• Instagram

Wedding Planning: Selecting Your Florist

December 19th, 2017

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

It’s no secret that the biggest time of year for engagements is the span between Thanksgiving and Valentines Day. Known throughout the wedding industry as Engagement Season, this is also the time of year where many couples start their wedding planning process. There is no shortage of information out there on wedding planning, but I’ve found very little that specifically talks about a major element of most weddings: flowers!

I handle all of our initial inquiries, and I’ve noticed that most couples don’t really know where to start when it comes to selecting a florist. Generally they have a few favorite flowers and a Pinterest board full of inspiration when they start their search, but that is about where their floral knowledge ends, and that’s fine! The point of hiring professional vendors for your wedding day is that they are knowledgeable and can guide you in the right direction for your vision. So let’s talk flowers and remove some of the mystery of this part of the planning process!

Timeline
Most of our clients book with us 6 months to one year out from their wedding date. This of course is not a hard and fast rule; we have some clients who book more than a year out and others who reach out 3 months from the big day. The most important thing when beginning your florist search is to have your venue selected and locked in. Your venue choice will determine the overall style of your wedding, your guest count (and therefore number of tables) and the style of centerpieces you can have (tall arrangements work best in venues with high ceilings, low arrangements work well outdoors where wind can be an issue). Since the cost of flowers can change drastically, we generally don’t book more than a year and a half in advance.

Budget
Generally speaking, flowers will account for 10% of your overall wedding budget. Once again, this is not a hard and fast rule, but for the average wedding incorporating personal flowers, floral centerpieces and some floral at the ceremony, this is a good place to start. Some things that will increase the amount you will spend on flowers include a large bridal party, wanting all tall centerpieces, and expensive flower choices (orchids and peonies cost more than most roses, for example). It’s important to at least have a rough budget in mind before you start meeting with florists, so they can give you realistic ideas to fit within your price point. Also keep in mind that most florists have a minimum, which may vary depending on the time of year (we tend to waive ours during winter months).

Everyday vs. Wedding Florists
Everyday Florists are the shops you see around town where you can pop in and pick up a bouquet of roses or call to have an arrangement sent to your mom for Mother’s Day. Most of these shops are best equipped to handle smaller weddings or bouquet orders, since they generally do not have a large inventory of rental items. Wedding Florists (like us) specialize specifically in weddings and special events. We only have flowers in our cooler if we have events taking place, and we own an extensive collection of rental items that our couples can select from when designing their weddings.

Making a Selection
As with any vendor, selecting the right florist is a personal thing… You want someone you connect with, someone who is professional and someone who understands what you’re looking for. You need to be able to go in to a consultation with inspiration photos and trust that you’re getting something similar on your wedding day. Begin your search on sites like The Knot, where you can quickly and easily find several florists in your area. Also talk with friends who have recently been married, as well as vendors you’ve already selected. (Wedding vendors are an amazing resource since we work with other vendors every weekend!) From there, visit florists’ websites to get a better idea of their style. Once you have narrowed your options to three or four, schedule consultations so you can meet, chat and really get a sense of the team you’d be working with.

The Floral Proposal
Once you’ve met with each florist, you’ll begin receiving proposals from each one outlining the style, types of flowers and greenery, rental items and labor costs. While there might be some wiggle-room for negotiation, keep in mind that you are contracting a custom service and it takes a team to make it happen. From the floral designers to the setup and breakdown crews, some weddings require a small army to bring the vision to life! Proposals not only include these labor costs and the costs of the flowers, but also rental items, taxes and delivery fees.

The Wedding Day
On the day of your wedding, your floral team is running around behind the scenes delivering bouquets, pinning boutonnieres and setting up the ceremony and reception. If your wedding day includes a room flip, the floral team is waiting in the wings to help transform the space quickly before your guests have finished cocktail hour. If your contract includes breakdown, the team will return to strike the room and take all the rental items at the end of the night.

Most importantly, remember that choosing a great team of vendors means you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your wedding day!

Special thanks to Mike Cassimatis for his beautiful images of Liz & Daniel!

