You have dreamed of this moment practically most of your life or could not imagine yourself in a committed relationship, yet one day, you begin to leave an extra toothbrush at his place and not much afterwards, you know it isn’t a temporary thing!
In time you make a promise to each other, discuss future living arrangements, even find a perfect setting to celebrate your nuptials!
Congratulations! May your union be blessed with love.
Now let’s talk FLOWERS!!
Selecting a floral event team or a florist that will carry your vision or theme throughout the day is next! Sounds easy, right?
Until you realize there are a trillion flowers available and even more tiny details that you could not have dreamed of within your lifetime! How do you spell “boutonniere” anyway?
1. Do your research. Most reputable floral designers will have a website with their work creatively displayed! Surf around for someone with the same style or that has documented work at the venue you have chosen.
2. Ask. Recently married friends, the catering manager/bridal consultant at your chosen location make a great start. While some venues work exclusively with only select vendors, others may recommend a list of local florists or event teams in the area and are more than willing to dish their thoughts on their favorite designers.
3. Call ahead and make an appointment. Do not just drop by a working studio (while they should be courteous) and expect their full attention (as they are working on someone else’s big day) poking around about pricing and other details. Be respectful of someone else’s turn.
4. Set up a Pinterest account, if you do not have one already. Select pins that reflect your taste. This is a great way to show your floral team what your interests and preferences are.
5. Be organized. Schedule a bridal consultation. Prepare a list of questions. Bring a notepad and pen to the appointment as well as swatches, photographs and possibly a smart device with your pinterest account. Most florists will not charge for the meeting, while some may remove the fee if you book with them. It is usually a 45 to 60 minute session. It is best to come with a partner, parent or cherished friend (for support and an extra pair of ears) but careful of having an entourage, it can be very distracting to you and more confusing when selecting your flowers.
6. Know your budget. Plan this in advance with your partner and share this information with your design team/florist at your initial consultation, so there are no surprises or disappointments when the estimates come rolling in. While some floral designers have a minimum cost for wedding flowers, others are willing to work within a smaller budget and will not require a minimum.
7. Check it out. Find out if the florist or team has a future wedding scheduled at the venue where you plan to marry, so that you may see the room dressed up and their work displayed. Clear this with management, while most sites are accommodating, they do tend to have specific rules, so please be polite and give them a ring to let them know of your intentions.
8. Does the early bird catch the worm? Possibly. However in the case of choosing a florist, you don’t want to go too early. It is best to have your dress already ordered or purchased as well as the bridesmaids’ so the colors and style may coordinate with the blooms you choose. Your wedding ceremony and reception should be booked and an estimated guest count is suggested so your budget is more accurate. While brides have booked a year or more in advance, in the South Jersey region it is customary to book around 6-9 months before the big day or when the details above are solidified.
9. Love your Florist. As in almost every decision, rely on your inner voice. Do your personalities complement each other? Does the designer/planner seem lax to your OCD tendencies or very rigid to your easy going manner? In this case, in my opinion, opposites do not attract! After the initial consultation, you should feel relaxed and excited about your decision. Your dream team should be willing to answer your questions or at least get back to you within a reasonable time frame if they can not answer them at the time of the meeting.
10. Pay attention to signals. Take note on how you are first treated when you call or visit. If you should decide to pop in and make the appointment in person or call on the telephone, be aware of how they speak to you. Do they make you feel welcome or do you feel like a burden? Are they always too busy to respond to your phone calls? Do they answer your emails in a prompt and professional manner? They should be consistent in their behavior. Are they courteous and maintain a level of professionalism throughout each encounter? Are they committed in working with your style and price range?
Lastly, make your decision with confidence. Don’t rely on others to make it for you. While wedding planners are well worth their money and can lead you in the right direction, you want to have final say on whom you choose. Follow your instincts. You will know if the designer is the one. It is like talking to a new friend who has similar tastes and preferences as you, but more knowledgeable on the subject of flowers.
If all the searching and planning has you wondering why the two of you just don’t run away and get hitched, step away from your wedding binder, take a deep breath, and put the wedding talk on hold for a day or two. Enjoy the journey!