If you’ve never planned a wedding before, you might find yourself overwhelmed (and possibly even confused) about the process of hiring the best vendor team. But that doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t get there. While the steps for booking each vendor category might be different, here are some pro tips on the process of successfully securing the perfect florist for your big day.
Know what your overall style/aesthetic is before you begin your search. If you have hired a wedding planner/designer (which I highly recommend for all weddings) they may have already established this with you. If not, make a list of the top 5 adjectives to describe your wedding style, or take this quiz on The Knot. Paired with the style of your venue, your color palette, and your allowance, this will give you a solid point at which to start your search for a florist who will then develop + create the final result you want. Need more guidance? Some florists, like myself, offer Event Design services for a fee.
Know what your allowance is, and work with it. Here in Southern California, the average amount spent on florals is approximately 10% of your overall wedding allowance according to BRIDES. While individual prices will vary based on many factors, this is a good starting point. No matter what the total number is, I recommend using your dollars in a balanced manner. That means not trying to stretch it so thin over one big wish list, or ordering so much that your big picture looks cluttered. Focus instead on the main points of your event, and have your florist do them well. For example, spend more on your ceremony altar and bouquets while keeping your table arrangements simple if needed.
Start your search on a visual platform such as Instagram using hashtags and keywords. Here is where you’ll see a florists’ real-time work and can get an idea of their professional personality as well as their experience. Visit their websites. Read their reviews. Being a good fit aesthetically is important, yes ... so is being able to work well together. Don't just send out requests to every florist in a 50-mile radius. This will create more work for yourself, and you'll become bogged down with matches that really aren't.
When making initial contact with prospective florists, give as much detail as possible. Include photos of your gown, suit, or other images that have inspired you - whatever they might be of. From there we may suggest a phone introduction to get a better idea of whether or not we are a good fit for you, or we might continue via email to gather more information. Wedding florists want to serve you as best as they possibly can, and this requires going through the key points thoroughly. If you are simply seeking multiple quotes for the sake of price shopping, be upfront with them about that so they know what your intentions are and can give you the information you want. Note that it is not favorable to send one florist's proposal and design concepts to another florist for price comparison... a florists' work is an art that should be specifically designed and tailored to you. In fact, many experienced florists have their own process of price building and will not consider another florists' estimate. If a florist says they can give you a better price on a proposal you've received from someone else, chances are they will also cut corners in the product they provide for you. Be cautious.
Once you have communicated with a florist and received a quote, be sure to ask questions and let them know your position on what they’ve sent. If their work is out of your price range (which shouldn’t happen at this point if you start out on the right foot), or their vision isn’t lining up with yours in the end, that’s ok! But be sure to respond instead of ghosting them. There’s nothing worse than connecting with a couple, putting the time and thought into a carefully curated design and proposal, then they just…. disappear.
You’ve finally met your dream florist and they can create what you want within your desired allowance… congratulations! From here you should receive a contract that will secure their services and outline exactly what they are planning to provide for you. Be sure to read it entirely and ask them any questions you have. A contract is a legal agreement between parties, and both sides should have a full understanding of what the words mean. Especially in today’s situation with regard to gatherings and events, we both will want to make sure we understand and respect each others’ commitment to your wedding. Know what their policies are regarding rescheduling or cancellations. We are a team, after all, and the goal of working better together to serve you is more important now than ever before.
Have questions about finding the perfect florist for your big day? Contact me here and I’ll be happy to answer them!