Few parts of wedding planning are as exciting and anxiety inducing as your wedding flowers. Most brides love flowers, and might even dream of a wedding day overrun with flowers (Kimye floral wall anyone?), but have no idea of what blooms they truly love nor do they have any idea what to expect to pay or what they can afford. Sure, we may send our mothers' flowers on mother's day, but for most couples their wedding is the first time that they will be engaging the services of a florist or a floral designer.
So how can you hire someone who is right for you? First things first, identify your floral style. Just as all painters aren't the same, nor are all florists. Some florists have a more lavish romantic style, others are more modern, while others are more simple and natural. Browse sites like Pinterest or Loverly to get a sense of what style of flowers you are drawn to and see which local florists seem to work in that style.
Next, communicate that style to your prospective florist. Amy Febinger, owner of Bourgeon BK- a Brooklyn based floral company, suggests that having some images of designs and flowers ready to show a potential designer is super helpful. "I like to know right off the bat what style and look the bride is looking to achieve. I want to make sure that our styles and visions match, so I can best serve the bridde to be on her day."
That said, it's important to still be flexible.
You may find in your research that you love Peonies, but if they are not in season when you are getting married, it could be very costly to have them all over your wedding reception. Febinger says that if you are fixated on a specific bloom "I'd recommend using those specific blooms just in her bridal bouquet.
To get a flower which is out of season and then use it in every centerpiece, that's going to be very costly and the chances are the guests at the table are not going to know the difference between the out of season peony and a rose from a California grower. So I would suggest keeping it personal and using those blooms just in her bouquet."
Typically, after speaking with a florist for the first time, they will ask you about your wedding flower budget. Often this is a tricky question, because if you aren't sure what something might cost, it's hard to decide what you can or might be willing to spend. Give the florist a range of which you are comfortable, but explain that you aren't certain of how far that money will stretch. They will likely offer some information to further guide you.
It's also helpful to understand a bit of what goes into the pricing of wedding centerpieces and bouquets. Often brides will suggest to the florist that they are willing to use seasonal, local flowers in the hopes that this will bring their cost down. Febinger mentions "It's not just about the hard cost of the flowers themselves, but the amount of time, thought and labor involved in making it all come together.
The cost is not just for the day itself, but for the months and months of planning, conversations, meetings and emails before hand, the prep work that goes into it days before, the day itself and the breakdown and clean up on the back end."
Once you have an estimate that you can live with from a florist whose work you love, Febinger advises that the best thing to do at that point is to relax. "Trust your florist. Hopefully, that's why you hired them! You've selected your designer based on work that you have seen and liked. Trust that you will get the same for your day, if not better."