How to Choose a Wedding Florist in 5 Steps

Knowing how to choose a wedding florist is the first step in having gorgeous florals for your big day. Let us walk you through picking the right florist for your wedding.

By Jennifer Prince

How to Choose a Wedding Florist: Everything You Need to Know
Photo by Zola

The First Look ✨

Flowers are one of the most beautiful parts of a wedding. Fluffy blooms add color, texture, and fragrance, while breathing life into your big day. From ceremony wedding flower arrangements to reception centerpieces, there are many floral decisions to make. And there’s one person who can help you stay on budget, incorporate your style, and choose blooms to enhance your wedding decor: your florist.

Your head may already be swirling with design ideas, but how do you pick a professional florist who can make your wedding day floral dreams come to life? We’ve got the scoop on everything you need to know about how to choose a wedding florist.

Picking a Wedding Florist FAQs

Should I Hire a Professional Wedding Florist?

Whether or not you should hire a professional wedding florist comes down to several key factors, including your wedding budget, type of wedding, and ideal floral arrangements. For example, if you have a green thumb and are planning a low-key wedding, you may not need to hire a florist for your big day. On the other hand, if you’re planning a large-scale wedding and have the money to do so, a professional florist can make your venue and decor very special. In the end, it’s for you to decide whether or not this is a priority.

What’s the difference between a florist and a wedding floral designer?

While these terms are often used interchangeably, they actually mean different things. Put simply, a florist is a professional who takes care of, arranges, and sells flowers and greenery. A floral designer, on the other hand, is a professional who decorates weddings, banquets, and similar events using flowers and other plants. That said, most wedding florists will refer to themselves as just that—wedding florists.

5 Steps to Choose the Best Wedding Florist

“No matter how you cut it, flowers are expensive, but using price as the determining factor for florist selection isn’t always the way to go,” says Kimberly Sisti, owner and lead designer at Sisti & Co in San Diego, California. Many considerations go beyond cost when you’re choosing a wedding florist.

1. Choose a Floral Designer That Fits Your Style

Some florists have perfected a style they are known for creating. Take the time to peruse their websites, scour their Facebook pages, and view their Instagram posts to get a feel of their design aesthetic. If you see what you envision for your wedding day, they may be the perfect floral designer for you.

“Select a florist that emulates your wedding style. Though many florists can design in a multitude of styles and enjoy the variety of work, we try to showcase our signature look,” says Sisti. “Review our website and Instagram profiles. Notice our use of color and the types of botanicals we use.”

Bron Hansboro, owner of The Flower Guy Bron in Richmond, Virginia, agrees that considering a florist’s design aesthetic is essential. “One of your top priorities should be making a connection with your potential florist’s design, voice, and style,” he says. “Go through their social media and their website to look at their recent work, and consider whether or not it matches up with your overall vision.” Matching styles is beneficial both to the couple and the florist.

2. Communicate Your Vision and Expectations

“Communication is paramount from the very beginning when seeking out the right florist,” says Cece Todd of CeCe Designs in Birmingham, Alabama. “You must make sure the florist both understands and articulates your vision.” However, for a floral designer to understand, the couple must communicate about their budget and design. “It’s our job as florists to be able to translate that vision into a visual product, and we only have one chance to get it right.”

As with any relationship, communication goes both ways. Be prepared with questions to ask a wedding florist, and open to what a potential florist is verbalizing. “If the florists aren’t hearing what you are saying, or you aren’t hearing what they are saying, that’s when disaster is imminent,” says Todd. Again, be honest and upfront when interviewing floral designers. Ultimately, it’s your wedding day, and your florist wants you to love every floral piece they provide.

3. Ask to See Previous Work

When perusing the social media accounts and websites of potential florists, keep in mind each event has a story. “A picture can mean a thousand different things to a thousand different people,” says Sisti. “It’s important to review a florists’ past work and keep in mind that we are sometimes given parameters to be creative.” Knowing how they handled past client issues will help determine their work process and what you may experience.

