Flowers are so important to the look and feel of your wedding day, and the right wedding florist can make your floral dreams come true. But there are a few key questions you’ll need to answer first.
Jessi and Alessio, owners of Wildflowers LLC, have written this guest blog post that lays out seven things to know before meeting with your wedding florist:
1) Know Your Numbers:
In our opinion, this is THE most important thing that you should know before meeting with potential wedding florists. You must be prepared to share your numbers with your florist in order to maximize the consultation. That way they can give you the best guidance and suggestions for your floral decor. The most important numbers to have down are:
It’s best to have an idea of your total floral budget, but if you don’t know where to begin, come with your total wedding budget and an open mind. Most people are surprised about floral pricing and it is really hard for florists to give an average budget since every wedding is different. Most wedding professionals agree that an average of 10-15% of your overall budget should be devoted to your flowers. However, this can quickly change based on what flower varieties you want to use, how large your wedding is, the complexity of the arrangements you want and how much of a focus flowers will take at your wedding.
Bridal Party Count
Definitely have a count of how many bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls and ring bearers you will be having. Keep in mind that a large bridal party translates to a larger amount of flowers needed which in turn means a higher floral budget. If you are limited with your budget, consider keeping your bridal party numbers low.
You absolutely need to have a good idea of how many guests you expect to attend your wedding. This will determine how many guest tables you will be having at your reception. Your florist needs to know this in order to provide you with a good estimate of total cost. Again, the same rules apply. A higher guest count means a higher budget is needed to allow for all of the table centerpieces. Many brides ask how they can cut budget and even though it is difficult, cutting down your guest list is the best way to do this across the board. This helps reduce your floral cost as well as the cost for catering, rentals, cake, alcohol, etc.
Know What Kind of Florist You’re Looking For:
Are you looking for an event designer? Someone who can not only design your wedding flowers but also help you design the vision of your tablescapes and overall wedding “look”? Are you interested in booking a large, well-known florist with a popular brand or a smaller florist that provides a more intimate experience? Do you need your florist to provide rental items or candles for your tables? Would you like a more traditional florist or one with a more modern style? Know which category the florist you are meeting with is in and make sure they are a good fit for your wedding. Keep in mind that if you need your florist to provide additional services or additional decor that you may need to adjust your budget accordingly.
Know Your Style:
Most likely, you aren’t familiar with every type of flower that is available, and that is OK! We can’t tell you how many brides come to us and say “I don’t know anything about flowers.” That is why you are looking for a professional to handle this part of your wedding day and help guide you through the process of selecting your flowers. What IS important is to have an idea of the style of flowers you prefer. Let your florist know if you like arrangements that are more wild and whimsical or if you prefer to have clean and classic lines to reflect a more formal atmosphere.
Look at pictures and get a feel for what is striking to you. Bring pictures in with you! We love pictures because as the saying goes, they are worth a thousand words. Descriptive words like “simple and elegant” can mean a wide range of things to different brides. Some brides think a cluster of candles in the center of a table is simple and elegant while others image a tall arrangement of solid white hydrangea and peonies. It is also important to think about the style of your venue when thinking about the style of your flowers. You want your flowers to complement the venue, not fight against it.
Know Your Colors:
This is one of the basics that really determines a lot when planning your wedding flowers. Believe it or not, sometimes clients come into a consultation before selecting their wedding colors. Unfortunately, there’s not really much your florist can do unless they have an idea of the colors you want to work with. Color determines style, atmosphere, feeling and it also determines which flowers are available in your given wedding season. If a bride says “I really want my flowers to be white and yellow”, then the florist can show them the beautiful floral varieties available in that color palette.
Keep in mind too that your flowers don’t have to “match” your wedding colors. They should complement. If your colors are white and yellow, adding some light peach or cream into the floral palette can give more depth, variety and elegance to the decor. It is also important to know what colors your bridal party will be wearing and what color linens you will have on your tables. Things like this are important because your florist can help you choose flowers and colors that will pop against their background.
Know What Is Important To You:
Are florals going to be a central part of your wedding or are they more of a subtle accent? It is important to know what floral categories are most important to you when you go into your floral consultation. If you are working with a limited budget, decide if you would rather pour more of your budget into your bouquets, ceremony, or table centerpieces. If your budget is flexible, are the specific types of flowers most important to you or the overall size of your arrangements? For example, would you rather have smaller arrangements featuring peonies or larger arrangements filled with carnations? Maybe your ceremony will be held in front of a beautiful view. In that case, maybe reception decor is more important to you since decorative florals aren’t necessary for the ceremony.
Know What is Realistic:
Most Pinterest weddings don’t fit into the average wedding budget. Make sure you have a reasonable budget set aside for the decor you are wanting or a reasonable expectation of the flowers that will work in your budget. If you are uncertain about budget, be honest with your florist and explain to them that you need guidance. They can help price out your vision so you know how to adjust budget accordingly. Sometimes a bride will walk into a consultation with a list of 10 bridesmaids, 250 guests, 30 reception tables and dreams of tall centerpieces and lush ceremony designs but a budget that might only cover the cost of the bouquets. Many brides don’t think about how a large bridal party or guest list translates into a larger floral budget.
Before booking with anyone, it is a good idea to talk with at least one vendor in each wedding category to get an idea of what your wedding visions will cost. That way, you know what budget is needed to cover everything and you can decide if you need to prioritize some things over others.
Realize that flower seasons and costs are constantly changing. The price of a red rose differs between February and August. Understand that some flower varieties are more expensive than others and may not fit into your desired budget. If that is the case, you will either need to change your budget or find another flower to use. Also realize that due to the demand and popularity of different flower varieties, prices fluctuate. If something is trendy and everyone wants it, that causes a strain on the flower growers and if there is more competition to get a certain flower, that can cause prices to jump.
Know There Is More To Your Wedding Flowers Than How They Look:
Flowers bring much more to the wedding atmosphere than a pretty background. One of the strongest senses connected to memory is scent. That means that every time you smell a scent in the future, it can bring you back to your wedding day. When choosing your wedding flowers, think about how scent will play a role in your day. Perhaps you want to incorporate your favorite floral scent into your bouquet. Maybe you want to add the warm, rustic scent of rosemary to your reception. With scent, you can transport your guests to another place or time. We love incorporating eucalyptus or rosemary into a centerpiece because it makes for a more immersive experience at the event. It allows guests to experience the reception with more than just their sight.
It is also important to consider what doesn’t smell good. Some flowers put off a really unpleasant aroma. Gypsophila or “babies breath” is said to smell like cat urine to some people. It’s not the most appealing scent to place in front of your guests while they eat dinner. Some flowers like lilies have overpowering scents. If you have bad allergies, maybe choose to keep flowers like these out of your bridal bouquet which is something you will be holding close to you throughout the day. Speaking of allergies, some flowers can be highly toxic. A good florist knows what is safe to use which is why it is important to work with a professional for such an important day. By knowing the ins and outs of flowers, your florist can help you select the very best flowers for the event and atmosphere you want to create.
Jessi and Alessio are the owners of Wildflowers LLC , which provides floral design, event styling, and custom installations. All florals on this blog post were designed by Wildflowers LLC, and you can also check out their website for more information and to see more of their work!