“It’s very important to find a florist you can trust and then to leave some of the decisions to her. A good florist always knows best.”
Sandra Taurina, Creative Director at Florisity
How did you get into the flower business?
I grew up with flowers. I come from Latvia, and my grandmother had a farm—she grew peonies, roses, hyacinths, tulips. When I was small, I would pick the flowers and put them together, and my grandmother would show me all the little tricks.
What tricks are you into right now?
I always like English garden roses with beautiful fabric around the stems. And I like added elements like scabiosa pods or raspberries and blackberries. Those are very cute right now.
If I have a limited budget, what should my priorities be?
Definitely the bridal bouquet and the boutonniere—you have to have those. The bouquet doesn’t necessarily have to be a lot of flowers, though; it can be very simple. Some brides want a huge bouquet even though they’re very small themselves, which looks ridiculous. Next is probably the centerpieces, if you’re having a reception. But it doesn’t have to be this big, lush arrangement; you could do little bud vases.
And it wouldn’t look cheap?
No, it all depends on how you set it up. Of course, you can make it look bad, but if you choose the right size of vases—maybe using different heights—and you choose the right flowers, like peonies, hydrangeas, or roses, it can look really beautiful.
Do you have more people asking for organic and fair-trade flowers these days?
It’s more like we educate them about it. They say, “Oh, I want this and this,” and then we become teachers: “Why don’t you do this instead?”
What are your favorite color schemes?
It depends on the season and the availability of the flowers. In the spring, blush, yellows—cheerful things. In the summer, you can add blues, like hydrangeas. Fall is earth tones, and winter could be silvery. But white and green is the most elegant and always will be. I think it works all year.
Do you get many oddball requests?
[Laughs] We try to forget those. No, actually, I’m open-minded. If someone comes in and tells me to put candies in her bouquets, I would say, “Sure, no problem.” We had a groom who loved ginger, and the bride asked if we could do something with it. When you picture ginger, you think, like, Oh my God, no, it’s so ugly and wrinkly. But we took ginger root and twisted it around with burgundy calla lilies, and it looked fantastic. I love those kinds of requests. It makes your creative mind work.
And then your beautiful creation gets tossed over the bride’s shoulder and dies.
[Laughs] Oh, you just let it go. You know it’s going to be in the picture, and it’s going to be remembered. It’s painful to watch the flowers get bruised and worn out, but you also feel happy it’s done. As long as everything is done perfectly, I really don’t mind.
From the Summer 2011 New York Wedding Guide