‘You will never spend as much on flowers again in your life, as you do on your Wedding Day’
Now that’s a sobering thought and choosing a wedding florist is a decision that could have a major influence on everything going to plan and looking perfect on your Wedding day. So where do you start when, for example, a Google search ‘Wedding Flowers Bristol’ turns up over 170 possible results in our area!
Don’t panic…Here are some tips to help you narrow the field….
1. Choosing a Wedding Florist : Making a shortlist
Recommendations from Friends: This is an obvious starting point. If a friend has good things to say about a wedding florist then put them on your shortlist. Be aware some florists won’t travel far from their home base and others are only in their ‘comfort zone’ on smaller weddings. Make sure the weddings are comparable in size & locality. Tip: Specialist wedding florists like ourselves will travel greater distances if a job is economically viable. We work in an area extending from Bristol, across the Cotswolds and into London and down across the South-West
Websites and Pinterest: A goldmine of information on all aspects of wedding planning and established sites such as Rock My Wedding and Love My Dress provide an abundance of ‘current trends & styling ideas’, along with a recommended list of suppliers. Tip: When browsing images on sites (especially Pinterest) make sure the images are the florists own work. It’s very easy to ‘Pin’ other florist’s work on your Board. We tend to watermark all our images with ‘The Wilde Bunch’to show ownership and deter others from using them. If in any doubt don’t be afraid to ask a florist directly.
Venue Recommendations: Popular venues see a lot of florists and will often recommend a favourite. Tip: Be aware that some venues take a fee from suppliers to put them on a ‘Recommended List’. Listen to the advice but then visit a florist’s site and make your own judgment.
Floristry Awards: Be a little wary of these too. Some are quite genuine while others are awarded only to those who have paid for advertising or paid to be included on a shortlist. Tip: As above, keep an open mind when choosing a wedding florist and base a decision on images of their work.
Specialist Wedding Florists: Floristry businesses come in all shapes and sizes from Shops, doing a bit of everything, to Specialist Wedding & Event florists. Weddings are labour intensive and time consuming. The advantage of using a specialist is the commitment to you on the day. There is no shop to rush back to. Tip: Establish that an experienced florist will be on hand for any last minute adjustments and that the placement of designs on tables and ‘turnarounds’ are not being left to the waitresses or venue staff.
2. Ways to narrow your shortlist down
Availability: Obvious but crucial. It could be some of your shortlisted florists are already booked up on the date. Tip: January to March is historically the busy time for meetings for the coming year. By June/July The Wilde Bunch are usually heavily booked for the following year as well. If you leave it until the last minute you may be lucky but it’s a gamble, especially if you are hoping to have one of the top florists in your area.
Venue Knowledge: Has the florist already worked at the venue? Not essential but useful. If not, are they prepared to meet you at a new venue (budget & economic viability permitting)
Are the Consultations Free? : In our view they should be. If a florist’s designs are good and they are priced sensibly they should be confident in their ability to win jobs. If they feel they have to charge at this stage for fear of not getting the work…Well… draw your own conclusions!!
Design Flexibility : When choosing a wedding florist bear in mind top florists are designers and like artists you are commissioning their work. A good florist will work with you all the way to bring your dreams to life. Tip: If you feel you are being limited by pre-packaged designs then walk away. There are plenty of florists out there who will work with your ideas. So make sure you get exactly what you want and not what someone wants to sell you.
Floral Props: If you have a theme in mind and you’ve created your own Pinterest boards then pass the ‘link’ to your shortlist of florists and find out if;
- They have the props required to create the design, and
- They have the confidence / technical skills to design to the level you require
3. Choosing a Wedding Florist : The first meetings
So you’ve got to the meeting stage. How do you make that final and all-important decision in choosing a wedding florist most suited to your Big Day? Well here’s a quick list of things you should bring to a meeting
Bring your Personality: It may sound daft but it’s top of our list for a reason. A good florist has to understand the person in front of them. Are you adventurous and looking for cutting edge… ‘never seen before’… designs? Or are you looking for something more traditional with style and elegance? Don’t be modest…it’s your Big Day and we want to get it spot on.
Details of your Venue / Number of Guests : If a church needs decorating along with the venue let the florist know. The number of guests equates to the number of table centres for costing.
Pictures of your Dress: Lets see pictures of that lovely dress or swatches. It’s not just the colour, the style gives us another little insight of your personality.
Favourite Colours: Don’t panic if you are still undecided on a ‘theme’ as this is part of the fun in the design stage but if you have favourite colours let the florist know. They can form the basis of a palette.
Pinterest Images or Designs that ‘Float your Boat’: They don’t have to fit perfectly together in a ‘Grand Design’ that’s our job. Just show us what you like.
Favourite Flowers: Not essential, but if you have favourites let the florist know. Even if they are not in season any self-respecting florist will be able to offer very similar alternatives.
An Idea of Budget: Arghh, left it to last, but there’s no getting away from it. The Wilde Bunch ethos is ‘Let us design to the max with no holds barred. Lets create something wonderful and you can rein us in if necessary’. The great thing with floral design is that there are always alternatives. It’s often possible to create the ‘effect’ and keep it to a budget so why compromise on all those wonderful ideas at this early stage. Saying that, even we need a ‘Ball-Park’ figure as there are obviously huge differences in the design spec on a job of £600 compared to one over £2000.
Now, meetings over…It’s decision time…
4. So what are the key points you should you be looking for when choosing a Wedding Florist?
- Did you feel that the florist in front of you really had an understanding of your vision?
- Did you ‘hit it off’ in terms of design ideas and most importantly are you excited by the designs put forward?
- Do you feel the design is unique to you?
Ability to Deliver:
- Are you confident this florist has the technical ability to deliver the designs?
- Are they flexible enough to deliver exactly what you want
A Good Working Relationship
- Put bluntly…Did you like them? Hey..It’s not essential, but it sure makes things easier…The old adage ‘Love me for what I do, not for who I am’ can go a long way if a designer is really good.
- Do you trust them to deliver
If the answers to all the above are ‘Yes’ then go for it…you’ve just succeeded in choosing a wedding florist
5. Decision Made, What Happens Next?
Deposits: Normally a wedding florist will ask for a deposit to reserve the date in their diary. We ask for 20% which is non-refundable. If you cancel we will have lost the date as well.
Final Payments: The balance is paid prior to the flower order being placed with suppliers, which is usually a week or so before the wedding date.
Tick the Box for Flowers Sorted: Now what comes next…Photographer, Entertainment, invitation cards, place names, table plans…Arghhh… Stay strong it’s all worth it in the end!!
Further related ‘Wedding Planning’ Tutorials by The Wilde Bunch
- ‘Getting the most from your wedding flower budget’ If choosing a wedding florist is stage one then this is the next step. Loads of valuable Hints & Tips to get the biggest ‘wow’ from your budget. What to focus on and what to avoid.
- ‘Using ‘Pinterest’ Boards as a tool to Create Unique Wedding Flower themes’ : A tutorial on ‘How to…’ create the kind of boards top florists like ourselves love to see. A real aide to ensuring you get flowers, completely unique to your personality, whatever your wedding flower budget.
- A Case Study : Wedding Flower Designs : Here we look at a wedding from Summer 2015 and show you how the flower planning and budgeting works on an actual wedding