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15 Wedding Flower Mistakes to Avoid

We asked top wedding florists from around the country for the most common mistakes brides make -- here's what your florist wishes you knew.

Photo: Kris Drake Photography

Flower Mistake 1: Not seeing the big picture

"Couples tend to see the centerpieces and the table setting but do not visualize the whole reception room with their guests in it. For example, couples pay for a room with a wonderful view of the ocean or scenic surrounding and want tall, large centerpieces that will obstruct this view."

-- Faith Cass, Cass the Florist, Inc.

Flower Mistake 2: Not trusting your florist

"Communicate your vision, likes, dislikes, and expectations but have a little flexibility and be comfortable with substitution. We want to make your wedding absolutely breathtaking. So relax, put trust in your vendors and remember why you hired that amazing talent!"

-- Alana Guglielmo, Mixed Greens Event Design

Flower Mistake 3: Not reusing ceremony arrangements

"Aisle flowers can become centerpieces and altar pieces can be moved to the buffet table. The ceremony usually only lasts about half an hour -- it's a shame to see so many flowers only being used for that amount of time when they could easily be incorporated into the reception decor!"

-- Paula Pritchard, Paisley Petals

Flower Mistake 4: Booking your florist last

"Couples should begin the process of booking vendors by speaking to one vendor from each category before booking anyone. This way they can get an idea of what things cost and perhaps they could budget better."

-- Douglas Koch, Douglas Koch Designs ltd

Flower Mistake 5: Refusing to compromise

"The biggest mistake is for a bride to have her heart set on specific flowers and not be flexible. A florist can do a much better job if the bride asks for an overall look, feel, and color scheme and let the florist create it."

-- Jana Stall, Events in Bloom

Flower Mistake 6: Ruling out pricey blooms

"Don't be scared of the expensive flowers. Flowers like cattleya orchids and peonies are more expensive, but they also cover more space and have a greater impact. One cattleya orchid can have a greater impact than a bouquet of roses."

-- Erin Drake, Enlighten Events International

Flower Mistake 7: Not communicating with your florist

"Knowing what you like is just as important as knowing what you don't like. Bring lots of pictures -- it is the best way to help convey what you do and do not want your floral designs to look like."

-- Danielle Childress, McKannix Floral Studio

Flower Mistake 8: Using only one color

"A lot of brides try to match the flowers to the bridesmaid dresses. A bridesmaid in a lavender gown with lavender flowers will make for very disappointing pictures. Flowers are a great place to choose an accent color -- for example, a lime green against a lavender gown will bring out the best in both colors and make for fabulous photos."

-- Linda Maggert, One of a Kind Events

Flower Mistake 9: Choosing strongly scented flowers

"Choosing highly aromatic flowers for centerpieces may sound like an amazingly romantic idea, but it will drive your guests insane if they are prone to allergies. For highly aromatic arrangements -- stick to your bridal bouquet and the altar arrangements."

-- Katie Martin, Elegance & Simplicity

Flower Mistake 10: Not taking care of your blooms

"Everyone loves hydrangeas, especially in bouquets. However, hydrangeas need to stay hydrated, and the average lifespan out of water in temperate conditions is about three hours. They might not even make it through your ceremony if you're out all day taking pictures."

-- Esther Galantowicz, Scarlet Petal

Flower Mistake 11: Forgetting to budget for flowers

"Most brides find that flowers are an important part of their day but forget to include them in the planning from the start. When I have a budget and a theme, I am really able to advise them better right from the beginning."

-- Georgianne Vinicombe, Monday Morning Flower and Balloon Co

Flower Mistake 12: Taking on too much DIY

"Brides [who try to DIY their flowers] will purchase dozens of glass vases for centerpieces, only to become overwhelmed. We receive many frantic calls, asking to take over the stress of these DIY projects, which oftentimes becomes more expensive than hiring a professional from the start."

-- Natalie E. Willett, Zuzu's Petals

Flower Mistake 13: Ordering your flowers too late

"Flowers come from South America, Holland, and all over the world, so it is very hard to contact farms across the world and have flowers arrive within one or two weeks. Leave at least a six-week window ahead of your wedding week to be able to line everything up. Your flowers will be cheaper if you can give us the time that we need to order."

-- Brenda Sterk, J's Fresh Flower Market

Flower Mistake 14: Choosing an oversized bouquet

"Brides often think: ‘The larger the better!' What they don't realize is that the larger the bouquet, the more it covers and fights with the overall design of their dress. Further, do you really want to carry something that is huge and heavy? Think about the size and comfort when it comes to your bouquet."

-- Shawn A. Rabideau, Shawn Rabideau Events

Flower Mistake 15: Overlooking the reception table linens

"What's underneath a centerpiece is as important as the arrangement itself. Linens don't just complement the look of your centerpieces; they complete them. From runners to underlays and overlays, the right ‘undergarments' can make flowers flourish on a table."

-- Candice Ryan, La Petite Fleur

-- Justine Lorelle Blanchard