Happy Hump Day, friends! Do you ever have those weeks where it feels like the week is flying by but dragging on at the same time? That’s kind of how I’m feeling. I feel like I have way too many things to get done and not enough time to do them (hence the week flying by) but then I also don’t have the energy to get to them all so I’m just waiting for the weekend to arrive (why the week feels like its dragging on). Friday night cannot get here soon enough!
Anyway, on to the important stuff, like Wedding Wednesday. Today’s Choosing Your Vendor post is about picking your florist. This service is a little more unique to each wedding since not everyone chooses to spend a lot of money on flowers, if any. I’m going to be quite honest with you right now: flowers are expensive… and they die. So with that out of the way, here’s a couple of questions to ask yourself before you start reaching out to florists for meetings:
- What’s my budget?
- Where do I want to use flowers throughout my wedding?
- Bouquets and boutonnieres, centerpieces [all tables or just some], alter flowers, etc.
Once you determine the answers to these two questions, it’s time to start your research. First, I would highly recommend you hold off on booking your florist until you have booked your ceremony and reception venues. There’s two reasons for this: you can search for florists who are closer to your venue site(s) and you can have a better vision of how many flowers you want/need to decorate your space. We used a florist who was within 10 miles of our venue and they had worked at that space plenty of time so they were very familiar with all of our contacts and had an understanding of where they could set up without being noticed.
As you determine florists you want to contact, begin putting their information into a spreadsheet [document, document, document!]. Because pricing can fluctuate based on product [flowers], a lot of florists don’t including a pricing model on their sites so you will likely need to reach out to quite a few. Also, it’s best to have an idea of how many corsages, boutonnieres, centerpieces, alter flowers, etc. when reaching out to get a better estimate. Below are some standard questions you can ask in your initial inquiry:
- Do you have my date open?
- Can you please provide me with some general pricing for bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, centerpieces
- If you have an idea of how many of each you’ll need, include the number here
- Do you have a delivery charge?
- How many other events will be scheduled the same day as mine?
- Do you provide the vases in the cost of the centerpieces will they need to be rented?
- When do they need to be returned? Is there an additional cost for them to be picked up from the venue location?
- How many weddings have you done?
- Are you familiar with my venue?
Hopefully this will give you an idea of a few florists that interest you for your wedding day. Your next step is to set up a meeting to discuss the details. It’s a good idea to print of some photos of bouquet and centerpiece ideas prior to your meeting. This will give your potential florist a good idea of what your vision is. Also, if you have a photo of you dress, bridesmaid dresses, tuxes/suits, etc., it will give your florists an idea of your wedding style. Below is a list of questions to bring when meeting with these potential florists:
- What flowers are in season during the time of my wedding?
- What kind of flowers can I get that fit within my budget while also matching my wedding vision?
- When will the flowers be delivered?
- Will you be doing my arrangements or will it be another floral designer?
- When does my order need to be finalized?
- When does a contract need to be signed?
- What’s the down-payment?
- What is your refund policy if I need to cancel my order?
Hopefully you find some amazing florists who just knock your socks off. Martha Stewart Weddings posted a great article about what flowers are in season by region. This is a good place to start, as well as spending some time on Pinterest, as you plan this piece of your big day.