Working with Your Florist
If you’ve peeked at our Instagram account or had a conversation with any of the ladies on our team, you probably know that we’re low-key obsessed with flowers! Floral design days are some of our favorite days in the office, and it’s not just because the space (usually) smells like a garden-based heaven on earth!
However, while we live + breath + sometimes even dream about flowers, we know that not everyone is quite as familiar with all the work that goes into creating the drool-worthy arrangements you see at weddings.
So where do you begin when you’re ready to start locking down a florist for your wedding? Well lucky for you, we’re here and we’re oh so happy to help you get started!
Prepping for your intro meeting
The single most-helpful thing you can do to get started on the right foot with your florist is collecting a handful of inspiration photos. By seeing a good selection of pictures showing what you are interested in, your florist can immediately get a feel for what your wedding will entail.
Not only is it courteous to come prepared, but it will save your florist a lot of time in the long run. There’s a lot of work that goes into preparing pricing, so having to redo that multiple times (if you change your flower vision) can be very labor intensive.
And we’re not just talking bouquet photos, we’re talking allll the photos. A few bouquet samples mixed with a few images of alter arrangements mixed with a few images of reception centerpieces mixed with… well, you get the point. Because bouquets, while super important + beautiful, are only one piece of your wedding’s floral picture.
Once you gather a few inspiration photos, make a detailed list of all of the arrangements you’re interested in. While you don’t necessarily need an inspiration photo for every desired floral arrangement, you do need to note everything so that the florist can provide accurate estimates on pricing. Various floral arrangement that you may want to consider are:
- Bridal bouquet
- Bridesmaid bouquet(s)
- Hair flowers
- Groom boutonniere
- Groomsmen boutonniere(s)
- Special family flowers
- Garland for “Welcome Sign”
- Welcome Table arrangements
- Ceremony arch
- Chair arrangements for ceremony
- Aisle arrangements for ceremony
- Petals for aisle
- Bar arrangements
- Cocktail table arrangements
- Guest table centerpieces
- Sweetheart/head table arrangements
- Cake flowers
You certainly don’t need to get everything listed above, but at least consider which items are important to you prior to contacting your florist.
Another thing to consider? Budget. If you really want to make sure that you stick to your budget, we recommend making an itemized list of desired arrangements and then separating those arrangements into an A-List and a B-List. This way, you can ensure you’re getting everything you need on the A-list and can choose to include additional items from the B-List if the budget allows.
Next, throw some time on your (potential) florist’s calendar to walk through what you’re envisioning for your big day. Make sure you provide him/her with all the important details of your day- wedding date, goal budget, wedding location, set-up time, name of coordinator, etc.
Additionally, make sure you ask what items you are able to rent from them. It’s super important to know what they include in their price and who will need to provide the ceremony arch, draping, pillars, vases, etc.
Some other questions to consider asking a potential florist include:
- Can you show me some examples of your favorite work?
- How would you define your style?
- What happens if you can’t get the flowers I requested? What is your policy on substituting flowers? (Flowers come from nature, and we all know that Mother Nature does what she wants. Therefore, sometimes the flowers originally requested aren’t available when it comes time to create your arrangements. Make sure your florist can provide a similar alternative, in both style and cost.)
- How do you determine the charges for the flowers and labor?
- Can you provide some examples of creative solutions you’ve used in the past to get the most out of a budget?
- What rentals can you provide?
- Can we take home the arrangements at the end of the night? (This often depends on who owns the vases the arrangements are in.)
Price range of flowers
One of the first questions we’re typically asked is, “How much do you charge?” And rightfully so! However, we wish there was a simple answer to this oh-so-common question.
The pricing of florals can vary greatly depending on which flowers you choose + how labor intensive your requested arrangements are.
Your florist will be able to give some really good insight as to which flowers are a bit pricier and which flowers are more affordable yet will still look like a million bucks when placed in your bouquet.
So it’s totally okay to ask roughly how much the overall job will cost, but only ask after you show the florist a few pictures and provide a list of all the arrangements you’d like. This way, he or she can make an educated + informed estimate.
What to expect when you’re… hiring a florist
There’s a few things that should absolutely be provided when hiring a florist… if they don’t automatically offer these few things, you should definitely make a point to ask.
First, florists should provided an itemized list of what they’ll make + explanations of each arrangement. Not only does this ensure that you’re both on the same page, but it’s also a form of insurance in guaranteeing that you’ll receive what you think you’re getting on the big day.
Secondly, the florist should provide a few visual images to confirm you are both on the same page. A “bouquet with pink peonies, white roses, olive branches and Italian ruscus” can look very different depending on how it’s arranged… make sure you’re seeing pictures and, more importantly, that you’re liking these pictures before you sign a contract.
Next, the florist should outline his or her pricing structure, as different florists have different ways they charge clients for products and services.
Lastly, always make sure you + your florist are both signing a contract. Your florist will want you to confirm the job before the secure the product order, and you’ll want to hold the florist accountable for providing the correct flower arrangements on your wedding day.
So that’s it, friends! We think flowers can have a monumental impact on your wedding day, so we want to ensure that it’s done right and it’s done well. And the more you are prepared when interviewing + contracting a florist, the more likely it will be that the flower arrangements will show up on your wedding day looking PERFECT. And that’s always the goal, right?!
Love Letter Weddings Team