In The HOT Seat: Aaron Vieri, Flowers of Winter Park "Aaron, What tips would you give brides that are starting the florist search?"
Are the flowers I want available in those colors?
Are they in season?
What is the expense for a peony? Rose? Hydrangea?
Let’s begin with choosing the florist for your wedding. Do your research! You usually will hear about a great florist from a friend or perhaps experienced someone’s work at a wedding you attended. Call or email the florist to set up an appointment. Once it’s time to meet with your floral designer, bring pictures, sashes, or even a color palette of the flowers you are interested in. These tips will make the meeting process easier and more fun because your florist will get an idea of what you are looking for and the idea you want to portray.
In your first meeting, make sure to ask to see photos of their previous wedding work. This will ensure the capabilities of your florist. Feel out the vibe the florist gives you. If your florist pays attention to your wants and needs, you are probably in good hands.
If your florist says your choices are no good, not available, or out of season, without giving you options; perhaps take a second look elsewhere.
Your florist should make you feel comfortable. They should aid your ideas and expand them with a professional touch. Never let a florist take over. Remember, it’s about blending your vision with theirs to create a unique event. If the flowers you seek are not in season, make sure you’re given options that can be substituted and yet create a similar look. Be realistic about your wants and needs in terms of your wedding budget. Mention to your florist you have a specific total budget and they will work it out with you. You do not need to spend an exorbitant amount of money to create the florals for your wedding as long as you are realistic. A small centerpiece can still be beautiful and create a statement.
When you do receive a proposal from your florist, ensure that you have details of everything from the flowers that will be used, colors , rental items, and that delivery/setup/strike are mentioned. This will help eliminate a miscommunication.
Once you made the decision to book your florist make sure you or your coordinator keep constant contact. If you were recommended a florist, like their work, and you click well – book them. If you wish to shop around, pick the floral designer that gives you options and a good price. A few tips from a professional:
1- Take consideration that some of your wedding colors may not have a “perfect match” in flowers. However consider creating some contrast with coordinating flower colors to mix and match.
2- If your big day is going to be outdoors in the middle of summer (you might think it is crazy bit it really happens!) make sure your florist gives you the best choices for a hot summer day. Your look should be unique, but not wilting in the heat. Select long lasting blooms.
3- Sometimes brides react with a laugh, and say, “that’s too much” or “that’s outrageous.” I’d like to provide the behind the scenes reasons why your floral budget may have you bummed. First, many brides do not take into consideration the “labor” of their project. Brides see a bouquet in the magazine and they think they’re paying for some blooms and that’s it. Unfortunately, sometimes preparation for a wedding can takes hours and even days. Take this into consideration when you see the bottom line. Perhaps ask your florist how much labor will be required to pull together your dream wedding and be understanding if you have a unique design. Most florists will also charge a delivery and setup fee to ensure the floral pieces are perfectly in place and ready for the big show. They also may be on site to accurately move ceremony décor to the reception. If you do the math, think of what you save by reusing flowers. Any florist that will not move flowers isn’t interested in your business. Many of your items are not purchased either. Rentals account for much of a centerpiece or ceremony setup. Vases, candles, accessories are things that are rented, while the flowers can be removed at the end of the evening to share with guests.