A Good Florist – How do you choose?

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A few words about flowers and our own tips on how to choose your Wedding Florist – It’s your wedding day and you’re most probably about to spend more on flowers for one day than you will for the rest of your life!

Your florist is one of the most important wedding suppliers so it is important to find a good one. A good florist will be happy to work with you and your budget instead of dictating the cost.  The florist should present options for you, not sell you on their current personal favourite – making the experience a choice, rather than a debate. 

Winter and Autumn weddings are becoming more popular so if you have a florist in mind book your date with them early. Do not assume availability will be fine just because your date is not main ‘wedding season’.

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If you are set on having a particular flower on your wedding day then make sure it is in season. Check flowers by month for seasonal availability of flowers.

 

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Choice of Florist

  • Trust your florist. If after your first meeting you don’t feel relaxed and confident that your florist has totally understood your needs and requirements then consider another florist. You must feel and trust your florist has understood you and your requirements.
  • Remember it’s your wedding – make sure your florist listens to your requirements for the look, theme, colour and budget. Your florist is there to advise, guide and ensure you get the look you want.
  • Table Centres – Tall arrangements may give you the ‘wow’ factor however remember to make sure tall vases do not block sight lines. A good florist will advise you on this.
  • Table Centres – Low arrangements in some cases will not provide the ‘wow’ factor when you first walk into a room. Remember, when you (bride & groom) walk into the room your guests will be standing applauding your entrance and hiding low table centres from your view. Low arrangements can look great but you may have to spend more on flowers to bulk up the look.
  • If using candles, whether tall tapers or small tealights remember to ask your florist the burn time of their candles. Cheaper candles can burn out in a few hours halfway through your evening reception.
  • Ask your florist if they can prepare a sample of your chosen table arrangement.
  • When looking for inspiration and ideas from magazines or online sites make sure you are drawn to the ‘design’ of the arrangement and not the colour. Any colour can usually be incorporated into the design.
  • Ask to see samples of previous work and/or testimonials.
  • Whilst most good florists will advise on colour, don’t be too exacting about colour matches. Flowers are natural products and colours, shape and size can vary from one week to the next.
  • If your florist is not familiar with your church and/or reception venue, then ask if you can have a meeting on site to discuss your plans.

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1st Meeting Hints and Tips

… having as much information to hand at your first consultation will help the process of your first meeting.

  •  Prior to the meeting make sure you have checked your florists availability for your wedding date. Don’t be afraid about booking too early especially if you know you want to work with a particular florist.
  • Compare quotes from 2 or 3 florists but make sure the benchmark is the same for all, otherwise quotes may vary.
  • If your wedding date falls near an annual event e.g. Valentines, Mothers Day or Christmas, then think about your chosen flowers. Flowers in general and especially red ones can be vastly more expensive around these times of year.
  • Ask the florist how long your quote will take to prepare.

 

Assist your Florist

  • Let your florist know the flowers you like and just as important be sure to let them know what you don’t like.
  • Find out if anyone in your bridal party is allergic to a specific type of flower and let your florist know.
  • A great way to help with colours and themes is to create an Inspiration or Mood Board. Use our very own Mood Board App to create and develop your colour schemes and style for your special day.
  • Have dress (bride & bridesmaids) swatches available where possible.
  • Remember that flowers are a natural product and blemishes or slight colour variations and sizes should be expected. If your colour requirements are more stringent then your florist can discuss ways of bringing about specific colours.
  • Does your venue have any special instructions/restrictions e.g. no naked flame, no flower petals etc.
  • Holding your ceremony and reception in the same venue is a good way of reducing costs, however if a ‘turnaround’ of the room is required discuss with your florist if this is included in your price.

One of the main considerations regarding costs is who is receiving flowers. The list is exhaustive – bride, groom, bridesmaids, flowergirls, mothers, fathers, grandparents, ushers, ring bearers, and then you’ve got vehicle decorations, church vestries, aisles, pew ends, pillars, altar, pedestals and then moving onto the venue itself, table decorations, pedestals, cake flowers, napkin flowers etc, etc. Take advice from your florist who in most cases will have first hand knowledge of the venue and in general what are perfectly acceptable limitations.

 

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Flowers

If money is no object then fine. However if keeping to a budget then consider –

  •  Choose seasonal flowers for better value and are easier to find.
  •  If the flowers you like are expensive then limit them to your wedding bouquets only. Similar coloured seasonal flowers will work just as well for ceremony and reception flowers.
  •  Don’t forget greenery – Consider foliage your best friend. Greenery with unusual textures and shapes can turn an ordinary arrangement into a stunning table centre. Greenery is generally less expensive than most flowers, so it can also help to stretch your floral budget.
  •  Candles can be a cheaper option and are great for providing a feeling of warmth to a wedding ceremony or reception. (Check with venue if candles are allowed).
  •  Maximise your flower budget! The wedding ceremony is the most important part of the day, but is also the shortest, lasting only 20-30 minutes in some cases. Consider limiting expenditure on flowers for short ceremonies.
  •  Ceremony and Reception in the same venue? – Then use the flowers from the ceremony for your evening reception as well. Your florist may charge a ‘turnaround’ fee however they know the look you want so best to use them and not rely on hotel staff that may not know what you and your florist have discussed.
  •  If your ceremony and reception are in separate locations, ask your florist if they can move the flowers from the ceremony to the reception. Remember that a church may ask that ceremony flowers are left with them for Sunday Service, however most will be happy with a separate ‘token’ arrangement. 
  •  Communicate any changes with your florist personally. If your table numbers go up or down then you could be charged for something you don’t need or worse, be embarrassed for not having a table arrangement for that last minute additional table.
  •  Use the many online forums and social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Wedding Blogs to check out any money saving tips, hints or suggestions. Previous brides are usually more than happy to pass on tips they themselves found useful.
  •  The wholesale cost of flowers (especially red ones) around Valentine’s, Mother’s Day and Christmas increases vastly so expect to pay more if your wedding day falls in the same week as these special days.

FINAL TIP: The Wedding Day– your wedding ceremony is the main event that brings you legally together. The reception is just a celebration of it. The planning has all been done –time to relax, enjoy and remember your special day.

 

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