, organist, etc.

  • Groom and family pay for marriage license and officiant’s fee.


  • Bride and family pay for bride’s dress, veil, accessories, and trousseau (read: lingerie and honeymoon clothes).

  • Groom and family pay for groom’s outfit.

  • All attendants pay for their own clothing (including shoes).


  • Bride and family pay for arrangements for church (including huppah if a Jewish ceremony) and reception, plus bouquets and corsages for bridesmaids and flower girls.

  • Groom and family pay for bride’s bouquet and going-away corsage, boutonnieres for men, and corsages for mothers and grandmothers.


  • Groom and family pay for complete honeymoon.


  • Bride and family pay for all wedding photos and video.

Prewedding Parties

  • Bride or groom’s family plans and hosts engagement party; if there is more than one, bride’s family hosts the first one.

  • Groom’s family plans and hosts the rehearsal dinner.

  • Bride plans and hosts bridesmaids’ luncheon.

  • Groom hosts and plans bachelors’ dinner.

  • Maid of honor and bridesmaids host shower.

  • Best man and ushers host bachelor party.

  • Friends may throw additional engagement parties or showers.


  • Bride and family pay for all professional services, including food, drink, decorations, and music.


  • Bride and/or her family pay for groom’s ring.

  • Groom and/or his family pay for both of the bride’s rings.


  • Bride and family pay for invitations, announcements, and wedding programs.


  • Bride and family pay for transportation of bridal party to and from ceremony and reception.Pic

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Wedding Centerpieces

Wedding centerpieces help tie together the look of your entire table setting. The centerpieces will influence the linens you choose, the size of the tables and even the number of guests you seat on each table.

It’s important to discuss beforehand the centerpiece options available to you with your decorator and caterer.

Things to keep in mind when selecting your centerpieces

The size of the wedding centerpiece is important. The centerpiece shouldn’t be so small as to get overlooked. But if it’s too large, there might not be enough room for other things like the place cards, cutlery, and crockery and in general the table may become too cramped.

The height of the centerpiece also needs to be carefully considered. If the centerpiece you choose is something thin like a beautiful candle, the height won’t matter. In fact you may need it to be really tall to get noticed. On the other hand if the wedding centerpiece is a floral arrangement, ensure that it is short enough that guests can see each other over the arrangement. Often people choose wedding centerpieces that are so overwhelming that guests cannot even see each other across them, let alone hold a conversation!

Of course, your budget will largely determine the wedding centerpiece you choose. Wedding centerpieces can be very affordable or very extravagant. It’s up to you to decide how much to spend.

You could also choose a wedding centerpiece that doubles as wedding party favors. This is a great idea because it allows you to combine your budget for the wedding centerpieces and the party favors and afford something better.

Wedding centerpiece options

Floral arrangements are the most common and traditional wedding centerpiece options. They can vary from small exotic arrangements to large effusive ones. If you want the wedding centerpiece to double as a party favor, think about placing a small potted plant that also acts as the place card holders, after the party guests can take their plant home. This works very well and merges with the wedding decoration for a garden theme party.

Tabletop fountains make for exotic wedding centerpieces. They can certainly add an Asian feel to your entire wedding reception. Place votive candles around the fountain to give an exotic feel.

A crystal bowl filled with rose petals floating in water makes a great wedding centerpiece. You can add floating candles if the wedding reception is at night. The roses not only add romance to the atmosphere, but their fragrance will enhance the entire wedding decoration.

There are many options available when choosing your wedding centerpieces, and they are a big part of the overall wedding decoration, so give them the attention they deserve. You’ll be surprised how much they bring to your reception.


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