Scheduling your appointment

Please email wedding floral inquiries to Include your name, the event date, ceremony and reception locations, as well as any other important details about your event. If we are available to accommodate floral services for your wedding we’ll begin the planning process by booking your consultation appointment to discuss your needs in greater detail. We’ll provide a list of available dates and times to either meet in person or chat on the phone. One partner is based in the south suburbs of Chicago and the other in southern Wisconsin and we typically travel to meet our clients so you’ll be matched with the designer in your area. Generally we are available for consultations on weekdays as to accommodate our many weekend events, but often daytime and evening appointments are available to accommodate our clients’ busy schedules.  So lets grab a tea, a coffee, a beer or some pizza and start designing your dream wedding!

What to bring to your floral consultation

Meeting with your florist and determining which blooms will fill your bouquets, boutonnieres, ceremony and reception space can be one of the most fun parts of wedding planning. But to get the best blossoms possible, you’ll need to bring the right materials when determining your ideal floral-scape. The most important part of picking out your ideal wedding day flowers is coordinating them with the rest of your wedding. You’ll want each arrangement to complement your space, your gown, and your wedding party. So when you meet with your florist for the first time, be ready! Bring pictures of the spaces you’ll need to have decorated, pictures of your gown and wedding party attire, and inspiration clips from magazines, create and share a Pinterest board, even bring pictures of friends’ weddings.  Fabric swatches are important too, so that your florist can not only get a good feel for the true to life colors involved but the texture to all of your looks. And don’t forget to bring a complete checklist of what flowers you’ll need. A list of everything you want, from the flowers you and your wedding party will be carrying to the arrangements you want at your ceremony and reception site, will not only be helpful for the florist, but for you to keep everything organized as the planning comes to a close.

Floral Proposals and the Process

After our chat we’ll spend some time creating a completely custom menu-style proposal for you. We outline personalized options for all of the floral decor we discussed and provide photos as well as a range of price points so that our clients can pick and choose the designs that best suit both their tastes and budget.   After you make selections we’ll edit the proposal to focus on your favorites, and work together to tweak some colors and flower selections and get everything just right.  We don’t provide package deals as we think each wedding should be as unique as our couples, so there’s no locking you into items you don’t need, and we don’t have minimum orders.  When you’re ready to become a #bellesbride or #bellesgroom and officially secure our services we require a 20% non-refundable deposit and signed contract.  Over the following months we would continue to fine-tune the details and logistics, as well as schedule a follow up consultation appointment for about 6 weeks prior to the wedding to solidify our day-of plan.  The balance of your wedding floral order is due in full, with a totally finalized order 4 weeks prior to the event.  We accept major credit cards, personal checks, Chase QuickPay and PayPal as forms of payment.

The Trick to Getting the Wedding Flowers of your Dreams

It’s important to clearly communicate your vision to your florist to make sure you get the wedding flowers you’ve always wanted. And while Pinterest boards and magazines will certainly help convey the look and feel you’re going for, it’s also beneficial to use the right words and language to ensure everyone is on the same page. We’ve put together a “style guide” to help you use the right lingo with your florist to get the look you want.

The Look #1: Rustic

When you describe the look you want as “rustic,” most florists think of the outdoors, weathered or wood vessels, and arrangements with a hand-picked feel. Blooms like sunflowers, daisies, and baby’s breath placed in old crockery or worn crates come to mind.  In some cases “rustic” is also used to describe a natural foliage feel that is far from ‘country.’ What to say: “The wedding will be held in the spring in an old barn – I want the flowers to feel relaxed and unfussy.”

The Look #2: Classic

The word “classic” will usually evoke a ball-shaped bouquet featuring predominantly one type of flower – perfect for some celebrations, but not all. To make sure your bouquet fits your event, have your florist match it to the style of your wedding gown and location.  What to say: “The reception will be at a country club and I’ll be wearing a strapless, A-line gown with a lace bodice.”

The Look #3: Romantic

The word “romantic” paints a variety of pictures for florists. Some think of peonies, ranunculus, and garden roses in terra-cotta pots, while others imagine cascading red roses in silver urns. Because romance means something different to everyone, you’ll need to give plenty of details — including feel, location, formality, and season – when communicating your version.  What to say: “It will be an elegant, semi formal springtime reception at a vineyard, with neutral table linens, gold-rimmed china, and cross-back chairs.”

