We’re talking about one of my very favorite topics today: flowers! For most people, a wedding day is the only opportunity they have to work with a florist on such a large scale, so it’s no wonder that the floral industry can be a bit confusing to navigate during wedding planning. With the help of some florist friends, we’ve compiled our tips for making the most of your floral budget and your working relationship.
Set your budget first. Even though it’s difficult to guess how much the flowers you want will cost, you can still set a floral budget that makes sense within your overall budget. Knowing your budget will help your florist recommend flowers and styles within your price range. It’s also helpful to have a general idea of numbers, like how many reception tables and how many bridesmaids you’re having, before your first meeting, as most proposals are priced per piece. Since flowers are often much more expensive than brides expect, if your heart is set on a certain type of arrangement or pricey bloom, know in advance what other costs you’re willing to cut back on in order to make your floral dreams come true.
Be flexible about specifics. So many factors go into beautiful blooms–season, weather, location, and so on and so forth–making it hard for a florist to make any guarantees about what will be available and in good condition on your wedding day. As well as communicating your favorite flowers to your florist, discuss the colors and feel you’re going for. They will make their best effort to get you the blooms you want, but if anything goes wrong, they can use their expertise to find substitutes that will fit the overall look you’re going for and look great, instead of using a sad-looking flower because it’s one you HAD to have. To improve your chances of getting your must-have flower, find out when it’s in season in your area and set your wedding date accordingly. We love using our flower chart on page 65 of V6 as a reference!
Organize your inspiration. Florists are visual people, so lots of picture inspiration is helpful IF it’s well organized. Instead of general captions like “love this” on your Pinterest board, identify WHAT you love about different arrangements and bouquets. Is it the shape? The texture? The colors? The specific flowers? Making a note of what specifically draws you to the picture will help you communicate your vision and style much more effectively.
Be realistic. One of the biggest pet peeves we’ve heard from florists is when brides bring in pictures of grand arrangements or pricey blooms, and ask for something similar on a minimal budget. Keep in mind that floral arrangements in magazines and on Pinterest are often the most unique and expensive in a florist’s portfolio. Instead of asking for an exact replica of an arrangement you love, bring your inspiration photos to your florist and have a conversation about what you like about them. Love the large scale of an arrangement? Use lower-cost greenery to get the same big impact. Love the fullness of a big peony bouquet? Create the same lush effect with different flowers that fit into your budget.
BYOA: Bring your own accents. Supplementing your florist with vessels and bouquet wraps is a great way to save money, because you won’t be paying for the time they spend searching for something perfect for you. Just be sure you’re willing to do the work and have the resources to do so before adding this task to your to-do list, and be aware that wide and intricate ribbons come with their own price tag – often upwards of $15/yard.
Is there anything else y’all would add to our list? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
Holly Heider Chapple and Amy Arrington Photography are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!