SABATTUS — When Heather Rouillard got married five years ago, she wasn’t thrilled with her wedding flowers.

For the price, they were pretty skimpy.

Rouillard, who’d graduated with a horticulture degree from Southern Maine Community College a couple of years before, decided she could do better.

So she did.

Today, she owns and runs The Flower Girl, a wedding floral business based in Sabattus. It’s a one-woman shop — Rouillard greets, orders, designs, creates and delivers.  

“It kind of gave me the confidence to realize I could do it on my own,” she said of her own unhappy flower experience. “It was a blessing in disguise.”

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Rouillard’s peak wedding season runs from April to November. So far this season, she has designed flowers for about 40 weddings. 

The latest, held this past weekend in Weld, was also one of her biggest, requiring 18 centerpieces, two giant decorative arrangements nestled in rustic milk cans, one large outdoor display, two bouquets for bridesmaids and one bouquet for the bride.

It took hundreds of flowers — 200 roses alone — all in a watermelon-pink color scheme.

“This is going to be one of my favorite (weddings),” Rouillard said. “I really think it’s the milk jugs. I really like that she did something different, because everybody is doing Mason jars.”

Trends are easy for Rouillard to spot after four years in the business. So is where those trends come from.

“Pinterest,” she said. “Like, constantly. It’s kind of funny because half the time, I feel like people show me the exact same thing.”

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Popular now: rustic-theme weddings, flowers in Mason jars, a “blush” color scheme, roses.

Falling out of favor: boutonnieres and corsages.

“It’s been weird,” she said. “They just didn’t want them.”

Rouillard runs The Flower Girl from her workshop on the second floor of her garage. She spends hours on each wedding, judging every petal, leaf and stem as she designs. Are these roses a shade too dark? Will that football mum still be open for the ceremony in three days? Should the berry stem go in the center or on the side of the arrangement?

Rouillard orders almost all of her flowers from a wholesaler — they arrive mid-week and are kept in water and a cooler to stay fresh while Rouillard creates bouquets, centerpieces and arrangements for the weekend wedding — but she has gone flower-hunting herself.

“(A bride) said, ‘Oh, I love wildflowers,’ and it was August, so I was so excited because I could actually go and pick sunflowers and zinnias and cosmos and stuff,” she said. “It came out really pretty.”

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Rouillard has found that her couples tend to spend $500 to $2,000 on flowers for their wedding.

She advises couples on tight budgets to focus their spending on bouquets, since those will be in photos. Bridal bouquets average $100 to $200; bridesmaid bouquets cost $25 to $75 each.

Five years after her own wedding and four years after she started The Flower Girl, Rouillard still loves the job. Her favorite part: the bride’s reaction when she first sees of flowers.   

“Half the time she’ll cry,” Rouillard said. “It’ll start to make me cry.”

Have an idea for Tying the Knot? Contact Lindsay Tice at 689-2854 or [email protected].

Planning a wedding?

• Talk to the florist early. Flower seasons can be short and you’ll want to know what’s available for the date you’re considering.
 
• Have fun, be unique. Pinterest is great, but following the crowd means you risk losing something more personal. 
 
• Focus tight budgets on the bouquets. They will be in the wedding photographs — table centerpieces won’t.
 
• On the big day, keep your flowers in water as long as possible.
 
 
 

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