Monday, July 20, 2015

Tips for a smooth working relationship with a floral designer or wedding vendor

Buying flowers can be a lot of fun- but when it is for a specific event, particularly a wedding or a funeral, it can be stressful.  Here are a couple useful hints to help make the process run smoothly and ensure you get what you'd like for your event.

1. Meet with the floral designer face to face, if at all possible. Yes, business can usually be conducted over the phone and with email, but she will get a better feel for your style and personality, and you will get a better sense of her skill and competency if you meet in person.

2. Know what you want (for the most part) BEFORE you sign a contract. Some vendors (like me) are somewhat flexible after a contract is signed with additions or substitutions, but ultimately a contract locks you in to the agreement. If you're not fairly certain what you want, you aren't ready to book yet.

3. Once the contract is ready, read it through completely- know what you're agreeing, too. The contract is there to protect both the customer and the business owner.

4. PLAN AHEAD.  Even for funerals, you generally know at least a few days in advance when and where the services are going to be held. Whether you call a floral designer or a florist shop, if you don't call until the day of or late the night before, it is likely that the floral designer won't be able to complete your flowers in the time you need.

5. On a similar note for brides; It is extremely time consuming and inefficient (and messy) for a floral designer to arrange centerpieces on site. Generally, venues have a limited set up time allowed. We know it can save you money to borrow vases from the caterer or venue, but if you can't get them by the day before, you should reconsider. As wedding professionals, we like to stay behind the scenes- we want to be out of sight by the time your guests arrive, but if the venue only give us 1 hour to decorate an arbor and arrange 15 centerpieces in the vases you borrowed, we aren't going to have time to finish. Most vases are cheap- you can find great deals on Amazon if you want to buy your own, or collect a bunch of coupons and shop at the retail craft stores.... or just let us provide the vases as part of your order.  The small savings on vases is not worth the stress. 

6. Finally, be FLEXIBLE. Keep in mind that fresh flowers come from living plants, and as such, there are sometimes unexpected events that may make it difficult to get exactly what you're picturing. Flowers come in many shades, but they may not exactly match the swatch of fabric you got from the bridal store. If the flower farms get too much or too little rain/snow/sun/heat/cold that can change what is available at any given time. Your floral designer will do her best to match your vision and will find the best possible replacement if the blossom you wanted isn't available. If you are flexible, I'm confident you'll be happy with the outcome.

Follow these tips and you'll have smooth sailing with your floral vendor.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Wedding Flowers- Choosing your style

Wedding season is starting! As a floral designer, wedding season is my favorite. I love the challenge of putting the style and personality of the bride (and groom!) into their flowers. I have a wedding coming up where the bride doesn't care about the type of flowers- she just wants elegant and lots of "bling"... but the GROOM loves tulips. It is going to be a fabulous combination of tulips and bling for an elegant outdoor wedding on a marina.

Deciding on your wedding style is an important step in figuring out how your flowers can best match your ideal wedding. Are you classic elegance, country chic, relaxed, playful, sophisticated, Zen, traditional, sparkly? Or maybe, like my couple next week, you are a combination of different styles. Here are just a *few* samples of different wedding styles.

If you're planning a wedding in the Greater Washington DC area, call me- we'll find the perfect wedding style for your flowers! 301-772-1487

Fun Color Formal

simple and sophisticated
Mixing lace and twine- casual and elegant for Southern Charm
fresh flowers (Ranunculus) for the hair- for a classy "Southern Charm" look
Southern Charm alter with Unity Sand

va va voom- red and bling

formal and elegant

formal unity candles

non-traditional formal bridesmaid bouquets

Formal elegance

Classic formal handle bouquet

Country Chic- burlap, daisies and dahlias

country chic

hair wreaths and fresh flower sign- country chic

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sprucing Up a Boring Christmas Wreath

Do you love the smell of fresh Christmas wreaths, but think the ones at most tree locations are kind of boring?  Often times the ones sold at tree farms or lots or stores like Home Depot only have a cheap red bow slapped on the front, if that!  Dressing up a wreath is very easy and can be done very inexpensively.  All you need is a little bit of thin green wire, some hot glue, and some "bling" of your choice.  I usually get most of this kind of stuff at Michaels Craft Store.  I went there last week (on 12/11) and there Christmas materials are already marked down to 70% off, so you can get supplies super cheap!

These pictures are all fresh wreaths that I made from scratch... but they start out just as boring as plain wreaths at the store- adding the decorations is the most fun part!

When adding Christmas tree balls, I find it best to wire them together and them wire them to the wreath. If they need a little extra support to keep them in the position you want, dab a little hot glue on them in an inconspicuous place. I always use hot glue with pine cones-- be generous- they need to be secure, but if you keep the glue on the back, no one will see it.  This won't hurt or discolor the evergreens around it.  For a bow, you can buy a pre-tied one or make it yourself. It works best to wire it around the full thickness of the wreath- but be sure to tuck the ends of the wire back into the greens so it doesn't scratch your door or wall.

Keep in mind, if you put decorations at the top center of your wreath, remember to leave enough room for a door hook to come up underneath it without breaking or squishing your decorations.  Otherwise, you'll have to hang it crooked.

Happy decorating, and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Keeping vased flowers fresh

Have you ever noticed that your vased flowers start to stink after a few days, and when they do, they start to wilt really fast?

Cut stems in tap water form bacteria.  That's what creates the slime and discoloration on the stems and that is where the stench comes from. Changing the water regularly can help, but if the bacteria has started, unless you thoroughly scrub the stems, the slimy stems are just going to make the fresh water a breeding ground too.

Here are some very easy and cheap things you can do to keep your cut flowers fresh longer:

1) Cut the stems on a diagonal about 2 inches from the bottom right before you put them in the vase (it is not necessary to do this under running water- as long as you put them in water pretty quickly).  Cutting on a diagonal helps prevent the stems from being pressed flat against the bottom of the vase- which would make it hard for the stem to suck up water.

2) add some flower food (usually a small packet comes with cut flowers), or a 1/4-1/2 tsp of white granulated sugar.  This will help the flowers open and stay bloomed longer.

3) add a small amount of chlorine BLEACH.  For small vases, I use about 1/4 tsp, for larger vases, 1/2 tsp is plenty.  This tiny amount of bleach won't hurt the flowers, but it WILL slow the growth of bacteria, which will keep the water and the stems fresh for a longer period of time.

4) Every 3 or 4 days, change out the water and add the bleach again.

Doing these steps will help your flowers last longer.  Remember, if you buy flowers from a grocer or other non-florist/non-floral designer, it is likely that the flowers have been cut for several days already.  You can still extend their "shelf life", but it is likely to be shorter than if you bought the flowers from florists or floral designers that can get them straight from suppliers and farms.



Welcome to the blog for All In The Details Floral Design.  I am Kira Barker, owner and designer for All In The Details Floral Design, based in Cheverly, MD.

On this blog, you'll find lots of ideas about flowers including (but not limited to) the following: 

* Ideas for various flower arrangements, with a special focus on wedding flowers.
* Tips for keeping your fresh flowers alive and beautiful for longer
* Ideas for what do with the flowers *after* the event is over
* Promotions, special offers, and sneak peaks for All In the Details Floral Designs

For more information, to place orders, or to schedule a free consultation, please contact me!

Phone: 301-772-1487 (9 am - 6 pm, Monday-Saturday)

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.