How To Choose a Wedding Florist in 10 Simple Steps
From pinpointing your style to finally signing a contract, experts weigh in on how to find your perfect floral match.
Fewer things add color, depth, and texture to your wedding day as flowers can. Floral centerpieces enhance the overall palette, and the shape of the bridal bouquet emphasizes a theme. Even more modern pieces, such as floral walls and hanging installations, add interest and beauty. It's undeniable that flowers are a lovely way to embellish your big day, and the first step to having stunning blooms is selecting the right floral designer. Before you search for a qualified professional, here are ten steps towards choosing a wedding florist.
1. Pinpoint your style
Knowing your style can be difficult, especially if you crave an eclectic vibe. Therefore, start by heading to Pinterest to find what speaks to you. Not only will this help you hone your style, but it will also give your florist a glimpse into your taste. If you have your eye on a particular designer, look at their past work to relay what you envision for your big day.
"I think the best way to choose a florist is to find one whose style you absolutely love," suggests Nicole Mason, owner of Ivory & Beau in Savannah, Georgia. "Finding a florist who naturally does that style will ensure that on your wedding day, you'll absolutely love what you get. You will not be disappointed on your wedding day when you really connect and vibe with your florist."
2. Make a floral wish list
Going into a consultation with a plan will help you decide if the designer is the perfect fit. Be armed with information when you meet with various florists. It's better to have too much information than too little, so go into your meeting with a list of what you'll need. Doing so will help the designer come up with a proper quote for your wedding flowers.
Take it a step further and break up your list into needs and wants. For example, bouquets, centerpieces, and boutonnieres should be on your must-have list. Your bonus list of flowers could consist of a greenery ceremony backdrop, a hanging floral chandelier, and an upgrade to the traditional bridal bouquet. Hopefully, your florist can include your needs and a few of your wants on your wedding day.
3. Scour social media
Platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, are fabulous tools to search for a quality florist. Social media gives instant gratification, and many vendors post images of their weddings when the photographer provides them. As a result, head to your favorite florist's social pages to see their most up-to-date work.
One big perk of Instagram is hashtags, which you can use to look for a floral designer in your area. "Instagram these days is the perfect place and easiest to find the florist for your big day," says Mason. "Use hashtags like #savannahflorist—or whatever city you are getting married in—and search the florists that pop up until you find one that speaks your florist love language." Of course, head to their website for more information, but start with social if you can.
4. Think beyond the price
For most couples, the first step towards hiring vendors is to develop a budget, which is a logical place to start. However, don't discount florists that are seemingly out of your price range. Floral design is highly custom, so a seemingly luxe floral designer may be within reach. Additionally, when you're consulting with various florists, be upfront about your budget and anything on your "must-have" list.
5. Thoroughly vet award winners
Magazines, newspapers, and websites enjoy recognizing quality wedding professionals. However, before you choose a florist based on accolades, qualify the award system itself. Contests that allow folks to vote more than once can turn a well-intentioned competition into a popularity contest instead.
Additionally, some sites acknowledge vendors based on the number of reviews they receive, which makes obtaining an award reasonably simple. Armed with this knowledge, you can still choose a decorated florist, but don't discount someone who wasn't recognized. Possibly, they were busy servicing their clients rather than lobbying for votes and reviews.
6. Be open to ideas
Floral designers can suggest alternate flowers or floral arrangements that can do double duty at your ceremony and reception. "A florist will likely be willing to work with you if there is a way for them to achieve your overall aesthetic in an economical way," offers Bron Hansboro, owner of The Flower Guy Bron in Richmond, Virginia.
If you have your heart set on a particular florist, be open to discussing ways to collaborate within your range. "If you have a particular budget, share it with us, and it's our job to communicate the best way we can maximize it," suggests CeCe Todd, owner of CeCe Designs in Birmingham, Alabama.
7. Meet potential florists in person
Schedule meetings with the floral designers that match your aesthetic and the goals you have for your wedding day. Although florists will ask questions before the appointment, a face-to-face meeting will better formulate a proposal after the consultation. Additionally, chatting with florists in person gives you a sense of their work habits and personality.
"We ask basic questions about aesthetics, their inspiration images, and some general budget questions," Hansboro says of his pre-appointment process. "Then we proceed with the consultation to see if it's a good personality match." He also stresses that the floral designer and couple need to be on the same page about the budget and overall expectations.
8. Consider personality second (or third)
Having a positive working relationship is necessary. However, you are picking a florist, not your BFF, so don't rely solely on a designer's personality. "A florist's past work and their depth of experience are both key when reviewing options," says Todd.
"Go based on their work first, above personality. Review their portfolio, how long they've been doing it, their body of work, and their past reviews. All of this edges out personality because you can really love a florist's disposition after meeting them, but then still have a crappy wedding," advises Todd. Likeableness can be a priority. Just don't make it the basis for your final selection.
9. Read over the proposal carefully
After your meetings, proposals should start rolling into your inbox. You should receive quotes within your budget that include the types of flowers and specific arrangements you requested. Additionally, read the fine print to evaluate the extent of services your floral designer offers. Check whether they simply drop off centerpieces or provide setup and cleanup services in their quote. Carefully assess the proposals, and reach out of you have questions or need clarification. After that, select the florist that rises to the top.
10. Sign a contract
The final step that seals the deal is signing a contract. Having a document signed by both parties ensures that everyone understands the terms. You will understand what to expect from your floral designer, and they will save your wedding date. The contract should also include clauses in case of unfortunate circumstances, such as a wedding cancelation. Again, ask for clarification on any points, if necessary. Once you sign the document, be prepared to make a deposit to secure your wedding date fully.
After sealing the deal with your signatures and initial payment, you are well on your way to having gorgeous florals for your big day. Touch base with your florist as needed. However, relax and trust them with your overall vision for your big day. "I work well with couples that trust me," adds Todd. "That means they value me—and I know I've worked hard to establish that trust."