Photo: Lucy Cuneo
Believe it or not, florists do a whole lot more than just provide your wedding flowers. Many offer rentals (where do you think all those cool vases and votive candles come from?), and they coordinate closely with other vendors involved in your wedding's design (like your planner and the cake baker) to help create a cohesive look.
In order for your florist to truly understand your vision, as well as fit seamlessly into the team of pros you've selected for your wedding day, they need to know a lot more about your wedding than just how many centerpieces and boutonnieres you'll need. San Francisco-based floral designer Kiana Underwood, the creative mind behind Tulipina, broke down all the things she needs to know from her clients — and some of her insights might surprise you!
Who is your photographer?
Says Underwood, "Picking a photographer is probably the most important part of your wedding, as the results (their images) will stay with you forever." She recommends finding a photographer who captures the whole story and is exceptional with details, including flowers. "Very few photographers focus adequately on tableware, place settings, florals, paper goods, etc. The best wedding photographers tell a story through the details."
Who is your wedding planner?
Underwood strongly believes that a great planner is worth the investment. "With a talented planner in charge, you'll be free from stress leading up to and on the wedding day, which makes for a significantly better experience for everyone involved," she explains. Florists included!
What is your budget?
A florist will want to know what you're working with, as that determines what types of arrangements they can create for you (and whether the floral designer in question is the right fit for your event.) "If you're looking at top floral designers, expect a minimum of around $20,000," says Underwood.
Where is your venue?
More than just the location, florists will want to know if your wedding will be outdoors or tented. "Direct, hot sunlight is a florist's worst nightmare!" Underwood explains. "Your floral designer will love you if you have a tent or other shade to keep direct sunlight off of the florals. After all, it's not just our business, but our art, realized."
What is your vision for the ceremony and reception?
The more details you can supply up front, the better. "We'll be able to give you a more accurate proposal if we have a clear idea of what you're hoping your wedding will look and feel like," says Underwood. And of course, a more cohesive inspiration board will make nailing down your vision that much easier!
What will the wedding day itself look like?
After you've booked your florist, make sure to share everything, from the timeline to the number of tables you'll have to how big your wedding party is. "Counts and sizes are the most important thing for us to know when creating a proposal," says Underwood. This includes the sizes of your tables, any bars or other areas you'll want decorated, how big the arch will be for your ceremony, and more. "This is where working with a seasoned wedding planner really comes into play," she emphasizes.
What's your favorite flower? Why?
"This is one of my favorite ways to connect with the bride," says Underwood. "It enables me to add more personal touches to the florals to make the day more special." Whether you love lilacs, peonies, calla lilies, or ranunculus, it's a way for your florist to weave your personality into the designs.
Other important things to share
Make sure you also tell your florist how many people are in your wedding party (and how many other people will need personal flowers), any flowers you dislike or are allergic to, and what your wedding dress and the bridesmaids' dresses will look like, so he or she can create bouquets that fit both the scale and style of your gown.