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Flowers 101 with Fab Flora

 Flowers 101: How to look for great flowers for your wedding if you don’t know a lot about them
Photo by ThinkLeigh Photography

Traditional Flowers, Photo by ThinkLeigh Photography

Traditional Flowers: When I think ‘traditional’, roses, hydrangeas and dendrobium orchids come to mind.  They are both timeless and elegant and can fit into most styles.  A popular traditional centerpiece look this season is a footed compote vase with a mound of ivory and blush blooms.

Long-Lasting Flowers, Photo by LieslDiesel Ph0to

Long-Lasting Flowers, Photo by LieslDiesel Photo

Long-Lasting Flowers: The great thing about weddings is that the flowers only really need to last one day, so when choosing flowers brides have a ton of options.  But, if you are sending home the centerpieces with guests and you want them to last, then you might want to consider this list of flowers:
carnations, trick dianthus, daisies, alstromeria, statice, chrysanthemums, some varieties of lilies and roses, orchids and protea.  Also, incorporating succulents into arrangements is gaining popularity and these can last for months!

Color Flowers, Photo by Tuan H. Bui Photography

Color Flowers, Photo by Tuan H. Bui Photography

Color:  Fab Flora top wedding flower picks

White: peonies, roses, lilies, orchids, gerbera daisies, ranunculus, hydrangea, babysbreath, dahlias
Yellow: sunflowers, roses, pincushion protea, lilies, ranunculus, calla lilies, billy balls, yarrow
Pink: anemone, peonies, garden roses, tulips, ranunculus, celosia, mokara orchids, astilbe, dahlias
Orange: lilies, ranunculus, circus roses, winter berries, pincushion protea, cymbidium orchids, mango calla lilies
Purple: stock, lisianthus, hydrangea, calla lilies, cool water roses, statice, lilacs
Red: spray roses, black velvet roses, hypericum berries, amaryllis, ginger, jamestory orchids, ranunculus
Green: bells of ireland, ‘trick’ dianthus, hydrangea, viburnum, coxcomb, millet, brunia, cymbidium orchids
What YOU Should Know
 Signs of a good florist (how do you work with people who aren’t familiar with florals?)
I find that most people know nothing about flowers so a good florist should be patient.  When I sit down with a couple for their consultation, I always have a computer in front of us.  The most helpful thing brides can do for their florist is to create a Pinterest board with images of centerpieces, bouquets and boutonnieres.  This way, their florist can get a sense of the couple’s style and also point out flower names of arrangements they like.  I always include images of flowers in the proposal so couples know exactly what they are getting.

Be an Eco-friendly Client

One of the easiest ways to be eco-friendly is to choose flowers that coincide with the season your wedding falls within.  Ask your florist if they can purchase locally grown flowers because it cuts back on shipping energy and packaging waste.  Locally grown also means less pesticides and chemicals needed to preserve them (most flowers that come form outside the country travel up to two weeks before getting into a flower shop).  Here are a few more ways to be green:

  • Use vases you already own or rent vases (vintage rentals are hugely popular!).
  • Request flowers that are in season or plan your event date around the flowers you want
  • Choose arrangements that don’t require floral foam (it’s very toxic to the environment)
  • If purchasing local flowers is not an option (like in the winter), then ask for Sustainable, Fairtrade or Organic flowers

Want to learn more? Fab Flora offers floral design workshops and private flower designing parties (great for wedding showers or bachelorette parties!)  Workshops cover topics such as Flower Care, Design Principles, Color Theory, Eco-friendly Floral Practices, and Flower Identity.  You will get hands on experience putting together your own arrangements and everyone takes home what they create!  Bring your friends and get ready to have a creative and inspiring night out!  To sign up go to  Upcoming workshops are Fridays 7-9PM March 21st, April 18th and April 25th.

  • March's Caterer of the Month is Tasty Catering, one of Chicago’s favorite caterers for weddings, social events, picnics, corporate & special events is known for their delicious food and incredible service and staff. Tasty Catering has great options for outdoor weddings, including BBQ options and can accommodate groups from 25-5,000 guests. Primary Food Focus/Style: American (New), American (Traditional) Tasty Catering offers five different menus to customers depending on the type of event—social, corporate (drop-off), special events, weddings and outdoor events/picnics—in addition to special holiday and seasonal menus. After a Chicago winter (especially like this one!) more and more brides are looking to hold their wedding outside at unique venues or sometimes right in their own backyard.  We have definitely seen a trend favoring outdoor weddings with many couples opting to host a backyard barbecue-type reception. Guests have found it exciting to get their food hot off the grill, which is our preferred style of barbecue wedding or picnic food service.  Our grilled menus offer a wide variety of options, from picnic staples like 18-hour BBQ brisket and cheeseburgers to upscale items such as flat iron steak and grilled salmon fillets. The two most popular dishes on our outdoor events menu are the 18-hour BBQ brisket and Sweet Potato Salad.  In fact, we’ve had so many requests for our sweet potato salad recipe that we decided to share it with everyone right here ( To view our complete outdoor event menu, visit -  To view our wedding guide with sample outdoor wedding menus, visit   What Distinguishes Tasty Catering From the Competition? There are four things that truly set Tasty Catering apart from competition: Clients have a full team of professionals at their disposal which gives them high levels of focus on their events. Clients receive high quality catering and services at affordable prices, giving them the ability to plan successful events within their budgets. Clients have multiple ways to communicate with a team that is willing to communicate often which helps to eliminate the stress and frustrations in planning an event. Clients receive consistent catering and service from Tasty each time they host an event, giving them the peace of mind they want when planning an event. Our staff has been recognized by a large number of organizations who have honored us with numerous awards for our company culture and service.  These awards include: Daily Herald’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Caterer, Achievement in Catering Excellence (ACE) award winner, Better Business Bureau Torch Award Winner for Marketplace Ethics, Best Places to Work in Illinois, Crain’s Chicago Best Places to Work, Psychologically Healthiest Workplace and more.   If you're interested in working with Tasty Catering, contact  Erica Buss,, 847-593-2000  Website:

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