Simply Elegant: Jess & Mitch’s Four Seasons Wedding

August 7th, 2017

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

I’ve wanted to do something a bit different on the blog for a while… it’s always me talking about the weddings from our perspective, and I’ve been dying to get a bride’s side of things! When it came time to start working on a post for Jessica & Mitch’s day I knew this was my chance to mix things up. Jess was one of our favorite 2016 brides and immediately agreed to let me “interview” her. She and her mom Debbie were so fun to work with and I’m so excited to share her thoughts on the planning process and her wedding day!

How would you describe your wedding style?

Jess: I would describe my wedding style as simply elegant, with a touch of sparkle and glam. Since my wedding was in the fall, I wanted rich, berry colors in all of the flowers. I wanted lots of candles! I wanted different. I wanted a romantic feel, with some modern elements; fashionably elegant.

What was your favorite moment from the wedding day?

Jess: Aside from Mitch’s surprise toast during the reception, my favorite moment was the room reveal. When Lisa and Kim said it was time to come take a sneak peak of the room, my family and Mitch walked into the room, STUNNED. IT. WAS. BEAUTIFUL. Even Mitch, who throughout this journey, was skeptical of the details, turned to me and approvingly and overjoyed said, “Good job, Babe. This looks amazing.” As I walked around the room, every detail, every decision, every conversation we had discussed over the past year was live and in living color right in front of my tearful, and joyful eyes. The colors, linens, textures, lighting and décor came together and exceeded any expectations I had. During the wedding, Mitch pulled me off the dance floor to look around the room and really take it all in. The room was beautiful. More beautiful and perfect that I ever could have asked for. Our guests were having the time of their lives; some dancing on the dance floor, some conversing, laughing and drinking on our lounge couches. And, during this moment, I never felt so lucky and loved.

What was your vision for your wedding day, and how did the reality live up to your expectations?

Jess: I wanted an evening no one would forget! I wanted elegant, beauty, and a touch of sparkle and glam woven throughout the wedding. I wanted mine and Mitch’s personality to shine through the different décor and floral aspects of the wedding. The reality of my wedding day by far EXCEEDED any expectations I had. Through the process, it was hard to visualize all of the working pieces coming together. Lisa and the rest of the Belli Fiori staff always reassured us that they wouldn’t steer us in a direction that didn’t flow or make sense. When the doors opened for the room reveal, I burst into tears. What stood before me was a year’s worth of work and dedication and passion from the Belli Fiori staff. My dream wedding had become a reality.

What was your favorite style/decor element from the day?

Jess: There were too many to choose from! From the sparkle cake linen, to the gobo lighting, to the dance floor lounge couches and matching pillows, to our acrylic chuppah, to our romantic settee at the head table and the GORGEOUS centerpieces and bouquets… EVERY DETAIL was bigger and better and more beautiful than I ever could have imagined.

Why did you choose Belli Fiori to help bring your vision to life?

Jess: After meeting with a few other florists, my mom and I felt an immediate connection to Lisa and the Belli Fiori staff. Lisa listened to us and had ideas I didn’t even know could exist! Lisa understood what I was thinking and when I didn’t have the words or photos to explain what I wanted, Lisa just knew. Lisa and the staff at Belli Fiori never got frustrated with our many emails, phone calls and need for reassurance. Instead, they calmed us, shared our vision and made my dream wedding become a reality. In the end, they became a second family!

Do you have any advice for future brides?

Jess: For future brides, TRUST YOUR PEOPLE (florist and design team)! In the beginning, I questioned everything and even when I changed my color scheme 5 months before my wedding, Belli Fiori didn’t stress, but continued to make my “new” dream a reality. I continued to worry that the linens wouldn’t match the flowers which would clash with the lighting, etc. Lisa reassured me many times over that everything was going to be beautiful. The more excited she became about every detail, the more I couldn’t wait to see the final product all put together! At the time planning a wedding was uncharted waters for me, so it’s important to trust the people who live and breathe these types of events on a daily basis. With that being said, trust your gut. You know what you like, what styles excite you, etc. In the beginning, I was struggling with a theme I really didn’t love. Once I figured out my style and colors, I was 100% invested and loved every.single.detail.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Jess: I absolutely love you guys and would recommend ANY and ALL brides to use Belli Fiori for their wedding 

I promise we didn’t pay her to say that 😉 Jess, we loved working with you and are so glad your day was everything you hoped for and more!!

