Picking the Right Flowers For Your Palette and Season

March 4, 2022
Picking the Right Flowers For Your Palette and Season

Florists are one of the most influential vendors you’ll book on your wedding day. Not only do they help bring your wedding vision to life, but they also help set the tone and aesthetic of your big day. Whether you’re going for a more minimal look or your heart is set on lush floral installations, it’s so important to find the right florist for your vision while knowing what works best for your palette and season. 

Photo credit left to right: Natalie Andrusiak Photography, Justine Milton Photography, Nicole Sarah Photography

Flowers by Janie is a Calgary-based boutique floral studio that specializes in fresh floral design for everything from intimate to large weddings. Their floral designs are natural, romantic and utilize a wide array of color palettes to help tell the story of each of their weddings. Janie is offering her tips and tricks when it comes to florals and aims to inspire you to utilize textures and colors by season.

Where To Start

Picking the type of flower or colors can seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be! When it comes to picking flowers for your wedding design, Janie recommends couples start by thinking of the following three things:

  1. The season
  2. Color palette
  3. The venue

“We ask questions about all of these things before we start the specific floral design. We always ask couples for at least 3 descriptive words. For example, the words boho, wild and organic will have a different ‘floral palette’ than romantic, feminine, gardenesque.”

The Season

Photo by: Heidrich Photography 

Janie’s studio designs with the seasonality of flowers in mind which is also a great tip when it comes to planning. The time of year you’re getting married can help you determine where the florals should be placed or the type of installations you need.  Are you getting married in the hot summer heat? Certain flowers won’t be available at that time of year or don’t hold up as well in certain weather.

“There are certain flowers that don’t ship very well or aren’t widely grown for commercial use. Some of my favorite local summer blooms that you don’t see often in wedding work and aren’t your typical “wedding flowers” are Blue lace flower, nigella, Cherry Caramel phlox, yarrow, and zinnias. There are also some incredible dahlias that are grown locally on a small scale with a wide range of colours.”

Some of Janie’s favorite florals she recommends to work with during the seasons include:

Spring: Clematis, Hyacinth, Peonies, Spirea, Butterfly Ranunculus
Summer: Zinnias, Dahlias, Phlox, Nigella, Scabiosa, Orlaya
Fall: Hydrangea, Snowberries, Celosia
Winter: Skimmia, Tulips, Hellebores
Year-round: Roses, Ranunculus, Astilbe, Lisianthus

“It is helpful [to pick flowers in season] but it also depends on what the couple’s floral vision, favorite flowers, and colour palette are. In winter we are very limited on local flowers in Calgary and so [we] need to import most flowers. Proteas, certain orchid varieties, pampas grasses, and many other flowers and foliage aren’t grown locally and will need to be imported so if a couple really wants something that can’t be grown locally or is out of season they will need to be imported from somewhere else.”

Photos by: Nicole Sarah Photography 

Pro/cons to using seasonal blooms:

Pros:

  • In the summer there are many beautiful local varieties so your bouquet can have more unique blooms that otherwise are hard to ship because of their fragility or have a short vase life.
  • Less of an environmental footprint to use local seasonal flowers because the flowers don’t need to travel far.
  • You support local growers and the local economy.
  • Locally grown flowers and foliage are typically more scented, often being bred out of some commercially grown varieties.
  • With choosing locally grown flowers you often know if the flowers are grown organically or what chemicals they have been treated with.

Cons:

  • If you want to have 100% seasonal blooms you will limit your options. Most of our foliage (the greenery in the bouquets) is not grown in Canada and certain flower varieties can’t be grown here due to climate. We have an amazing grower of Premium Roses on Vancouver Island but they are the only commercial rose grower in Western Canada so supply can be limited. There are hundreds of varieties grown in South America that may fit better with certain colour palettes and are more readily available.
  • Local, seasonal flowers can still be expensive. The cost of local flowers and transportation (from British Columbia) is higher because of this.

After determining your ideal wedding date and seeing what floral options are available that time of year, hone in on your color palette.

Color Palette

Photo credit left to right: JunoPhoto, Natalie Andrusiak Photography, Nicole Sarah Photography

When picking your color palette, make sure it’s balanced into your overall design. For example, are your bridesmaid dresses darker? A good tip is to lighten up the floral or add texture to the bridesmaid bouquets so everything doesn’t blend together. If you have a favorite flower or two, you can also create your palette centered around that.

“Sometimes couples come to us with one or two favorite blooms and then we design the floral palette around other blooms that work well with these flowers. We make sure there is a balance of small and large blooms, different textures and also keep in mind not to use too much fragrance so that there is proportion, balance, and harmony in the overall design and nothing including flower sizes, colour or scent is disproportionate.”

When it comes to colors, Janie is seeing more couples think outside the box and incorporate bold and bright colors into their design.

Photo by: Terry Photo Co.

 “Mauve has been popular. Blush continues to be popular but couples are getting more outgoing with colour so we are seeing deeper pinks like raspberry as well as plum hues. I think lavender (very peri colour of the year 2022) and pale blues will also be popular. I think soft yellows should be considered more as they are really lovely with soft pinks, lavender, and blues.”

Venue

Photo credit left to right: Natalie Andrusiak Photography, Nicole Sarah Photography, Stephanie Couture Photography

Your venue plays a large role when it comes to floral design. Is your venue outdoors with a beautiful backdrop? That can help you determine how many flowers or installations you need.

Most couples know right away which colors they’re incorporating into their big day but if you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t have a color palette in mind, that’s where your venue can help.

“There have been times that couples don’t have a colour palette in mind and want our input or ask us to choose their palette for them. In these cases, we turn to the colours that will be in their venue or background (ie: lakes/mountains) or the bride’s gown and work on colours that will look best with them. Recently one of our brides had her hair dyed purple so we incorporated shades of purple flowers along with plums and deep reds for a rich and regal winter floral palette.”

Photos by: Quinn Hystad photography

Bouquet Styling 

Bouquets come in all different shapes, sizes, and styles. Here are some unique ways you can style yours.

Photo credit left to right: Studio Lumen, Justine Milton, Kadie Hummel, and Rocky Mountain Photo Co.

Photo credit left to right: Amanda Dumouchelle Photography, Nicole Sarah Photography, Shannon Yau Photography, Fiddle, and Drum Photography

“The most popular bouquet styles we are seeing are cascading, round/traditional, garden-style, boho bouquets, and oversized/unstructured bouquets. Some other styles that are less popular are posy bouquets (these are more for bridesmaids) and wreaths. The garden-style and boho bouquets can also be round, but they are often more oval or completely unstructured and wild.”

It’s important to remember the correct way for brides and bridesmaids to hold their bouquets and be able to show off their beautiful designs.

Photo credit left to right: JunoPhoto, Kristyn Harder Photography

“The top of the bouquet should be held at your belly button and then tipped forward slightly. Ultimately your bouquet should reflect you and your partner. Don’t forget, your bouquet will be in most of your wedding photos so it’s a very important part of the wedding design. The colours and flowers decided for your bouquet will likely be the ones incorporated into the rest of your wedding florals. Also, trust your florist to do what they do best.”

Ready to learn more or design your dream florals? Visit Flowers by Janie’s website here.

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Floral Design: Flowers by Janie
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