When? What? How many? How much?


When should you look for a florist, and when should you book? Considering most couples are engaged and take a full year to plan their day you should start asking for quotes as soon as you have your wedding date and party picked and once your venue(s 's been  booked. At House of Penney we can give you a rough estimate as soon as we know how many bouquets and boutonnières you're going to need. When it comes to Ceremony and Reception Decor we can give you an idea of how much a centrepiece will cost and how much it will cost to decorate say an arbor or a church. Changes can always be made to your existing contract once you and your fiance receive RSVP's and have a more solid idea of guest count.  It's important to book your florist in order to reserve your wedding day with them. Most florists can only handle 1-3 weddings a day so make sure that you book once you receive a quote that suits the budget. Changes can always be made.


Choosing which flower varieties can be overwhelming, especially if you don't know the names, the seasons which they are available or how hearty they are. That is where we come in. Our brains are stuffed full of words like hypericum, aspidistra, agapanthus and we know what flowers work well with others and it what conditions. We would love to help you define your style and express your vision! Send us some photos of bouquets you like the look of/ colour of/ feel of and we can tell you what's in it, if its practical for your wedding and if its in your budget. Choosing flowers that are in season for your wedding is the cheapest way to do it, and locally grown flowers are heartier and healthier. SUPPORT LOCAL GROWERS whenever you can! 

How Many?

When you ask any florist for a quote it's important to tell them how many Bouquets you'll need, button holes, flower crowns etc.

Try using this list or the simplified one on our Quote Questions page:

  1. Bridal Bouquet
  2. Bridal Hair piece/crown
  3. Throw away bouquet
  4. Bridesmaids Bouquets
  5. Groom Boutonierre
  6. Groomsmen Boutonierre
  7. Mother of the Bride Corsage
  8. Mother of the Groom Corsage
  9. Grandmum Corsage
  10. Father of the Bride Boutonierre
  11. Father of the Groom Boutonierre
  12. Officient Boutonierre/Corsage
  13. Usher Boutoniere
  14. Ring Bearer Boutonierre
  15. Flower Girl Basket of Petals/ Flower ball/ Crown
  16. Altar/Arbor Decoration
  17. Signing table arrangement
  18. Aisle Decoration/ Runner
  19. Reception Centrepieces
  20. Head Table Decor
  21. Receiving/ Gift table decor
  22. Cake/ Sweet table decor

A good florist provides options at different price points.

How Much $?

Florals come at all prices. It all depends on how much work you want to do and the significance you and your fiance place on flowers as part of your decor. Hiring a florist means letting go of some of the control you may have in a DIY project. Flowers are finicky, especially live fresh ones. Different flowers require different conditions to stay fresh, for example a rose will stay fresh longer if its kept quite cool while an orchid will die if its kept in the fridge. Some flowers can be brought back to peak freshness with floral hacks that I won't name here because of the Floral Oath I took back in 2002 ( i Kid i Kid). But seriously, hiring a florist means your hiring an expert and that means you don't have to worry and worrying makes you age faster so don't do it! Different florists will charge you different rates, a cheaper rate doesn't necessarily mean a cheaper product or less talented designers. A lot of florists work free lance and don't have to charge as much because they have virtually no over head. In the same token, a more expensive quote doesn't mean the flowers are fresher or that the designer is more experienced. Do your research and have a budget in mind when you talk to a designer. They should be eager to answer your questions and get a sense of what youre looking for. A good business person will tell you if your budget is unrealistic for them to work within ( we all have different business models) and they won't try to trick or squeeze more money out of you. I always recommend other florists that might meet the needs of a client better than I can or that available when I'm already booked!


The more information you provide to a florist or decorator the more accurate the quote you receive from them. Its important to us at House of Penney to foster a positive and effective relationship with our clients because word of mouth is everything these days and florists are kind of like hair dressers, when you find one that gets you, you keep coming back! 


How to dry your bouquet.

Try first to choose flowers that will dry well, hydrangeas and roses work really well. Hang your bouquet upside down out of water as soon as possible. Let dry naturally. Letting a bouquet dry in water will lead to mold and the blooms will die before they dry. When the blooms hang while they are still fresh they maintain their colour better and look fuller. 

Place bouquet or individual flowers in a large air tight container (tupperware) with silica gel packets until the blooms dry out. This method maintains colour and can keep more delicate blooms from losing their petals. 

Take individual blooms, petals and leaves and press them between two sheets of waxed paper sandwiched between two sheets of plain white paper. Iron on a low setting. This flattens and preserves the blooms in the wax, the colour is maintained and the flowers can be used to decorate a shadowbox or thank you cards.