How to Choose a Florist for Your Wedding
1) Just ask:
The first thing to do is use the resources you already have. Tap friends and family for florist recommendations, then pay a visit to their websites or shops to follow up. Be sure to bring a list of questions with you when you go. Most florists will ask you to schedule an appointment before they will able to give you price quotes, but it’s perfectly within your rights to ask them for a price range for their services. Provide the florist with as much info as possible – If you give them an idea of how many arrangements you would like and the relative sizes of them, dimensions of the tables they will be placed on and types of flowers you’re interested in, they will be able to give you a more accurate estimate of the overall cost.
2) Consider your options:
As an alternative to using a florist, you may want to go with a floral designer. Independent designers can often give you more attention than a florist that may be working on multiple weddings at once. A designer can make you their first priority, catering their work to fit your specific needs, and create something really special. Just make sure that they are willing to work around your set budget, as independent designers can be a bit pricey.
3) Decide on your budget:
Before you get ready to select a florist or designer, you must assess your budget. How much would you like to spend? A good place to start is to plan on devoting about 7-10% of your overall wedding budget on floral arrangements. It’s a good idea to at least have a cap for your spending. Make sure you don’t go over a certain amount since you will want to be able to reserve enough for the venue, caterer and dress of your choosing. At the same time it’s okay to leave little wiggle room – your florist may quote you a price that is a little more than your initial estimate. This is fine as long as you feel you can still afford their services without financially straining yourself. If you need to spend a little more to achieve your vision of the perfect wedding (and feel you can afford it), go ahead and spring for it.
4) Gather Images of your ideal floral arrangements:
Mine magazines, newspapers and websites like Flickr, Instagram and Facebook for arrangements that most closely resemble what you’re envisioning for your wedding. Collecting these images will help you communicate to your florist exactly what your needs are and will really help to give the florist some direction in terms of what flowers to use, what types and sizes of arrangements they should be creating for you. This will also help you to figure out exactly what you’re looking for in the arrangements – are you more interested in maintaining a certain color scheme, for example, or are you mainly interested in certain types of flowers, or a style of floral design, i.e. traditional and showy, or loose and wild etc.
5) Make your florist go the extra mile:
In addition to the traditional bridal bouquet and centerpieces, florists can also offer other nice little extras to make your wedding special. For example, corsages and boutonnieres for the bridesmaids and groomsmen, flower petals, small floral arrangements for alcoves, windowsills and bathrooms. Some florists will also have extras like candles, baskets and other accessories available.