You don't want to wait until the last minute to choose these important details.
beth john wedding floral centerpiece

You've booked your wedding florist and now, the fun begins: You get to choose and finalize the floral arrangements that will wow your guests on the big day. But here's the thing: For some couples, locking down a wedding-flower look can be tough—and indecision can lead to missing out on their first-choice blooms in their preferred hues. As Ashley Greer, owner and lead designer at Atelier Ashley Flowers, explains, "Pinterest and Instagram can be so distracting that [couples] change their mind every day." And ordering flowers late "means you are risking availability," she says. For example, "A farmer may have burgundy peonies in June—but their quantity is usually limited," Greer says. "So, if you wait too long, chances are good those burgundy peonies have already been reserved for someone else's wedding."

So, when is the best time to finalize your wedding flowers? According to Greer, it's no later than one month before your wedding day. (Of course, you'll need a florist long before that!)

"I usually book clients between eight and 14 months before their wedding dates," she says, "but I tell them that we can stay flexible about the exact details until one month prior." At a month before the wedding—with an estimated guest count and general flower varieties in mind—a florist will place his or her order for your blooms, she says. "I place my flower order one month out to be sure what we need is reserved—especially for those in-demand flowers such as peonies or ranunculus or peach Juliette garden roses," she says.

When you finalize your flowers, you should be ready with a guest count and the variety of flowers you'd like to use. "This should all be reflected in detail on your written proposal, so be sure to read it carefully," says Greer. The florist will then place his or her order for your flowers, as well as any vessels or vases needed. "Once this happens, it is usually easy to make a few additions," says Greer, "but if your table numbers suddenly drop, the flowers have already been ordered and so, the florist will likely be unable to give you a refund. If something like this happens, just be kind and ask if the florist could create an additional bar piece or mantle display—or just simply add the extra flowers into the other centerpieces."


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