Vendor Love: Photographer: Switzerfilm | Floral: Belli Fiori | Venue: Four Seasons | Planner: Proposing Dreams | Décor: Table Ten Event Design | Band: Griffin and the Gargoyles | Paper Goods: M. Haley Design | Lighting: Millennium Productions

 

A Modern, Romantic Wedding at the Four Seasons

March 8th, 2017

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

The best part of our job, hands down, is bringing our clients’ visions to life. Couples come to us with all sorts of ideas, and it’s our job to take those ideas and inspiration photos and turn them into reality. In the case of Sarah and Dennis’ wedding, it started with an acrylic chuppah Sarah saw as a wedding guest, and lead to her vision of a romantic, modern affair.

The difficult part was that no one in St. Louis owned an acrylic chuppah, which meant having one custom built. We have had acrylic pieces made for events in the past, but never anything as large or involved as this. We presented the idea to our “acrylic guy” along with sketches and examples we had seen from companies in other cities, and luckily his team was ready for the challenge! After consulting a structural engineer and adjusting the initial idea, they were able to bring the design to life.

On wedding day Lisa and I were a ball of stress, as we generally are when we do something new, but seeing everything come together was better than any of us could have imagined. For a see-through structure, the chuppah had a commanding presence in the ballroom, and it was so fun to see how excited Sarah was to see her vision come to life! The ceremony and reception were a beautiful combination of modern and classic elements, with soft pink tones, classic floral and modern acrylic elements. It was a beautiful day for a wonderful couple and we were so thrilled to be a part of it!

Vendor Love: Planning: Simcha’s Events | Photography: L Photographie | Venue: Four Seasons St. Louis | Band: Griffin and the Gargoyles | Chuppah Stage: Table 10 Event Design 

A Midsummer Night's Wedding at the Caramel Room

January 18th, 2016

Posted by Kimberly Wallner

The Caramel Room has been open a little over a year now, and has quickly become one of our favorite venues to work in. Not only is the space itself amazing (they have quite literally thought of every detail) but so is the staff! It also doesn’t hurt that site visits usually result in snagging some chocolate samples ; )  Allie and Bill’s wedding kicked off a season full of Caramel Room events for us, and we loved being a part of so many weddings in this beautiful space.

When Allie came to us about her August wedding we were immediately excited about her color pallet. She had a very specific vision and we had a lot of fun playing with the blue and orange tones. It’s a combination we don’t use often, but worked so well in the space and for the time of year.

The wedding day itself was a bit of a whirlwind since a room flip was required, so it’s fun to be able to look back at these stunning photos from Sarah Corbett Photography and really take in the space! We loved this chuppah and the way the flowers pop on the royal blue linens, but the best part might be seeing just how much fun Allie and Bill have together. They were so clearly in love and excited to be married; it radiates out of the photos! Thank you guys for letting us be a part of your day.

ladies

 

 

 

 

 

 

bouquetceremony 1ceremony 2ceremony 3

 

 

 

ceremony 4Allie_Bill_478escort 1reception 3

Allie_Bill_481reception 1reception 4reception 5cake topperhigh five

barcakebridge

 

 

Bride's Choice 2010
Bride's Choice 2011
Bride's Choice 2012
Bride's Choice 2013
Bride's Choice 2014
Bride's Choice 2015
Bride's Choice 2016
The Knot Best of Weddings 2010
The Knot Best of Weddings 2011
The Knot Best of Weddings 2012
The Knot Best of Weddings 2013
The Knot Best of Weddings 2014
The Knot Best of Weddings 2015
The Knot Best of Weddings 2016