20 Questions for your florist.
We realise that choosing a florist for your big day is an important decision. Because of this we strive to give you the best advice on what flowers and displays will work with your dress, venue and theme. Below are a set of questions (taken from wedding magazine) that you can ask and discuss with us. Rest assured that if we are already aware of them we can understand your requirements much better! x
1. Which flowers will suit the style of my big day?
Whether you’re going for a modern or a traditional look, your choice of flowers should suit the style of your wedding. The expertise of your florist is vital here, so make sure he or she understands the atmosphere you want to create, so they can suggest flowers to match your vision. At your first consultation with your florist, take along any ideas you have and pictures of your dress and the bridesmaid dresses, so they can build up a detailed picture of your day.
Our aim with every client is to perfectly match their choice of flowers to the dresses, colours, theme and venue. By taking you through each option and presenting our ideas with examples of our past work and inspiration from magazines, books and the internet we can perfectly compliment every aspect of your wedding day with our flowers, displays and finishing touches. We will also advise you on what flowers are in season when your wedding is and how to best accommodate your budget.
2. Have you worked at my wedding venue before?
If your florist is familiar with your venue, they’ll know which arrangements work best. If they’ve never worked at the location, ask if they’d be prepared to take a tour with you so they can get a feel for the place. Bear in mind that some venues will only allow you to use their own florist, so check before you set your heart on going with a particular person.
Of course if we haven’t worked at a venue before we will gather as much information regarding it’s layout, decor and what flowers work best before we finalise our designs. We often like to arrange our free consultation at your venue in order to work more closely with you and the staff in order to make your dream wedding come true with ease.
3. Can I see examples of your work?
Looking through a florist’s portfolio is a good way to get an idea of the style of work they produce. However, it’s even better to see real samples of their work. Watch out for their attention to detail – are the flowers totally fresh and is the ribbon binding the bouquet stems tight enough? This level of care is vital and will make all the difference to the flowers on your big day.
We believe the examples on our website perfectly illustrate our technique and attention to detail. However, we also know that sometimes unless you can see something in the flesh it’s hard to visualise your bouquet. On such occasions we can make sample bouquets from your chosen flowers (if in season at the time) so you can fully understand our vision.
4. Can you advise me about which colour scheme to choose?
This largely comes down to personal preference, but your flowers should also co-ordinate with your venue. For example, if your venue has a distinctive red carpet you’ll probably want to shy away from choosing bright pink flowers. If you’re undecided, white is a safe bet as you’ll have a huge range of flowers to choose from, and it’s a classic choice.
We take every part of your day into consideration when presenting our ideas to you. Via research beforehand on the internet, from our past clients and illustrations from books we can present to you a number of ideas and colour schemes for consideration. Even better, if you can create a mood board with your ideas and inspirations beforehand (no matter how simple) it gives us a fantastic starting point.
5. Which flowers will be in season on my wedding date?
Locally grown, seasonal flowers are always better value and of a higher quality than those shipped in from abroad. The time of year you’re getting married will therefore determine the flowers that will be available. For example, if you’ve got your heart set on lily of the valley, don’t get married in September as this delicate flower is only available for a few weeks in May and June. If the flowers you want aren’t available, your florist should be able to suggest similar alternatives.
From experience we can say what will work well at various times of the year. Sometimes, weddings fall on the edge of your favourite flower’s seasonality and if that is the case we will always suggest a backup plan should your chosen flower not be available. It is also important to consider your budget, as flowers will be more expensive when they are out of season.
6. Which flowers and arrangements are popular at the moment?
If it’s important that your flowers are the height of fashion, check that your florist is hot on the latest trends. If they have the latest issue of our sister magazine Wedding Flowers to hand, you can rest assured your florist is as style-savvy as you are.
We are constantly scouring the internet for the latest trends and ideas. By following lots of blogs and Facebook pages we are often right on the cutting edge of hot flower trends. Indeed, sometimes we even start new ones! By visiting local flower shows we also get to see arrangement trends in the flesh for the coming year.
7. What bouquet shape would you suggest to suit my dress?
A good florist will have images of the most popular bouquet styles, from trailing shapes to neat hand-tied posies. The one you choose should complement your figure and the shape of your dress. If you’re unsure of the best style for you, ask your florist’s advice and try holding a few samples to see which feels the most comfortable.
If you can bring a picture of your dress to your consultation this will give us the best possible information on what will and won’t work. However, if a picture is unavailable our experience, design eye and sense of style will enable us to build a perfect mental image just from your description. Our style is at the heart of what we do.
8. Can you transport my ceremony flowers to the reception venue?
Altar displays, pew-ends and other ceremony displays can often be re-used very effectively at the reception, and doubling up like this is a great way to save money. Ask if this will work with your wedding flowers and, if so, make sure there’s a firm plan in place for transporting them.
Philosophy Flowers offer a full delivery service to both the venue, church and bride and grooms respective pre wedding locations. All our buttonholes are individually labelled with who they are for and we always carry spare flowers and tools to ensure our displays look perfect once delivered and in place.
9. Will you be designing your flowers or will it be one of your team?
If you’ve built up a rapport with a particular florist during the consultation and are confident you’re on the same â€¨wavelength, you’ll want to ensure they actually design the flowers and deliver them on your big day. If they can’t guarantee this, ask to meet with the rest of the team.
