6 vital things you need to know when working with a wedding florist

What you need to know when working with a wedding florist on @offbeatbride
Photo by Jessica Fey

Offbeat couples run the gamut with their floral choices: bouquet alternatives and non-floral bouquets, DIYed flowers, paper flowers, and of course, good ol' lucious real flower arrangements. We've seen them DIYed from a supermarket, arranged at a farmer's market the day before, or designed and set up by professional florists.

The latter is our focus today. If you're going for real, from-nature flora arranged by a pro, this is your go-to guide.

Let's talk about what you'll need to know when working with a wedding florist and get some tips on how to make that meeting ultra productive.

What you need to know when working with a wedding florist on @offbeatbride
Photo by Michelle Johnson

Talk over your ideas in person

When in doubt, meeting your vendors in person is a great idea. You'll get a feel for their style and be able to better articulate what you're looking for. If you can meet in person, do it.

What you need to know when working with a wedding florist on @offbeatbride
Flowers by Rhapsody in Bloom

You don't need to know flower details

Don't worry if you don't know the difference between Rhododendrons and Chrysanthemums (or how to spell them because seriously…) because your florist will have all that knowledge in their noggin already. You'll just want to know the feel of what you're going for: unusual, romantic, organic, rustic, colorful, wild, architectural, whimsical, modern, sparse, lush, simple, clean, happy… whew! Brain dump some words that match your theme and see what your florist can dream up.

What you need to know when working with a wedding florist on @offbeatbride
Fuck yeah, kale bouquet! Photo by Olivia Leigh Photographie

Bring photos of flowers or arrangements that you like

In addition to descriptors, bring along some photos of arrangements or bouquets you like. Hint: We've got pages and pages of flower ideas to get your brain buzzing.

Tip: Look for inspiration in magazines, Pinterest, paint chips and color swatches, your dress or photos of your decor, items from your theme that will represent you, and blogs like Offbeat Bride, but beware of inspiration burnout.

What you need to know when working with a wedding florist on @offbeatbride
Flowers by chicory

Bring a list of everything you'll need

First: It's totally not required to order all of these arrangements. Just get the ones you specifically want based on your own wedding party size, family you want included, and what floral decor you'll need, if any. Here's a big list to get you started on narrowing down your selections:

Wedding party flowers:

  • Your bouquet
  • Wedding party bouquets and boutonnieres
  • Flowers for ushers, readers, and/or officiant
  • Flowers for parents, grandparents, and sponsors
  • Flowers for ring bearers (and ring bears!), flower girls, flower grandmas, adult flower friends, and junior bridesmaids
  • Headpiece or other floral accessories

Ceremony flowers:

Reception flowers:

  • Centerpiece arrangements
  • Head table or sweetheart table
  • Couple's chairs
  • Food station arrangements
  • Sweets/cake table arrangements
  • Various other table decor: place card table, guestbook table, fireplace, etc.
What you need to know when working with a wedding florist on @offbeatbride
Flower headpiece by Tracey Reynolds Floral Design

Get your questions for your florist ready

This meeting will be the time to get all your insecurities and questions answered, so do some brainstorming beforehand. Ideas might include:

  • Do you have any deals going on or cost-saving tips?
  • What flowers are in season (saves money)?
  • Who does the setup?
  • What is the backup plan if they can't make it on the wedding day?
  • Are there any extra setup fees or other fees to know about?
  • Have you worked with a venue like this one? Any ideas for this specific venue setup?
  • How much money is due upfront, and when is final payment due?
What you need to know about wedding florals on @offbeatbride
Photo by Nicole Nichols

Don't know nothing about nothing? Let the experts run with it!

These folks are professionals for a reason: They know flowers and trends. If you want to let loose the reins on your ideas, see what ideas your florist has. They have the know-how to come up with something amazing that you may not have ever expected.

Need someone super dope to make your flowers? Find one in our Vendor Guide!

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  1. I'd also suggest not taking the prices on the florist's website as hard facts. If you speak to the florist in person, you might find that they can do quite a lot better by swapping out in-season flowers or other cost-saving measures. You can ask something like, "I want X, Y, and Z arrangements and my budget is $B. Is that reasonable?"

    4 agree
    • Definitely have the budget hashed out up front! I had a firm $500 budget for flowers for my wedding, and my florist was a magic worker. She came in at $460 for 20 table centerpieces (160 stems), 4 bridesmaid bouquets, a toss bouquet, and bridal bouquet. I picked up the centerpieces the day before, and they offered to deliver the bridal party bouquets for free the morning of my wedding.

  2. I found my wedding florist through my church bulletin. Not only had they worked with the venue before, their wedding sample book showed photos of their work for weddings at my venue!

  3. Former wedding florist here! I worked at a high-end, boutique NYC florist for six years and did weddings with $150 to $10,000 flower budgets. Some points for planning and cost saving:

    1) Florists love cash. Ask about price difference between cash vs credit payments, but ask discreetly!
    2) Delivery fees. Many brides didn't realize this was not included.
    3) Ask about supplying your own vases for centerpieces and/or returning vases after your event for your money back.
    4) Show pictures, don't attempt to describe what you don't have words for. Make your florist a copy of pictures and put everything in a labeled folder. Don't ask for something if you don't know what it looks like.
    5) Insist on an itemized invoice showing your total wedding order! If even one centerpiece is missing at your event, or if an arrangement is substantially smaller or different, follow up on it. Take pictures. I can't emphasize this enough. We never had anyone contest a wedding order and it was not because we made zero mistakes. People just forget – or assume they misplaced that 11th bouquet.
    6) Tip the person setting up and delivering your flowers!

    • Yes to cash! My florist told me that if I paid cash up front, she wouldn't have to charge me sales tax. ­čśë As a bonus, I'd known her from the neighborhood for several years, so I knew she wasn't putting one over on me. Also, let your florist advise you! I initially wanted strands of ivy trailing from my bouquet, but she told me that this worked best with very tall brides, and since I am 5'3", this would not be flattering. She helped me choose different greenery for my personal flowers, and incorporate ivy in a different way.

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