How To Work With A Wedding Floral Designer

Abbe Foreman Photography

Abbe Foreman Photography

It has finally happened! You met “the one” and you are engaged! You are still trembling with excitement and getting used to the feel of that beautiful diamond ring on your finger. You begin to share the incredible news with family and friends, and then…the questions begin:

“When are you getting married?”

“Where do you think you will have your wedding ceremony?”

“Who will be your Maid of Honor?”

“Have you chosen your color palette?”

Perhaps you have had everything expertly mapped out for years and saved to secret Pinterest boards, or you might only have vague ideas and need to work through the details –either is perfectly fine, but there are a few key pieces of information your floral designer will need in order to start the planning process with you.

Your Wedding Date

The time of year you choose to hold your wedding will determine everything from what gown you wear to whether the ceremony and reception are held indoors or out. In regards to your floral design, it will guide the types of flowers used in your arrangements and the overall look and feel of your event. Because flowers are seasonal, the quantity and variety available will fluctuate. Although it is possible to order flowers that are out-of-season in the United States from other international distributors, the cost is often astronomical and could derail your budget. A great floral designer will help you choose the best, sturdiest blooms for the season, but will also know to create a list of substitute flowers. However, by confirming your wedding date prior to meeting with your floral designer you can help assure that your planning starts smoothly.

Your Ceremony and Reception Venues

Besides you and your fiancé, the ceremony and reception sites serve as the foundation of your wedding event. Indoors or outside; On the beach or in a quaint church; the environment will guide the design, the chosen flowers and convey your love story.

One point to keep in mind is that some venues have restrictions on installations such as hanging floral chandeliers or attaching floral walls to existing structures. Often times, larger, intricate floral installations may need to be constructed a day –or two – ahead of your ceremony. Therefore, if your heart is set on having one of these beautiful designs on your wedding day – make sure the venues you are looking at allow those types of structures.

A couple other thoughts that you’ll want to consider:

·      Approximate number of guests – This will determine the approximate number of pews or rows of chairs at the ceremony in the case you want aisle markers. It will also help in estimating the number of tables and tablescapes.

·      Creating a list ahead of time of arrangements you would like at your wedding ceremony and reception such as large altar, wedding arch, moon arch, and entryway arrangements; bar, cocktail and escort card table arrangements; and additional designs such as cake flowers, powder room arrangements and get-away car florals.

When I begin planning with newly-engaged couples, I always request to do a walk-through of the venue with them at their consultation. Whether I have worked at the location in the past, or if this is the first time, meeting at the venue and creatively designing together allows for a wonderful exchange of ideas.

Minimum Budget

The most important objective to keep in mind when discussing your budget with a floral designer is to be upfront and honest from the very beginning. If we have all of the information from the start and a realistic figure, we can tailor your wedding dreams to match your budget.

As a rule of thumb, wedding design experts suggest to allocate approximately 10 percent of the total budget to florals. However, you may choose to spend more or less depending on your priorities.

Because each of my proposals is uniquely tailored to each couple, I often like to speak directly with the individual paying for the wedding to ensure we are all on the same page. For example, a bride and her mother meet me for a consultation and walk-through proposing a budget of $10,000. As the designer, I hurry back to my studio and build a fabulous proposal with floral selections based around that budget. However, when we meet to review the proposal, Mom relays that the budget has changed and Dad is only writing the check for $5,000. Not only is this an awkward conversation for the Bride and her Mom, but it is awkward for the designer as well because we will have to rewrite the budget. My goal is always to keep our meetings joyous, exciting and fun. It is much easier to do this when all the information is provided and I can offer alternatives to still give you the same look.

Every couple is unique and has their own story of how they came to realize they were the one for each other. As a couture floral designer, it is my job to creatively tell this story through the florals and the aesthetic of the event. The pieces of aforementioned information will smoothly begin this individually-tailored planning process and ensure a beautiful wedding.

krista sherkey, owner & creative director- re+bloom couture florals