Things are going great and the big day will be here before you know it! You have the venue booked, you’ve locked down a photographer, and found *THE* dress. One of the next steps you need to take is meeting with a florist. Depending on your vision, wedding flowers can be a simple, straightforward affair, or they can be dramatic and more in-depth. By preparing for the meeting with your prospective florist, you can insure a productive consultation and provide your florist with everything they need to execute your flowers perfectly.
If your venue doesn’t work directly with one florist, I recommend setting up appointments with two florists. Meeting with more than that is a serious time investment! It might take some calling around to find someone with your day still available, so sit down and call your top 5 florists. If your venue does work directly with one florist – awesome, they’ve taken care of the hardest part of working with a florist – securing your date!
I prefer meeting with couples between a year to 3 months before their wedding. I find that when I meet with couples too far out (more than a year and a half) the meeting isn’t as productive; typically not enough decisions have been made, like linen colors. It can also be very difficult to meet with a florist less than 3 months before the wedding. Most will already be booked, and because of the shortened time frame it can be harder for florists to source the flowers in time for the wedding. But if you have your heart set on farm fresh flowers, booking a florist closer to the wedding is actually more helpful, because your florist will know what the farms will have available for the week of the wedding. If you have a popular wedding date, like anything in June, or Labor Day weekend, reach out to florists (and the rest of your vendors) between a year and a half to a year out because those days will book up extremely quickly. Certain areas of the country and certain venues have different busy seasons. Your venue should help explain if you’re getting married during a popular weekend and when to reach out to preferred vendors.
Florists understand that most couples work Monday-Friday and weekends work best for consultations. Unfortunately, most weddings happen on weekends too! This can make booking consultations frustrating because it might be a whole month before a florist can meet with you. Mondays and Tuesdays are great days to meet with florists because it tends to be our slower days. It is a big help to us when a couple calls knowing a couple days and times that work for them to come in for a consultation. Most wedding florists are by appointment only. We’re constantly running to the flower market, delivering weddings, giving consultations, etc. It’s best to call or email first! If you show up at someone’s shop or studio, there’s a good chance they won’t be there. Also, winter is the slowest wedding season and the best time to book an appointment!
Three of the most important things to have done before you meet with a florist is to 1) have the venue booked, 2) have the dress / wedding attire picked out and 3) have the bridal party size determined. All three things can drastically change the quote and styles your florists proposes. Next, it’s important to have a color palette picked out. This will help with what kind of flowers can be used. For example, roses don’t come in a dark purple color, so if dark purple is part of your palette and you want it used in the flowers, your florist can suggest other flowers that come in dark purple.
Have a budget in mind. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, but your florist can put together a MUCH better proposal and quote if everyone is on the same page with wedding funds. Only want to spend $500? No problem! Have a budget of $10,000+? No problem! Letting your florist know your ballpark budget can help them suggest ideas and flowers within your budget and prevent unnecessary sticker shock. I suggest allocating 20% of the overall wedding budget to be put towards flowers. If you have grand plans, consider bumping it up to 30-35%. Want to keep it simple? Usually 15% covers the basics.
Next – start pinning! You don’t have to use Pinterest, but it is helpful to bring a few photos of bridal bouquets, centerpieces, or anything else you love and want to share to your consultation.
Meeting with your florist should be a fun, happy part of wedding planning. I might be biased, but flowers are one of the best parts of a wedding (besides all the love in the drenching the air!) Every florist goes through consultations differently, but I like to go through all the wedding day details (venue, start time, etc,) floral items needed (how many bridesmaids and centerpieces, etc.) and end with the best part – looking through photos, picking out flowers and colors, and building your dream wedding flowers! Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions. An important part of our job is to explain the process from start to finish and answer any other questions you can think of.
Congratulations and best of luck!