8 Steps to Finding Your Wedding Florist
Wedding flowers are really the heart of your celebration and can create the vibe you're going for: romantic, modern, whimsical, rustic—the list goes on and on. Hiring a florist is an important part of the wedding planning process, but there are a few things you'll need to do before signing a contract with your flower pro. Here's a step-by-step guide to finding the perfect florist for your wedding day.
When Should You Hire a Florist for Your Wedding?
We recommend starting to research wedding florists about 11 months before your big day, with the goal to sign a contract between 9 and 10 months pre-wedding. Basically, as soon as you've booked your venue and have officially set a date, you can start researching other vendors, including your florist. Given the current wedding boom, vendors are booking up faster than ever (especially if you're marrying during peak wedding season), so the earlier you can secure a florist, the better!
1. Establish Your Flower Style
Some florists specialize in tall, lush, ornate centerpieces, while others are better at modern, minimalist arrangements. Find photos of bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces you like to figure out your style, and choose a wedding color palette. And familiarize yourself with some of the most common floral terms and types of flowers and greenery, so you'll be able to talk shop with your florist.
2. Determine Your Floral Needs
Do you want someone who'll not only make your arrangements but also help design the look of your reception tables and ceremony aisle? A floral designer is probably more your speed. Already have a wedding planner or an eye for design? Then a regular florist will likely do the trick. Figure out which is the best fit—this will allow you to narrow your search and help determine your budget.
3. Create Your Floral Budget
Décor and flowers should amount to about 10 percent of your overall wedding budget. According to The Knot Real Wedding Study, the average couple spent $2,300 on floral decor—but that number varies widely depending on your wedding location, guest count and other details. If you love flowers and want a grand floral arrangements, or are dead-set on peonies in November, plan to bump up this number. And account for extras like setup and breakdown charges, taxes and tips. It's essential you have a number in mind when you start meeting with wedding florists.
4. Get Recommendations
As with all wedding pros, you want a florist who's reliable, capable and within your price range. You also should find someone who is open to your ideas and whose taste you respect. One of the best ways to find your florist is by word of mouth—ask for recommendations from newlyweds you know and read online reviews on The Knot Marketplace. You can also check out real wedding photos from events that took place in your wedding location, find images of floral arrangements you like and see who created them. If you're working with a wedding planner or a venue coordinator, they should have some suggestions of local florists.
5. Schedule an Interview
You should hire someone you trust to make the right floral decisions—someone who instinctively knows what will look good together. Set up appointments with your "short list" of florists so you can connect in person and view a portfolio of their work. It's a good idea to come with a list of questions, and have the following information ready:
- Your wedding date
- An estimated guest count, including number of wedding party members
- Your wedding venue
- Color scheme and flower ideas
- A list of your other booked wedding vendors
6. Show, Don't Tell
Are you a true minimalist? Or are you looking to do an über-romantic, glamorous wedding? Your florist isn't a mind reader and images are more telling than words. Bring your Pinterest board, a bridesmaid dress fabric swatch and a photograph of your wedding dress or attire to your interviews. Share your vision and discuss your budget.
7. Consider the Proposal
Determine your top picks and have a second interview or follow-up discussion to hash out details like exact flowers, cost of materials and rentals, and setup and breakdown costs. Have each florist put together a detailed proposal for your wedding floral design based on what you've told them about your vision and budget. If you've spoken about many different ideas, ask them to prepare a "high" best-case scenario and "low" bare-minimum proposal. You can always mix and create a mid-range package—perhaps you spend more on the centerpieces and pare down the bridesmaid bouquets.
8. Pick a Winner
Review your proposals and determine the best match. If you have concerns about any costs or elements of the proposal, talk about them with your chosen florist now. When you're completely satisfied with the proposal, your wedding florist will turn it into a formal contract.