How to approach hiring a florist for your wedding: Selecting seasonal flowers (Chicago specific)

Hi!

As promised I'm posting about how to select local, seasonal flowers (If you live in or around Chicago). 

The first thing you should do is work with a florist who knows their way around local flowers. Check out Slow Flowers for a list of florists in your area. The second thing you should do is trust their judgement and defer to their recommendations. They are the flower expert, which, after all, is why you're hiring them! 

But, it helps to be able to identify flowers you love or hate in the color scheme you choose, so here is a list of estimated bloom times for IL. I emphasize estimated because there is always variation each year. A peony may bloom in June, but if your wedding is June 1st, you may be a week shy from their bloom time.  It's just something to keep in mind!

Now, before I get into my list of flowers, let's talk briefly about about roses. I am not aware of any local rose growers. The closest rose farm I can find is in TN, but they don't ship here. That leaves two options: California or South America. Californian roses are incredibly beautiful, but if you want them, you need a generous budget. Keep in mind they cost over 3x what south american roses cost. So even though rose do have a season here in Chicago, they aren't available on a commercial level. Beyond that you can get rose from elsewhere all year round. 

So, without further ado my month by month list of flowers:

January:

  • Which hazel
  • Boxwood
  • Evergreen
  • Coral and Green Dogwood
  • Curly Willow
  • Pussy Willow

February:

  • Boxwood
  • Evergreen
  • Coral and Green Dogwood
  • Curly Willow
  • Pussy Willow

March:

  • Hellebore
  • Tulips
  • Crocus
  • Witch Hazel
  • Magnolia
  • Cherry Blossoms
  • Quince

April:

  • Flowering Branches
  • Daphne
  • Guelder Rose
  • Daffodils
  • Tulips
  • Anemone
  • Muscari
  • Virginia Bluebells
  • Fritillaria
  • Forsythia

May:

  • Lilac
  • Columbine
  • Tulips
  • Ranunculus
  • Anemone
  • Spirea
  •  Bleeding hearts
  • Roses

June:

  • PEONY
  • Ranunculus
  • Roses
  • Poppy
  • Iris
  • Sweet Pea
  • Astiibe
  • Stock
  • Pansy
  • Strawberry
  • Snapdragons
  • Mock Orange
  • Honey Suckle
  • Eremerus 

July:

  • Poppy
  • Stock
  • Snapdragons
  • Foxglove
  • Phlox
  • Cosmos
  • Forget me not
  • Queen Anne's Lace
  • Dara
  • Yarrow
  • Smoke Bush
  • Hydrangea
  • Hollyhocks
  • Pomegranate Branches
  • Fig Branches
  • Coral Bells
  • Dusty Miller

August:

  • DAHLIA
  • Rose
  • Phlox
  • Queen Anne's Lace
  • Snapdragons
  • Scabiousa
  • Cosmos
  • Zinnia
  • Sunflower
  • Amaranthus
  • Celosia
  • Tomato Vine
  • Oak Berry
  • Marigold
  • Strawflower
  • Shisho
  • Nicotina
  • Lisianthus
  • Snapdragon
  • Peach branches
  • Clematis
  • Geranium
  • Echinacea 
  • Nigella

September:

  • Dahlias
  • Zinnia
  • Amaranthus
  • Cosmos
  • Viburnum
  • Grasses
  • Porcelain Berry
  • Beauty Berry
  • Apple branches
  • Persimmons Branches
  • Cherry Branches
  • Lisianthus
  • Wild Clematis
  • Marigold
  • Eucalyptus
  • Birch
  • Snapdragon
  • Thistle
  • Roses
  • Obedient Plant
  • Tuberrose
  • Mums
  • Anemone
  • Gomphrena
  • Hops

October:

  • Dahlias
  • Mums
  • Gomphrena 
  • Flowering Kale
  • Nine Bark
  • Rose Hips
  • Echinacea Pods
  • Zinnia

November:

  • Rose Hips
  • Boxwood
  • Huckleberry Foliage
  • Dried Cotton
  • Dried Pampas
  • Dried Pomegranite
  • Bittersweet
  • Privet Berry
  • Tallow Berry (dried)
  • Mums

December:

  • Which hazel
  • Boxwood
  • Evergreen
  • Coral and Green Dogwood
  • Curly Willow
  • Pussy Willow

This is by no means a comprehensive list of everything that is available, check out more here:

http://brightflowerfarm.com/cut-flowers/flower-listing/  

Thanks for reading! I hope it helps you make more informed decisions about your flower selection!

Mary