Ask The Expert: Robin Wood, Robin Wood Flowers

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

Robin Wood spent much of her career as a morning radio host on WEBN and then as a reporter on Channel 12, but in 2001 she followed her love for gardening into a totally different career. She began arranging flowers in her kitchen, and about a year later Robin Wood Flowers moved into its own space and began building a reputation for exquisite, garden-inspired arrangements.

Wood describes her job these days as hunter-gatherer, literally searching the world for the best blooms for her talented design team. It’s a role that might have her turning to local growers in the summer or far-off locales like Holland in the winter. “We love the botanical side of flowers,” she says. “We will do whatever you want with them, but we appreciate and search hard for the right flowers­—and good flowers.”

We talked with Wood about personal taste, budgets, and the newest designs for bouquets:

CW: What do brides need to know before they start talking with florists?
RW:
I think it’s important to know your style. Are you garden-y? Are you modern? Do you love flowers? Are you indifferent to flowers? Some people light up when they see a big bouquet of peonies and some people don’t know what that is. Of course, our favorite clients love flowers. But they don’t have to have the biggest budget.

CW: Any tips for setting a realistic floral budget?
RW: It’s important to figure out your priorities and be honest about your budget. What is the most important thing at your wedding? Is it the food? The flowers? The decor? The photography? A range helps us figure out the best types of arrangements to suggest—whether it’s big, tall ones or something small and elegant.

CW: How does the month I’m getting married affect my flower choices?
RW: Using what’s in season is always best. It’s fresh. It’s less expensive. One of the best questions to ask is: What are the best flowers in the season of my wedding? I’d like to do pinks and purples. What would you suggest for that in June? We can fly in flowers from around the world, but you’re going to pay for it. The venues are cheaper in January, but it’s a little harder to get flowers.

CW: What’s the latest trend for bouquets?
RW: I think loosening up. Not quite the tight balls we’ve seen for 10 years. A little more organic. A little more natural. This is a trend we really like. It’s more organic and free-flowing.

CW: What’s your best advice for brides on a budget?
RW:
Simple, simple, simple is for the budget bride. What people don’t see they won’t miss. The bouquets and the centerpieces are the most important things. You’re going to see the centerpiece for four hours. You’re going to have pictures of your bouquet forever. Rather than scrimping and having a million things, concentrate on a few things and do those really well.

CW: Can you share some creative flower ideas?
RW: Thinking about the outside of the venue is fun. For a wedding at Peterloon, we did hydrangea wreaths on the door. They dry and you can hang them in your house later. Also, I really like the look of long tables. You do interesting eclectic things down the table. Nothing matches too much—candles and succulents and moss and flowers.

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer / ring: 18-karat-white-and-rose gold diamond halo ring, $4,705 (setting only), James Free Jewelers, jamesfree.com

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