When first meeting with a new bride we get all sorts of questions, understandably so! For most brides, this is the biggest social event that have ever or will ever plan. When preparing for a consultation with a potential wedding florist there are a number of important questions that might not be on your radar to ask. We’ve got you covered! Keep reading for a rundown of what we think are the most vital questions that apply to every bride when selecting her wedding florist.
- Are the flowers I’m looking for in season at the time of the wedding? This is a question that every article on wedding flowers will advise you to think about but as it turns out the answer to the question might end up surprising you. The speed of shipping services has really changed the game in terms of floral availability. Peonies, quite possibly the most coveted wedding flower, were once know for their short growing season and limited availability. This isn’t the case any longer! While the price of those pretty blooms can fluctuate quite a lot depending on the time of the year, in many months it’s now possible for us to get our hands on them.
- How would you describe your style or aesthetic? If you found us like many brides do through social media then chances are you won’t need to ask this question because you’ve already seen oodles of examples of our work. But if you are a bride who has been referred to us by another wedding pro this might be a great question. Make sure that your style (and the style of your wedding) are in line with the look and aesthetic of the florist you choose. While we create custom designs for each of our brides we do have a definitive airy, organic look and feel that is overarching in our work and brides who have a similar aesthetic will be a great fit with us.
- Do you provide a visual of what style I can expect for my wedding florals? Booking wedding vendors who perform a service is hard because while you can look at past examples of their work, artistic style plays a big role in what you will actually receive from vendors like photographers or florists. At A Styled Fete we like to provide as many visuals as we can to help our brides understand the look and feel we plan to achieve in their design. Using images from other events can, of course, be a bit limiting when creating a new design and we don’t make direct copies of another designers work but these visuals help guide the discussion and aid our brides in feeling more informed. We provide two different types of visuals, a proposal moodboard, and a wedding lookbook. The proposal moodboard is a one page visual that accompanies our service proposal, we create this before a bride books with us to illustrate the aesthetic we would like to pursue. Later on in the process, when we’ve had a chance to dig a bit more into the details, we create a wedding lookbook that is a deeper dive into the color palette, blooms and individual elements of the big day. If you would like to know more about the types of visuals we provide check out this post about November 2018 bride Maya’s proposal mood board.
- Do you take more than one wedding per day? Ask your potential florist what kind of capacity they take on and decided if that level of service is what you’re looking for. Larger shops can, of course, accommodate a larger volume than smaller studios but do think in advance about which type of experience you desire. At ASF we only take on one wedding a weekend. It’s very important to us to serve each bride to our fullest and for us that means focusing on her and only her the weekend of her wedding.
- What happens if I need to make a change to my order after the contract is signed? Many florists are happy to make an adjustment to your floral order during the planning process, but be sure to ask what their policy is on this. We allow brides to make additions to her order up until a month out from the big day when we need to place her order with our floral suppliers.
- Do you offer a venue walkthrough? This is another question that is depended on the level of service that you desire from a wedding florist. Not a lot of floral studios offer an on-site venue walkthrough meeting as a part of their floral services. This is something that we love to do and think is really important to the process of creating a cohesive event. For each of our brides, we all head to the venue together to talk about the space in the space and we find that our brides really value this service. You can read more about why we include a venue walkthrough with all of our floral and design services here.
- What happens to my flowers after the wedding?You’ve just spent a healthy chunk of the budget on all of those pretty flowers, but what on earth are you going to do with them after the wedding? Ask your florist how they handle the end of the night teardown and what the possibilities are for the blooms after their big day.
- Are you insured? This is a question brides almost never ask, but it’s really very important! Many venues even make it a requirement that couples book vendors who are insured so do check your venue contract for this clause and ask any potential florist if they are. Choosing a florist who is insured gives you peace of mind that you are hiring a professional and that if something were to happen the liability won’t fall on you. At ASF we sure are insured and are happy to work with your venue to file our current documentation- something that no bride wants to worry about from a logistics perspective.
- Do you have a floral minimum? So many wedding floral designers do have a minimum but new brides often aren’t familiar with this idea so they don’t know to ask. A floral minimum is an amount you must spend with them on florals alone in order to book their services. The main reason for having a minimum is to ensure cohesive quality and an amazing aesthetic on your big day. Here at A Styled Fete, we do have a minimum for a full wedding floral design but we also offer an a la carte option for brides who just need personals (bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages).
- Is my budget realistic for the types and quantity of pieces that I’ve asked for? Brides who are unfamiliar with the floral word have a hard time setting a budget for their wedding day florals. Often they turn to wedding planning advice from blogs like The Knot or Wedding Wire who provide budget guidelines for brides. The danger in looking at these types of articles is that they are based on national averages and don’t take into account the style of your wedding, your guest count, the number of pieces you are looking for and where you live- all of which play a big role in determining how much your floral bottom line. A better way to set your floral budget is to look at what the floral minimum is at a handful of different studios in your area. The minimum is a good indication of what a typical bride in the area spends. If those numbers are way more than your budget will allow it might be time to scale back and think outside of the box and look at your DIY options.
- What is your delivery, set up and teardown fee? Brides often don’t know that in addition to the floral pieces themselves additional services like delivery, set-up, and end of the night tear down will be added on to their floral total. If you are just looking for bouquets the charge may be reduced to a simple delivery fee but for a full wedding with centerpieces and installations to expect that setup and teardown will be a part of your order. Depending on your floral design, and the amount of time the venue allows for set up, it can take an army of florists to complete the setup process because large-scale pieces like floral installations (think ceremony arches and mantel decor) often need to be constructed primarily on site
- What about sales tax? Another line item that brides don’t always expect to see is good-old sales tax. While this is different for every state it’s a great question to ask. For example, we are based in Pennsylvania and our PA brides do pay sales tax on their order but we also do a number of weddings in Delaware and since that state doesn’t have sales tax DE brides won’t see that on their order total.
- What is your payment schedule? It’s always helpful to know when to expect to be paying for the services your booking! Every florist will have a different schedule when they like to receive payments. Do expect that upon signing you will be asked to pay a retainer to reserve your booking. After that, each florist will handle things differently. Do expect to pay your balance in full prior to the wedding. At ASF we break down the payments into three to five installments depending upon the length of your planning timeframe and final payments are due to us one month prior to the wedding.
- How can I pay? Just as important as when to pay is how you can do so. Some florist will only accept checks and others offer more options. We like to keep things convenient for our brides (I know I can’t remember the last time I wrote an actual check!) and we accept all the major credit cards or a bank transfer because it’s easier for everyone involved.
- Do you offer advice on other elements of the wedding decor beyond flowers? Most florists offer a whole lot more than just flowers. Ask what other services yours provides, common things are full design services, rentals, and signage. We love to make a celebration as cohesive as possible so we offer several different design services that ensure our brides have a consistent aesthetic on the wedding day, you can read more about what we offer here.
Hopefully, after reading through these questions you’re feeling a bit more prepared to take on those floral consultations. Most importantly make sure to select a florist who you connect with and trust- this above all else will ensure that absolutely love your design on the big day.
Do the services we offer at A Styled Fete sound appealing? If so we would love to hear from you! We’re nearly booked up for 2018 weddings and are in full swing booking 2019 celebrations- contact us soon to reserve your date on our wedding calendar.
Photo: Heather Baker Photography