Choosing a Florist: Saving Time and Money
To find a florist you will be pleased with, get referrals from others. Ask past customers whether the flowers they ended up with were the ones they had ordered. Make sure there were no unexpected, expensive add-ons.
Interview the Florist
When you have your preliminary list, try to visit two or three florists before making a choice. Ask lots of questions about what you want, and pay attention to how you're treated. If the florist is not willing to spend a few minutes discussing what you want, you have not found the vendor for you.
Come prepared with pictures of bouquets and arrangements you like that you've clipped from magazines, and ask whether the florist can duplicate the look. If you feel patted on the head and gently encouraged to choose from a few photos of standard bouquets or a prepackaged floral-arrangement album, you're in the wrong place.
Ask to see pictures of the flowers the florist has done for past weddings, which will give you an idea of the florist's style. Even if this doesn't match your own, a good florist is still able to make your vision a reality.
Stick to your budget, and be wary of anyone who tries to convince you that you must spend a fortune to get what you want. Careful planning, a willingness to compromise, and sometimes doing the work yourself can save you a lot of money.
Tell him what you have in mind for your wedding and ask whether he has any suggestions. Ask him how he will approach your wedding and whether you will be able to see advance samples of your bouquets and arrangements.
Other questions to ask a prospective florist include:
What flower arrangement that you designed are you happiest with and why?
How many weddings do you normally do on a single weekend? Will you have time to give our wedding the attention it deserves?
Have you designed arrangements for weddings at our ceremony and reception sites before?
Will you provide the vases and urns or will we need to rent them from a third party?
Will you deliver and set up the large arrangements? How long do you need to set up?
Will the flowers we like be in season? If not, what substitutions do you recommend?
How expensive are the flowers we like? If they are too expensive, are there less expensive options that will look just as good?
How soon do we need to put down a deposit?
Make sure you arrange for the flowers to be picked up or delivered. When recent bride Eva had a relative doing her flowers and the woman's check bounced, Eva couldn't get the bouquets and arrangements.
“We didn't find out until the evening before the wedding! Then it was too late to run to the florist for help. We had to scramble to find another alternative at the last minute and was it ever expensive!” Eva related.
Sealing the Deal
The final step is to make certain you get the transaction details in writing. You should have a written agreement spelling out the price of the flowers and the style of the arrangements.
Also put in writing when the florist will deliver the flowers for your ceremony and reception so there is no misunderstanding or excuse for undelivered flowers. Ask whether the florist will set the arrangements in place and stay to pin on boutonnieres and corsages.