Choosing your florist is one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make for your wedding. Flowers set the mood and tone for the day and will be live forever in wedding photographs, so this isn’t a decision to take lightly.
After you pick a date, set a budget, and secure venues for the ceremony and reception, you’ll need to start finding vendors for nearly every aspect of the big day. For now, though, we’ll focus on finding a florist.
Most planners suggest booking a florist at least 6-7 months in advance of the ceremony, but that is only a guideline and can vary depending on the florist and the time of year. It doesn’t pay to wait, though, because the longer you do, the greater the chances that someone else will book your date. In fact, you may want to start looking for florists fairly early in the process; just be sure you’ve already booked your venues and decided on your colors.
Do Your Homework
Before you begin searching for your florist, you need to two things, one is a ballpark budget, and the other is the floral style you want for your big day.
Since it is early in the process, you may not have an exact budget allotted for flowers, but at this point, you should have a general idea. It is very important for the florist to have both of these bits of information so they can plan accordingly and make sure expectations are met.
When searching for a florist for your big day, it’s always a good idea to ask friends and co-workers for suggestions, especially ones that were recently married. Wedding websites are also a good reference since many of them let you search vendors by city or zip code. Once you have a few possibilities, check out the florists’ websites and social media to determine if their style and price point is a good fit for your vision and budget.
After you’ve narrowed down a few florists, call each one you would like to potentially work with, and find out first and foremost if they are available for your wedding day. If they are, set up a consultation as soon as possible. If they are not available, ask them for a reference. Be honest about your budget when soliciting quotes because that may eliminate some options right away. It’s better to know right off the bat if a florist is not a good fit than to waste your time and theirs.
It’s a good idea to meet with or have a call with anyone you’re strongly considering so you are able to see how well their style and vision for your wedding matches up with your own.
During your consultation, be prepared to spend a chunk time and ask a lot of questions. This is the time to really focus on your bridal vision and get creative. It’s also a time to make some important decisions if your vision doesn’t align with your budget.
I found the perfect florist! Now what?
As soon as you find a florist you like and agree on a budget and style, the florist should present you with a proposal. This document should spell everything out in writing and will likely include some provisions you’ll want to be aware of. Now is the time to negotiate or ask for changes if you are uncomfortable with something listed. Once you sign the proposal, it becomes your contract, so it may be a good idea to have a lawyer look it over before you agree to everything.
Once you sign on the dotted line and pay your deposit, which almost every florist will require; congratulations! You’ve hired your florist and can cross one big item off your checklist! Be sure to notify your florist if any sudden changes happen prior to your wedding day, and be available if they need to contact you with questions or concerns.
If you’re recently engaged and are starting to plan your wedding, Congratulations! We want to be your florist! We specialize in weddings and would love to make your special day as beautiful as you imagine it to be. Give our wedding specialist Jill Magee a call at (973)942-3839, or click here to set up an appointment. We’ll be happy to walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
Coming in May: Now that you know how to find the perfect florist for your wedding day, you’ll want to read some tips on what NOT to do when working with your florist.