How to choose your wedding florist
Planning your wedding should be a fun and inspirational experience. It’s an exciting time but it can sometimes seem overwhelming, particularly if it’s the first time you have planned an event on this scale.
Choosing the right wedding florist or floral designer is key to ensure your wedding flowers reflect your personal style and create that lasting impression which captivates your guests on the day. Pick the right florist and the process that follows will be rewarding and stress free.
So what should you be looking for? And how do you make sure you pick the right florist for you?
To help you on your flowery journey, I have listed my 5 top tips to consider before making that all important booking.
Start by establishing your favourite floral style
Every florist and floral designer is unique. If you filled a room with florists and gave them the same flowers to work with, I guarantee no two bouquets or arrangements would be the same and that for me is what makes flowers so personal.
That being said, most florists and floral designers have a distinctive style, whether it’s wild and romantic, natural and abundant, formal or traditional you will soon see their style reflected in their work.
That’s why the style and vision you have for your wedding flowers is a key consideration when choosing your wedding florist.
Do you already know your favourite style? My key tip here is to remain focused on what you are looking for. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be open to ideas but knowing what you are looking for at the outset will help you make the right decision. Just remember the person you choose to work with needs to be able to translate your vision into your dream wedding flowers on your big day.
If you’re not sure which style you prefer, a good starting point is to look at lots of images of wedding flowers on Pinterest, Instagram or in wedding publications. Ask yourself, why do I like this? And see if you can identify a pattern in the types of images you have selected. Once you have done this it should become clearer which style you prefer.
Then do your research. Try to view the work of as many florists and floral designers as possible who are a good fit for your favoured style. Follow them on social media so you get to see more of their designs and gain an insight into how they work. Are you drawn to an artisan floral designer who embraces natural, seasonal British flowers, or maybe even grows their own flowers? Do you love the individuality of designs which feature foraged ingredients? Or do you prefer the regularity of imported flowers? Often it’s these small details which can help you decide which floral designer is perfect for you, so invest some time in getting to know the story and style behind the flowers.
So you may already be following your favourite floral designers on social media, but don’t forget to also review their portfolio on their website.
The website will often showcase the florist or floral designer’s signature portfolio and you may find you instantly fall in love with their beautiful images. I’m all for following your instinct and this inevitably will pay a large part in your decision but just keep one thing in mind when viewing the images; can they create the type of designs and installations you are looking for?
If your “must have” list includes large scale statement pieces such as flower walls, arches or hanging installations, you need to be confident your chosen designer can create these pieces. It may be obvious from the images on their website or you may need to ask the question, but it will save you time and give you peace of mind in the long run.
I have yet to meet a florist who is not creative, but some will keep up to date with current wedding flower trends more than others and again if this is important to you, it may be something that influences your final choice. Just remember if you are hiring a floral designer, you are investing in their creativity and so any good designer will not copy a design they have created before or you have seen on Pinterest, they will only use the image as inspiration to create a personalised design for you.
Check availability and location
Have you have fallen in love with the perfect floral designer, only to find they are based several hours away or even in another country? Well don’t worry. Many floral designers are willing to travel so it’s always worth asking, just be prepared to factor in a possible mileage charge for travelling to the venue.
Once you have found that perfect supplier the next stage is ensuring they have availability on your wedding day. Most floral designers will only take a limited number of bookings for wedding and events each week, to ensure they can give you the special attention you deserve on your big day, so the earlier you can enquire about their availability the greater your chances of securing your dream designer.
That said, although you may assume you will be the only wedding booking that weekend or even that day, some florists choose to take multiple weekend bookings over the summer. If this is a deal breaker for you, ask the florist, what is your policy is on multiple bookings? before making any decisions.
Consider value not just the price
As with many aspects of your wedding you are likely to have a budget set aside for your wedding flowers and this may affect your choice of suppliers. When it comes to florists we are a creative bunch and most will work within your allocated spend, however there are times when you may need to be realistic about what can be achieved for your investment.
You may have read you can expect to pay on average 10% of the overall cost of your wedding on your flowers, however budgeting for your wedding flowers is not as simple as this. There are many factors to take into consideration; the first being, how important are flowers to you on your big day? If the answer is very, your flowery “must have” list may include large statement or hanging installations which will need to be reflected in your overall investment. On the other hand, if you require just the essential bouquets and wedding party flowers, your spend will be much lower.
Another key tip is consider what each florist is proposing to give you for your investment. Ask yourself, what type of service am I looking for? Some traditional florists may have a “wedding package” which they offer for a set price. Alternatively you may have fallen in love with a floral designer’s work, who offers a bespoke service and designs each piece specifically for you to ensure your wedding flowers are truly unique. You may pay extra for this personalised service, but this where you need to consider the overall process and be clear on what is important to you.
It’s always a good idea to have considered your budget in advance and be willing to discuss this openly with your chosen florist or floral designer. This ensures your chosen supplier can guide you to designs and flower varieties that cater to both your style and allocated spend.
My final tip here is to check if your florist or floral designer has a minimum spend and if so how much it is? Some florists may also stipulate in their terms & conditions that any changes made to confirmed bookings need to be within a set percentage of your original order, so again it’s always worth checking!
And finally, look for a connection
For me this is probably the most important aspects to consider as your florist or floral designer will be an integral part of your wedding team.
You may be following your favourite floral designers on social media and love what you see but how do you know they are the right fit for you?
Who we naturally connect with will be different for each of us, but you need to be able to build a relationship with your chosen floral designer. Ask yourself, how do they make you feel? Are they just as excited about your wedding flowers as you are? Or are you just another paying client? You need to feel reassured that they understand your vision and will be able to weave this through your flowers on the day.
So to ensure you are making the right choice, I would always encourage you to meet your floral designer or florist, either in person or at least via Skype before you commit to booking your wedding flowers.
Wedding fayres provide the ideal opportunity to meet potential suppliers. These events can be a great source of inspiration and allow you to see how the floral designer interacts with potential clients. You will have the chance to chat informally, in a relaxed and inspiring environment and you can easily move along to the next stand if you don’t feel they are right for you. On the other hand if you get a good vibe you can go away, look at the florist’s website and social media if you have not done so already and contact them further if you would like to learn more.
One small tip, choose your wedding fayre carefully, just as you would your florist. If you are looking for a florist with a natural floral style, the more traditional wedding fayres may leave you feeling less than inspired.
There are modern and niche wedding fayres popping up everywhere now, so you should be able to do some research and find the right wedding fayre for you.
Another great way of meeting your potential floral designer is during an initial consultation.
If you have considered all of the above and are ready to contact your shortlist of suppliers, most florists and floral designers will offer a free initial consultation. During this meeting they should take the time to get to know you as a couple, discuss your vision for your big day and talk through any initial design ideas.
If you have a shortlist, meet with each florist. What do you have to loose, other than a few hours of your time and who knows, you may find you have that instant connection with one of the suppliers.
Trust your instinct. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t feel obliged to book a supplier but if you do find the perfect floral designer for you, my last piece of advice, book them!
Most florists and floral designers get booked up quickly, often 12 months or more in advance. A small booking fee or deposit will secure your date and then you can relax, day dreaming about your beautiful wedding flowers.
Good Luck and enjoy your flowery journey!