Monday, January 31, 2011

How To Select a Floral Designer for Your Wedding

Photograph is originally from Big Wedding Little Budget
Original article in January 2011 Table Hopping - CNY Edition 

When selecting a florist or floral designer for your wedding
 or any other special event or occasion,
you should start by doing your homework
and researching places of interest. 
You can also ask people you know if they have had any
good or bad experiences with any florists and who they would refer, if any. 
Or you could also search the Internet for florists in your area,
search Craigslist, 
or look for advertisements in your local newspaper. 
That's just a starting point if your unsure where to check out first. 

Once you've found florists you are possibly interested in
 you will want to select at least 3 of them that you will meet with. 
Once you set up a meeting,
 try to provide them with as much detailed information as you can. 
Be prepared to discuss any ideas that you have,
details about the event,
 color schemes,
 flowers that you love (as well as the one's you hate!) 
You also want to provide them with what your budget is. 

This will help the florist when he/she is creating your pieces;
 so they know how much or how little to add. 
 If possible, you should bring a photograph of your dress,
 the bridesmaids' dresses and
any floral designs you like. 
With this information, a good florist should
have a clear idea of the event and floral designs,
and be able to provide a detailed cost estimate. 

Keep in mind,
even when you have provided all of the information that you can,
comparing cost estimates may be difficult. 
A true "roses to roses" comparison is not always possible. 
 Each designer has their own vision of what they can create and provide you with,
and some provide you with a more detailed cost than others do. 
So, in efforts to sort through the quotes provided and
to select the floral designer that is right for you,
 you should consider the following:

Was the florist willing to spend the time you required during the initial consultation?

Was he/she professional, prompt, and courteous?

Did he/she listen to your ideas?

Did he/she "get it"?  And did he/she make suggestions that you liked?

Was he/she knowledgeable,
for instance did he/she suggest which flowers would be in season?

Did he/she have a portfolio of flowers that you loved? 
 If you didn't like anything you saw in their portfolio,
chances are you will not like what you see on the the of your event!

Where the photo's the designer provided their own personal work?

Were they willing to work with your budget?

Were they able to provide references?

Were they familiar with your event site, and/or willing to visit it prior to your event?

Did they provide you with a detailed cost estimate and contract?

Are they able to provide all of the services that you require? 
For instance, can they provide linen rentals, arches, urns, etc?

Will the person that you met with be your contact (and designer) throughout the entire process?

Will your florist deliver and set up the flowers?
Or, do they use an outside delivery service?

How many events will the florist book the the day/weekend of your wedding?

Did you enjoy speaking with him/her, and would you feel comfortable working with them?

Thinking through these questions should help you to select a floral designer that will create the look you wish to achieve, while working within your budget and providing professional service.

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