Tip of the Day #57: Expert Flower Advice from Blush Designs NY

Tip of the Day #57: Expert Flower Advice from Blush Designs NY

Today we are featuring expert advice from Jeeyun Lee and Yena Jung of Blush Designs NY!  I had the pleasure of working with Jeeyun full time at BizBash and was so excited to hear that her reason for leaving the company was to follow an entrepreneurial venture with her close friend, Yena.  Yena and Jeeyun have been featured in Glamour and New York Magazine Weddings and have received coverage on top wedding blogs including Style Me Pretty, Merci New York and Brooklyn Bride.

glamourmay2012-1

Yena and Jeeyun have certainly made their mark on the New York wedding scene since opening the doors to Blush Designs and are moving full steam ahead in 2013!  Enjoy some expert advice and fabulous eye candy from the floral masterminds behind Blush Designs NY.

How far in advance should a couple meet with a florist to start planning the floral elements of their wedding?
Timing ranges for all our couples. We’ve had couples start the floral process with us 18 months from their wedding date, and then we’ve had couples meet with us 3 weeks out. General rule of thumb – if the couple has their venue booked (meaning they know their date), has decided on a floral budget, and has a general sense of preferred décor, they are ready to meet with floral designers. In NYC, wedding vendors can get booked somewhat quickly so starting the process on the earlier end is beneficial. Overall though, we’d say six to nine months from the date of the wedding is plenty of time to pick a designer, and to tweak and finalize wedding floral and design concepts.

What should a couple bring with them or think about in order to effectively convey their floral design goals to a florist/designer?
We suggest that a newly engaged couple should start by considering the overall design concept that they want and then work together with a floral designer to bring that concept to life. We always ask couples how they envision their event. Questions we tend to ask include: Do you want tall dramatic centerpieces or low lush arrangements? Do you want color or neutral?  What mood or tone do you want to set? This means that couples should do some research before planning initial consultations with floral designers. Gathering images will help, and these images can come from magazines, other floral designers’ websites, wedding blogs, or even celebrity weddings. It’s best to show these images to their floral designer in addition to verbalizing their ideas. We all love using words, like “organic”, or “modern” or “rustic”, but these words hold different value to different people.

What are your favorite seasonal trends in flowers?  What do you predict as the “it” flower of 2013?
The flowers that are most often used in weddings will not go out of style, similar to the way one can never go wrong with a little back dress. More so than a seasonal trend in flowers or an “it” flower of 2013, we think clients will continue to seek a wedding look that feels lush and effortless. The design and style of floral arrangements will help to create such an aesthetic. Traditional wedding flowers like Roses and Hydrangea can be designed in a way that is modern to keep a wedding looking current and reflective of a couple’s taste. We think that arrangements that are too loose, too messy, and with too many types of flowers tend to look a bit dated.

When meeting with a couple to discuss their floral needs for a wedding, which elements do you see as a necessity?
Couples absolutely need to know their budget, as we often work backwards from a target number to give couples their best-case scenario for design and scale of arrangements. Flexibility regarding types of flowers is also helpful. We like knowing all our clients’ floral likes and dislikes, but budget can determine the types and volume of flowers that a couple can afford. Seeing the bigger picture of how flowers create ambiance and aesthetic can work in a couple’s favor, versus zoning in on a particular flower or specific color (and we have been sent pantone colors to match flowers too!).

What are some floral options for couples that are trying to watch their design budget but still want that “wow” look?
Couples should consider how to allocate their funds to different parts of their evening. For example, we often tell couples on a budget to consider scaling back their cocktail hour, which is just one hour, and to allocate more to their reception pieces.

Also as we mentioned before, it can be helpful to consider scale of centerpieces versus type of flowers used. An arrangement will look more lush and impactful by incorporating certain flowers versus others. Floral designers will guide their clients to achieving their optimal look within their budget.

Many weddings take place in the hot summer months.  Can you walk us through the steps that go into preparing and preserving florals for a wedding?
Our first question to couples getting married in summer months is if their venue has air conditioning. Whether flowers will be in a cool space will determine what kind of flowers we’ll suggest for couples to use in their arrangements.

All our flowers are brought into our studio about three days in advance to prepare for a perfect bloom. We had a wedding in the summer of 2011 on the hottest day of the year, and the flowers all looked beautiful. It’s a matter of using stronger flowers that can withstand heat, properly prepping them (cutting them and keeping them in fresh water) in our cool studio for days in advance, and spraying with crowning glory that seals in the moisture.

What current trends are you excited to see pass?
Our company aesthetic lends toward a more modern aesthetic. We can’t lie – we don’t love the mason jar, but we understand that certain venues lend themselves to a more vintage look. So when clients come to us looking for that vintage aesthetic, we’ll show them other textured clear vessel options that will contemporize a vintage arrangement.

Why do floral prices vary throughout the year?
The prices of some flowers vary depending on the season. For example, Peonies, a very popular flower, have bloom times mostly in the spring. Although they might be available other times of the year, they’re most available and therefore most cost effective during the spring.

Many brides today have taken the D.I.Y. approach with their wedding elements and décor.  Do you feel that it is imperative to hire a professional floral designer?  Why or why not?
That depends on the scale of the florals. The DIY approach could work for bud vases and/or smaller-scale arrangements for smaller weddings. For larger scale arrangements, hiring a professional floral designer is imperative. Floral arranging is not only labor intensive, but also based on skill and knowledge of how different flowers bloom. Also brides should consider the time and staff needed to transport larger arrangements in and out of venues.

At Blush Designs, you do floral design as well as event planning and décor.  How important is it to “marry” the floral elements with an event’s overall design?
We ask our clients what they envision when they walk into their ceremony or reception because it’s important for the flowers to complement the overall design aesthetic! Also, the venue, and details like the brides and bridesmaid dress designs and colors, all help us to understand our clients’ vision for their wedding.

And now, for the floral fun!  Jeeyun and Yena were kind enough to share images from a few of their recent events.  Drool away!

The following images are from a wedding held at Gotham Hall where the client gave Blush creative license to come up with a unique floral concept.

Gotham2

Gotham1

The next two images are from a wedding that was scheduled to take place right after Hurricane Sandy.  This wedding, held at Prospect Park Boathouse, went off without a hitch with the exception of obtaining flowers due to the fuel shortage and delay in floral shipments from storm damage.

Sandy1

Sandy2

The next wedding was held at Bridgewaters where Blush Designs hung 200 lights from the ceiling and then lit them all in the short period of time when the room was flipped from the ceremony to reception.  Simply stunning!

Bridgewaters

This beautiful wedding was held at The Foundry in New York during Blush’s busiest week of events.  A calm and beautiful scene for a hectic week!

Foundry

The following ceremony was held at the Harvard Club in New York.  Blush Designs accented the chuppah with tons of candlelight to create a romantic ambiance

HarvardClub

This gorgeous bouquet designed for a wedding held at Norwood featured unique floral elements including Curly Willow.  Stunning!

Norwood

Last but certainly not least, this understated arrangement designed for Public Restaurant adds the perfect pop of color.

Public

To find out more about Blush Designs NY or inquire about floral services, you can visit www.blushdesignsny.com or contact the ladies via email at jee@blushdesignsny.com or yena@blushdesignsny.com.  Happy planning!

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