Questions to Ask your Floral Designer

Wedding Flowers by Floral ArtistryHiring a floral designer is probably the second most important aspect to the decor of your destination wedding (falling second only to the bridal party attire).  The floral arrangements are what take the colors of your bridal party attire and marry them to the naturally beautiful colors of your destination wedding and reception location (or create the appropriate colors in boring/drab reception locations!).  The bouquets, table arrangements, and floral accents create the “look” of your wedding and helps set the appropriate mood.  As you set out to find the florist that can make your destination wedding dreams reality, it’s important you prepare ahead of time so that your wedding planning will go as smooth as possible.  Let’s get started…

Meeting with Potential Floral Designers:
As you meet with potential floral designers in the area near your wedding, it’s important you come prepared to talk details!  When Kelly and I interviewed potential florists for our Sanibel Island destination wedding, we had already done our homework to make the most of our time with each florist.  In our preparations, we came with a list of questions so that later we could compare each floral designer against each other.  Based on our experience, we do have a few tips that may help make it easier when meeting with potential florists for your Sanibel Island destination wedding:

  • Know your color scheme:  Make sure to take swatches of the fabrics in your bridesmaids dresses, as it will help the floral designer choose colors and give you an idea of how those colors will look together.  Both our potential florists got immediately busy in our interview putting combinations of flowers together to display their “vision” and “artistic style.”  This was helpful!
  • Do your research beforehand:  Search for different types of flowers and bouquets via the Internet or magazines.  If you find pictures of flowers or bouquets in the style or colors you like, be sure to bring the photos to show the floral designer.
  • Make sure the floral designer truly understands you:  Make sure you feel comfortable that your potential florist fully understand the style and theme of your wedding.  Ask if they have suggestions for flowers, accents, etc that you may not have considered.  One florist we considered (and subsequently hired) recommended use of a tray with sand & shells to hold our placecards.  We hadn’t thought of this, but it turned out great (yes, those are shells holding each place card):

Placecard Holders by Floral Artistry

NOTE:  We interviewed two florists in person, after eliminating a few other florists via phone calls.  We ended up choosing Floral Artistry as the florist for our beach wedding and reception, as they were able to successfully articulate Kelly’s concept for theme and color, and were a great balance of price and convenience.  The ladies at Floral Artistry made it a point that we knew they were nearby to the venue and could easily run back to the shop should there be any problems, issues, and/or additional requirements that we came up with on-the-spot.  We give them a huge thumbs up for the great work they did!

Get the Details!
When you meet with the floral designers, don’t be afraid to sit down and go through as much detail as you can.  It is important to know that they understand what you want for color, design, and style/theme.  When Kelly and I interviewed our potential florists, we came armed with the following list of questions.  Hopefully they can help you find the right floral designer for your southwest Florida destination wedding!

  1. Is your particular wedding date open?
  2. Are they familiar with your wedding ceremony and reception venues/location?  How many weddings have they done at the particular venues?
  3. How long have they been in the business?  How many weddings have they done?
  4. How many weddings and/or events will be scheduled on the same day as your ceremony/reception?
  5. Who will be doing the arrangements for your wedding day?  What is their “design style?”
  6. Can they provide photographs and/or examples of recent work (particularly from the floral artist that will be arranging your wedding)?
  7. Can they work within your budget?  What recommendations can they provide to help you fit within your budget?
  8. What flowers are in season during the date of your wedding?
  9. Based on your budget and color scheme, what flowers would the floral artist recommend?
    1. Can they recreate a particular bouquet or style based on pictures you provide?
  10. What are the different types of wraps they can use on your bouquet(s)?
    1. Will they provide vases which can be used to hold your bouquet(s) during wedding prep and/or be used to display the bouquets during the reception?
  11. What are some options for coordinating flowers for the bridesmaids, groomsmen, mothers, grandmothers, etc?   Can they suggest anything special to coordinate with your color scheme, theme, or season?
  12. Can they provide additional decorative items for rent or purchase?  What do they cost?
    1. Archways and Aisle Runners
    2. Candle holders and votives
    3. Decorative Shells
    4. Mirrors
    5. Placecard tables (such as our “sandbox”)
  13. Will they provide sketches or “mock-ups” of their design ideas before you sign the contract?
  14. How far in advance of the wedding will the arrangements be made?  How will they be stored?
  15. Is there a charge for delivery, setup, teardown, etc?
  16. Will the florist provide a detailed list of everything that will be provided, the charges for each item, and any other items which are discussed?
  17. When can you expect the florist to provide a copy of their contract, terms, and conditions?
  18. What are the terms of payment?  Is there a deposit required, and if so how much?  When is the final balance due?
  19. What is the refund and cancellation policy?
Some Useful Accessories:
While planning our own wedding, we found some useful accessories to help with decorations in the most unlikely places.  Look at various craft stores, Sam’s Club (or bulk stores), and even Amazon.  
NOTE:  You can also find a number of useful decorating accessories, planning kits, and more in our Amazon Store.  Click on the Wedding Store tab above!!

Anything to Add?

If you’ve recently been planning your own wedding, feel free to leave comments if you have any tips to add to the list.  Future destination wedding brides will appreciate your candor and suggestions!

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