In all the bustle of planning a wedding, it may be easy to put off the decision of flowers. After all, you can’t decide that until you’ve chosen a wedding florist, and that can be its own project! After years of working with brides and wedding planners, we have a few tips for making this process easier. Just consider: the right flowers can bring together the entire event and be an unforgettable part of your wedding.
Read on for a few tricks to pick the right wedding florist, who will in turn help you pick the right flowers. Before you know it, your wedding venue will look perfectly and uniquely like you.
On Your Own
- Establish your own style. This doesn’t mean you have to be well-versed in flower vocabulary, just that you have a solid understanding of what you do and don’t like. The florist can draw on these specifics when setting the stage. This style consideration should also factor in whether you want to use non-floral elements (twigs, cotton, fruit, berries, etc.) or want to stick to flowers.
- Consider the venue + your style. If your wedding is outside, you may need fewer wedding floral arrangements. If your event is inside or has limited lighting sources, you may need to invest more into the flowers. Again, knowing your style will help the florist guide the end result: huge stands of drooping willow at the front, or a simple dahlia at the end of each row?
Bring In Others
- Get recommendations. These might come from review sites, from other brides, or from your own wedding planner. Once you have those, spend some time browsing each florist’s website and social media to see how well their style matches your vision. Do you want lots of loosely-gathered bridal flowers and a bohemian vibe? Do you want more structured, minimalist flowers that will allow other aspects of the dresses and venue to shine? No matter what you’re looking for, narrow the recommended list to just a few florists.
- Set a budget. Your flowers should be about 10% of your wedding budget. The season of your wedding might determine, to some extent, what flowers are in stock and easier to source. Of course, if you have your heart set on peonies for a winter wedding or cherry blossoms in the summer, factor that extra expense into the overall budget.
Face to Face with the Flower Experts
- Interview florists. Sit down with each florist on your “short list” to learn more about their style, experience, and personality. And bring lots of inspiration! Trying to describe a color is always difficult and when it comes to wedding flowers, you’ll want the perfect shade. Pinterest boards, color swatches, and photos of the venue will all be invaluable to the florist. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions about how they’ll handle tough situations. What happens if a particular flower doesn’t arrive in time or they have an unexpected employee shortage when setting up the event? Chances are good that these disaster scenarios won’t happen but the questions will be valuable in helping you choose a florist you can easily work with. You should also consider their experience decorating for events versus experience making wedding bouquets: both are important skills but you’ll want to make sure there are enough talented people on the floral team to do everything that’s needed!
- Study the proposals from each wedding florist. The proposal that you choose will become the basis for the contract, so make sure you’re comfortable with the terms and ask questions if you aren’t. When comparing the proposal to your budget, make sure to consider items that might not be written out, such as gratuities. Details should also be spelled out: delivery and setup information, dates, times, locations for delivery, and any costs for the setup and breakdown. You should also request an itemized list of the bouquets, arrangements, and décor that will be ready for the event. This may save headache in the future if a key floral piece, like chuppah flowers or the last bridesmaid bouquet, doesn’t show up.
- Choose a winner. By this point, you should be completely comfortable with the florist’s portfolio and proposal – but don’t be afraid to go with your gut feeling. A florist who’s excited about your vision and can confidently answer your questions will be far more helpful than a florist whose portfolio exactly matches your vision. A great florist will be able to create any look, even if it isn’t specifically portrayed in his or her range. Ideally, the florist is chosen 8-12 months before the wedding to ensure that their schedule isn’t already filled.
- Once the contract is signed, put a big green checkmark next to that item in your wedding planner!
We hope these ideas were helpful in guiding you to choose the right wedding florist. If you have any thoughts or success stories about doing things a different way, we’d love to hear! Just drop us a note in the comments or on one of our social media pages to tell the story.