Florists, like most creatives, all have their own style, talent and specialty! Here’s some pointers to help you find the floral designer of your dreams!
First a little story from my own experience.
I got married before instagram was quite as prevalent. Which means I hadn’t seen as many people’s portfolios as I have now (plus I was earlier in my career, so here I am 4 years later and I’ve seen a LOT more flowers now than I had seen back when I was a bride)
I had booked my venue and they recommended a florist to me (it was a florist shop that was nearest to them so that’s probably why they sent me in that direction) I didn’t shop around or know what questions to ask I just brought in a photo I’d found from a florist I followed on instagram and showed it to the resident florist at the shop. She looked at the picture and started identifying the flowers that were in the bouquet in the photo, gave me a rate, and sent me on my way. I checked it off my list and didn’t give it another thought.
I did not know that all florists weren’t created equal, and all florists aren’t able to replicate other florists work. Each of them has their own style and specialty.
Though my flowers were still really beautiful, the shape and structure of the bouquet were not what I had been anticipating and not even close to what the bouquet in the inspiration photo looked like.
In hind sight, I should have gone directly to the source of the photo I had found, and I should have known what questions to ask, and I probably should have gotten a few quotes before booking with the first florist I met!
So. Here’s what I wish I knew!
The Shape of the bouquet is critical to the overall look. Even if you have all the same flowers in your bouquet as you saw on pinterest, if your bouquet is shaped like a ball, and your inspiration was a fanned out free form shape or vice versa- you were looking for a more classic round shape and your flowers came to you with a more wild boho look, you are not going to be happy when you pick up your bouquet.
When you meet with a potential florist discuss the shape you are looking for. Ask them if they can create shapes that you are going for, and also—-as harsh as this sounds—-don’t necessarily take their word for it. Mastering the ability to shape a bouquet takes a lot of practice, and if they’ve been making the same, traditional shapes for their whole career, they may not be able to whip out a more modern shape for you. LOOK AT THEIR PORTFOLIO. If they say they can do that shape for you, ask them if you can see photos of their previous work that demonstrates a similar shape to what you’re looking for. Look up their work via instagram, their website, and other brides they have worked with. SHAPE SHAPE SHAPE. Be very specific so you know they understand what you are wanting out of them!
Ask your florist about the life of the flowers being used and how she is going to help them stay looking fresh and vibrant for your entire wedding day. Not all stems are “arrangement” quality. Different flower sources have longer lasting flowers, and florists should be getting their product from an awesome source. Another question to ask is if they have adequate storing facilities (i.e. fridge space) to keep the flowers fresh between the time they come in and the time they are delivered to you on your wedding day. They should also know tricks to keeping their beautiful blooms alive throughout the day and incorporate those tricks into their service for your wedding florals.
3) Seasonal Flowers
Remember that flowers are a seasonal item. If you are dreaming of peonies in your bouquet, the time of year you get married matters. You’ll have to pay through the nose to get out-of-season stems in your bouquet, and sometimes no amount of money can pull the blooms into existence, so you might have to find a substitute floral option. Ask your florist what flowers are in season, show her what you have in mind, get her recommendations, and make a plan that works for you and fits your vision and the time of year you are getting married.
DO NOT USE FAKE FLOWERS. People love to tell you no one can tell in photos BUT GUESS WHAT THAT IS A LIE. FAKE FLOWERS DO NOT PHOTOGRAPH WELL. Their unnaturally green stems stand out along with the not-quite-right texture of the petals or the tiny jagged plastic parts in the middle. invest in real flowers. — your love is real, your flowers should be real too. There are so many talented florists who can work with any budget. And if even a budget friendly florist is out of the question for your price-range, check out this article on how to save money and still have your dream wedding HERE for tips on how to get beautiful flowers on a budget.
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4) You get what you pay for (probably)
As with most things in life—and especially with wedding vendors, you get what you pay for. Flowers are expensive, and florists with lots of experience, and talent are not going to be cheap. There’s a chance you’ll find a gem of a florist with a lot of talent but not too much experience who has a lower rate but can still create the bouquet of your dreams, but that is going to take a LOT of time on your part going through instagram profiles and researching your options. And on the flip side, there are florists with lots of experience (and higher rates) who might be a little out of touch with current styles and floral trends, despite the higher price they still may not be able to make your vision a reality. No matter how much experience the florist you’re considering has, be sure to ask them all the right questions and don’t book unless you feel confident they can do what you want them to.
LOOKING FOR AN AMAZING FLORIST? CHECK OUT THESE TALENTED FLORAL DESIGNERS!
I hope this was helpful! If you have any tips or tricks for getting the perfect wedding florals feel free to leave them in the comments!