Your wedding florist does a lot more than put together your bridal bouquet. Flowers are traditionally part of the decoration for wherever you have your ceremony and the table centerpieces for your reception.
The first step for choosing a florist or any other professional to help with your wedding is to have some idea of what you need and want. With flowers, this means having an idea of what theme and colors you want for the big day as well as considering where you will have flowers. Your bridal bouquet is the most obvious thing you need from a florist, and many brides are now choosing to get a second bouquet to throw because they want to keep the one they carried down the aisle.
That’s just the start. Your wedding flowers can also include bouquets for the bridesmaids, boutonnieres for the groomsmen, decorations for the church or other wedding venue, centerpieces for the tables at your reception and other decoration for the reception venue. You don’t have to use flowers at your ceremony and reception venue, but it is helpful to have it in mind before you start talking to florists. These are also good areas to scale back on if your budget is an issue – provided that you don’t wind up going with something more complicated, expensive or disappointing.
Talk to anyone you know who has been married recently in your area and check out local wedding forums for recommendations to put together a list of florists to meet with about your wedding flowers.
Picking the Perfect Wedding Florist
Good communication is the key to getting what you want. Don’t give your florist vague descriptions of your wedding; bring some visuals. When you meet with a potential florist for your wedding, you’ll need to see what they’ve gone for other weddings. You can return the favor by bringing along photos from magazines or Pinterest of wedding flowers that you like as well as one of your invitations, photos of the bridesmaids’ dresses and your wedding dress and anything else that will explain what you want. A good florist will appreciate this and ask questions. Beware of a florist who isn’t interested in your vision of what you want.
It’s a bit like finding a great hair stylist. You want someone who is flexible and understands it is your style, not theirs – but you also want them to be helpful, point out any potential problems and offer some suggestions that might work better.
Look for a florist who will be happy to help you find options that match your vision and your budget, which might mean substituting one type of flower for another. Your florist should be knowledgeable about which blooms might be hard to get at different times of year and which might be hard to keep looking great for several hours. Your florist should also advise you about which flowers have a strong scent and which options are most environmentally responsible. (Locally sourced flowers have a smaller carbon footprint.)
When you meet with a florist, they should provide you with a detailed written estimate that itemizes the prices for different options. “Reception flowers” is too vague. You want to know the price per table centerpiece, for example, so you can make any adjustments.