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I’m a fairly new flower junkie. Before my own wedding, I only knew the names of flowers that I could find in the local grocery store (whomp whomp). I was your average flower consumer, and didn’t really care much for having them in the house either. During the wedding planning process, however, I became obsessed with learning new flowers. I found out what a juliet rose was and melted on sight. You know the feeling, right? After that I learned tons of flower names, what they looked like and what season they were best in. So when I was planning a party this past weekend, I knew I wanted to go to the flower market and gather some flowers for pretty centerpieces. It was a thrill! At one point I basically ran through an aisle of flowers after spotting one bucket of peonies (probably looked embarrassing). But it was like I had struck gold! It was March though, so I wasn’t too surprised when the vendor said $17.50 for a 5 stem bunch of hot pink peonies. $32 for white!

I wanted to be really informed before I went, so I researched online for people’s experiences but only found one – thanks Emily Henderson! With so little info on how to shop the flower market – here’s my tips on how to have a successful morning!

*Before I begin, I want to start with a warning: If you are going to get flowers just for around the house, a small party (like mine) definitely go to the flower market and have fun! If that is not the case, do yourself a favor and hire a florist. They are worth everything they promise + produce. Just thinking about if I had done my own wedding flowers makes me dizzy and I’m so glad I didn’t, so please hire a local florist whose work you love! Flowers are an art, and florists know the quality better than you, and can put together an amazing look better than you can imagine. My favorite in the OC area is The Bloom of Time and Foxtail Florals.

Here are some of my top 5 tips I put together from our Saturday visit:

1. Go early

-This is kinda a no-brainer. The LA flower market on a Saturday for the public is from 6am – 2pm. Now, I don’t know about you but there is no way I’m getting out of bed at 5am. Nikki and I went with leaving at 8:30 ish and got there by 9am. It was still pretty quiet (see photo above) but by the time we left at 10am it was getting much busier. I’d say aim to be there between 8-9am to have some quiet + get your hands on anything the wholesale people left for you (hehe).

2. Browse First

-I had a specific color palette I wanted to work with and it was helpful to walk around both buildings before making any decisions. It was a good way to gauge who had the best looking type of flowers. For example: the first building had a few white anemones I wanted, but the second building had them as well in much better condition! Same price as well.

3. Tax?

If you can find out which booths charge tax, that is also helpful. I know that some vendors have it built into their prices already, but a few times Nikki and I were charged the flat amount + tax at checkout and it kinda rubbed us the wrong way. I guess we’re just girls after a deal!

4. Flower Quality

Check the quality + color of the flower. The amaranthus I ended up buying was a brighter red and seemed fuller than the other bunch I was considering from another vendor. With Nikki’s project, she wanted to find flowers that would last until Thursday (5 days) so we looked for flowers that looked durable and weren’t too far open. The ranunculus I picked out could be fully bloomed because I was using them the next day. They were actually harder to find with closed buds, but we managed!

5. Compare

After you’ve purchased a few bunches, use them to compare to other flowers you are considering. I went in blindly to the market not knowing exactly what I wanted, so holding the flowers I had already bought up against others helped me choose which paired best with them.

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Lots of pretty green fillers at the flower market! I especially loved the blue thistles, and came close to buying a dark maroon color. Weren’t in my color palette unfortunately!

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These little fruit stems really had me smitten. Kicking myself for not picking up a bunch of them. They are fun, right?

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Nikki and I were both after ranunculus, and found that the best price we could find was $5 a bunch. Trouble was finding the right color, not too open, and pretty!

* For price reference, if you go to Trader Joe’s right now (March) ranunculus are sold for $4.99 a bunch. But you only get about 4 stems in them. For $5 you’re getting about 8 flowers in there at the LA Flower Market! 6 heads and a few buds…thats a great deal to me.

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Here’s my loot (from above). I’ll go from left to right:

1. Eucalyptus ($5.00 for a huge bunch which Nikki and I split = $2.50 a piece. Score!)

2. Some type of peach berry ($5.00 + tax)

3. Pink Ranunculus ($5.00 + tax)

4. White with blue center Anemones ($5 flat)

5. Red Amaranthus ($5 flat)

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And here they are in action together! I’ll be sharing more party photos later this week but here’s a glimpse of the combo. They looked so great paired with pretty colored glassware from Primary Petals.

Am I missing any other tips you found helpful to add? Have any questions?

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