Your journey to find true love took you to none other than the top romantic...
Here are some hints and tips to help you choose the right florist and the things you need to discuss once you have found them.
(A Huge thank you to Fiona at Firenza Floral Design for letting me use this article and pictures)
Arranging an initial consultation
• Check they are available for your date before going any further.
• Meet with two or three florists and give them the same brief, outlining what is important to you and compare the estimates and feedback, to check they understand your requirements. Your florist will play a large part in making your wedding day special, so it is important to choose somebody you get on with and that understands you and your needs.
• Ask the florists you meet how far in advance you should book – many specialist wedding florists only accept one booking a day and can get booked up to two years in advance
• Winter and Autumn weddings can be very popular, so don’t assume because you are getting married outside the “wedding season” that your preferred florist will be available at short notice.
• Some florists charge for consultations – check in advance and find out whether you get this back if you book with them.
• Is there a limit on the amount of times you can meet with your florist?
• If you are unsure about specific flowers/designs, but you are worried that your preferred florist will get booked up discuss whether they would consider you reserving the date in advance (with a deposit) and then finalising details much nearer the time
• Most florists require a deposit to reserve the date, confirm what this is, when it is needed and when final payment is due
• Florist shops can be very busy around peak times (eg Mother’s Day, Christmas and Valentine’s Day) and some won’t take weddings around these times, whereas freelance designers are not necessarily affected in the same way. The wholesale price of flowers always increases at peak times, so do expect to pay more.
• How will your estimate be sent to you – e-mail, letter or phone?
• Are you a “long distance bride” (do you live out of the area of your venue/florist)? If so, is your florist able to work around this (ie could they meet you at the venue when you are visiting, can you communicate by e-mail?)
• Ensure you see examples of previous work – be sceptical if you are just shown magazine cuttings as they may not have done many weddings before. Most florists will have portfolios of other weddings as well as testimonials from previous couples.
Things to discuss
• Colour scheme and overall style and feel of the day. If possible try to create a mood board or scrap book with pictures of designs, styles, colours, swatches, even dislikes asit all helps your florist understand your vision. A good wedding florist will spend a considerable amount of time discussing this before going into any other details, as this dictates every design and display. If there are flowers you want to use, or that you dislike, let your florist know.
• Whilst most good florists advise on colour matches and schemes, don’t be too exacting about colour matches, flowers are natural products and the colours, shape and size can vary from one week to the next. If a slight colour variation will ruin your plans and send you into orbit, it would be better to discuss alternative ways of bringing specific colours into your designs.
• If you see your ideal bouquet in their portfolio, most florists will let you have a copy of the picture/design after you have booked with them, this prevents their design being given to another florist to copy.
• Style and colour of bride and bridesmaid dresses also set dictate styles and colours – will you be able to discuss this at the consultation (will the groom be present)?
• If your florist is not familiar with your church/venue, would they be prepared to view it with you to advise on decoration
• If any displays are being moved and used later – consider who will need to do this
• Do you have a budget and does it relate to the actual designs you want – be careful not to set a random budget based on percentages of overall wedding costs, if you know you are looking for an elaborate floral display. Again, discuss this with your florist and if you need to keep within a certain budget, there is often a degree of flexibility by using different flowers, less flowers and re-using displays where possible – if you feel they are trying to get you to spend more than you want, walk away, however most will suggest ways to spend less.
• Will your florist deliver and set up flowers to all venues – if so you will need to discuss delivery addresses/times (including access to church/venue for decorating in advance if required).
• Are there any delivery or collection charges?
• Will hired items need to be collected by the florist the following day or will they be delivered back to them?
• Some florists may ask where you found their details so make a note if you can, the details can all blend into one after a while!
Thanks to Fiona at Firenza Floral Design for allowing me to use this information.
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