How to Find the Right Florist for Your Wedding

How to Find the Right Florist for Your Wedding

Congratulations and Felicitations! 

So you've made one of the most important and happiest decisions of your life. To make the process of finding a florist and arranging flowers for your special day, a list of questions has been prepared that will assist you in choosing the right florist and the perfect flowers for your wedding. (See our Consultation Form).

If possible allow 2 months or more in advance of your wedding to organize your flowers.

If you do not have a favourite florist then it is best to do your homework by visiting at least three florist shops, paying particular attention to the varieties, freshness and selection of flowers and designs on display. Look for someone who listens to you and understands what you want. Florists are very creative and will design beautiful flowers, but it’s a nice touch to add your personal preferences.

Bring in ideas you’ve clipped from magazines or printed from the internet. If you have fabric and colour samples, bring them along as well. During the consultation you will be shown other ideas also.

You probably had a budget in mind when you went shopping for your wedding dress or attire. It is also important to have a budget in mind for your flowers before attending the flower consultation.

The day before the wedding it is wise to come into the shop for your “wedding check”. This is to make sure the flowers are exactly as you have imagined them. This ensures that on the day you say your “I do’s” everything is perfect and as you had envisioned it would be.

It is never too early to begin planning your wedding flowers and reserving your place on your florist's calendar of events. The events calendar fills quickly, especially during the high season from May to September. Make the planning for your special day an enjoyable and relaxing experience by placing your trust in a professional, certified florist.

Top 5 Questions West Van Florist Is Asked About Wedding Flowers

Top 5 Questions West Van Florist Is Asked About Wedding Flowers

What should I budget for my wedding flowers?

Your budget is dependent on size, how elaborate your flowers are to be, your flower choice and the time of the year you are getting married.  Don't make the mistake of not allotting enough in your budget for flowers, remember they are seen in almost all of your wedding photos and are an intricate part of your décor. We would recommend a complementary consultation, please call us directly to arrange a date and time that works for you.

How can I keep within my budget?

The largest part of your floral budget is spent on bridesmaids and guest table centres. If you are on a tight budget here are some tips:

- Use large blooms like hydrangea, sunflowers, gerbera daisies; you require fewer stems to create a large bouquet or table centre.

- Use wrist corsages instead of bouquets for your bridesmaids.

- Use a gorgeous singular stem with elegant greens like an orchid, garden rose or peony for your bridesmaids bouquets.

- Have bud vases with singular blooms on the guest tables, using as many as there are guests: these can then be given away at the end of the night as wedding favours!

- Use locally grown, in season flowers.

- Give your bridal bouquets double duty by placing them in vases as head table arrangements.

How do I choose a florist?

Have a complementary wedding consultation with a well regarded florist like West Van Florist. Ask yourself: does the consultant listen to you? Do they give you creative ideas and problem solve? Do they understand and are they capable of creating vision? Are they excited to be involved in your day? If yes, this IS your florist. West Van Florist offers a Bridal Check the day before your wedding, it gives you a chance to view your flowers and have peace of mind, knowing that they are perfect.


Which flowers should I choose?

The joy of a large florist like West Van Florist is we have a huge selection of flowers on our shop floor for you to choose from. Gorgeous and unique tropical stems such as orchids, ginger, tuberose and birds of paradise, soft scented garden flowers such as lisianthus, freesia, peonies, garden roses and freesia, or cost effective blooms like alstromeria, gerbera and hydrangea. Bring your vision and we can show you all the exciting options we have. Go on Pinterest or Instagram and become inspired, or choose a flower that has personal meaning to you.

Should I do my own wedding flowers?

During wedding season we help with many last minute emergencies: brides running into the store upset and stressed because they have either run out of time, or are not happy with what they or their relative has created. The simple answer is NO!! Weddings are meant to be a fun-filled time with family and friends, and unlike invitations or wedding favours that you can create way ahead of the wedding, flowers need to be designed and set up at the very last minute, at the peak of freshness. Remember you are going to be involved in wedding rehearsals, dinners and appointments for hair and makeup. Leave such a key part of your wedding to the professionals at West Van Florist and truly enjoy your day. 

How to organise flowers for your garden wedding

How to organise flowers for your garden wedding

Congratulations, your wedding is going to be celebrated in a garden! A garden wedding should be warm, intimate, and full of personal elements unique to the bride and groom; but most importantly a garden wedding is a fun event. Here are some ideas and helpful hints you might want to think about:

Helpful Hints

One key item is the weather. No bride wants to have to think about this, but when planning an outdoor event you must consider inclement weather. Are you going to rent a tent? Are you going to move the ceremony and reception indoors if it rains?  Will your requirements for flowers change if plan B does needs to be implemented?

