The Expert Tips & Advice is an interview series with local wedding professionals. We talk about trends, ideas and advice to make wedding planning easier for the couple.
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Caroline Kelly, owner of Caroline’s, has a background in interior design and a passion for creative floral design. Her enthusiasm flows into her conversation as she shared about being a florist in Eastern Iowa for 16 years. Her Mount Vernon shop specializes in floral, vintage decor, invitations, jewelry and gifts. She also rents vintage silver trays and serving pieces for serving food, floral and candle holders, and mirrors and candles.
CHOOSING YOUR FLOWERS
By browsing through magazines and websites like Pinterest or Instagram, you may start your flower bouquet research before ever meeting with a florist. “Usually brides bring a “look” they have seen and like,” says Caroline. “A bride often has a vision for her bouquet, even if it’s just a simple idea of ‘elegant and tailored’ verses ‘country and casual’ design.”
Important things for couples to let Caroline know when they’re meeting with her is what they do and don’t like, such as feelings about color, size, shape, and flowers, as well as details like ribbons or jewels.
“They also usually know what they do NOT like and that helps as much as what they do like. Knowing what you don’t want gives me a better insight into the atmosphere the bride is trying to create.”
NEW FLORAL & FOLIAGE TRENDS
Staying current on wedding floral and foliage trends is important to Caroline. “Flowers will never be replaced for weddings, but brides are now using more foliage,” she says.
Texture is taking the front seat in design. Brides are including such elements as different types of branches with buds, eucalyptus, pussy willows, bells of Ireland, and galaxy leaves. “Using succulents is very big right now,” says Caroline. This applies to both bouquets and decorating the reception space. “I like to combine them with flowers and use them throughout the wedding to carry the look and theme of the day.”
Roses and hydrangeas remain the most popular flowers for Caroline’s brides, with pinks and white or cream still a favored palette. “Black-and-white is on the way out and color is in, ranging from pastels to jewel tones and mixing bold colors.”
Other trends include using small flowers in the hair, lots of greenery, and details becoming more important. Traditional, round bouquets are on the way out. Bouquets are looser and more free-form with the brides favorite colors and flowers. About those bouquets, Caroline says, “Size matters. You’ll be carrying the bridal bouquet around all day, so you don’t want it to be too heavy.”
Also on the way out are single flowers in bud vases to decorate reception tables. Caroline would love to see more flowers as accents on cakes and tables, and church pew end-caps, along with more vine swag to wrap tables.
MORE OF CAROLINE’S ADVICE & TIPS
- – Caroline knows how to save brides money and work with their budget. Her number one tip for wedding couples is to work with seasonal flowers to save money.
- – The bride should have one thing that is spectacular on her wedding day. “This is your special day! Glam it up, use rhinestones, look glamorous with the jewelry you choose, think about lighting candles to create atmosphere.”
- – Think about details. For example, the containers that will hold the flowers you use for decorating are very important. “You want to make sure that they don’t take away from the flowers, and that they‘re appropriate to what you’re doing for decorating.”
As an art major with 40 years of experience, Caroline loves to show her creative ability and takes pride in working with brides to make sure their wedding day is perfect. She hand-selects every flower for every wedding to make sure she gets the right color and the best blooms. And she stays on the wedding day until everything looks great to make sure that the couple’s day runs smoothly.
Where should you splurge versus where can you save:
“Brides and grooms need to prioritize what’s important. Bouquets and boutonnieres will always be first in your budget, and then you can move on to reception,” says Caroline.
A’s to my Q’s: Caroline says…
Weddings and frivolity go hand-in-hand.
You should never get married without a sense of humor.
To have an unforgettable wedding, sometimes you have to make it your own.
Electric Slide, Chicken Dance or watching from the bar? Electric slide!