Regardless of the spending limit you select for your wedding day, chances are you'll have flowers at your ceremony and reception. While florals are a luxury item that tend to take up a large portion of the budget, brides and grooms feel it's money well spent, as they love having lush, fragrant blossoms adorn the décor of their wedding day. Even if you choose not to have flowers and instead opt for greenery, you'll likely have some sort of a floral bouquet and still need to consult with a floral designer.
Once you've selected an event florist with whom to work, it's important to make sure you're on the same page when it comes to your goals for the big day. Setting the tone for your expectations and listening to their feedback and advice on how to make your dreams a reality – while staying in budget – is of the utmost importance. After all, much of your wedding design will rely on gorgeous blooms in terms of bouquets and boutonnieres, ceremony arrangements, centerpieces, and even more luxurious floral installations, such as flower walls, chandeliers, and ceiling masterpieces.
To ensure you're equipped to attend first meeting with your florist, we asked some wedding professionals – including members of our Editors Circle – to share their tips for your floral design appointment. Take a look at their expert advice below!
"Come prepared for your meeting with photos, a general direction/style for your wedding day décor, a few indications of your personal style or interests, and examples of what you do and do not like - from weddings you have either seen online or have personally attended. Be candid about your floral and design budget, and communicate with the designer on how to achieve the most impact or value at the venue. Stay open to suggestions of floral varieties that your designer recommends within your color palette in order to create a more unique, artistic centerpieces." - Lucy Diaz-Flores of Bella Flora of Dallas
"Come with something tangible to the meeting that isn't a photo of a wedding or floral – be it a printed scarf to a torn out page of an interior design magazine, bring something that represents you and your vision!" - Rishi Patel of HMR Designs
“There are three pieces of advice I give my clients when meeting for the first time. One: focus on the big picture, the details will fall in place. Two: have a general idea of budget, venue, and vibe. Those elements will dictate the path we travel. Three: Be open. Be open to balance, to contrast, to layering textures and colors. Too much is never enough.” - Gabrielle Mecca of Edge Design Group
"There are so many options today that it can be overwhelming for a young couple. Some brides don’t know what they want, so I advise them to start with their own personality and style as a jumping-off point. Even with Pinterest, some couples have a hard time narrowing down their style options, but they certainly know what they dislike. If I sense a young couple becoming overwhelmed with their myriad of décor options during the meeting, I will pause, regroup, and restructure the questions. Knowing their dislikes is equally as helpful as knowing what they love. The first meeting really is to get a sense of the style the client wants the event to convey, and seeing if the personalities mesh for an unforgettable collaboration between client and designer.” - Heather Thomas of HeatherLily
"My best advice to brides going into a floral design appointment is to be open minded. As much as you may think you know exactly what you want, having an open mind will create an opportunity for beautiful discoveries that you didn't even know were there!" - Toby Kassoy of Lilla Bello
Photo by Maya Myers Photography; Floral Design by Lilla Bello; From Real Wedding: Candlelit Jewish Ceremony & Unique, Cozy Outdoor Reception in Los Angeles
"With greenhouses and the ability to ship flowers around the world, most flowers can be found year-round. Although, with that said, it doesn’t mean the flowers are always at the best quality or price point for the big day. We are often asked to use local flowers for weddings; however, 95% of the flowers used for weddings and events are actually shipped in from somewhere far away. The availability of local product is limited to the area’s growing season but also to the amount of stems farms allow you to buy. Both of these factors make it very hard to create an event using only local flowers if there is a certain color palette in mind." - Rick Davis of Amaryllis Floral & Event Design
"We love it when our brides come prepared for an appointment to help guide the design conversation! A rough idea of budget, color palette, and style (i.e. garden feel, modern, romantic) can really help make the most of your floral consultation! Using Pinterest or Instagram as tools are great ways to get a sense of different styles that may work well with your venue." - Brooke Osborn for The Hidden Garden
"Always try to have an approximate budget when you come in to meet with a designer. This gives us a foundation for things we should and shouldn’t suggest to the bride or groom. What I usually say to the person with the checkbook is: 'Don’t let me show this bride or groom something that the bank account can’t afford, because I will never be able to get it out of their head.' Being a designer, it’s my job to make dreams come true, but the dream has to match the budget!" - Joe Mineo of Joe Mineo Creative