It's a great idea to have your florist visit the garden that the wedding is to be held in, so that they can walk the garden and plan out your vision with you.

Do you require more colour in your garden? West Van Florist has a garden centre, and we offer an on-site consultation for any garden related arrangements you might require such as hanging baskets, ornamental trees, patio planters and bedding plants, so you can maximise the beauty of your garden.

Floral Ideas

Arbour - Arbours are a beautiful addition to a garden wedding, from rustic willow or birch to ornate wrought iron and fabric laden arbours, there is nothing quite like exchanging vows under an arbour festooned in gorgeous garden blooms. Arbours can be rented, bought or created (if you have a family member who is good with their hands).

Creating an aisle - To define an aisle for your garden wedding, some creative ideas include: logs or wood blocks placed down the aisle with mason jars or rustic containers filled with beautiful blooms; shepherd hooks with either hanging planter baskets or vases of fresh flowers; grass covered in rose petals (a simple but effective look!). 


Reception tables - Reception tables placed directly onto the grass can be wobbly, so make sure the table centres you choose have a large footprint, like the picture below. If you are going to rent a tent, ask for a floor.

If you choose to have long communal tables some options are:

A variety of different shaped containers spread out or clustered along the table;

A garland of flowers that winds across the table and cascading over the edge; or

Rustic rectangular containers filled with garden blooms.

When creating weddings outdoors the space is expansive, so to make a statement larger arrangements are key, as shown below.


Extra décor ideas - To create a romantic, warm, inviting feel, hang lights and flowers from established trees - a stunning look, especially at sunset.

Wreaths can be hung on your garden gate, marking the entrance to your wedding.

For creative party favours: use lavender, petite flowering plants, or herbs, planted into terracotta containers with personalised place card holders.

Your garden wedding will be a wonderful outdoor event that you, your family, and friends will remember fondly for years to come. Enjoy! 

Bouquets & Alternatives

Bouquets & Alternatives

When it comes to deciding on your bridal bouquet you may not realize how many options you really have. A bridal bouquet is an important element of your wedding that will reflect your personality and make you feel special. The bouquet should be something you love and are proud to hold.

The structure of the bouquet usually reflects the style of the overall theme of wedding, and the only real guideline is this: let your imagination run wild!

Fresh Flowers

Fresh cut flowers in your bouquet can be anything from common blooms you grew up with, or exotic beauties from all over the world. There is something magical about a handful of fresh flowers accompanying you down the aisle. Make sure you take the time to stop and smell those roses! (or whatever you so choose).


Permanent Stems

Permanent floral stems make for a great option for the sentimental bride. If you've planned a destination wedding, the location may not provide you with the blooms you had set your heart on, and permanent stems are a lovely way to bring a little piece of home wherever you venture. It is important to know that many cruise ships will not allow fresh wedding flowers aboard. And don't worry - permanent or 'artificial' flowers have come a long way from your grandmother's dusty old fake blooms. A gorgeous permanent arrangement can be created well in advance of your big day, and makes a beautiful keepsake you can cherish forever.


Heirloom & Keepsakes

If you are lucky enough to have heirloom broaches, pendants, or trinkets passed on to you, think outside the box and tug at everyone’s heartstrings with a bouquet filled with history, or just a few pieces added as gorgeous accents. If you love this look, but don’t have a surplus of keepsakes, think about borrowing pieces, thrifting, antiquing or even asking your trusted florist what bling might be available to spice up your bouquet.


Living Bouquet

The use of succulents and air plants is a fun way to let your love continue to grow. Air plants can be removed and (easily) cared for for years after your wedding, as a sweet reminder of the best day ever. Succulents, even when cut, can root themselves and continue to thrive. This is a great option to create a unique organic feel to your bouquet.


Floral Crowns

When a bouquet isn’t to your taste, or you’re a little flower obsessed (like us), frame your face with blooms! A full floral crown, blossom hair clips or a few stems throughout your hair makes for some serious romance and whimsy! 

Creative Ideas for Wedding Table Arrangements

Creative Ideas for Wedding Table Arrangements

Guest table centres are an integral part of any wedding, adding a sense of occasion and dressing whatever space you have chosen to hold your reception. It's also another opportunity to get creative! Here's some ideas for three different types of budget:

The Inexpensive Option:

If you're working to a tight budget, why not double the function of your table centres, and make them your wedding favors too?  

