For most people their wedding is the first time that the’ve ever needed to hire a florist. Aside from choosing a boutonniere for your prom date you may not have had occasion to even speak to one. What do you say to them besides 'I want my wedding to be pretty and have flowers'? I’ve got you covered with questions and some tips to help you be able to ask more insightful questions than 'how much is this going to cost'.
How to get started
Florists, and for that matter any wedding vendor, should offer you a complementary consultation before you make any commitment. This is your chance to ask as many questions as you like about them and their style to make sure that you are a right fit for each other. Start by researching floral shops and floral designers in your area and schedule appointments with them after checking to make certain that they are available for your wedding date.
Ways you should prepare
1. Know your color scheme- without this information your potential florist is really going to be shooting in the dark to make suggests on what might work best for your event.
2. Create a Pinterest board- Often times images are much better communicators than words. Bring lots of images to show each florist (or better yet invite them to your Pinterest board in advance) so they know what style you have in mind for your big day.
3. Have a budget- Budget is huge when it comes to flowers and quality is going to cost you. Do a bit of research to see what couples in your area typically spend on their wedding florals and create a budget for this expense that you are comfortable with.
What to ask
1. What's your floral style? Every florist is unique and there are so many different styles that they could work in. Make sure that your style and theirs match up.
2. What is the typical floral budgets of your clients, do you have a minimum? Typically your neighborhood florist won’t have a wedding minimum budget, but often times floral designers do. Get very clear on what these numbers are.
3. What flowers are in season on my wedding date? This question will play a huge role in terms of your budget, most flowers can be obtained at any time of year, but they will cost significantly more in the off season.
4. Have you done an event at my venue before? This is going to be important when talking about decor flowers. Are their specific challenges the've faced installing or delivering flowers at your venue?
5. How many other events would you potentially schedule on my date? Unlike many other wedding professionals florists often have the flexibility to take on more than one client a day, especially if they have a team. Is it important to you that your wedding is their sole focus that day?
6. Will you do my arrangements yourself or will they be done by an assistant? Get clear on which floral artists will be creating your pieces. Is it important to you that the person you communicate with is who execute the designs?
7. How far in advance will my arrangements be created? a number of pieces can be made several days in advance, ask the question to gain an understand of how they work.
8. Will you personally deliver/ set up my florals? Is there an additional charge for this service? You want to make sure that this important logistical bit is covered, there would be little worst then having exquisite florals at your wedding that were set up incorrectly or arrived late to the party.
9. What florals do you recommend based on my budget and color scheme? This is the one of the biggest value adds of working with a professional florists. They are the experts on materials and their cost- let them serve you with their expertise.
10. Where do your materials come from? Are organic or locally sourced products an option? Is it important to you to use local or organic materials on your wedding day? If so make sure to ask because flowers could be shipped form anywhere in the world.
11. Will you be available for a venue walk through with my planner and myself? Is there an additional charge of this service? For large floral installations this question is really important. Even if you personally don’t want do a walk though with the florist any wedding planner worth their salt will.
12. How far in advance do your clients typically book? Your florist is going to need time to dream up designs and get their hands on all the materials required. Make sure that the window you are giving them work with their schedule.
13. May I see a sample contract? What is your payment schedule? Florists are going to be happy to share this information with you. Make sure that you are comfortable with the terms of their contract and that it covers all of the delivery/teardown aspects you need.
14. What if the flowers we decided upon become unavailable at the time of my wedding? Again, the florist is the expert on their product, get an idea of how they will choose substitute flowers and how/ if they will notify you of a change in plan.
15. Will you prepare a written proposal with sketches of my designs? Is there an additional fee for this service? Written, itemized proposals are pretty standard and often come in conjunction with your contract. If you would like the specifics of your design in the form of a sketch or mockup understand that they will probably want to be compensated for their time in creating this document.
16. What other services to you offer? Many florists also offer rental goods that can be added to your floral package.
17. How will you work with my event designer? If you have hired an event designer make sure that the florist is willing to work in conjunction with them to create a unified look for your event.
18. Can I rent floral containers from you or will I need to provide my own? Nearly every florist will include the cost for purchase or rental of containers in your proposal, but be sure that you know in advance if you will need to provided something to actually put those pretty flowers in.
19. Will you or someone from your team tear down after my event? The last thing you want to worry about on your wedding night is who is getting the flowers out the venue. Make certain that someone else has this on their to-do list.
20. What happens to my flowers after the wedding? Do you have any donation partnerships? You are making an investment in these florals be clear on what you want to happen to them after the night is over. Some florists offer an additional service where your wedding flowers can be taken to a local hospital or elder care facility to brighten someone else day after your big one.
21. Can you work with my baker to add florals to my cake? If you will be incorporating fresh florals on your cake be sure that your florist can make those arrangements on your behalf.
22. Can you assist me with the preservation of my bouquet after the wedding? If keeping your bouquet as a memento of your day is important to you put a plan in place in advance for its care and handling.
23. What is the possibility of using the same decor arrangements at both my ceremony and reception? Who will be responsible for their transportation? This can be a great cost saving tip and many florists will recommend it, make sure that someone will take care of transporting and setting up those lovely blooms at their second location.
24. What are your personal favorite flowers to work with? Florists are going to be happy to tell you all about their favorite products, if those items work in your budget and color scheme I recommend incorporating them into your big day.
25. How will you communicate with me? Understand how your florists does business. Will they communicate via email or phone, how often can you expect to hear from them. Would you prefer that communication is handled through your planner or would you like to deal with it directly?
Remember that each florist is different and has their own unique style and It’s important to find one who’s vision matches well with your own. Not every florist you meet with will be a great fit of you and your event.
I’ve compiled all of these questions into a free worksheet for you to take with you to those floral consultations. Get it here!
Does all of this sound really overwhelming? I offer a complete design and planning service where one of the benefits is connecting you with the best possible vendors for your style. Contact me for more information.