Hi there! First of all congratulations on your engagement! It's a very exciting time, picking a dress, a venue, a ceremony site and a bridal party are usually at the top of every bride's list. But there are still more decisions. Dahlias or Peonies? Dramatic or Ethereal? Traditional or Modern? Soft and gentle or strong bold colors? Picking arrangements and flowers for your wedding can be overwhelming. Finding the right person for the job requires a little homework. But that's ok! We at Fleur + Stitch are here to help!
We've compiled a list of the top 10 things you should know as you start the process of finding your wedding florist. YAY!
1. The Date
Ah... You've secured the date. Yay! Ask if your date is available. Some florists take multiple events on each day; some may only take one or two. We here at Fleur + Stitch only take one wedding per day. It gives us the flexibility and freedom to focus all our time and energy on making your day special.
But don't be alarmed by florists that take more than one per day, just be sure to ask how many designers are on their team and if you will have a lead designer for your wedding day. See if you can connect directly with them to see if you like their style.
2. How many guests
Is it going to be an intimate soirée or big bash with all of your extended family and friends? This is a very important piece of information for your florist to know. It all relates to how many centerpieces you will have at your reception and ultimately reflects on your budget. During the reception, your guests spend a lot of their time seated around the tables, eating and laughing and enjoying good company with family and friends or perhaps a friend of yours they just met. With so much time spent around these tables, it is important to help create a festive atmosphere. It also gives you the opportunity to inject your own personal styles or theme into the reception venue.
3. The size of the bridal party
In order for your florist to give you an accurate quote, it is best to have already decided who is going to be in the wedding party. Having a large bridal party can eat up a large portion of your budget. That being said, It's your day! Any good floral designer will have a few tricks up their sleeves to make your budget work. **Pro Tip** Do not say to your floral designer, "I don't want to spend a lot of money on personal flowers... They will just be dead in a day" Aside from the fact that you are talking to a person who has chosen to make a career out of making things that will "just be dead in a day", your flowers are there to enhance all your photographs. To add even more beauty to your special day and those photos will last a lifetime.
4. What's your budget?
Here is one of the most important things you need to know before you meet with your wedding florist. Everyone, I mean everyone, has a budget. Even if your floral budget is $1,000,000 it's still a budget. Some florists require a minimum floral budget. That is, a minimum amount of money you will have to spend with them in order to book your wedding with them. Ask your florist if they have one. I find that it is more efficient for me to quote bouquets and centerpieces that are inside your budget. At Fleur + Stitch we have no "packages". Every quote is custom tailored to suite your needs and budget. We like to offer many suggestions on your proposal. Sometimes we include three different options for centerpieces. You are not required to purchase everything. You pick and choose what fits best for you.
5. What's your style?
Everyone has one! If you think you don't, bring pictures. Bring pictures of your dress, your venue, things that inspire you. Your favorite flowers and the flowers you just can't stand. Sometimes bringing pictures of things you hate can also be helpful. Tell the florist about any themes and colors you may be considering for your wedding. They may have some great suggestions in ways to incorporate those themes and colors into your flowers. Just remember that the decision is ultimately up to you, and don't be afraid to say "I really like that idea, but I don't think it is right for us".
6. Know your flowers
Do a little homework and know the seasonality and expense of certain flowers. Most flowers are available all year now. But in off-season you will be paying a premium for those flowers. Also the quality of the flowers that are in their off season is not usually the best. Expect smaller flowers and buds and higher prices. That is why we always suggest getting the best value and taking advantage of your "season" by using flowers that are in it.
7. When to book your wedding florist
Book your florist as soon as you want! That being said, it is best to have all the above items in place if you want an accurate proposal. If you've found the wedding florist of your dreams and want to secure them for your date, see if you can give them a deposit to hold your date. Most people contact us 6-8 months before their wedding date. It gives us some time to volley ideas back and forth and order anything that is special or out of the ordinary. But don't fret if it's 3 months before your wedding and you haven’t booked yet. There is still time, you just may not book your first choice or you may have to compromise on some of your ideas if the items are not readily available.
8. What services you are looking for?
Come prepared with a list of all the items you will be looking for from wedding florist. You'd be surprised to find out how many additional things your wedding florist is capable of, just ask if there are any unique items or services that they offer. Fleur + Stitch offers many unique items such as custom escort cards and table numbers, unique paper garlands, photo booth and ceremony backdrops, paper flowers and day of coordination. We make nearly all of these items in house, which means that the value and savings is passed on to our couples.
9. Think outside of bouquets and centerpieces
The flowers for your wedding are there to enhance your photographs! Your bridal bouquet is one of the most photographed details of the day. Consider other places that may be photographed and think about enhancing those. Like your ceremony, all of your guests will be looking in the same direction at the same time while you and your loved one say your vows. Make it an Instagram worthy shot! Whether you decorate an existing arbor or add pedestals and large flower arrangements to frame it out, this is a great opportunity to enhance those photos that will last a lifetime. Ask your florist if they can then repurpose those items, so that you and your guests can enjoy them for the rest of the night. Whether it's using a custom ceremony backdrop for a photo booth or reusing large flower arrangements from your ceremony at the reception venue, you won't know if it's possible until you ask. Some other places to consider are escort card tables, cocktail tables, bar and gift tables, all are great places to add a little flower or two to make it a complete floral story.
How did anyone ever plan a wedding without Pinterest? Pinterest is priceless when planning but it can get overwhelming and before you know it you have 2,000 pins on your wedding board. As you begin to meet with your vendors, make sure you weed out and downsize your wedding board. Delete all those pins with a nautical vibe if you've ultimately decided on a retro vintage theme. There is nothing worse than showing up for an appointment with your vendor and not being able to find that one image that captures what you're looking for so perfectly because its in a sea of images that your no longer feeling. Ask your florist if they use Pinterest. It can be a great tool for volleying ideas back and forth. If they do use pinterest ask if they upload their own work or if they primarily use photos that are found on pinterest. Ultimately be aware of your budget and think of those pins as inspiration and not duplicating an exact replica. After all, Mother Nature is fickle and she rarely produces the exact same blooms twice.