Just in time for wedding season, event planner and floral designer to the stars Preston Bailey delivers Designing With Flowers, a new eye candy book filled with the arrangements of your wildest wedding dreams (Rizzoli, $45 at amazon.com). The 200-plus pages inside are filled with photographs of his most dazzling affairs. "Flowers evoke a sense of celebration," Bailey told InStyle.com of the tome (his sixth!). The key, he advises, is to keep it interesting. "There is a fine line between simple flowers and boring flowers. Make sure your flowers are not boring!" How to do that, exactly? When going to interview your potential wedding florist, be prepared. Here's what you need to know before you go:
BE READY TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS
"If I ask the right questions, every bride will tell me exactly what she wants," says Bailey. "Instead of being bombarded with images from Pinterest, I like to engaged in a gentle exploration of what a bride likes." Therefore, you should be able to answer these questions. If not, figure out the answers before you go!
* What is your favorite flower?
* What are your favorite colors?
* Have you been to a wedding that she loved? And why?
* What flowers and colors does you hate?
ASK FOR FLOWERS IN SEASON
"The easiest way to save money is by using seasonal flowers," says Bailey. Find this information online or just ask your florist. It's not tacky.
CONSIDER ADDING SPARKLE
A new trend in wedding flowers is to have crystals dangling off your centerpieces or hidden as charms in the bridal bouquet. "While it depends on the bride if it's for you, I happen to love me some sparkle," he says. "If used correctly it adds another dimension to the flowers."
BEWARE THE ONCOMING TRAIN
Sometimes, a bride chooses to accessorize her aisle with petals, but unfortunately when she walks down, she drags them all with her because of her gown's train. "Beware of this," says Bailey.
GO FOR WHITE, GIRLS
When it comes to the bridal bouquet, monotone is a key play. "As much as I love color, I do recommend an all-white bouquet for the bride," says Bailey. "If it's color, your eyes automatically goes to the colors of the bouquet as the bride walks down the aisle, distracting from the bride and her dress."
DO NOT LEAVE WITHOUT ASKING THESE QUESTIONS
Your florist is going to ask you tons of questions, but you need to grill them, too. Here's what you need to ask, suggests Bailey.
1) Are the flowers going to be fully open for my wedding?
2) The containers that you are using for my centerpieces, are they mine or rented? ("It's very important in case one of the guess takes home the centerpiece at the end of party," he says.)
3) What are you doing with all the leftover flowers? ("A great idea is to donate them to a nursing home."
1. Don't Forget to Look Up!
Bailey created this look on the lawn of the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, on France’s Côte d’Azur, where "we created a whimsical canopy of orchids above the aisle," he explains.
2. Use Purple for Contrast
"The greens and purples achieve beautiful contrast," says Bailey.
3. Create a Heaven on Earth
"The bride wanted her ceremony to look like 'a garden in heaven,'" said Bailey. Mission accomplished!
4. Go Monotone
Don't be afraid to use one color. Here, Bailey used white. "My client requested a winter wonderland setting to surprise and delight her guests at an intimate dinner," he says.
5. More Can Be Better
"The bride adheres to my 'more is better' approach when it comes to flowers," he says of this look, where he incorporated peach and pink hues to set off the items in antique gold and silver.
6. Use Your Favorite Flowers
In this design, Bailey used a cherry blossom tree in the setup. Gorgeous! Scoop up the book for $45 at amazon.com.