I am thrilled to be sharing an interview with my dearest friend and colleague Rhiannon of Hey Gorgeous Events! Rhi is one of the most talented individuals I know and she is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to flowers. I am hopeful this will give you some insight to choosing the perfect florist for your wedding day.

Can you share what first inspired you to start designing flowers? 

I started offering floral design as a part of my all inclusive planning offerings in 2013. After exclusively offering only planning and design services for my first two wedding seasons as a business, I realized something was missing when it came time for my efforts to come full circle on a wedding day. I found it hard to bring my design ideas to life for my clients when I didn't have my hand in a detail that felt like such a big part of the wedding aesthetic; the flowers! I also quickly realized how much joy flowers brought me and my clients! By simply adding this service I was able to better serve my clients by creating this part of their day for them. As soon as I gave myself the permission to expand what I could do for others big things happened with my business.

How did you develop the Hey Gorgeous flower design look that you're known for? 

The Hey Gorgeous floral style is very lush, garden inspired, sophisticated and timeless. We love to use a lot of romantic texture, soft colors, and a touch of movement. When I design I try to find a delicate balance between what the client desires (regardless of what I like) and how flowers naturally compliment one another. For example, for a bride who may want a more tailored look to her centerpieces I'll use less greens and fuller, rounder blooms that nestle in closely together for a streamlined look. But for a bride that wants a more organic and whimsical feel to her arrangements, we will use more linear florals and various types of foliage to create lots of movement almost like you would find flowers and greens in nature. I think the part of my and my team's work that I am most proud is not that we are able to create florals that are beautiful and consistently in line with our design values, but that we bring our client's wishes and desires to life in such unique ways. Staying true to how we design and the values the HGE brand is built on has allowed us to truly develop a style that is timeless and in our eyes, far from trendy. 

Florists Vary a lot in price. If a bride knows exactly what she wants and has inspiration from Pinterest can any florist achieve the look she's hoping for? 

Yes they do! I wish there was a better way to keep everyone educated (both professionals and clients) on what it takes to bring a wedding to life. For any given Saturday wedding, we typically start the floral process on a Tuesday. Our days include filling buckets, unwrapping packaged flowers, cleaning stems and preparing them for designing, pulling inventory, gridding out centerpieces or soaking and cutting floral foam, the actual design process which is very time consuming, making personal floral elements which takes an extra level of care, wrapping everything up carefully, transportation and then set up. This takes usually up to four days with a team of 4 to 6 and that's for a pretty standard wedding (for our team at least). Then there is tear down at the end of the night which is a whole other level of time and labor that often gets left out of florist's costs. Our price does't include just the cost of the flowers but the cost of supplies, the time to make it all happen, the experience to create something that's beautiful and durable, and so much more. 

I mention all of that because there's a lot that goes into creating that beautiful photo that's pinned thousands of times on Pinterest! And many times it's so hard to tell the difference between a wedding that required 20 centerpieces (which obviously costs much more money) versus an editorial shoot where the entire floral budget was allocated to just one centerpiece (which obviously results in a really beautiful and enviable sized creation). I try my best as the planner and as the main advocate for my clients, to be up front about costs when it comes to their floral desires. I ask questions like, 'What is it about this arrangement you love? The colors? The size? The texture? The greens? The shape?' 'What can we pull from this photo to not only make your flowers look they way you want but also fit within the budget you've allocated for the floral end of things?' and, 'That looks like a garden rose and not a peony but it's still a great substitute for your bouquet! Here are some other options you may love.' Most of the time, I can become a better florist and designer if I can listen to my client, educate them, and then do my job to come up with something better than they could ever imagine! 

When it comes to flowers, where should a bride prioritize her budget? 

I love this question! My favorite suggestion is with the bride's bouquet and the centerpieces. The bridal bouquet is almost like an accessory for the bride and can hold so much significance. Whether it's a peony from her mother's garden, fresh lavender to remind her of her late grandmother, or tulips as a nod to the first bouquet her soon to be husband bought her, there is a lot of emotion associated with the bridal bouquet and I believe every bride should carry a bouquet she treasures and loves. As for the centerpieces, this is really where your guests will be enjoying themselves; good conversation, good food and good drinks typically make up a wedding reception dinner and what better way to celebrate that goodness than amongst beautiful centerpieces?

At what point in the planning process should you book a florist? 

The sooner you can book your floral designer the better. Since we typically only cater to the full service bride and groom, by default a client hires their florist when they hire us for planning. So that makes that process pretty easy for them. But now as we offer stand alone floral and design services, we recommend clients look to book us up to a year in advance. This is helpful from a sourcing standpoint and ensuring the design end of the event is as seamless as possible. For us, we design an event from start to finish and this includes many different facets of the wedding beyond just a centerpiece placed in the middle of a table. The more time you can devote to the aesthetic and design process the better your wedding can unfold and look.

Is there anything new you are doing with HGE that you want to share?

Actually yes! As mentioned above, we are offering stand alone floral and design services for 2017 and beyond. This means we will take care of the design of your event plus all of the florals without the financial commitment that comes along with us as your full service planning company. My passion is within the beauty of an event and finding out how to make each of our client's wedding day a true reflection of their personalities and relationship. If I can offer that to more couples who may not want or need a full planner for their event, than I'm here to do just that. After all, the more joy and beauty we can spread to people's lives, the better.

I hope you found this information helpful for booking the perfect florist for you. I highly recommend Rhi and I know she would love to talk with you about your wedding! Have a fabulous day, friends!