4. Set Your Budget

As with your other wedding vendors, it’s paramount that you select a florist that’s within your wedding budget. If you haven’t already, sit down with your partner and discuss how much money you’re willing to spend—not just in general, but on certain aspects of your special day. Settle on price ranges, if not specific numbers, you’re comfortable with. Then seek out a florist that fits into that range.

5. Consider the Size and Components

Like much of wedding planning, there are a few key things to consider when it comes to deciding on your wedding florist. Yes, your color scheme, wedding date, and favorite types of flowers, but also your wedding venue, wedding size, and most desired floral components. Do you want the classic bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces, or are you interested in more complex flower arrangements and wedding flower decorations, such as arches, instillations, and place cards? While aesthetic and past work is very important, prioritize a florists’ abilities and what they can offer.

How to Pick a Florist for Your Wedding Within Your Budget

If there’s one thing that couples get hung up on when looking for a wedding florist, it’s the cost. Granted, that’s a valid concern. Typically you shouldn’t spend half of your budget on florals unless you have an extremely high-dollar wedding. However, even high-end florists can work within your budget, so don’t rule someone out based solely on price. Here’s what to think about instead.

1. Determine What Percentage of Your Budget You Can Allot for Flowers

What you spend ultimately depends on how important flowers are to you as a couple. “If you kind of like flowers, expect it to be 15 percent of your budget, and if you like flowers, it will be 20 percent.”

She also suggests bucking the norms and adjusting your budget according to what you value. If fresh flowers are a top priority, then increase your floral budget by shaving a bit off of other costs. If you have a particular budget, share it with the floral designer—it’s their job to help you maximize it.

2. Consider What the Florist Utilizes in Their Arrangements and Bouquets

For couples who crave an unforgettable wedding day, that may come at a price. When viewing the work of a floral designer, look at the components that make up their pieces. “Is the florist using typical flowers that you see every day or a variety of things you’ve never seen before,” suggests Sisti. “Florists can paint with so many different blooms and plants, so keep in mind that the sheer variety of what they use might be more appealing than the cost.”

3. Factor in the Cost of Floral Setup and Cleanup

“It’s easy to reduce everything down to price, but you’re really missing out if you focus solely on cost,” says Hansboro. Instead, ask about the services your floral designer includes, such as placing centerpieces and cleaning up after the reception. “For example, if your florist simply drops off the flowers and does not take the time to style them, you’ll understand how the process and creative vision are worth the money,” says Hansboro.

You don’t want to be surprised by placing a wedding ceremony backdrop or enlisting groomsmen to hang a floral installation. “Many couples also don’t necessarily consider the smaller details that make their day much more seamless, such as cleaning up at the end of the day and uninstalling the floral structures,” says Hansboro.

4. Remember That You Usually Get What You Pay For

Although cost doesn’t always equal experience, it can be a reasonable determination of the type of service you’ll receive. “Cutting corners and selecting a florist based on the lowest price typically means you’re going to get the most inexperienced option. That is, someone who will not be prepared to give you what you want,” warns Todd. “It’s important to remember that skilled, experienced florists charge what they charge because they understand how much work goes into flawlessly executing a client’s vision.”

5. Find Out the Level of Service a Florist Offers

“Long story short, there’s value in service that a price can’t convey,” says Hansboro. “Many couples see a price tag and assume that they’re only paying for the florals themselves.” However, that simply isn’t the case. See if a prospective florist has a reputation for good service or if they are more hands-off. Find out if the florist offers follow up meetings, and how they want to be contacted with pending questions—and how often. “Talk to your designer and understand the service elements that are involved, that way, you can see how invaluable it is to have everything wrapped up in one package,” states Hansboro.

Zola: The Place for Knowing How to Choose a Wedding Florist

Choosing a wedding florist is the first step towards having a gorgeous wedding day. However, there are many other things to consider, and that’s where Zola can help. If you’re curious about the most popular wedding flower types or want to avoid making floral mistakes, Zola has all of the advice you need. There’s even specific advice, such as whether or not to toss your actual wedding bouquet at your reception. Trust Zola with all your needs, from the time you get engaged and build a registry to your final exit after your reception. Happy planning!

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