We here at Griffin’s Floral Designs have been at the wedding floral business a long time, and we’ve been asked every question in the book by potential clients. We learn something every time we sit down with one of our new couples; they’ve helped us understand what our clients really care about and what their major concerns are in entering into a contract with their flower provider. After all, the vendors our brides and grooms select to execute the most important details of the most important day in their lives have a huge responsibility. We want to get it right, and that all starts with communication.
Whether you have no idea what you want for your wedding flowers or have every floral figured out down to the ones sprinkled on your cake, the first meeting with the florist is crucial. Not to worry. We’ve got the crib sheet for what to ask them below. This is one interview you’re certain to nail.
Are you available on my date? And how many weddings do you do over the weekend, anyway?
Before you start falling in love with a florist, make sure they can design for your date. There’s nothing worse than getting so caught up in their personality, the strength of their work, the images they show you, the shop itself and the lovely staff you’ve met on the way in that you’re crushed when you find out they can’t even do your wedding anyway. Make this your first question, quickly followed by, “Will mine be the only wedding you do that day?” You’re shooting for the answer to be a confident “Yes.”
Do you work with all budgets?
This question is about managing your expectations. Find out at the start if there’s a certain amount you have to spend to book the florist’s services, or if it’s fair game. Ask if there are packages, or if every wedding is customized. Get the skinny on the deposit and the final payment (and circle on your calendar when it is due!). Use this question as a launching pad to other fiscally-minded questions: Is there a delivery fee? Will you itemize my final bill? Are there any hidden costs (taxes, overtime charges, gratuities) that aren’t spelled out in the contract?
Who will be responsible for designing my floral arrangements, and will that person be on site on my wedding day?
The person you speak to about specific flower selection and arrangements (including every last detail related to number, size and placement) should be the one designing your florals. At the very least, that person should be at every meeting and made aware of every decision. You’ll also want them to be on site, directing an assistant if need be. Make sure you have a cellphone number for them, since they’ll be your point-person for everything related to flowers on your wedding day.
How do we decide on what flowers to use?
Whether you come in with a strong vision or not, you’ll want to be on the same page with your floral designer, style-wise. Ask about how substitutions are made and whether or not certain flowers would work better at your venue over others. Give the floral designer a chance to offer their considerable expertise when it comes to using seasonal flowers, working within your budget and favoring more cost-efficient blooms over others, if necessary.
Will you walk through the site with me and offer a floral preview of the designs beforehand?
Your floral designer should be willing to meet with you at your ceremony and reception sites (bonus points if they’ve worked one or both venues before). If you’d like to see a preview of a bouquet or a table design ahead of the wedding, make sure you get that expectation in the contract now.
When will you bring the flowers to the venue, and will you remove them?
Ideally, wedding flowers should be transported to the site as late in the game as possible to keep them fresh. Bouquets are often one of the last things to arrive in the bride’s room before she’s out the door and on her way to the altar (or for photographs). Make sure the florist uses a climate-controlled vehicle, too. Consider how your flowers will be removed from the venue, and if the florist will remove them, what will be done with them afterward. Do they offer bouquet preservation? Are the flowers re-purposed in any way?
What other floral-related items or decor do you offer, in addition to the flowers themselves?
Some florists provide altars, chuppahs and arbors, as well as candle votives, lanterns, string lights and upgraded containers. Make sure you understand what is available to you and what is not. Take advantage of your florist’s inventory.