Philosophy Flowers are a 2 person flower team. Both Rebecca and Sarah are fully qualified and will work on your displays together. We also deliver the flowers to each location ensuring that set-up and any necessary repairs can be carried out, we thoroughly enjoy delivering the brides bouquet and soaking up the pre-wedding excitement.
10. Will you do a mock-up of my chosen arrangements?
Your florist may provide this service at no extra cost, but be prepared to be charged a fee. You should do this close enough to the date of your wedding so you can try the bouquet with your dress, while leaving enough time to make any necessary changes.
No requests from a client is too large or small. We are fully prepared to do mock ups if required, these could sometimes also be done using silk flowers so that you have a permanent memento to take away of your wedding day.
11. Can I pop along to see you set up at your next wedding?
Without doubt, the best way to judge a florist’s work is to see it in real life, so ask your florist if you can have a sneaky peek at the finished ceremony or reception venue before the wedding party arrives. Seeing their designs in situ and getting a glimpse of how a florist works under pressure will be the perfect way to make your final decision.
This isn’t a problem from our point of view but we will need to seek permission from our client and the venue beforehand. However, there’s a good chance that you might be viewing venues around the same time so you could kill two birds with one stone!
12. Are you doing flowers for another wedding on the same date?
If your florist has a big team, then working on another wedding shouldn’t be a problem. But if you’d prefer one-to-one attention, it’s definitely worth checking.
As a team of two, Philosophy Flowers never undertake more than one wedding at a time. It’s important to us that our undivided attention be given to you and your special day.
13. Can you suggest ways for me to stick to my budget?
A good florist should know how to produce designs you can afford, rather than insisting you spend more. Ask them to give you a detailed quotation at an early stage so you can negotiate where necessary.
We will never try to convince you into spending more than you need to. From our own experience we know that weddings are expensive occasions and as such we strive to give you the best possible service and displays for your allocated budget. We will talk you through using seasonal flowers, ways to adapt your ideas and hints and tips we have discovered ourselves to ensure that you have jaw-dropping arrangements within budget on your big day.
14. Are there any hidden costs?
When asking for your quotation, make sure your florist includes any extras such as travel expenses, vase rental, ribbons, VAT and so on. Also ask if you will be charged for any breakages.
All our costs will be fully itemised on our final agreed quotation. Of course any breakages will be included if we supply glassware etc. but we hand on heart say you won’t find anything lurking in the small print. If our costs escalate (flower prices vary) after we have been paid our final settlement this is something we take the hit on not you.
15. When will the flowers be delivered?
It’s important to talk about timings and addresses of where you want your flowers delivered. Is there a maximum distance they will travel? If you want your bouquet and buttonholes delivered to different locations, make this clear.
As discussed above we will ensure we deliver your flowers to each venue and location. Timings can be stressful on the big day but we pride ourselves on having all the relevant information from you, well in advance, so that we can liaise directly to deliver to each location and leave the bride and groom to enjoy their morning.
16. How long do you need to decorate the venue?
Your florist may need access to your ceremony and reception venues much earlier than anyone else. If they plan to assemble large arrangements at the venue, it’s also a good idea to ask if they’d like an allocated room or space of their own, well away from where your other suppliers might be setting up.
Depending on your arrangements it could be anything from an hour to 2 or 3. Of course, we don’t let you worry about this and always speak to your wedding co-ordinator at the venue beforehand to arrange timings and ensure we have access to anything we need.
17. Will you collect any vases or equipment after the wedding?
Not many florists will want to hang around until midnight to dismantle your arrangements and cart their vases off, so make sure you confirm collection times. There is a possibility you will have to arrange to return any vases or equipment yourself.
By and large we collect all our vases and displays the next day. However, we really feel that if the displays allow we like your guests, friends and family to take them as a memento. If this is required we can arrange to come and dismantle, arrange and wrap each display so they can be presented to friends and family. After all you have paid for them!
18. When should I sign off my final flower order?
Most florists will want the order confirmed six weeks before the big day.
We can agree a time scale for your final sign off on an individual basis. We know that sometimes the best laid plans have to change!
19. How close to the wedding can I change my order?
If you have a sudden change of heart after confirming your order, you need to know whether your florist is prepared to amend the designs and how much it will cost. Imported blooms will be more difficult to cancel at short notice.
Obviously the more you change then this can have a dramatic knock on effect for the rest of your displays and flowers. Changes can normally be accommodated up until we place your order with the flower market. This is normally 1 to 2 weeks before your big day. Small changes may be possible once the main order is placed but that depends on availability and how close we are to your wedding. But we always try to help in every possible way to make your flowers perfect.
20. When and how do I pay?
Payment methods vary, so discuss details with your florist. Most require a deposit, with the remainder due a week before the big day.
We require a 25% deposit on booking us as your florist, this ensures that the date is confirmed for you and we will not take any other bookings for that date. We will then agree your final quotation with you requiring the remaining balance on or before three weeks prior to your wedding date. If some changes are required up to a week before the wedding date we will then discuss any overcharges or monies due as appropriate.