Choosing your wedding florist
Floral designers do much more than just supply your wedding bouquet, they help you create the look and mood for your dream wedding.
Your first question to your florist should always be, ‘what flowers will be in season on my wedding day?’ By using in-season flowers you are assured to get best bang for your buck and your flowers will be abundantly available and nice and fresh. This does not mean you can’t use your favourite flower, you just might have to up your budget, compromise or downsize. A good place to safe money or compromise is on your ceremony decoration, the size of your bridesmaids bouquets or your centrepieces – never on your wedding bouquet! If money is tight, rather have fewer arrangements, but have those ones stand out. Another good budget tip is to use only one or two types of cheaper flowers, but use them en masse. Abundant flowers of the same type always look great. Also, if you can find a specialized florist working from home only, you can often get more for your money plus you get a very personalized service.
Before finalizing your flowers you should have your Reception and Ceremony sites booked. Be aware of the existing colour schemes in your venues, so your flower choices don’t clash. Look around to see if you need to decorate any additional spaces like entries, hallways, restrooms etc. You should have a rough idea on how many guests are coming and how many people will be in the bridal party. These numbers will determine how many table centrepieces, corsages, boutonnieres and bouquets you will need.
It always helps if you know what style of wedding you are going to have, before talking to your florist.
Your flowers should amount to about 10% of your wedding budget. Have a number ready for your florist before your first meeting
It is best to have the first meeting about 1 year before your wedding – that way you can see which flowers are readily available on your wedding day and you might get some new inspirations by just looking around. You should book your chosen florist latest 4 months before your wedding.
1. Practical Tips
Ideally choose a local florist. It keeps travel fees down and you will be able to meet with your florist more easily, which should be 3-4 times ahead of your wedding day.
If you're trying to decide between a couple of great florists use social media to see their work and to check their reviews. Choose someone who has a good name and reputation, look for designs you love, than meet with them and see if you gel. Alternatively ask your wedding planner for a recommendation.
If you are planning on wearing a flower garland, choose flowers that won’t damage or wilt easily. Also check if the products in your hair are likely to affect your flower crown.
Bring a fabric swatch and a picture of your wedding dress and your bridesmaids dresses and maybe a vision board with pictures of flowers and arrangements you like. If you feel your florist is pushing you away from your ideas, you might want to find a new florist.
Have your florist put together a detailed proposal, fully budgeted and once you are happy, don’t be afraid to sign a contract, detailing all flowers to be used, florists involvement on the day, delivery times, who will be doing the flower arrangements, a list of items supplied by the florist (vases, stands etc.), payment schedule, alternatives if things go wrong and the florist’s cancellation and refund policy.
Look for a combination of experience and fashion sense in your wedding florist. Are they up to date with the latest trends and techniques?
When you go through your florists portfolio, make sure the pictures are recent and comprehensive. You need to see all their arrangements, ideally from a number of weddings, so you can get an overall picture of what they are offering.
2. What questions to ask
What flowers will be in season on my wedding day?
What is your design style, more modern or more traditional?
Who will arrange my flowers?
Are you doing more than one event per day?
Do you have any special ideas for my wedding?
Can I see a sample of my wedding bouquet ahead of time?
Will you deliver and set up the flowers at the venues?
Is it possible for us to reuse some flowers of the ceremony at the reception?
Will vases, potted plants, candles etc. be part of your offer?
Until what time can I make changes to the amount of flowers needed?
When do I have to pay?
3. Professional Know How
Your florist should guide you through the process of flower selection and arrangement style and sizes, however it is a good idea to have some basic knowhow. Here are some basic rules to follow when making your selections
The size of your bouquet should complement your dress and not overpower it.
A full skirt wedding dress with lots of tulle looks best with a trailing or cascading bouquet. A simple A line skirt goes really well with a posy.
White weddings are always in, however adding some colour is becoming more and more popular.
Don’t be afraid to use more unusual flowers. Yes, a vintage dress will look beautiful with roses or peonies and a modern dress will look stunning in calla lilies or orchids, but if your favourite flower is a freesia – go for it! Individuality is strongly encouraged and a good florist can adapt any flower to your style.
Except for maybe hanging some ivy garlands around the room try not to do your own flowers. There will be so many things to do on your wedding day you will not have the time to do your own flowers without stressing and since all the bouquets and table centrepieces will be in lots of your photos, you want them to look professional. And since flowers are not something you can do days in advance, you are better off getting a professional florist to help you make your floral dreams come true without any stress.
If you need a florist to beautify your wedding, contact one of the professionals on this site.
If the vases do not need to go back to the florist, you may want to offer your centerpieces to guests as favors or donate the arrangements to a local hospital or nursing home.