AND WEDDING FLORAL
Choosing A Florist and Selecting Flowers For Your Wedding
WHEN TO START LOOKING FOR A
If your wedding flower needs are minimal there is no need to start looking far
in advance for a wedding florist. However, if you are in need of a number of
table centerpieces, and other wedding flowers or decor enhancements - or if your wedding will be held during a high flower demand month
- you will want to
select a wedding florist well in advance of your wedding. Keep in mind that depending upon the size of the
florist there is a limit to the number of weddings and other special events they can effectively service
on a given day.
Also, keep in mind that due to fluctuating flower prices you may be able to save a significant amount of money by
selecting your wedding florist and placing your order in advance as well.
WHERE TO START LOOKING
Recommendations from friends, relatives and associates are usually a good place
to start. Additional resources can be found in your local yellow pages, in local
wedding and special event publications and on the Internet. You can also
ask local wedding ceremony and reception facilities which florists frequently
provide service at their location.
HOW TO START LOOKING
First determine what you need relative to approximate sizes and numbers of
floral items and their
general color and appearance. Clip examples from magazines or other publications
to refer to
if the design stands out as something that you might like. Also, carefully consider the colors of your
wedding and the dominant
colors in the wedding ceremony and reception facility, i.e. carpet color, wall color, etc. where the floral arrangements
will be displayed. It is also advisable to have a pretty good idea of what you want to
spend or what you can afford to spend. Then, make a list of the local
wedding florists you want
and call them in advance to make an appointment.
SELECTING A WEDDING FLORIST
Price, quality and service should be the 3 main determining factors when selecting a
wedding florist. Keep this in mind when visiting each florist. Most florists will have
sample books that will help you make your general selection relative to size and color
much easier. Some florists have actual photos of their completed work while others
will have stock
photos provided by associations. Don't assume that what you see in a stock photo is
exactly what you are going to get. The design style and the level of
skill and creativity can vary
greatly between floral designers - so it is much better if you can look at actual photos of their work.
When speaking to a florist's representative be sure you are speaking
to a floral designer rather than a salesperson. A floral designer can usually give you
creative alternatives when it comes to
appearance and price while a salesperson may not have the practical experience to
be able to help you in those areas.
THE VISIT TO THE WEDDING FLORIST
Be sure to take along a notebook to take notes with, the list of the floral items that you need
or want designed for your wedding, photo examples of wedding floral designs that you have seen and liked and samples of
materials, i.e. table cloth, skirting, dress fabric, etc. to help with color decisions.
When visiting the wedding florist,
first look at the items in their display cases. If the items in the display cases look
fresh and of good quality it is usually a good indication that they take pride
in providing a quality product. On the other hand, if the flowers look wilted or
damaged it may be a really good indication that you should probably be looking elsewhere. Also,
look at the individual floral arrangements to see if they appear attractive and tasteful.
If the composition of the arrangements does not appeal to you it might be possible
that the florist has a style that is not going to fulfill the expectations you
have about how your wedding floral arrangements should look.
Ask to see photo examples of their
work first so you can get a feel for their design style. Provided
the examples of their work meets with your expectations, bring out your list of
wedding floral items and
the wedding color samples and explain what you are looking for. Tell the
designer about the style of the wedding, the type of mood you want to
set and the colors and other factors that may affect the type of flowers used. Since
flowers are relatively fragile and some will weather much better than others be sure to explain
any special temperature conditions that may affect the flower selection. For example,
a wedding held in a tent in potentially hot and humid weather will require a
different flower selection than a wedding held in an air conditioned facility.
QUESTIONS TO ASK THE WEDDING
Following are examples of questions you may want to ask the wedding florist during your
Is the person you are speaking to the
floral designer who would be supervising the design of your floral items?
it is advisable to request to speak with that person so you can get a true feel for the
experience level of the designer.
How many larger events (like
weddings) does the florist do
annually? This will give you an idea of whether they have the
experience needed to supply large events.
How many other weddings or special
events would they be servicing on that specific day and what are their
capabilities? You do not necessarily want to be 1 of 10 other weddings
if they only have 1 delivery van.
Does the florist have any recent client
references or letters of recommendation?
If a summer wedding - Do they have
refrigerated delivery vehicles? This can be really important
since non refrigerated vans and trucks can reach temperatures that could wilt
just about anything.
Does the florist actually place the floral
items where they belong when they are delivered to the wedding ceremony or
reception location? Some will do the actual placement and
"touching up" of flower arrangements while others simply deliver door to door
and leave the actual placement up to you.
What costs are involved and what do the
costs include? Are delivery charges included? Is there a gratuity involved?
If you are planning on ordering seasonal or
exotic flowers for your wedding - What happens if there is a flower shortage on the specific type of flower
you order? Do they substitute? If so, what will be substituted and what will
the cost be?
If the cost per item is too high - Can they
recommend less expensive alternatives?
There should be a written agreement outlining what you ordered, what you are
being charged for and how you are being charged. In addition, the
agreement should also indicate the name of the specific floral designer,
delivery locations and times, and anything else you discussed with the florist
that you want included in the agreement. If you want to get extremely detailed
and drive the florist nuts, you can even list the number of each type of flower
in each type of arrangement and put that in the contract too. (I would!
Heck, I would even attach photos of the arrangements if picked from a sample
book.) Since it is possible that floral designers may change between now and the date
of your wedding, the more you have in writing now means the less possibility that
something will be misunderstood then.
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