Getting your wedding flowers right is a major part of any bride’s big day, but it can be a headache if you don’t get it right. Many wedding florists are either specialists or have a lot of experience in dealing with floral arrangements for weddings, but how do you know what questions to ask them? Let us help with these 12 essential questions you should ask any potential wedding florist…
Can I see some examples of your other wedding work?
It’s important to be able to see examples of what the florist has done in the past – what other wedding flowers she or he has created. Also look on their website and try to find recommendations from real brides.
What ideas can you give me within my budget?
It’s important that the florist listens to you and helps you find solutions within your budget. If what you want is impossible to create with the money you’ve got, they should suggest alternative arrangements or alternative blooms. Perhaps in-season flowers would be cheaper?
Do you charge for a consultation?
Make it clear from the start whether or not the florist charges for a consultation, so you don’t get a nasty surprise on the bill after the big day. A consultation is a great idea – it’s where you can talk through theme and colour ideas, and discuss how many bouquets, buttonholes and posies you’ll need.
Would you be prepared to make a mock-up of a bouquet before the day?
This is a great idea if your florist doesn’t mind. This is a good way of getting an idea of size – bouquets that are too small or too large will detract from you in pictures.
Is there a maximum distance you will travel and do I have to pay petrol?
This is an important question to ask your florist, especially if you are expecting them to travel a long way from their base to deliver flowers and perhaps set up displays on the day.
Can you provide votives, bay trees, lamps and other accessories as well as flowers?
Your florist may be able to bring little extra details to dot around your venue – if so, you may need less flowers and this may help you stay within budget.
When am I expected to pay for flowers?
Some florists will want a deposit up front, others will want full payment on or just after the big day. Also ask whether they want cash or a cheque. And if it’s cash, delegate the job of paying the supplier on the day to a bridesmaid or your mum.
How far in advance do I need to order?
Florists should be prepared for weddings all year round so getting the blooms you want shouldn’t be a problem. If you want something that’s out of season or quite unusual, this may take a little longer. Most brides book their florist at least six to eight months before the big day.
What is delivered, when and where? Do you need special access to water?
Make sure you know when and where the flowers will be delivered. Are they coming to your house? Are they going direct to the venue? If so, who will be there to collect them and put them in water?
Do you set up the flowers yourself on the day or will the venue staff have to do that?
Will your florist stay at the venue on the morning of the wedding and arrange the flowers for you as agreed? If they are poorly, who will be doing this in their place?
How long do you need to set up?
On the morning of the wedding there will be a lot of wedding suppliers coming in and out of the venue, setting up different elements of the day. The venue’s wedding planner should help to co-ordinate everyone so that no one gets in anyone else’s way – this is certainly not your job – but do ask your supplier to give you a rough estimate of how long they’ll need, and when set-up will be complete.
Do you charge for breakages?
Heaven forbid you smash a vase or crack a votive, but accidents happen especially when wine and small children are involved. Ask about the company policy on breakages so you’re prepared should the worst happen.
Bouquets to suit your style
Your florist will also be able to advice you on the right bouquet to suit your wedding style. The colour, the size and the style of your bouquet all need to work with the overall theme – rustic, handtied bouquets work well at festival-style boho weddings, for example.
Best for… Tall brides, full-skirted gowns
Best for… Slim figures, slinky slimline dresses
Best for… Medium build, bias-cut dresses
Best for… Full figures, traditional A-line wedding dresses
Best for… Petite figures, short or calf-length gowns
Best for… Tall figures, A-line