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4 Expert Tips on Choosing Your Blooms from a Wedding Florist

Behind a wedding invite is a huge and tangled mess of decisions to do with the wedding dress, bridesmaids’ dresses, groomsmen outfits, the venue, the menu, the guest list and more. With the stress of such copious decision-making, it’s no wonder that those involved in wedding planning often see the sweetest of lovebirds tearing their own and each other’s hair out prior to the day of matrimony.

When a wedding budget dictates these choices, couples might just only be able to leave a small amount for décor and flowers – which could also be another source of conflict for those who still have high expectations for their big day.

Now don’t get anymore stressed though! We speak to Alyona Yakovleva, florist and founder of Gathered+Styled for tips and to get at the common mistakes couples make when choosing their blooms:

Tips on choosing your blooms from a wedding florist

#1: Put a hold on those Pinterest pins

Ah, technology has certainly made realizing your dream wedding easier… or has it? Pretty pictures of gargantuan floral arches can help inspire the look of your very own big day but Pinterest and wedding blogs can also lift expectations to an unrealistic degree.

In addition, those top-rated Instagram photos of someone else’s wedding are surely swoon-worthy, but the truth is many Internet-browsing couples here have probably already stumbled on the same as well.

“Most of the time, the choice brides make here are pretty standard— they choose the same Pinterest pictures and very few are actually open to try something really different and unusually, though I try and suggest things that are a little out of the ordinary,” says Alyona. “You can get some ideas from Pinterest, but don’t go for the most popular pin; be different. Ask your florist what ideas he or she has, I’m sure you’ll be surprised!”

#2: There’s more than just peony fever

Another issue that comes with browsing the Internet for floral décor inspiration is that these weddings you want to replicate can be halfway across the globe. Sure, love conquers all, including distance, but the blooms of some nameless bride in a photo culled from the Internet may not survive the number of kilometers it has to travel to get to you. You will just end up paying a pretty penny for a bunch of listless flowers – hardly auspicious or cheery for this merry matrimonial occasion.

“People here tend to go for the ‘European style’ in flowers, which means those they end up choosing are imported and most of the time, expensive,” says Alyona. “Every bride dreams of peonies. No, really, every single bride! They are the most beautiful but also one of the most expensive flowers here! I understand this trend, I love peonies myself, but sometimes it’s just too expensive, and for me, very often not worth the money.”

#3: Go regional and seasonal

If you’re still keen on tapping into the trend of exotic blooms, the most ideal and cost-effective arrangement is one that uses seasonal flowers. “Don’t ask for winter flowers in summer and vice versa. You’ll end up paying quite a lot of money for a few small, not really lasting blooms,” says Alyona.

Given the perpetual summer heat in Singapore, taking climate into consideration can make your décor last through the late hours of the party and cut down on your floral budget too. That doesn’t mean you have to stick to traditional choices like baby’s breath or gerberas.

“A lot of flowers and foliage come from Holland, Australia, South America, New Zealand, Taiwan, China, India, Malaysia. Nothing is actually grown here in Singapore,” points out Alyona. “But using plants and foliage suited to this climate can help you save, or will allow you to get more or something bigger even if you keep to the same budget,” she offers.

#4: Go green instead of the standard blooms

It doesn’t help when hotels offer similar blooms to couples in the name of economy. “The more I attend weddings here, the more I realise they are all the same,” says Alyona. “Hotel packages often include flowers, but really, everyone has the same few arrangements. Moreover, they don’t look good at all.”

Going green and tropical is not only more value for money but makes the setting stand out among the other wedding ballrooms and venues that others have used. Sure, cascading flower curtains certainly make a fairy-tale sight but a massive plant chandelier made out of ferns is an equal conversation-starter.

“Your guests might not remember if the scallop was good at the dinner but they will definitely remember and take pictures with a hanging monstera chandelier installation or a flower backdrop full of artichokes!” offers Alyona. “Moreover this year’s Pantone colour of the year is Greenery, so you can save and be trendy at the same time!”

This story first appeared on the BankBazaar Blog, a leading online marketplace in Singapore that helps consumers compare and apply for the best offers across all financial products: personal loans, home loans, car loans, credit cards & investment.

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OF ELEGANCE AND GRACE

The initial romantic attraction, or so called Love at First Sight, took Daniel and Kelly down the aisle in elegance and style.

text CINDY ONG

Love at first sight. That was how Daniel met Kelly. He laid his eyes on her during a New Year’s party at a café in Jakarta three years ago and followed her all night long. His persistence won him the attractive girl, who is now his wife.

“He wouldn’t stop following me. It drove me nuts, but, oh well, he was cute.” Kelly quipped. “He convinced me it was love at first sight. For me, the feeling grew over the years.”

In September 2011, Daniel proposed with the ring he prepared months in advance on Brooklyn Bridge in New York. “I got proposed from the man I love in my dream city. Imagine how I felt!” exclaimed Kelly. “Daniel teared and I joined in.”

Three years on, that first gaze of love blossomed. “When we looked at each other in the eyes after the blessing from the priest, the feeling was indescribable – we are husband and wife now,” Kelly recalled the moment they were pronounced married.

Cupid certainly deserved a pat on the back.

The couple tied the knot on 9 June 2012 and held their holy matrimony at Jakarta Cathedral, the oldest and most magnificent church in Jakarta. Witnessed by close friends and family members, the matrimony was a classic wedding affair.

Vintage was the theme for the church wedding. Kelly looked elegant and graceful in her European laced vintage gown designed by Chenny Han, one of the most sought after wedding designers in Jakarta. Her hand bouquet of calla lilies, arranged by Inge Florist fitted perfectly with the alluring theme. Daniel’s suit was tailored by Pizzaro. Kelly’s bridesmaids’ dresses of brocade fabric and silk were sewn by her neighbour.

After the church wedding, they had their reception at The Hall Senayan City to host close to 1,000 guests. Strategically located with a huge hall, The Hall Senayan City was the ideal venue for their grand reception. It also had a room for their traditional Chinese tea ceremony before the reception began.

The hall was decorated with fresh roses and peonies, arranged by Grasida Decoration. According to the couple, they spent the most on the decoration for the hall.  Nevertheless, they wished they had included a Sakura tree to the Garden Theme.

The couple, their bridesmaids and groomsmen danced into the reception hall to the guests’ delight as it was uncommon in Indonesia. They were inspired after attending their aunt’s wedding in the United States in 2011.

Guests savoured food catered by Adhika Cater, and grooved to jazz and pop music by a well-known band in Jakarta. Kelly’s uncle is the lead vocalist in the band and dedicated their performance as a gift to the newlyweds.

Rio Photography took the couple’s wedding photos and did Kelly’s hair and makeup. “Rio is a dear friend. We engaged him as Kelly already had many photo sessions with him,” said the couple. “He is very professional, full of creative ideas and his crew was fantastic. Everyone loved the way they directed the poses.”

The planning of the approximately S$63,000.00 wedding took them eight months. The couple planned the wedding themselves to fulfil their dream wedding. To ensure the smooth execution of the wedding, Kelly and Daniel engaged a wedding planner to coordinate the events on the day itself. Time was their biggest challenge but they had help from people around them.

Very much in love, the couple felt like they were still dating but with more focus and commitment to living together. “He is a keeper. I wouldn’t trade him for the world,” Kelly said, thinking back to the initial romantic attraction three years ago.