I personally don’t know a thing about elopement flowers (other than how to photograph them). That’s why I teamed up with Rachel Hunter from A Florae for this post, so that you can learn everything you need to know about getting the best florals for your big day! Rachel owns a boutique flower shop in Longmont, Colorado, and she has over fifteen years of experience in floral design!
Q: How early should couples book their wedding florist?
A: It’s best if they get to a florist at least 6 months before their wedding. A year would be best. Florists are getting booked further in advance than they used to, so our calendar fills up faster now. Although we do have the ability still to help last minute weddings if we aren’t overbooked. We can always take on small weddings meant for a pick up if we are booked as well. But booking in advance creates the ease and less stress in getting the florist that you want!
Q: What should couples ask potential florists to make sure they’re a good fit?
We always talk about natural style and what is important to them in our consultations. This is for me to gauge what attracts them and how best to give the feel of the couple’s style throughout the wedding venue. They can ask to see pictures, and in our studio you can see a bunch of containers and props that we use. We also have many different arches. So ask yourself what excites you to have on your wedding day, and ask the florists if they can provide toward those things first. Then you can talk about how they would go about designing for you.
Q: How much should couples budget for elopement flowers?
Elopement bouquets usually range between $195-225. This is normal pricing for us in full service weddings, but it stays the same with elopements because we cannot order flowers by the stem, only by the bunch. So when we’re deciding the types of flowers put into the bouquet, we have to determine how many stems that will take and buy the bunches accordingly. We typically have to order more than we need to make one bouquet. Most of our elopement couples spend around $300 or less for a bouquet and boutonniere.
Note from Nina: there’s nothing saying you can’t go extravagant on your elopement flowers too. Rachel has a great Pinterest board with floral arch inspiration that would take any ceremony to the next level. When you’re not spending money on table centerpieces and decorating a full venue, you can have more fun with the ceremony flowers!
Q: How can couples keep their flowers fresh if they have to pick up the day before?
To keep your florals fresh, you would want to always keep them in a cool space but not freezing. Not colder than 40 degrees and not hotter than 70 degrees. Never leave them outside or in direct sunlight, or near a heater. Whatever you can fit into a refrigerator, do that. It’s the same temperature as a flower cooler usually, or at least very close to that. Change the water the next day and pluck off anything that you think might be getting too soft. Flowers have no problem lasting 24+ hours if taken proper care of. Never lay the bouquet down to get smashed or forget about it if you take it out of water for anything. If the bouquet is out of water more than 5 minutes, you will want to recut the stems and place in fresh water.
Q: What else do you want couples to know so they can get the best elopement flowers?
Coming to a consultation with pictures as inspiration is very helpful. This helps gather the type of colors and style that attract you and peak your interest. From there we discuss what is important to you and the feeling you want your pictures to feel like. I ask many questions to gather ideas and create an overall look and proposal. We always use flowers in season and I will always mention the types of flowers that we plan to use. Giving a florist freedom to some degree in their designs for you is huge. We will always pick what is best for the overall look and if we see something in the market the day we pick up the flowers then we will replace what we might have mentioned using because we know the other option will be even better. We do stay very close in line to what we write up for you, however. Especially when it comes to sticking to the color palette.
Huge thanks to Rachel for taking the time to explain everything I never knew about elopement flowers. Check out more of a florae’s bridal bouquets here, and give them a follow on Instagram.
Best Florists in Colorado
My couples always ask for my recommendations on the best florists in Colorado, and I love this question! Because there are so many talented florists in the mile high state, with different styles and price points. Whether you’re getting married in Rocky Mountain National Park, Boulder, or Crested Butte, you have great choices for your dream florals.
I’ve listed the best wedding florists in Colorado in alphabetical order. None of these vendors have in any way paid or compensated me for being listed on here, and they’re all florists I’ve worked with on real weddings and elopements.
A Florae – Longmont
“A Florae is a floral design studio in Colorado specializing in weddings, events and other special occasions. We deliver custom designs throughout Longmont, Boulder County, Denver and beyond.
Our philosophy is simple – to reflect your event through floral colors, drama, excitement and joy.
