If you’re planning a big event like a wedding, you’re probably elbows-deep in products and vendors you’ve never had to deal with before. Most people haven’t sat through a florist consultation and don’t know what to expect. Luckily, your florist does this all the time and will probably be ready to guide you through it, but just in case, here is an idea of what a consultation with a potential floral designer will entail.
Really quick: before delving in here, get prepared for your consult. I’ve already covered what you should do BEFORE your meeting here:
All caught up? Good! Now you’re ready! Let’s consult.
First of all, bring a notebook. You may think of some questions you want to remember to ask during your chat, and they can be easily forgotten in the chaos of everything else you’re going to cover.
Also, don’t be afraid to scribble down any new questions that pop into your head while you’re talking. I can’t tell you how many times a question arises but is forgotten by the end.
After you sit down together and the conversation actually begins, the flow of the meeting will likely look something like this:
1. Gauging The Connection
A consultation is a little like a blind date. You want to hit it off with your floral designer. This is the person who will be working with you through the stress of wedding planning. It should be easy to communicate and understand one another. I want to be on the same page as my clients, to make sure they get exactly what they want. Making a connection and ensuring that we are a good fit for each other is essential.
2. Reviewing Your Budget
Before delving into dahlias and daisies, you and your floral designer should talk budget. It’s likely you already gave them your budget before sitting down together, but just in case it didn’t come up, you’ll want to be upfront from the get-go. You are busy, and I don’t want to waste your time directing you to things you can’t afford, or focusing on arrangements that are much smaller than the vision and budget you’ve set your heart on. Be direct and clear about how much you can and want to spend on flowers. (Read more about picking your budget range here.)
3. Defining The Design
Before sitting down with them, hopefully you’ve found a designer who is already creating in your style. Would you be happy with using their past work at your wedding? Obviously specific colors and flowers will be different, but you should be able to trust that they’ll make the best choice in an emergency—and with perishable flowers, floral designers sometimes have to make last minute substitution decisions. If your styles align, you won’t have to worry about what will show up on your big day.
At the consult your floral designer needs to get a good sense of your taste: what you like, what you dislike, what you absolutely despise. You will discuss the ceremony and the reception. What vision do you have for them individually? How will they be linked to create a cohesive vibe that is totally you? Come prepared with a list of what you definitely need, like the number of personal pieces, then leave room for your designer to help create something one of kind for you in the decor. Not sure what you need exactly? I’ve created a checklist to help you figure out exactly what you need.
Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t despair. Your florist is a pro and can help guide you through it. We do this all the time and can suggest things you didn’t even know existed. Communicate that’s how you’re feeling then let them step in and take the reins a bit. Together, we've got this.
4. Setting Expectations About The Process
After making a connection, going over budget, and nailing down design, your floral designer will let you know what comes next. What is the proposal process? When can you expect the estimate? How soon should you send a deposit and book the date after receiving the proposal? After booking, what will happen before, during, and after your wedding? I make sure my clients know what the big day will be like from set-up to clean-up. Once you start to feel the conversation is winding up, remember to ask any questions you still need to address. It’s always easier to discuss it in person than via email. The communication is so much clearer. I want the wedding to be as beautiful and perfect as you do, and that starts first with clear communication.
So there you have it! If you’re getting ready to sit through a florist consult, good luck! Let me know if this was helpful, and congratulations to you on your upcoming event!