As a bride, wedding planning can get a bit overwhelming. There are so many vendors to book, timelines to keep, and budgets to remember. When Ben and I got married, the area I felt the most clueless in was the flowers. I didnâ€™t know the names of flowers, what was in season for our fall wedding, or how to pick flowers that matched our theme. Ben and I set up a meeting with Nichole at Petal Pusher and she helped answer our questions. After our conversation I had a clearer vision of what we wanted and I felt a huge relief in knowing I was in good hands.
A few weeks ago I sat down with Nichole again, this time to pick her brain for a few little tips to help you 2016/2017 brides as you start your planning. Read on!
What would you like people to know about Petal Pusher?
I have owned Petal Pusher for nine years, and the previous owner had it for eight years before that, so weâ€™re nearing the two decade mark. People ask what makes us different, and I feel we do work that is very personal. Weâ€™ve done a lot of interesting things for weddings like flowers on the coupleâ€™s dog, mementos in the brideâ€™s bouquets, which makes it fun for us. I like that itâ€™s challenging and that we donâ€™t make the same bouquet twice.
How would you describe your style?
I like natural, organic looks. I can do the â€œblingâ€ thing, but my personal aesthetic is more woodsy. Some of that translates into my home too; itâ€™s what I find appealing and what I like to be surrounded by. The rustic trend is a wonderful, but I would love to see that translate into a more woodsy look with bark, mosses, and twigs. I am inspired by nature. Things that feel truly original to me I am pulling from my surroundings – wandering through the woods or gardens.Â I can see something and say to myself, â€œwhy have we never used that before?â€
What are some things couples might not think about as they plan for flowers?
I would say durability is an important consideration. For example, if you know you are having an August wedding and it will be a long, hot, sun-filled day, even though hydrangeas would be in season, they might not be a great bouquet option. The other tip I have is to envision a color palette rather than specific flowers. For example, if you come in and say you want yellow, I can show you all the yellow flower options for a June wedding, whereas if you say you want sunflowers, that puts us in a harder position. Otherwise, if there is a flower you are dead set on, call your florist, then pick your date.
How far before the wedding do you suggest couples get in touch to meet with florists?
At least 6 months out is ideal, but we have some brides meet with us much farther in advance just to start getting ideas.Â A Pinterest board is probably the best way to start brainstorming because brides donâ€™t need to know the names of flowers or even how to describe the style. Even to see the other wedding details: dresses, shoes, hairstyle, tells me so much about the vision they have for their wedding, even if they donâ€™t know how to describe it.Â The other thing I would suggest is to sit down as a couple and chat about which family members should get flowers, that way you arenâ€™t put on the spot later on. Everything else we can go through one step at a time.
What would you recommend for brides on a budget?
Number one, donâ€™t be afraid. People get nervous because itâ€™s not very often that you have to shop for flowers. I always tell people, â€œIâ€™ve been a bride too; Iâ€™ve been there, I know what itâ€™s likeâ€.Â I usually recommend coming in and making a list of all your wants. We can make an itemized estimate, so couples can prioritize this over that or substitute in different flowers. Or, after they look at that initial estimate, they can just be really honest and say, â€œI have a max budget of $800, tell me how I can best spend it.â€Â I would much rather help couples make choices to make that smaller budget look amazing.
What aesthetic choices would you make if you were planning your own wedding right now?
Well firstly, I think a woman deserves a wedding in each season (up to her if itâ€™s the same man every time!) My wedding was in winter, and if I were planning one right now I would plan it for fall. I would love something with a gritty, organic, natural aesthetic. The reception would be pink champagne and hors dâ€™oeuvres and I would love it to be outdoors or in a setting that feels outdoorsy. For flowers, I would do all local just to show what can be done: dahlias, grasses, berries, bark, moss and twigs, with guinea hen feather accents and little hemlock pinecone boutonnieres.
Are there any current wedding trends that you love?
Lately locally grown flowers have become popular and we work with a really amazing grower outside of Cecil, so itâ€™s nice to have that for fresher, more organically-raised option. They grow things that you wouldnâ€™t even fathom you could grow here; some plants I had never even heard of. My husband and I just purchased 26 acres and we are going to start growing on a portion of that, so we can gather birch bark, curly willow, pussy willow, and other things like that.
As far as other trends, I really enjoy the more petite bouquets for bridesmaids, I think it makes them look more graceful. I also like the cocktail dresses with matching shoes and bouquets look. For receptions I love the farm-to-table idea with local, seasonal menus. Itâ€™s fun for me when the food is as pretty as the flowers, I love that look too.
What is the best piece of advice you would give to couples planning their decor?
Make the day a reflection of you. Personal touches give the guests something to talk about and it shares more about who you are as a couple. Also, whoever you book for your vendors, make sure theyâ€™re people youâ€™re comfortable with. You should be enjoying the planning process, and if you donâ€™t feel comfortable leading up to the big day, it will be so much harder with the stress and nerves that come along with the wedding. Donâ€™t be afraid to ask your vendors questions that donâ€™t quite fall into their â€œcategoryâ€. Vendors have been to so many weddings, so utilize them as a resource for weddings in general.