We understand that ordering flowers and having flowers as a part of your event is a luxury item and is a discretionary expense. That is why we make every effort to arrange our flowers at a level of design that makes a statement of value. It is our design skill and our expertise that you are hiring. All florists can buy the same flowers, but how we arrange them makes all the difference!
A Florae strives to deliver an unconventional perspective in floral decor by allowing the natural beauty in flowers to stand out in delightful designs.”
Boulder Blooms – Boulder
Fin + Ally – Crested Butte
“Headquartered in Crested Butte, FIN+ALLY specializes in wedding and event florals. Taking inspiration from nature, we find it absolutely thrilling to make our client’s unique visions come to life, and we are happy to travel to the highest mountain tops, nation wide and beyond to do so with style and impeccable attention to detail.”
Fiori Flowers – Boulder
Fiori Flowers is one of my favorite florists to recommend for elopements in Boulder, Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Indian Peaks Wilderness.
Flora by Nora – Denver
“Flora by Nora travels all over the country working closely with brides and event planners to design timeless and unexpected floral arrangements for occasions of all sizes. Believing that flowers are about living in the moment, they are decadent, and above all else- fleeting; we strive to use flowers to evoke emotion, to enhance and transform a space, to capture a mood and create memories.”
From the Ground Up – Crested Butte
Garden of Eden – Frisco
Garden of Eden in Frisco is a great choice for elopements in Summit County. Unlikely many florists who have a high minimum requirement for weddings, Garden of Eden has a small elopement collection with a bouquet and boutonniere for $250, and can of course also give you custom quotes for larger floral collections.
Lace & Lilies – Fort Collins
“Lace and Lilies is a floral design studio based in Fort Collins, Colorado. The team at L+L has a vision to not only create stunning wedding flowers, but also to provide and unforgettable and inspiring experience. As one of Martha Stewarts top florists in the nation, since 2015 – this team pushes for innovation and never holds back with their creativity! “
MJM Designs – Denver
“MJM Designs is a boutique wedding and event floral design studio. We specialize in garden style designs that feature local flowers as often as possible. We believe that flowers truly help make a wedding day memorable for our couples. We love traveling throughout Colorado, especially heading to the mountains! Weddings and flowers are our passion, we love being a part of the magic a wedding day brings a couple.”
Painted Primrose – Longmont
“The Painted Primrose Co. is a floral design studio specializing in wedding flowers. We happily service the greater Boulder area, Estes Park, Lyons, Longmont, and beyond!
Our passion is bringing a couple’s vision to life through complex color palettes, unique flower choices, and stunning designs. We start with a comprehensive consultation and create an in-depth proposal filled with custom designs. We thrive on providing incredible and personable service and move through the entire wedding process with you, all the way to the big day!
With over 500 weddings under our belt, our expertise allows us to guide you, create an easy and fun experience, and flawlessly deliver your dream wedding flowers.”
Petal & Bean – Breckenridge
“Petal & Bean is a full-service floral & wedding planning boutique, located in the heart of Breckenridge. Specializing in floral design, we will take you wedding day vision and bring it to life. P&B goes beyond the flowers and will help you style your tablescapes and decor details with our vast decor inventory and design knowledge. In addition to your decor and floral needs, we offer month-of to full-service planning with a great team of experienced coordinators. P&B is the one stop shop for you planning and decor needs!”
Rancho Verde Flowers – Buena Vista
The Enchanted Florist – Estes Park
The Tall Tulip – Steamboat Springs
“The Tall Tulip is a full service floral boutique nestled in the downtown of beautiful Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We work to bring each couple’s unique wedding or elopement vision to life while incorporating our love of fresh and inspired seasonal blooms, sourced thoughtfully from the best growers around the globe. When we are not busy with weddings and events, we love working on home and business plant decor, daily deliveries, garden design, etc.. Visit us at our friendly blue shop on 9th St. next time you’re skiing in Steamboat or give us a call to set up an event consultation!”
About Nina Larsen Reed
Nina Larsen Reed is an elopement photographer based in Boulder, Colorado. She plans and captures adventure elopements and intimate weddings, and has photographed over 200 couples across the Rocky Mountains since 2017.