8 Steps to Finding Your Florist
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. To find the florist to create your wedding day vision, be sure to ask them these questions.
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 and centerpieces you like to figure out your style. And familiarize yourself with some of the most common floral terms, 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 florist designer is probably more your speed. Already have a 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 budget. If you love flowers and want a grand installation, 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 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, look online and browse local wedding magazines. If you're working with a wedding planner or a vendor coordinator, they should have some suggestions of area pros.
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 about 9 to 11 months out, so you can connect in person and view a portfolio of their work.
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 inspirations boards, a bridesmaid dress fabric swatch and a photograph of your wedding gown 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 setup and breakdown costs. Have each florist put together a detailed proposal for your wedding 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 florist will turn it into a formal contract. Ideally, you'll want to secure a florist five to six months before your wedding.
Still looking for the perfect florist? Find one in your area here.
Read about the wedding flower mistakes to avoid here.