Raise of hands, how many of you have hired a florist to help design an event? It's not uncommon for this to be a first time experience for a bride! If you're anything like me, it's normal to leave a meeting and think of questions you wish you had asked! So this post is to help you know how to be prepared to meet with your florist and feel confident in your choice! Let's get to it!
Question #1: Have you done many weddings?
Why does this matter? What you're really asking here is: Do you know what you're doing? Experience is usually a good indicator of expertise, and that's important because you want to make sure they can guide you through the process easily
Question #2: Can I see examples of your work?
Why does this matter? Pictures of past bouquets and designs will let you know exactly what the florist is capable of and how it compares with your vision. Something to consider when seeing their work, though, is having them tell you if the photo was something they consider their style or if it was the couple's vision. Neither answer is bad--if you love the look, you know they're capable of recreating it; if you hate it, ask to see something they think is reflective of their own style.
Question #3: What happens to the flowers after the wedding?
Why does this matter? When you hire a florist, typically you're quoted a price that includes the vases or other containers you'll be renting for the event. This means, that while the blooms are your to keep, the containers will be going home with the florist. If you're interested in re-using the flowers for a day-after brunch or something of the sort, you'll want to discuss this with your florist. They can often work in the additional cost for the vases.
Question #4: How far in advance do I need to secure your services?
Why does this matter? Due to the nature of ordering and receiving flowers, this answer will be different for different florists. If the florist has a shop and receives orders weekly or even bi-weekly, they may be more flexible in the amount of time they need to secure your specific order. If they only place custom orders, they may need a specific amount of lead time to be able to order, receive, and process the flowers you want. This will also vary depending on the amount of events your florist takes on and how far in advanced they are booked.
Question #5: What is the deposit required to secure my date? When is payment due?
Why does this matter? This seems obvious, but it's very important to be on the same page as far as how much and when payments are due! You don't want to be blindsided by receiving a bill that you didn't expect. This will also help you with your wedding prep timeline.
Question #6: What is your refund policy, if for some reason I need to cancel my order?
Why does this matter? This is always a question to ask before signing a contract. Should any plans change, you definitely want to make sure you know what to expect ahead of time. Asking this questions will alleviate any miscommunication on the subject.
Question #7: How do you charge? Flat fee or per item?
Why does this matter? Knowing how they charge will help you know where your budget will go. If they charge a flat fee, you want to make sure it's all in your budget. If they charge per item, it may be easier to do a custom order and work within your budget to get what you want.
Question #8: Can you work within my budget?
Why does this matter? If you're not upfront about your budget now, you won't be able to pay the floral bill later. Florists want to work with you, not against you. We don't expect you to know what flowers cost, but open communication is best for everyone! P.S. see this blog post to get an idea of how to budget for flowers :)
Question #9: Are the flowers I want in season? If not, can you recommend substitutes?
Why does this matter? Choosing flowers that don't grow during the same season as your wedding can cost you a pretty penny, so ask about the availability of the flowers you want. If off-season flowers will break your budget, ask for recommendations for in-season florals that have a similar appearance.
Question #10: Can I change my mind?
Why does this matter? It’s probably not a good idea to have a complete change of heart about your flowers a week before your wedding! However if you are booking your florist very far in advance then agree a cut-off date for final decisions.
I hope this helps you feel prepared and confident in meeting with your floral designer! There are so many things and people that have to work together when planning and designing and event. Having confidence in your vendors will give you peace of mind and will help make planning your wedding more fun and less stressful :) Happy planning!
I'm a wedding + event floral designer here to help with your basic wedding planning needs :) Thanks for reading! If you like what you see, feel free to contact me for a consult.