When it comes to choosing a florist for your wedding I think a lot of it comes down to trust and understanding. With something so creative, as a florist I need to build a working relationship with my clients.
You, the Client, need to feel I have a real understanding of the ‘feel’ of the big day and to do that I need to know a bit about the Bride and Groom. You plan your wedding to reflect the couple that you are, your life together so far and your dreams for the future -my work should reflect that ‘feel’ too.
Word of mouth is the best recommendation but I would also suggest you look at portfolios, websites & testimonials. At this stage your wedding venue will already be booked, so it’s worth going to at least one wedding fair in the same area. You will find a whole host of suppliers that will be local to the venue - which isn’t a must, although it helps if you want to keep the cost down. If you’re still uncertain, just ask, because if a florist can’t give you their time at this stage you don’t need them on your big day!
Even with the initial contact you want someone who will take the time to find out what YOU want. Whether you have a scrapbook or been busy on Pinterest, anything you have thought about helps to get the conversation and ideas flowing. But remember to take advice from the florist - they do have experience. Also, at this stage you should be honest about what is possible with your budget.
Meet for a consultation: I work in a very collaborative way and I think you can soon get a vibe if someone understands what you want, rather than them trying to impose their own pre-conceived ideas on you because it is convenient for them.
Try to be flexible. As florists we do work with a natural product, and for this reason it’s not a good idea to be fixed upon a rigid set of ideas or ‘must haves’ in the first instance. An experienced florist will be able to advise on all aspects of the floral designs, from practicality and availability, to the quality. Try to be seasonal with your flower choice; you will get a better quality flower and a better price.
Work from the inside out - the Bridal flowers first, then the venue. So, for example, if you want some beautiful old English roses but can’t afford for them to be placed everywhere, make sure they’re in the bridal bouquet and look at other recommendations for table centre flowers to blend and bring your look together.
Holding the Bridal bouquet - I think it’s also my job to make sure that the Bride is comfortable carrying the flowers and it doesn’t feel ‘forced’. It’s my starting point when designing the bridal bouquet and it’s helpful to think about how you will hold the bouquet while trying on your dress. Then it’s the florist job to make the bouquet the right size and shape, so it feels like a part of the whole picture – not an afterthought!
If you have a Maid of Honour, this is where their assistance comes in, if not pick a bridesmaid to be in charge of the flowers, to give them to you as you leave for the wedding and to take them from you when needed. As with everything, planning is key, so don’t forget to discuss this well in advance so bridesmaids know what is expected of them.
Finally, I always place the button holes on the Groom and Groomsmen and the ladies corsages for the Mother of the Bride and Mother of the Groom - it’s a small but very important detail and needs to be done properly. For me this is a part of the service and always a pleasure.
I feel I have only just scratched the surface here, but I guess my advice in a few words would be that from your florist you want; enthusiasm, experience, honesty, inventiveness and understanding.