Coincidentally, today I had my very first consultation with a florist in Westlake, Ohio. She's sending me a quote, and said she may have an interest in my bartering for a discount (eee!). She also didn't shy away from answering my favorite question for wedding vendors: What's one mistake brides make when it comes to choosing [insert service they provide]?

Champagne wishes on a beer budget, she replied. Too often, brides are set in their flower choices before they know what they cost, she added.

The one response to the post above that really spoke to me, probably because like most women I have people I'd like to involve more intimately: One bride collected flowers from close friends as she walked down the aisle and when she reached the end, her mother tied them together with a piece of fabric from her own wedding dress. What an incredible, memorable idea.

Brooch bouquets seem all the rave, and my Facebook thread was no exception. One friend said she wants to ask her wedding shower guests to bring brooches (from their own collections or antique stores and the like) to help her put one together. I can't say I want a brooch bouquet, though I do think this one (found on is gorgeous:
Other flower advice:
*Don't pay a ton for flowers, one former editor of mine advised. Costco is a budget-friendly place to turn, she said. Another former editor (they're helpful even after you're done writing for them!) strongly encouraged me to shop around.
*There's always silk flowers, others noted. One person said she chose silk flowers to keep her allergies at bay, but found that it meant that she could have any flower she wanted, even those that wilted easily because wilting wasn't a concern. Another woman cautioned that good fake flowers can cost just as much as real ones.
*Find a way to use every flower arrangement twice. One thing the florist I spoke with today mentioned that I hadn't even thought of is using the bride's and bridesmaids' bouquets as the centerpiece flowers at the head table. Uh, brilliant much?!
*Give the florist artistic license, a sorority sister of mine advised. She was picky and too cost-conscious, she conceded, and that led to less interesting floral touches than she'd desired. Give the florist some color guidelines and a budget and let them do their job, she urged.
*And finally, flowers that appear to be quite popular, if my thread is any indication: roses, Gerber daisies and calla lilies.

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