If you're at the stage in your wedding planning journey where you're doing decor and flowers, you might have a lot of questions. What flowers are necessary, how much do wedding flowers cost, and how do I contact florists to get a quote?
Here are some important steps to take as you plan your flowers for your big day.
1. Set a Budget
Most florists will ask for your budget, and they use their knowledge of seasonal flowers to help guide you in the right direction. Canadian couples spend about 10-15% of their total wedding budget on flowers, or between $2000 - $5000. However, there is a lot of wiggle room and many ways to slim down on flowers and keep it super simple. Talk with your partner and set a firm budget. For some couples, a reasonable flower budget might even be $800.
2. Make a List of Flowers You Need
Before reaching out to florists for quotes, you need to make an itemized list of at least your essential flowers. This part can be overwhelming, so try to keep it simple. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- You need a bridal bouquet!
- Each bridesmaid needs a bridesmaid bouquet
- Groomsmen and the groom need boutonnieres
- Mothers or Aunts of the bride and groom may want corsages
- Round tables need one centerpiece each
- Rectangular tables need a garland or low tier centerpiece with candles
- Your welcome table, cake table, and bar might need a small floral piece
- You might consider arch flowers
- During your ceremony, you might need aisle decor or large ceremony arrangements
An example itemized list might look like:
- 1 Bridal bouquet
- 4 Bridesmaid bouquets
- 2 Junior bridesmaid bouquets
- 8 Boutonnieres
- 3 Corsages
- 10 Small centerpieces
- 2 Large centerpieces for head table
- 10 Aisle floral decorations
- Wedding arch flowers
- Welcome sign flowers
3. Choose a Colour Palette
Consider your bridesmaid dresses and suit colours when choosing your colour palette. Also think about what colours go well in your venue and what colours you might have already selected for table linens or invitations. You may also have a favourite flower, or want to avoid certain flowers. Ensure the flowers you're prioritizing are in-season on your wedding date, or you'll be paying a lot more to import them from South America. It's hard to get peonies in December!
4. Make a Pinterest Board
When you start reaching out to florists, many of them will ask you for "inspiration photos" in order to give you a realistic quote. I urge you to go down a Pinterest rabbit hole and find examples of bouquets and centrepieces you would be pleased with. Then, you can easily share this with florists.
5. Ask for Florist Recommendations
Ask trusted friends and family about florists they've worked with before. Word of mouth recommendations from people you know is the best way to ensure you'll have a trusted florist who will deliver beautiful flowers on your wedding day.
If you don't know anyone who's had a wedding lately, don't stress. There are numerous Facebook groups for Ontario-based couples planning weddings, and a Canadian subbreddit for planning weddings. All of these groups have honest reviews on vendors, great tips for DIYing, and strategies for staying in your budget.
6. Make a Short List
In addition to getting recommendations from family and online wedding planning forums, you can do your own research on places like Wedding Wire or Google. Ensure you do your research and look for honest reviews on a third-party website. For example, if I find the business "ABC Flowers" online and I read great reviews on their own website, but I'm unable to find social proof on Google Reviews, Wedding Wire, or Instagram, that should be a red flag. I would google "ABC Flowers" and ensure there are other sources the confirm they are a legitimate operating business. Anyone can put up a website with some photos of flowers, so make sure you do your research. After looking at portfolios and maybe even price lists, make a short list of florists you want to get in touch with.
7. Get Quotes
Now that you've got a short list of florists, prepare an email with all of the information they need to give you an accurate quote:
- Your wedding date
- Your venue
- Your budget
- Your colour palette
- Your flower preferences
- An itemized list of what you need
- Inspiration photos
8. Ask Questions
Prepare a list of questions for your florist. This might come up during your initial consultation, or in your initial emails. For example:
- Do you have a contract to sign?
- How much is the deposit?
- If an emergency comes up and you can't deliver my flowers, is there a back-up staff member to do this for you?
- Do you require a minimum budget?
- Do you have a portfolio of real weddings I can look at?
- Do you charge a delivery fee?
- Are you familiar with my venue?
- Can you make sample arrangements?
- Will you be doing my arrangements yourself or would it be another florist?
- What recommendations can you give me to maximize my budget?
- How long have you been in business?
- How many weddings have you done?
- How would you describe your design style? (e.g. traditional, modern, rustic, organic)
- Which flowers can be substituted to better fit my budget?
I don't recommend that you overwhelm your florist with all of the above questions. Pick a few that are important to you!
8. Find The Best in Your Budget
An example quote from a florist might look like:
Junior Bridesmaid Bouquet
Vased - Table Top Centerpieces
Large Arrangements - Head Table
Aisle Decorations - Small floral and cascading ribbon arrangements or floor based arrangements
Partial Arch - $1088
Wedding Sign Florals
Wedding Sign Swag
Venue Delivery and Set-Up
In conclusion, who you hire as your florist might come down to budget, personality, or recommendations and reviews! The most important thing to remember is to do your research, read tons of reviews, and ensure your money is being well spent.