Selecting your favorite flowers is only one small part when it comes to working with a florist. When looking to work with any potential vendor, you should have a good idea of what you need to ask ahead of time. That way, you can figure out if you’re a good match before working out a contract. This will save both you and the florist a lot of time, energy, and headaches later on, because you will know exactly what you’re both getting into.
Not sure what to ask? No worries, here’s a list of of questions you should fit into all of your florist interviews.
1. How Long Have You Been Doing Weddings?
Not all florists have experience doing weddings or even big events. It’s a good idea to learn what their career as a florist has looked like so far, not just to find out how many years of experience they have, but also if they are capable of doing an event like yours. Someone who has been in the business for decades may only specialize in a certain style that doesn’t quite go with what you’ve imagined for your special day.
It’s important to find out if they have experience doing weddings the same size as yours, too. If they’ve only ever done small events, they might not have the resources to do anything larger. A history of their work will help you select a florist that can not only handle your needs, but also your vision.
2. Do You Charge for a Consultation?
Before you even go in to speak with a florist, ask them if they charge for a consultation. A consultation is the time to discuss your flower ideas, wedding theme, and the amount of pieces you’ll need. It’s a much-needed appointment, but you don’t want to unexpectedly receive a big bill that you aren’t prepared to pay.
3. May I See a Portfolio?
Like with any visual work, florists should have a portfolio featuring photographs of past work to show you. Pictures of bouquets and centerpieces they’ve created can help you get an idea of what their personal style and taste is when it comes to flowers, and whether or not it is similar to yours. It also lets you know whether or not they are capable of creating what you have in mind.
4. What Flowers Will Work Within My Budget?
Don’t be afraid to tell the florist straight up what your budget is. It’s important that they understand how much you plan on spending right away so you can find out if it’s possible to get what you want for that price. However, if it turns out you want more than what you have allocated for, they should be able to assist you with coming up with a great alternative. If not, it’s better to get a “no” right away so you can figure out whether or not to seek another florist who may be able to or start compromising.
5. Are My Favorite Flowers in Season?
The price of flowers often depends on whether or not they are in season. If they aren’t, they’ll cost a lot more. If you don’t talk it over with your florist, they’ll still use your favorite flowers, but you’ll be paying top dollar for them. However, if you’re not willing to spend a fortune, you can see if the florist has any recommendations for something that looks similar but costs less.
6. How Far in Advance Do I Need to Place My Order?
Florists need an adequate amount of time to not only complete the work, but also order in the specific flowers they’ll need. If your choices are out of season, they may have to order them sooner. Typically, you should place your order about six to eight months in advance, but make sure to ask.
7. How Many Weddings or Events Will You Be Doing the Same Weekend as Mine?
During busy wedding seasons, your florist might have a few different events scheduled the same weekend as yours. Ask if they have multiple clients during your wedding weekend and if they have enough resources to successfully accommodate you as well.
8. Will You Work With the Venue on Any Restrictions?
Some florists might expect you to find out about any restrictions that the venue might have, but being the middleman can be exhausting. Make sure to find out if your florist plans on communicating with the venue to ensure they comply with the policies.
9. How Will You Handle Delivery?
It would be a nightmare if you thought your contract included setup and found out it didn’t on the day of, which is why you should ask your florist in advance who will be handling setup and delivery. Setup might be an extra service that you have to pay for.
10. What Other Services Do You Offer?
A lot of florists do more than just create flower arrangements; sometimes they take care of other decorations as well. Having one person take care of it all—linens, chairs, lighting—is much easier than trying to work with multiple specialists. That way you can rest easy knowing not only will everything match, but also you’ll only have to communicate with one person with is much simpler. If they don’t offer a full decor package, they might have vendors that they regularly work with and can recommend.
11. When Will I Be Expected to Pay for the Flowers?
When asking this question, make sure you also find out if they require a deposit before hand, if they do payment plans (if needed), and what types of payments methods they accept (cash, credit, or check).
12. Are There Any Additional Fees or Services I Should Be Aware Of?
The last thing anyone wants is unexpected additional fees that they have not planned or budgeted for. To avoid a big, nasty scare when the bill comes, make sure you find out what exactly they will be charging for and exactly what your package includes. Some extra charges you should be aware of include delivery and setup fees, as well as possible broken (or stolen) vases; vases are typically rented, and are not included with the cost of the flower arrangements.
13. Do You Have Liability Insurance and What Is Your Cancellation Process?
Many venues require liability insurance policies for all of your vendors, including your florist. Accidents happen, and venues just don’t want to take that risk without knowing there is insurance to cover it.
Your florist might also have a few policies of their own. Flowers need to be fresh, so if you change or cancel your wedding date last minute, those flowers won’t last for another day or event. You will likely still be responsible for paying for them, so find out what their cancellation process entails, just in case.