The dress, the cake, the food, and the music – all are essential elements of a wedding. However, what about the bouquets, the boutonnieres, and the centerpieces? Floral design – it is another essential element of a wedding.
Meet floral designer Brittany Gillespie. While she was growing up, Brittany liked to create arrangements using flowers picked from her mother’s garden. After realizing her love of floral design at an early age, Brittany began working in a flower shop when she was 14. Now she has honed her craft, and together with her husband, Brittany opened Petals Lane, a flower shop located in Philadelphia, in 2005.
Below, Brittany talks about a wide range of topics from the most popular wedding flowers and how to incorporate your friends and family into your floral designs to how to carry your bouquet and ways to bend, but not break, your wedding flower budget. Because a Q&A would not be complete without examining new trends, Brittany offers her opinion on what is next for wedding flower design.
Going to the Chapel: What are the most popular flowers used for bridal bouquets and centerpieces?
Brittany Gillespie: I find that brides most often will use Roses and Orchids. However, now with bridal media (magazines, books, internet, and other resources) the information and ideas are much more vast. Brides are finding new ideas, flower varieties and styles that they may never have thought of before unless their florist would have shown them.
GTTC: How can a couple incorporate how much their family and friends mean to them into their floral arrangements (bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces)?
BG: I think that the first thing to decide is the bride and groom’s taste and style. Once they have the idea that they want, then you can build from it. To incorporate family and friends, a bride and groom can add a favorite flower or color to arrangements; a piece of fabric or a trinket can be used, wrapped, or hung on the bouquets and boutonnieres; a memorial arrangement can be used for members not with them any more.
GTTC: What is the correct way for a bride and her bridesmaids to hold their bouquets?
BG: I would suggest any way that shows how much the brides and bridesmaids love the flowers. For the traditional walk down the aisle, I like to see the flowers in front of them held with both hands at the waistline, but I think it is important to ask the photographer their opinion because they will be shooting your memories.
GTTC: What are the top ways couples can have gorgeous arrangements at their wedding without breaking their floral budget?
BG: Budget is tricky. Unfortunately everyone does not have an unlimited budget to have the royal wedding. The best way to get the most you can is to discuss budget in the very beginning. I suggest this because it will let me suggest things that will fall within the budget. One trick that not only allows for a beautiful wedding but saves some money too is to use different arrangements. Rather that all lush & large arrangements, a bride can do 1/3 large, 1/3 lower, and then incorporate candle light on the remaining tables. This mix in the room will create the most for the least. Another way to save is in actual flower selection. Every flower costs a little different, and smaller flowers will take more to fill up an arrangement. A bride may want to select less expensive flowers that are larger and have a larger head. The last thing I suggest is to decide what is the most important to the least important so that they are focusing their budget to the most important details for their wedding day.
GTTC: What are some of your favorite arrangements that you have created?
BG: To be honest I have done so many centerpieces, and I have so many that are my favorites. My personal style is monochromatic letting the individual flower show then a mix. I also love lots of candles around my centerpieces.
GTTC: What do you think are the future wedding flower trends?
BG: I think the future of wedding flower will be more bride specific. I think that brides today are so mush more in tune and informed in options that weddings will incorporate flowers that will be more suited to the client’s personality. All flowers are beautiful, but how they are combined will create a wedding that is unique to your client.
Although Brittany has long loved flowers and design, she and her husband had a greater goal in mind when they opened Petals Lane. “We created our shop to combine creating beautiful florals and new designs as well as listening to what our clients want. I think it is important to not only introduce new designs (flower selections, arrangement style) to my clients that they may have not seen before, but also to incorporate these new ideas with what they already like.”
I hope the arrangements below, created by Brittany and Petals Lane for the Conway wedding, spark your creativity for your wedding and maybe cause you to fall in love with a floral design you may not have thought of yet. For more information about Brittany Gillespie and Petals Lane, visit the flower shop’s website.
*all photos courtesy Brittany Gillespie