6 vital things you need to know when working with a wedding florist #Advice#Wedding 101#bouquet#centerpiece#checklist#flowers August 21 2015 | Catherine Clark bijouxandbits 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. Photo by Michelle Johnson Talk over your ideas in person Related Post 10 wedding tips you won't get from a bridal magazine Edolcourt took some time after her wedding day to put together some helpful tips to get you through your big day. From shaking your guests... Read more 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. Flowers by Rhapsody in Bloom You don't need to know flower details Related Post Hang flowers in painted recycled cans Jessica and Mark's London wedding was filled with handcrafted decor, including these hanging flower pots made from recycled cans. 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. Fuck yeah, kale bouquet! Photo by Olivia Leigh Photographie Bring photos of flowers or arrangements that you like Related Post Ditch the wedding propaganda: tv shows, magazines, and (gasp!) even Pinterest I have sworn off all wedding-related things. Or, at least, things not related directly to my wedding. This includes TV shows, magazines, The Knot, and... Read more 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. Flowers by chicory Bring a list of everything you'll need Related Post How this bride entered wedding stealth mode on Pinterest We all have at least one friend we follow on Pinterest who is guilty of obsessively over-pinning wedding stuff. Her non-stop hoarding of the typical... Read more 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: Ceremony decor/altar flowers Pew, aisle, chair flowers Welcome and gift table flowers Car decor Memorial placeholder flowers Symbolic gifting flowers or unity 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. Flower headpiece by Tracey Reynolds Floral Design Get your questions for your florist ready Related Post Join two families with flowers Both of our mothers carried a different wild flower to combine in one vase to symbolize the joining of two families. Later in the ceremony,... Read more 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? Photo by Nicole Nichols Don't know nothing about nothing? Let the experts run with it! Related Post Snip the stamen and 12 other tiny, unexpected ways to minimize chaos on your wedding day Do you know what to do if your best man is giving a totally inappropriate speech? Or how a shoe organizer can keep your wedding... Read more 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! This post features Offbeat Vendors! Check out their vendor listing to see how they cater to Offbeat Brides: Rhapsody in Bloom chicory Tracey Reynolds Floral Design Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Catherine Clark Catherine Clark is Offbeat Bride's Senior Editor. In her spare time she loiters at her local library, makes art, watches movies en masse, plays video and tabletop games, poorly cooks healthy things, cuddles with her feline fur baby, and blogs at BijouxandBits.com. @enidjcoleslaw @bijouxandbits @bijouxandbits PREVIOUS Come sigh over this sexy rainy day Charlotte wedding NEXT 50+ pairs of cute wedding flats Show/Hide comments [ 5 ] 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?" Reply 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. Reply 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! Reply 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! Reply Yes to cash! My florist told me that if I paid cash up front, she wouldn't have to charge me sales tax. 😉 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. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.