Unfortunately I can't advise on all of your decisions but I can guide you through choosing a good florist, and what to look out for!..
As a general rule of thumb you should be looking to book your florist about a year (or as close as) in advance. The best florists tend to get snapped up by super organised people, so get in early and book a consultation. Remember consultations should be no obligation. A florist cannot hold you to any agreement before a deposit is taken to secure the date.
Try to have in mind a good idea of your perfect flower choice or at least colour. If you go to a consultation with this in mind it is far easier for the florist to decipher the perfect design for you. Without it, it could turn into an hour of guessing what it is you like. Try to collect images of arrangements you like. Pinterest (an online pin board) is an amazing way of doing this!
When you meet with potential florists you will know when you have found the perfect match for you as their passion for flowers and design will shine through. I get excited by the thought of all new commissions and fresh challenges, and when a Bride comes to me with a more unusual colourway or theme my design skills get tested and for me thats exciting. I love to meet new Brides and combine their ideas into something they'll love. If your florist looks bored or distracted during your consultation its a sign they may not be the florist for you.
The finer details
...they say a lot! The first point of call is usually their website. This is the tool us floral designers use to advertise what we can do and how we view things. The look of their website says an awful lot... it reflects their work. I spent hours with the lovely (and patient) Kaitie at Leaff design (my design company) thinking through the layout and concept of my website, logo, promotional cards and teeny tiny details... I care so much about what things look like and if they aren't 100% perfect I'm not 100% happy. If you look at your potential florist's websites and it looks like an 'it'll do' job, this could be an attitude to their work.
Have in mind a realistic maximum amount you want to spend on your wedding day flowers - this will remove any unpleasant shocks when you get your quote through. The average wedding flower spend is around 10% of your overall wedding budget. - a £20,000 wedding ought to think about a £2,000 flower fund and so on! If you have a smaller budget have a realistic list of requirements. In these cases stick to the main components - Bridal and bridesmaids bouquets, buttonholes and perhaps a top table arrangement. This will keep the quality that wedding flowers should have yet keep the budget small enough!
Enjoy the process
Remember that planning a wedding should be an enjoyable experience too! Flowers are a joy and can't fail to make someone happy. Do not let it stress you out. The correct florist for you should make the whole process as enjoyable as possible for you... they should listen carefully and go out of their way to give you what you want (or as close to it as possible). Unfortunately we can't magic up Peonies in April or give you Lily of the Valley in November but we can think through the best possible alternatives that will make you happy!
I do hope this little post helps. If you are planning a wedding and would like to know a little more information or to even book a consultation please do get in touch... We would love to hear from you!
With thanks to:
- The stunning venue design with the crystal chandelier and copious amounts of flowers - as featured in Kirsten Newman Designs blog.
- The infinity lantern row - sourced from Pinterest.
- Simply elegant and simply perfect invitation set - sourced from Pinterest and featured on 4bp blogspot.
- Gorgeous heart of Roses - featured on Cool Picture Gallery.