WALNUT GROVE — When it comes to planning for a wedding, it’s all about the bride. Once her dress is picked out, it might be time to think about the flowers.
“It’s really important to the bride. The flowers need to be what she’s dreamed about,” says Suzanne Schmiesing, owner of Schmiesing Flower Farm in Walnut Grove. “And that’s really important to us — to make sure that she (the bride) is happy. What she’s picking out and what she’s getting. Because you look at those flowers in the pictures forever.”
When it comes to planning for wedding flowers, Schmiesing bases her recommendations on 25 years of experience in the flower business. After a graduating with a degree in horticulture from South Dakota State University, Schmiesing opened a greenhouse business on her family’s farm. Today, her husband, Mark, and four children all help out with the business.
Besides real flowers, Schmiesing also deals with silk flowers.
“I don’t have a flower shop per se where I’m open every day. I do consultations and people come out here to the greenhouse. I personally do all the weddings and deliver them,” she said.
Planning for a wedding normally starts about five months ahead of the big day, but not always, Schmiesing said. She tries to spend time in consultation with her clients.
“It’s just really important to me to make sure that the bride is getting her dream wedding. We spend a lot of time in consultation. In the last couple years, I’ve done a lot of Zooms. Which worked out pretty well just because of the distance or because of COVID restrictions,” she said.
“I usually sit down with them and we just talk about like the colors of the wedding and try to get a feel for the wedding. Elegant, or if it’s a garden-style. Then I try to show them pictures of different types of bouquets that I’ve done. I take pictures of everything and I have this big album of things I’ve done. And I just try to have them pick out things that they like. And then I try to put together something based on their likes.
Following the trends
Schmiesing said sometimes the wedding actually incorporates plants such as succulents. She also said keepsakes such as grandma’s necklace will be added to the bride’s bouquet, or bits of the wedding dress for the wrapping of the bouquets.
She said many of the ideas brought to her by wedding planners come form social media platforms such as Pinterest. Years ago, ideas came from magazines. Social media also helps out Schmiesing with keeping up with new trends.
“I’m seeing the cascade bouquets from the ’90s starting to come back. I see garden-type flowers. I think people are doing smaller, more elegant weddings, compared to big to-do’s. Every bride is different,” she said. “You can tell what the upcoming trend is when you start to do some prom flowers for the girls that are in high school. You can see what they like and you can see that trend usually plays out in the next couple years.”
How many flowers do you need?
“You need to know who needs flowers. I you just show up on my door step, you know the number of bridesmaids, you know you need a bouquet and you know you need an alter bouquet. You know your dress colors or whatever your bridesmaids (dress) colors,” Schmiesing said. “So just some basic information. And some people come with a lot of information. They’ve got some ideas figured out. Which is great, but it’s not necessary. The date and the location — that’s about all.”
You need to know your budget
“I think everybody is is different in every region of the country. So usually what I do is I first ask them if they have a budget, and a lot don’t. Most have never never bought flowers for a wedding before,” Schmiesing said. “What I say then, ‘well let me go through your order and I’ll just figure it out.’ And I just go flower by flower and I just figure it out how much it would cost as an estimate at that point.”
If the estimation is more than the wedding organizers can spend, Schmiesing says she then goes back and reworks the order.
“I try not to give them a very narrow range and sometimes I can look at their wedding and say, ‘I can estimate this and be within $500 to $1,000. But I hate to just give them a price without going through it. Unfortunately, right now the price of flowers since the COVID supply and demand thing, flowers are very volatile. I give them an estimate and I say, ‘just be prepared, it could be up to 20% more. I just try to communicate with them as much as possible.”
Schmiesing says a smaller wedding could cost as little as $500. A larger wedding could cost up to $2000 to $3,000.
According to Weddingwire.com, the average cost of wedding flowers in the U.S. is around $1,500 for small to medium size weddings and up to $5,000 or more for large weddings.
While June has always been the main month for weddings, Schmiesing says Fall is also becoming popular. And flowers can be planned for any season
“I’ve actually done a couple winter weddings. Just this last year I did some Christmassy ones and some that were kind of winter (themed),” she said.
But whatever the season, Schmiesing says it’s important to plan as much as possible to prevent stress on the bride.
“You want them to be comfortable. To feel like she’s done this before. I don’t need to worry about this. Just make them feel at ease,” she said. “It’s pretty important. A big day like this, a lot of things could potentially go wrong.
“I always make the flowers the day before and I always send pictures to the bride of her bouquet and her bridesmaid bouquets. Just to make sure that’s what they envisioned. That way, if it’s not what they want, I got some time to fix it. And then the bride can take that breath of relief.
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