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Prior to meeting with a florist
- Gather ideas. Keep a folder with magazine clippings, print outs and design ideas that you like. Be sure to include ideas on different flowers and styles. You should have ideas on bouquets, table centerpieces, boutonnieres, arrangements, the wedding cake and any other unique flower-related ideas. A florist can help you organize your idea, but you must know your likes and dislikes before the initial meeting.
Things to show the florist
- Photos of your ceremony and reception locations. Include both indoor and outdoor pictures, everywhere you are planning to decorate. Do not forget about the entrances and a photo of the vehicle if you are planning on driving off into the sunset after the reception.
- Photos or swatches of your wedding and bridesmaid dresses. The material may be just as important as the color. Since some dresses shine or glimmer under certain lighting, swatches would give the florist a better idea of which flowers would best compliment the dress.
- A checklist of your wedding party, parents, readers, number of tables, etc. This list not only serve as a reminder of who needs what, but it will also allow you to see the breakdown of costs and where cuts can be made if you come in over budget.
- Your budget. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to flower costs. Be upfront with your florist. In turn, he should be conscious of your budget while discussing flower designs and styles.
Things to have the florist show you
- His portfolio. The florist will surely have a portfolio of his work. Also, take a look at the arrangements on display in the shop. Do they all look alike or is the florist able to show his creative side? Remember, while a good florist may have a favorite style that runs throughout his designs, he is an artist and should embrace the opportunity to work with the ideas that excite you!
- Has the florist ever designed flowers for your ceremony and reception site? If so, he will already know what works and what should be avoided.
- His schedule. Does he have other weddings planned on the same day as yours?
- Other services available. Talk about all your needs, including transportation of the arrangements to and from the site, rental supplies such as vases and candles, and flower preservation.
- Additional costs. These may include delivery charges, set up fees, samples, cancellation fees or other hidden fees such as simply changing your mind. Do not let these costs scare you. These costs may be negotiable depending on the amount of work for your specific needs.
Things you should not dismiss
- Personality. The florist’s professional
personality will shine through during this meeting. Is his listening to
your ideas or dismissing them? Are his ideas appealing to your interests
or is he more excited about pleasing his own? Is he taking into consideration
your budget and showing you the red warning flags as you talk about ideas
that could easily double or triple your budget? If after the conclusion
of the interview you should feel comfortable and excited to work with
this person and further exchange ideas, then congratulations! You have
just found the ideal florist for your wedding flowers!