10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Florist
words by | Eve Green
Floral designs set the stylistic tone for your wedding, so it’s essential to book a florist who understands your style and vision for your wedding day. We received expert advice from local florists to help guide you through choosing the perfect florist for your wedding. Consider asking your potential florist the following crucial questions before signing on the dotted line and plunking down a deposit.
1. How long will it take to get a quote and what is your preferred communication method?
When planning a wedding, most brides like to keep in contact with their vendors and have an idea when pricing inquiries and emails or phone calls will be answered. Jen Linehan, Owner of Beautiful Blooms by Jen, shared her policy on quotes and responding to inquiries. She states: “If you work with Beautiful Blooms by Jen, you will have a quote when you leave your appointment so you're able to make decisions and see your options during the first meeting.” She also makes a point to respond to emails and phone calls within 24 hours.
2. How would you describe your style?
As Brigitta Burks, Creative Director at La Boutique Nostalgie points out, there are florists and event designers that are capable and talented at creating different floral design styles from vintage and classic, to rustic or tropical. However, Brigitta states, “Many have a few they gravitate toward and specialize in. When you ask a professional or artist to do something they are passionate about, the results can be astounding. I know at La Boutique Nostalgie, we tend to favor more romantic, natural, classic and ethereal styles. Even when we do more modern, funky styles, our designs still have an elegant feel. That's not to say, your florist or designer shouldn't stretch themselves creatively, but brides should ensure their style and personality blend well with their florist.”
3. Do you have a portfolio of weddings you’ve done that I can see?
Viewing a florist’s past work is a great way to confirm that your styles mesh, and it will give you a sense of whether the florist is capable of achieving your aesthetic and stylistic goals. Compare the photos in their portfolio with your own inspiration pictures to see if their work is a good match for your floral vision. As previously stated, your florist doesn’t have to specialize in your preferred design style to be able to achieve amazing results. But make sure to view their past work to ensure they are capable of designing outside their comfort zone. Many floral designers welcome, and often produce some of their best work, when challenged themselves by creating something new.
4. How can we use florals to make the day our very own, set the mood, and be reflective of time and place?
We spoke with Lia Colapietro, owner and designer at LODEN FLORAL DESIGN about how florals are employed to create aesthetics unique to each wedding. Lia says, “At Loden Floral, this is something that comes naturally to each of our weddings. We are interested in hearing not only about the colors and style of the day, but the personalities of our couples and the mood and tone they hope to set for their event. Using these details we can suggest interesting elements to complement their plans. By sourcing product locally or from specialty growers and vendors in addition to traditional avenues we can assure our couples that their designs will be ephemeral and unique to their day only.”
5. Do you limit the number of weddings you book for each weekend?
The answer typically depends on the size of each florist’s team, but most florists will only book a couple weddings per weekend. If your florist is handling multiple clients on one weekend, or even one day, don’t fret. The key is to simply ensure they have enough staff to go around. If the lead florist won’t be the one designing the florals for your wedding day, ask to connect with the designer who will so you can express your design style firsthand and be confident he or she understands your vision.
6. What other services do you offer?
Many florists offer other wedding services in addition to florals. Amanda Viviano, lead weddings & events designer for Bartz Viviano Flowers & Gifts, shared with us how brides often miss out on all their florists have to offer, assuming they only do flowers. Amanda stated they also provide “linens, chairs, furniture, table numbers, lighting and so many other decor options.” Bartz Viviano is a great example of a florist that offers services that are comparable to an event designer. For brides who are looking to simplify wedding planning, working with a florist who provides other services can reduce the need to work with a rental company in addition to a floral shop.
7. How do you price your floral arrangements and services?
Most brides primarily want to know if their florist can work with their budget. If your budget is small, ask your florist if she is able to work with what you have to offer. Amanda Viviano from Bartz Viviano also shared a tip on brides who are trying to stick to a budget, stating, “I wish people would ask me if there is any way centerpieces and bouquets are flexible on price. Sometimes the answer is no, but other times I can provide lower price alternatives that still fit within the couple's style and color.” The key is to be open with your florist about your budget, and in turn your florist will come up with ideas on how to achieve your vision within the constraints of your budget. And don’t forget to ask the basic financial questions like when the deposit and final payment are due, if there are any additional fees, and whether your florist offers a cancellation policy.
8. Will my chosen wedding flowers be in season for my wedding?
Whether your favorite flowers are in season for your wedding can have a huge impact on how the flowers look, and how much they cost. Your florist will have an idea if your chosen flowers will be readily available and in good shape for your wedding. Your florist also may be able to suggest substitutions that will have a similar appearance. Be prepared, opting for an off-season flower will likely result in higher costs.
9. How do you work with other vendors?
It can be very important for your florist to coordinate with certain vendors throughout your wedding day. As Jen Linehan, owner of Beautiful Blooms by Jen, states, “ We coordinate with your photographer for sure because we want to make sure that your flowers are in all of your key pictures. We don't ever want your day to be held up for us to pin on corsages or boutonnieres. Our entire day depends on your photography schedule. We also coordinate with your venue and cake baker if you need flowers on your cake.”
Your florist may even need to work with your ceremony and reception venues to ensure they are complying with venue policies.
10. How do you handle setup, delivery, and breakdown?
Every bride should be aware of the florist’s plan for your wedding day. Your florist will need time to set up, therefore you will need to know what time they plan to arrive and deliver bouquets and boutonnieres, and set up the ceremony and reception areas. Don’t forget to ask how your florist plans to handle the breakdown after the festivities are complete. While the flowers may be yours to keep, you will likely have vases and equipment that will be need to be picked up or returned to your florist.
Asking the right questions will help you find the right florist to bring your wedding day floral vision to life, no matter what blossoms suit your style.