You may be a bride (or indeed a groom) browsing many a florist website, looking for suppliers and inspiration for your big day. I don't envy you, it's a minefield out there! So, how do you decide on a florist? With so many of us to choose from, what do you base your decision on? I hope this blog helps put you on the right track.
Look at websites (which is what you may be doing right now)! See what wedding flowers the florist has arranged before by looking at photos of work and reading any testimonials. Follow up personal recommendations, have you seen flowers at a friends or family weddings? If you like what you see, make an appointment - call, email or if it's a shop, look in and say hello.
How long did it take for the florist to respond to your initial contact? I like to reply within a few days, never longer than a week, even if I'm madly busy.
At TWHFCo. I like to build a rapport with my brides; I enjoy getting to know them over the months, this might be through an initial meeting, emails, phone calls and consultations. Not every couple will feel it's absolutely necessary to meet too often, especially if they are marrying far from home others want lots of contact. As a rule, I generally leave the ball in the client's court so to speak, regarding the number of meetings. Where possible, I like to 'walk the course' so I can suggest specific flowers for particular locations, meet the wedding venue staff and if it's a new location for me, a drive there will mean I know where I'm going and how long it will take on the day.
Some couples come to meetings together and run through their flowers, others leave the groom out of the floral decisions and bring a friend, their mum or occasionally come by themselves. The most important factor to me is that a bride feels happy with my advice, inspiration, ideas and the general level of communication they receive. From the initial meeting and throughout the whole period leading up to your weddig day, this will vary with each couple.
Hopefully you will not only like the florist you appoint but really get on. There can be angst, indecision as well as the usual (vast amount of) excitement and therefore much discussion during this time is a good thing. I want you to feel like nothing is too much trouble and that you're the only bride getting married. So with this in mind, ask yourself is the florist approachable and amenable? If he or she understands what you want, offers the service you require, at the right price then book them! A good florist will be in demand and will book up well in advance.
It is fairly common for you to be choosing bridesmaids dresses, suits and ties after your initial appointment so there may be a gradual development of the flower inventory and movement in the overall costs. Make sure your florist is flexible about these considerations. There must be complete trust and most importantly, the florist should listen to you and understand what you want. This is yours and your fiancee's big day - not theirs so don't allow them to dictate every detail! Remember these are the most important flowers you are likely to ever have, so be as fussy as you like. Meet several florists for quotes if necessary before you make a final decision.
Most florists will politely ask for a deposit, depending on the size of the job, they may well be booking just your wedding into their work diary on any one day so it is normal and routine to be asked to pay a booking deposit. Deposits vary from 10% of the overall estimate to as much as 50%. Once you arrive at a decision do let them know, from a florsits perspective, there's nothing worse than waiting, possibly turning down other potential clients only to be told your services are not required so let them know as soon as you have decided, either way.
I'm not being churlish when I say try not let your decision boil down to just a matter of cost. That said, a decent florist will be able to work within any budget, be creative with what they produce - even with the smallest of budgets, but be realistic, flowers are an expensive commodity. A wedding is usually an extremely expensive event and the flowers may not be your highest priority, so make sure what flowers you do have create the appropriate amount of impact. I will happily review quotes if they come in over a set budget, I also think it valuable to point out certain flowers are more expensive than others; did the florist suggest other varieties which are similar? A wired bouquet, be it a shower, tear drop or sweetheart shaped style, can take up to three or four hours of assembling and wiring to make. A lengthy process which I consider highly skilled and, as a result, costs more than a simple hand tied bouquet, it may blow your budget but a good florist will not talk you out of this, merely suggest trimming things elesewhere.
Regardless of the budget, I am adamant that I never compromise the brides' bouquet - this is the single most important bouquet you're ever likely to have. A reflection of your day, it should work in harmony with your wedding gown and express something about you; I want you to absolutely love it. If your budget is limited, I may suggest we tweak the flowers elsewhere in order to keep the bouquet exactly as you want it, after all, there will be a photograph of you, your husband with these exquisite flowers prominently displayed hopefuly, forever!
January is always a popular time for brides to make these initial enquiries, as a wedding florist, although not the busiest time for getting married, I am busy receiving such enquiries. I hope this blog has helped you in your search for your perfect wedding florist. You never know, it might even be me!
Above are a few images in addition to those on the wedding page of my website to whet your appetite. At The White Horse Flower Company I'd like to think you receive not only stunning flowers but a service second to none. So with this in mind, why not get in touch and make an appointment. There's no obligation to book me, over a cup of tea or coffee, I will gladly listen to your ideas and aspirations, and then see what I could do for you. Good luck!