Advice from two Floral Designers / by Arkady Sandoval

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I spoke with two of my friends Sally and Brenna who are two very talented floral designers, about their thoughts on floral design for weddings. I asked them what advice they would give couples looking for a floral designer for their wedding. Please read our conversation below:

Question 1:

What are some things couples should know about florals for Weddings?

  • Flowers are seasonal, so your favourite flower may not be available at the time of your wedding. Or - if you're catching the season - it's early or late in the season, your favourite flower may not look its best. So, trust your florist to steer you in the right direction regarding availability. -Brenna

  • Florals cost more than you would think, especially in the winter. Not all flowers are available all year long. Don’t get caught up in every detail. Let the florists take care of the minutia. You may feel attached to (for instance like the olive leaves in my last wedding), but you don’t need to pick every single flower in every single thing. It’s about the overall look and feel.

    These are perishable and fragile goods. Sometimes flowers come in and they are horrible and substitutions need to be made.

    Unless your wedding is substantial, mock ups or samples are not created for a first consultation. It is costly.

    Shop around. Florists can give wildly different prices. Not all markups are the same. If what you want is some hydrangea and roses (no judgement) then many people can provide that. So reach out to several people. Think of your budget…-Sally

Question 2:

What advice would you give couples to find a florist that’s right for them?

  • Look for a florist both where you live, and where your wedding will take place. If you're staying local that's easy. Look at their Instagram accounts, read their testimonials, ask for a few references. If you're planning a destination wedding, you're local florist may not be able to travel with you. Speak with the venue you're using and ask for their local favorites. But also do your due diligence and check Yelp for florists in the area. You just might find a nearby hidden gem! -Brenna

  • I would tell them to do research before a consultation. Get inspiration photos, look at Pinterest, create a mood board, research florists and their styles. Ask yourself, “What do I value? What is our personal aesthetic and our story? And how can a florist align with our values?” It’s a bit harder when a couple comes into a meeting and is not sure of what they want, the floral designer might be looking at trends and showing that to the couple. But the couple have a different aesthetic, and so even if the floral designer could actually create what the couple likes, they miss the mark because the couple hasn’t stated or shown what they like. I encourage couples to make a wishlist of what they would like to see even if it’s out of reach, because we still could create an overall feel, just cheaper. Also bringing their invitation, a photo of their dress, anything that gives insight into who they are aesthetically helps the floral designer understand who the couple is.

    Don’t be coy about saying what the budget is. People always try and pussyfoot around when it comes to money and it really does them no good. A budget provides parameters and it’s extremely helpful in a proposal from the floral designer.Again, by not sharing your budget, the floral designer might miss the mark, when in actuality they could have hit it out of the park for you. Many people have no idea what things cost and that’s totally fine but there’s always a financial cap of some sort… -Sally

Question 3:

How far in advance would you book a florist?

  • A few months at least. It's best to give your florist time to plan. It's also important to give them time to offer you their design ideas and collaborate with you on your creative concept. - Brenna

  • This depends on the timing, size and what they are expecting. Also who they want to do florals for their wedding. If they are going to a very popular florist and it’s spring, fall or during a holiday then they really need to plan ahead. Like a year plus! For more moderate weddings and florists I’d say 6 months or so. Also figuring out if they need a florist or if they need a full on event company. These things are  different… - Sally

Question 4:

Add any other advice you would give.

  • Please do not treat your florist as a wholesaler, asking if it's "cheaper for the florist to purchase the flowers but have you and your mom arrange them." -Brenna

  • It is difficult when couples expect a proposal right there on the spot. A consultation requires preparation and will ultimately be much more informative if everyone came prepared. Once the floral designer understands who you are and what your story is, then a proposal can be made. This will lead to a happier experience for everyone. -Sally