After spending Day 1 in New York’s floral district, I have a better understanding of why wedding flowers and floral design cost so much, thanks to Tracey Reynolds of Tracey Reynolds Design.

I love flowers as much as the next girl, but I always thought that I’d be the kind of future bride who didn’t invest a lot in wedding flowers… until I spent two days in New York and New Jersey photographing behind the scenes photos of Tracey Reynolds of Tracey Reynolds Design as she prepared for a winter Jewish wedding.

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BUT first a little information about Tracey Reynolds:

Name: Tracey Reynolds, Owner and lead designer of Tracey Reynolds Floral Design
Based in: Woodbridge, NJ
Cultural Heritage: German, Irish, Scottish, English and Tracey’s married to a Filipino man so her kids are multicultural
Best thing a client has done for you: Prepare a goodie bag for me to eat on the day of a wedding and sending me their thank-you cards after the wedding with pictures of the flowers.
How do you incorporate a client’s culture into what you do?
Flowers are important to many different cultures wedding ceremonies, from the flowers that decorate a chuppah or man dap, to the garlands used in Hindu ceremonies and the petals thrown on the couple by the priest flowers have a place in every culture and I love using them to help a couple express their cultural heritage.

 

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There are a lot of photos in this post, so get ready for a major photo floral-gasm!

 

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I so loved this personal project, not only because I made a really good friend in Tracey, but also because it  gave me the chance to really pay attention and see what was happening and push myself as a photojournalistic photographer.  Don’t you just love Tracey’s fashion style?  That coat!

 

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I thought I had chutzpah, but after spending 2 days first with Tracey and baby Olivia in New York’s floral district, then a second day at her home studio with her 3 children and husband, I realized Tracey is fire when it comes to taking care of her clients and she does it all with grace, charm and persistence.  Less than 1 month after giving birth to Olivia, she was on her feet with baby Olivia in tow picking up flowers for a wedding that weekend!

 

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What I discovered about why wedding flowers cost so much and why I believe it’s worth it is summarized below.  You are paying for:

  • Expert knowledge on which flowers are in season and will perform best for your wedding
  • A guarantee that your wedding flowers will look and be fresh the entire day
  • Floral design expertise and an understanding of the variety of florals beyond just roses, peonies and hydrangeas that will bring your vision or color palette to life (Tracey is amazing at this; she’ll take flowers you’ve never heard of and put them together to match your colors and theme; you just have to trust her completely)
  • The cost of flowers, which takes into account that the flower started out as a seed, some one cultivated it, cared for it for months until it bloomed, processed it all by hand to take its flight to NYC, is then transported to the wholesalers where they store and refrigerate the flowers… then you realize that $5 isn’t really all that expensive!
    Storage of pounds and pounds of flowers in preparation for the event
  • Pick-up from the floral shop, delivery at your venue and break-down and transportation of the flowers in a truck or large van
  • Assistance, setup and labor before, during and after your event

 

 

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Day 1 day started when Tracey drove up from Central Jersey to the floral wholesalers in New York’s floral district to pick up the boxes of flowers for her bride’s wedding day in 3 days.  I love how friendly all the staff are and how much they care for their customers beyond just preparing the flowers for them.

 

 
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I was hiding behind the bucket of flowers deeply engrossed in their conversation about how the flowers were prepped and when they expected them to bloom, how they would be stored so they would bloom just in time for the wedding.  Who knew?!?
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Below are the boxes of florals that were being prepared for Tracey’s order.  Each flower is specially packaged in special packing material based on its durability.
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We also stopped by a few other floral accessory shops for design inspiration.  I took a photo of these chilies because how cool would a bridal bouquet look for a Southwestern wedding with some chili peppers!  This is why you need a floral designer: she or he knows whats out there and can help bring your theme, cultural heritage or traditions to life using various floral elements like a tree stump or snowflake!  I was also very surprised at how much each stem and bunch of flowers, floral decor costs sometimes up to $10 a stem!
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This snowflake would make for a interesting addition to a wedding floral centerpiece!
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In this shot, Tracey was explaining to me that there are different ways to get the flowers to stand up properly in the floral arrangements and the pros and cons of each.
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Look at all these boxes with more thousands of dollars worth of flowers for just 1 wedding!!!   The entire back of Tracey’s car was filled with all these boxes which the staff happily assisted her with loading them into her car.
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And that was Day 1 of my time with Tracey!  Stay tuned for Day 2 of designing the Jewish wedding floral design.  Baby Olivia was a trooper throughout the entire day!
I felt like baby Olivia below after our day in the floral district.
Check out Day 2 here where Tracey puts together the centerpieces and bouquets!
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COMMENTS

[…] Behind the scenes with New York floral designer Tracey Reynolds […]

I absolutely loved working with Tracey for my wedding. She puts thought and care into every decision she makes and she is with you 100% of the time to reassure you about choices. She does not have a rearranged idea for you, all of her work is original. When Tracey showed up with the flowers the morning of my wedding, she made my day not only with the beautiful bouquets but also by bringing along her little girl. I have a beautiful picture of her lighting up the room with her beautiful smile. It made me feel better on a day where I was getting nervous about the little things.

Tracey is such a sweetheart!!! You are lucky to work with her! xo P

What an endearing shoot, you captured the emotion wonderfully!!

Thank you Nikki!!!

What absolutely beautiful pictures and precious moments. I too am a mother to my now 2 yrd old daughter, Micaele. At my company we also do floral design work and Mon so many occasions, I take Micaele with me to the floral district as I work and prepare for our events. I am so glad to see that I am not the only woman / mom/ business owner who takes my child on these trips. Micaele is now so known at the market that we always come home with flowers gifted to her from my distributors. Women can do it all and Tracey is a fabulous example!

Marie, you are so awesome too!!! Thanks for sharing! xo P

Awesome feature….I just recently found Tracey on Facebook and turns out we are very close to one another. We met up and she is an amazing talent, we have a like taste for rustic and vintage and enjoyed our 2 hour talk about weddings,design and small business. She is an inspiration and definitely one to look out for this year.

Thanks for stopping by! Tracey is awesome inside and out. I hope I get to meet you sometime!