The Look #4: Chic

Asymmetrical arrangements of cymbidium orchids, calla lilies, and French tulips come to florists’ minds when the word “chic” is uttered, as do a generally modern aesthetic and simple, sleek arrangements in clear acrylic containers. When meeting with florists, focus on the visual details of your wedding, such as your location’s architecture, your wedding colors, or your gown’s design.  What to say: “A daytime reception at a modern art museum with clean lines and white walls, with lots of bright, unexpected pops of color.”

(Source:, florals by belles & thistles)

Glossary of Wedding Flower terms:

Types of Bouquets

  • Cascade: Think of an overflowing, waterfall-like spill of blooms and greenery anchored in a handheld base. Cascade bouquets resemble a miniature floral train.
  • Composite: A handmade creation in which different petals or buds are wired together on a single stem, creating the illusion of one giant flower.
  • Hand-tied: A dense gathering of “just-picked” blooms tied together and finished with ribbon.
  • Nosegay: A small, round cluster of flowers, all cut to a uniform length. Usually made with one dominant flower or color, nosegays are tightly wrapped.
  • Biedermeier: A bunch made up of concentric circles of different flowers for a somewhat striped effect.
  • Pageant: This bouquet of long-stemmed flowers is cradled in the bride’s arms, Miss America style.
  • Pomander: A bloom-covered ball suspended from a ribbon, perfect for child attendants in lieu of baskets.
  • Posy: Posies are typically smaller than a nosegay but similar in design. Petite roses or grape hyacinths are ideal floral varieties.
  • Round: Similar to a nosegay but generally larger and usually consisting of large, loosely arranged flowers like peonies or roses.

Centerpiece Shapes

  • Eclectic: A few arrangements, usually short in height and containing different floral varieties, are grouped together to make one centerpiece.
  • Pedestal: This is based mostly on the shape of the vessel, which looks like a trophy or pedestal. Flowers tend to cascade over the sides for a dramatic look.
  • Tiered: This floral configuration is similar to a tiered cookie plate — a series of arrangements are stacked in tiers, small to big, giving the centerpiece a slightly triangular shape.
  • Globe: Flowers are arranged in a mounded circular shape or rounded vessel.
  • Trumpet: These arrangements are wider at the top and narrower at the base — just like the namesake instrument — balancing the shape of the vase containing them.
  • Candelabra: A floral centerpiece created at the base, neck or top of a multi-armed candelabra. Oftentimes, greenery or ribbons are used to embellish the base of the vessel.
  • Garden: Garden-style centerpieces typically feature an abstract collection of wildflowers. The composition is airy and less full than other designs. 
  • Fish bowl: Low centerpiece style with flowers clustered in a glass bowl.

Types of Vessels

  • Bubble: A popular choice for casual receptions, this vase has a spherical shape. A line of them along a rectangular banquet table looks gorgeous, no matter the formality of the occasion.
  • Cube: This modern shape can hold its own in the middle of the table, but a few small ones around a tall, slim vase are ultra-chic too.
  • Pilsner: Named for the narrow-bottom, wide-mouth beer glass it resembles, this vessel usually holds flowers loosely packed in a round shape.
  • Pedestal: Medium in height, this vase features a shape similar to a trophy. It looks great with flowers and greenery dripping down its sides.
  • Cylinder: The tube-like shape is ideal for showing off submerged blooms, like tropical orchids or calla lilies.

Other Arrangements

  • Boutonnieres: A single bloom (or several small buds) attached to the left lapel of a jacket. Boutonnieres are usually worn by grooms, groomsmen, ushers, and the fathers.
  • Corsages: A single bloom (or small cluster of blooms) arranged with ribbon. Corsages come in pin-on, wrist and hand-held styles and are typically worn by mothers and grandmothers. Orchids, ranunculus and roses popular flower choices.
  • Garlands: A strand-like arrangement of greenery and flowers, garlands are typically used to adorn pews, doorways and chair backs. They can also be paraded down the aisle by two or three children attendants.
  • Huppah: A wedding canopy decorated with branches, greenery or flowers. It’s an integral part of the traditional Jewish ceremony.
  • Topiaries: Flowers or foliage trimmed into shapes, often resembling miniature trees or animals.
  • Trellises: A woven wooden frame that works as a support for climbing plants and flowers. These are often used as ceremony backdrops at outdoor weddings. Also, Structure, Arch.
  • Wreaths: Similar to the evergreen arrangements you’ll find adorning doors at wintertime, wedding wreaths are rings of flowers or other decorative materials that can function as a centerpiece, headpiece or door hanger.