WEDDING PLANNING: Let's Talk Flowers!

Have you started searching for your wedding florist? I’ll admit, when planning my own wedding I was a little lost when it came to this section of the wedding, and thanks to a friend in the wedding industry I was able to navigate it. Today I’m interviewing Kiira of Fox & Flora (spoiler alert, this lady has got one crazy path to becoming a florist) and she’s going to give us tips for hiring a florist for your wedding!

Tell us a little bit about you and your company….

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I took a rather unconventional path to becoming a florist. I have a degree in Aerospace Engineering and worked as an engineer for the first 7 years of my career. A couple of years ago I felt a growing urge to turn working with flowers – something I love so much – into a career. I’ve always had a deep love for flowers. Instead of lemonade as a kid, I used to sell flowers from my mom’s garden in my neighborhood. I officially launched Fox & Flora in 2017 and it’s been flowers ever since! I’ve been lucky enough to flower (yep that’s a verb) all over the world, doing weddings across the country, as well as in Italy and Australia. 

Fox & Flora specializes in weddings and corporate events, but we also try to find the time for workshops, flower crown soirees, and special occasion deliveries. 

My design philosophy is to always keep things fresh and unique. I have a bit of a love affair with gardens and I believe in taking cue from the beauty found in nature, who’s been a master of design for a lot longer than I have. Nature is incredibly diverse and it is so important for me to incorporate that into my designs. When a client asks what Fox & Flora’s style is, I always say we specialize in creating unique, garden inspired, whimsical, and often wild floral designs. It’s a lot safer to stick to one type of design, but that’s just not me, and not the brand I want to build.

I am so proud of what Fox & Flora has become and am grateful to all of those (and there have been many!) who have supported me over the last few years. 

To my future brides and grooms, I like to say that flowers set the general tone for your wedding. They should not only be show stopping and gorgeous, but should be a reflection of the people being celebrated. Small and unexpected details are often the most memorable, and I strive to bring that to every project Fox & Flora takes on. 

What do you suggest for a Bride or Groom who just got engaged and is gathering inspiration for their wedding florals?

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Oh I love this question, mostly because this is the most fun and creative part! The first thing I would say is to keep an open mind and don’t get stressed out by all the different design choices. Let yourself like as many different styles and colors as you want. The first step is to start a design board for your florals (Pinterest is your friend) and pin everything you like, even if you are going in a million different directions. Mixing romantic English garden arrangements and moody bohemian looks is completely acceptable. Give yourself some time to just experiment with different styles. A good florist can combine the aspects from the design board with all the other decision you’re starting to make (venue, rentals, dress, etc.) to come up with a floral design that is 100% unique to you.  

When should you book your florist?

The earlier, the better. Florists book up pretty early, and you don’t want to get in the situation where you’re rushed to sign a contract because the florist has two other clients trying to book the same date. As a general rule, I advise to book at least 8 months in advance. 

What does the process look like for you, from signing on a client to the wedding day?

When I get an inquiry from a couple I first ask them for some wedding details (color palette, vibe, etc); I do this either by email or a quick phone call. Once I get a sense of the look they are going for, I put together a mood board with my estimate. I like to provide the mood board to ensure everyone is on the same page with the general style. When a client wants to move forward then I’ll provide a contract. Then we get to get into all the fun details! I’ll admit, I often dream about my future couples’ weddings…is that normal? 

The next important step in my process is to provide a formal design proposal so the couple has a very good sense of what their florals are going to look like on their wedding day. The design proposal includes everything from the number of floral items, to floral varieties, to images depicting what these items might look like. I generally prepare the design proposal three months out from the wedding to allow the couple plenty of time to make stylistic changes. I love making the design proposal process as collaborative as possible – I talk to the couple prior to putting it together to discuss their latest ideas. I also like to get on the phone immediately after they’ve seen it to review and incorporate any changes they might want. By this point I get to know my couples more personally, and I really love that. 

Is there anything you suggest that couples steer clear of when selecting their wedding florals?

Hm…. I’m not sure I would suggest anything specific to stay clear of, but rather I would suggest something to be aware of: try to be conscious of the seasons. Mother Nature makes so many amazing flowers in so many amazing colors, but those colors and varieties change greatly throughout the year. If one of the colors from your palette isn’t available in a floral variety for your wedding date, ask your florist if they could recommend some options for incorporating that hard-to-find floral hue onto your table – like linens or glassware.  

Lastly, is there anything else you'd like to mention?

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      My last bit of advice is to trust your vendors. Once you find the vendors that are the right fit for you, let them work their magic. I know giving up control can be hard because this is your wedding day and you want everything to go to plan, but really great vendors are just as anxious to make everything perfect for you. I feel a tremendous sense of honor and responsibility every time I am booked, and the thought of letting anyone down is what keeps me up at night. Know that the importance of your big day is never taken lightly. Once you pick your vendors, let them guide you through the rest of the design process. If you can trust your vendors, you can focus more on enjoying your wedding day!

One last tidbit, I love dogs. Please let me flower your dogs! 

Thank you to Kiira for offering her words of wisdom for flower planning for your dream wedding.

Check out Kiira’s Instagram account @foxandfloradesigns or her website