Choosing your Wedding Florist | Vendor Selection Tips
Updated: Apr 17
If you think of what items have the biggest impact on your wedding day and memories, flowers are right at the top of the list. Your flowers are in almost every picture, and play a part in the decor of every phase of your wedding. You can even use them for post-wedding events, or treat yourself to a special design for to commemorate the day once you return home. With all the incredible floral artists here in town, and a product that isn't as differentiated as some others in your planning process, the decisions can be overwhelming. But you can do this, and we're here with info to help, read on to find out more!
1. Think about what you want! It sounds basic and obvious, but you'd be surprised how many florists tell us that their couples don't know what they want when they come to a consultation. Having even the beginnings of a theme or design that you love will help when you interview your top florist choices. Whether you are meeting them in person or not, an easy way to do this is to create a Pinterest board. It doesn't have to be elaborate or super-detailed, just crawl through other people's boards for 5 minutes and add some pictures to your board that catch your eye. Then email your page to the designers you will be interviewing and let them go to work with what they might envision for you! You will be amazed at the different ideas they will come up, and you will quickly get a feel for what you like, what you don't, and who you will connect with about your evolving vision. If you are having a hard time even coming up with a short list, we have worked closely with Atmospheres Floral, The Flower Studio, and Bluegrass Chic over the years, so they are great places to start. Take a look at their websites, get some inspiration and ideas for what you may want to incorporate into your decor, and get a feel for whether a particular artist is a fit with your individual tastes. The floral community in Orlando is very supportive of each other, so if an artist isn't necessarily the best fit with your style, don't be afraid to ask for recommendations of other shops you can check out!
2. "Must-Have" items, and budgeting for them.
It's important to keep in mind your must-have flowers or design elements, and communicate them clearly when you interview the artists on your short list. Depending on your wedding date, some flower types may be out of season or harder to get, creating a higher price or even a need to substitute something else. Be realistic with them about your budget, and how much flex that budget has for them to work with when coming up with a proposal that includes those particular items. When your florists come back to you, be honest with them about what works for you and what parts you don't love. If they made a substitution that isn't going to work, consider asking about different options for your must-have flower, such as fabric or wood recreations that can then be accented by them with real flowers. If the cost is higher than you are comfortable with, consider trying to acquire or make some of the design elements yourself (we see this a lot with baskets, wooden boxes and other similar decor pieces), and then handing them off to your chosen artist to fill with their creations! The right artist will work hard to accommodate what you are envisioning within your budget, and the more information they have up front the better they can do with making that happen.
Fabric can be a gorgeous alternative if your chosen flower can't be found! Photo courtesy of MadOddities
3. Ask questions about installation!
It's easy to get caught up in choosing the flowers and designing all the decor pieces, and forget about the logistics of what's going to happen once it all gets to the venue. Installation is just as vital to your vision as the flowers themselves are, so it must be part of your discussions with your short list of artists. It's super important to be clear and precise about how you want the flowers displayed, so there is no miscommunication or disappointment on the big day. If you want overflowing baskets of flowers hanging above each table, make sure the artist has the equipment and expertise to make it happen (and that your venue allows for hanging from the ceiling too). Even if everything is pretty basic, like sashes on tables or flowers draped from a gazebo or arch, it's important to make sure the artist knows about it. They are licensed and insured to do that sort of work, and it isn't something that can be left to your planner or venue staff, as there is not enough time or people for them to do those tasks along with all the other setup that is required.
Hanging florals are gorgeous and dramatic, but require special installation!
4. The small touches, and re-purposing your floral elements!
While the big pieces are guaranteed to get the biggest wow, it can be the small details and thoughtful touches that make the most impact on your memories of your wedding, and your guests' experience. Special flowers for the cake table, or even floral pieces acting as decoration on the cake, are hugely popular and on trend right now. Customized corsages and boutonnieres for your family members can be a special way to say thank you for all the love they have provided over the years. If you have room in the budget or a smaller wedding party, you could even consider a small floral piece as a takeaway gift for your guests.
Another great trend in 2020 weddings is conservation of resources through re-purposing of floral elements throughout your wedding day. Not only is it socially and environmentally responsible, it's also a great way to save money in your floral budget. If you decide to have sashes along the chairs at the ceremony site, you can turn those into gift table decorations once the ceremony is over. Floral pots that line the ceremony aisle can have candles added to them to line your exit route at the end of the night. Again, ask the floral artists what they suggest for re-purposing as part of their proposal, they will have some great ideas that fit your theme.
Special touches can be added to your floral in all kinds of ways!