Filling bud vases or mason jars with elegant blooms, for example, or floating flowers in low bowls. Another option is cocktail glasses filled with flowers, or a cluster of roses and coffee beans in a small vase. All of these look great on the table AND your guests can take them home afterwards. Perfect! 


The Midrange Option:

Even with a slightly larger budget, you still need to carefully consider container and flower choice. Larger blooms such as hydrangea, garden roses, gerbera and dahlia can create big show with fewer stems - and therefore less money - for example. Square glass vases, mason jars and rose bowls will create a modern look and are reasonably priced.

Here are some creative mid range table centres.


The Luxury Option:

If you are planning a luxurious wedding or have booked a large venue where more substantial floral arrangements are required, the sky is the limit, and creativity is the key.

This beautiful beach arrangement was created by our designers for Perfect Weddings Magazine, and could be duplicated for a garden or indoor event.

Our floral creations were part of one of the first weddings held at the new Vancouver Convention centre, and this wall of vases is quite stunning, as is the bride.


Our eye-catching and dramatic designs for this wedding at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia show how colour can be used to make a striking statement. 


At this hotel event,  the pop of yellow and magenta orchids and roses created a real show stopper.

No matter what your budget, you can create something that is personal and unique to you, and with a creative design team like West Van Florist one thing is for certain - you'll have a day to remember.

What to Research Before Meeting your Wedding Florist

What to Research Before Meeting your Wedding Florist

An Approximate Budget:

Even if you are not sure of the cost of flowers, have a ballpark idea of how much you are prepared to spend. Flower budgets vary dramatically dependent upon flower choice and how grand and elaborate you want your wedding to be. Remember a larger budget will be required if you wedding is on the week of a major floral holiday, such as Valentines Day, Mothers Day or Christmas.

An Approximate Idea of Quantities:

Knowing the following quantities will allow us to provide you with an accurate quote.

  • Number of bridesmaids & groomsmen.    
  • Number of boutonnieres and corsages for the bridal party.
  • Will you like pew markers, and how many?
  • Do you require a floral installation, hooper, arbour or wall of flowers?
  • Number of large arrangements for the church and at the reception.
  • Number of guest table arrangements.
  • Number of head table arrangements.

The vision or theme for your wedding:

Bring your Pinterest page, photos, fabric samples and your invitation. Together, we can create floral ideas which are uniquely yours.


If you have a vision for the style of container you require for your wedding, please bring an example with you, as this will assist us in calculating the variety and number of flowers you will require.

Images of the venue:

If you are getting married at your family's home, or a unique or unusual venue, it is vital we can see the photos of the areas you might need flowers. This helps us determine the colour, style and proportion of the designs required. We also may need to visit the venue, especially if we have never been involved with a wedding there before.

Essentially, the more information we have the better! 

Kristin + Matt - A Succulent Wedding

Kristin + Matt - A Succulent Wedding

A Succulent Wedding

On August 23rd, West Van Florist had the pleasure of working with an incredibly creative bride, Kristin. Kristen was a senior wedding coordinator for Lonsdale Party Rentals, where she was involved in creating many weddings for her numerous clients. So when it came to her own special day, Kristin had a very clear vision of what she wanted.


The key element to Kristin's wedding was succulents. They were combined with curly willow and soft textural floral flowers in shades of green, deep purple and burgundy.


She wanted her wedding flowers to be bold, unique and something none of her guests had experienced before.


Her bridal bouquet: This was designed with mixed deep lush purple lisianthus, New Zealand Calla lilies, Lavender and curly willow, unique succulents, these included String of Pearls, Echeveria, Sempervivum and Graptopetalum.


The bridesmaids bouquets: These bouquets were created with succulents, lavender and unique mixed greenery.


The flower girl bouquets:  These unique wicker ball designs, were so fun and creative, yet practical, as they were light weight and easy to carry, The balls were layered with succulents, curly willow and moss. with beautiful deep purple ribbon.


The Boutonnieres and Corsages: The Boutonnieres were created with mini succulents, lavender, curly willow and moss. The Wrist Corsages were similar to the boutonnieres, however we added freesia for scent.


The Reception: For the reception Kristin followed the same theme, creating trees filled with mini succulent terrariums, which were given away as gifts to all her guests at the end of the evening.


Listing to a brides vision and giving them the confidence that you can create exactly what they want is an integral part of a successful wedding, and we truly believe we more than succeeded. Come for a complementary consultation and let us create your unique wedding.