What You Really Need to Know About Your Wedding Before You Start Talking to Florists
There are several bits of information a prospective florist needs to know in order to give you an accurate quote.
You have done your homework and have come up with a list of florists you'd like to consider hiring for your wedding day. Now that you're ready to start scheduling meetings to sit down and talk flowers, it's important to make sure you have all the information a professional will need to create a complete, accurate proposal for your big day. Kristen Gosselin of KG Events and Design has all the information you need to know before your first floral face-to-face—or Zoom to Zoom.
What information should a couple already have decided before the first meeting?
First and foremost, Gosselin says you should enter every conversation with a prospective florist (and any vendor, for that matter) with a clear idea of what your budget is. "You need to be realistic with what you are willing to spend on your flowers, and keep in mind that you will most likely get less for your money that what you may expect," she says. Flowers are expensive, and the more you want to do with them, the more you should expect to pay for labor. But by being realistic about both what you want and what you want to spend, a florist will be able to guide you towards a look you love that's also in a price range you feel comfortable with. "Showing up with a realistic figure, and disclosing that amount with your florist, will allow them to recommend the best options that respect the budget," Gosselin adds.
Next, you'll want to have a general idea of your guest count. While the difference between 125 and 150 people may not seem like it would matter that much in the grand scheme of things, it absolutely does when talking about flowers—an additional 25 guests could mean three to four more tables, which means you'll need to account for the additional price associated with three or four more centerpieces. "The florist will be able to put an approximate number of reception arrangements on the proposal," Gosselin says. "In turn, you will be able to see and estimate of what the total floral cost will be." And it's not just the total guest count that matters: You should also be prepared to share how many bridesmaids and groomsmen you'll have, as well as personal flower needs for parents, flower girls, ring bearers, and grandparents.
Last but not least, you should be prepared to tell the florist about your venue or venues. "There's a big difference in floral needs when it comes to the ceremony if it is in a church versus a field, or the reception is in a tent versus a structured venue," Gosselin says. Costs will also vary if setup needs to take place in two entirely different places.
What information is good to have but not absolutely necessary before that first conversation?
While it's great to be able to tell a florist about what you don't like, including specific types of flowers, colors, or designs, it's not entirely necessary. What is necessary, though, is going into a meeting with examples of what you do like, Gosselin says. You might not be able to pinpoint exactly what is that you're attracted to, but being able to give a frame of reference for what you're looking for is key.
Along the same lines, you should be able to tell your florist a little about your design vision, including how clearly you're looking for someone to stick to it. "Some clients know exactly what they do and don't want, down to the exact flower ratio," says Gosselin. "Others may have a vision, but have a hard time articulating what that vision is, or how to put it into a tangible design." If you want a prospective florist to bring fresh ideas to the table, it's essential that you tell them that; otherwise, they'll make a proposal based entirely on what you've shared so far.
And what if you do not really have a clear idea of what you want?
You should expect (and welcome) guidance! "The florist is the professional, they will know exactly what they can create within the budget, and they will know how to execute any vision that you have," Gosselin explains.