6 Tips for Working with your Wedding Day Florist

Today we are sharing six tips to make your wedding day flower planning as easy as pie.  Hopefully, these suggestions will allow you to enjoy the planning process and have fun deciding which blooms are for you!

1. Choose a professional florist whose portfolio you love. Be sure their style is compatible with yours or that they have the versatility to achieve the look you’re going for. Their communication should be professional and timely. Read reviews and ask for referrals from other wedding professionals like photographers and venue coordinators to help you select your flower vendor.

2. Be realistic. Don’t plan for the flowers to be cheap–they aren’t.  Remember, you are not just paying for flowers. You are paying for a wedding professional’s time to communicate, organize and order your wedding day florals. They are preparing and purchasing hardgoods like arrangement vessels, flower frogs and ribbons/wraps. Their expertise guides flower availability and allotment, securing enough materials to maximize the designs of your day. They are processing and conditioning the flowers to ensure your blooms are healthy and at their optimal appearance. This means monitoring cooler and water settings and oftentimes controlling the environment to get those Roses opened just enough to look gorgeous in your bouquet.  You are paying for a florist’s design skills and ability to execute your vision with the goal of exceeding your expectations. And, you are also paying for them to deliver a very fragile and perishable product to you, with a smile.

Be upfront about your budget. If you are planning for a Bridal Bouquet, 8 Bridesmaids, 25 Table Centerpieces, 12 Boutonnieres, 5 Corsages, 3 Head Wreaths, and a Ceremony Installation, a budget of $1200 does not come close. A florist can neither grow nor purchase the flowers for that price. Break it down. That would be around$22 per item, which is not reasonable.

While we are talking floral budgets, let’s address greenery. Greenery is not a cheap option. It may have been, 10 years ago, but like all things commerce, when the demand goes up, so too does the price. Pinterest has made the lush greenery trend popular over the past five years so wholesale prices on greenery have increased. If you want to do affordable, avoid trends and work with your florist to develop an original idea.

Mike B Photography l Charm City Wed

(Mike B Photography and David’s Flowers)

3.  Know your style, hone your style. Bring ideas to your florist and be sure to include: your color palette, must-haves, and priorities. Is there a particular flower you can’t live without? Do you want a statement installation for your ceremony site? Is there a bouquet style you love? What style dress are you wearing and what shape bouquet will compliment it? Be prepared to share images for inspiration and ideas. Communicate specifically what you like about the pictures, but remember you are paying for a designer’s ability to design. Be open to alternatives and trust their creativity. Do not expect a florist to copy an idea or inspiration image exactly. Trust your florist’s ability to take a concept and personalize it for you. No cookie cutter designs! Allow your floral designer to reign in all those ideas you have “pinned” to develop a cohesive look for the day.

4. Seasonality. It’s a real thing. Flowers grow under specific environmental conditions and seasons. Peonies have a short, early Spring window much like Dahlias have an end of Summer/Early Fall timeframe. If you are getting married in January and insist on Peonies, they are going to be very expensive and will be shipped from far away. Think about what that means. These expensive blooms were cut a long time ago. They have traveled and have likely not been handled gently. So you are paying top dollar for a product that is not guaranteed to show up looking flawless. Product availability can change based on weather and national circumstances. If there is a hurricane in Florida, flowers do not ship. A natural disaster in South America can cause a flower “disaster” in Maryland. Trust that your florist is qualified to make substitutions to the best of their ability. Consider supporting local growers and utilize what is available in the season in which you’re getting married to avoid pre-wedding headaches.

5.  Know your wedding day logistics. How many tables? How many attendants? Where is your venue? What is your date? Do you have measurements/dimensions for statement pieces or installations like altars and entries? (*Perhaps take a tape measure along on your venue walkthrough) Talk to your venue coordinator about any specifications they have like delivery/set-up timeframes and rules.

Before a florist can quote you a price, they need to know how many bridesmaids you’ll have. They will need to know what style tables you are using at your reception (rounds or banquet) because this will influence the type of centerpiece they propose and they’ll need to know how many table centerpieces you will need. If possible, share images of your venue including both the ceremony and reception space or check that your florist is familiar with the area.

Think through each vignette at your wedding. Chances are you will have a Seating Card Display, Guest Book, Lounge, Bar, Gift/Card Table… do you want to flower some of these areas as well? Are there doors that yearn for wreaths? Include all the possibilities so your florist can most accurately develop a floral plan.

Look at your wedding day timeline. If you are taking photos at 11:00 am on a 95-degree, July day your flowers will not look their best for a 4:00 ceremony. Tell your florist when photos are beginning and always be sure to have fresh water available to hold your bouquet while you are not carrying it-

Dyanna LaMora l Charm City Wed

(Dyanna LaMora and Shelly Black)

6. Think beyond your wedding day. Do you want to donate your flowers to a hospital or nursing home? Are you trying to be green? Do you want locally sourced flowers? Who will return vases and rented items or is that an additional cost you’re willing to pay your florist? When you look at photos of your wedding, how do you want the flowers to look? Thinking beyond your wedding day will help you organize your thoughts to make good decisions ahead of time. If your flowers are being donated and you want to be environmentally friendly- let your florist know. They will avoid using floral oasis, which is a mess to contend with when re-using flowers (and a bit of an ecological nightmare). You’ll want the gathering up of flowers to be easy at the end of your event, so definitely plan ahead and be sure to put a trusty friend in charge so you are not working, at your wedding!

Being prepared before meeting with your florist will help you approach planning your wedding flowers in an efficient fashion and allow you to focus on the fun part of dreaming up something beautiful! You should book your floral designer up to a year in advance to ensure you get on their design calendar and remember, peak wedding months May, June, September, and October fill up quickly so consider that when you set your date.

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