The 5 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Florist Before you Book

October 16, 2015

5 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Florist Before You Book

You’re engaged, you’ve set the date, and you got your eyes on the perfect venue. We all know that it is now time to plan the most important thing. The flowers, decor, and the pretty stuff! That is the order things usually go, right!? I like to think so!

The excitement that comes along with the planning process is inevitable. Your priorities immediately shift from logistical planning (guests counts, budgets, location, times, etc.) to the aesthetic components (dress, flowers, colors, etc.).

When you finally select the floral designer that you connect with and love, you will want to meet with them asap. Usually, you will have a Pinterest board ready, some fabric swatches, and maybe a few magazine clippings to bring along.

The consultation will go something like this:

  • Define your personal and relationship style
  • Discuss wedding logistics and details
  • Present samples, photos, and pricing points
  • Figure out likes and dislikes
  • Questions
  • Decision Making

This process is pretty standard with any florist you meet. The only difference are the questions you ask and how they are answered. Aside from the common and typical floral questions that will come up in conversation, below are the top questions you cannot afford to NOT ask before you book.

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Ah, the dreaded “budget” question. Many couples usually respond that they do not “have a budget in mind” or “don’t know where to start”. It is standard to allocate about 10-15% of the overall wedding budget to florals and decor as a baseline when you initiate the planning process. Once you have that number in mind, reveal it to your florist before setting up the consultation. This will save both you and them plenty of time and heartbreak (unfortunately). Sometimes, couples get caught up with the beautiful images they see on social media and create an illusion that they fall in love with, only to learn that the budget required is not realistic or within range. Other times, the florist is the one they fall in love with, but they don’t meet their required minimum to book. This leads to disappointment and loss of time. It is best to be upfront from the get-go.

If you can’t get over that jaw-dropping design or florist that “just gets you”, determine if your budget is flexible and if you are not willing to compromise your vision, ask your florist if and how you can make it work. Chances are, they are just as flexible in finding creative ways to achieve your vision.

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Spring blooms, like peonies and ranunculus, are what brides lust after these days. I know, I know…why can’t they just be around all year long!? I ask myself this question all the time! Before you fall in love with any particular flower, figure out if they are available during your wedding season. Or, plan to get married when they are in season.

Be prepared to pay extra if certain flowers are not in season/ abundance due to holidays (valentines day, mothers day, easter..) or the hustle and bustle of the spring wedding season. Ask your florist to suggest substitutions that will work both aesthetically and financially.

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Traditional florist will take on several events per day and weekend. Sometimes up in the quantities of 6-10. It is important to ask how many lead designers they have and how their set-up teams are determined to ensure that they aren’t spreading themselves too thin which can ensue errors.

Other floral designers are adamant about only taking on 1 event per weekend in order to be involved and focused on more details. If you are looking for something unique and tailored to you, find someone who is going to allocate enough time planning with you throughout the process.

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Although the florals are the main ingredient in your decor, other elements such as linens, rentals, and lighting also play a large role. It is recommended that you seek someone who will look at your wedding design and take interest in the overall look. It is those extra details and special touches that really make a vision unique and come life!

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Nowadays, many venues will not allow providers to set foot on site without proper liability insurance. It is a chance they are not willing to take, and you shouldn’t either. Investing in a florist that carries insurance ensures that you are hiring a professional and you are protected. If you hire a florist who is not insured, you run the risk of having to hire a new one (if your venue requires it), losing your deposits, and/or having to change your wedding date. This should be a non-negotiable when hiring all your wedding providers.

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What other questions do you feel are non-negotiable when you meet with a florist? Are there any questions you are too afraid to ask? Comment below to get the convo started!

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  1. Danielle says:

    A big question I always ask since I work at a venue is are there rental pieces? Some people assume they can keep the flowers or let the guests take them home. Of course this can be arranged but ask you florist first during the planning process. They can provide removible centerpieces if they own the bases

    • Hi Danielle!
      That is a great question. Most florist supply rentals and not very often offer it as a purchase. I think it is kind of standard now. But, it should always be noted if guests can take them home and communicated to the venue as well. Thanks for your input!

  2. It’s great that you mentioned that I should use 10-15% of my wedding budget to florals and decorations, and mention this amount to the florist I’m planning to hire before I set up a consultation. My mom and I are planning my summer beach wedding next year, so we’re starting to look for florists in the area to accommodate us. I’ll take note of what you said and prepare my budget for the florals before I talk to any florists so we can see eye to eye about the amount of money I’m only willing to spend for their service. Thanks for this!

    • Cristina Barragan says:

      Hi Levi,
      So happy that you found this valuable! I hope that you are able to find a florist that will deliver the experience you are looking for. Congrats and best wishes on your BIG DAY! xoxo