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How to Choose A Wedding Florist.

I came across this blog that I wrote for the Nassau Inn in Princeton and thought it might be worth sharing here on my own blog.

One minute you are engaged and then next minute you are deluged with ideas and dreams. How do you turn your dream into a reality? How do you find a florist that will not only make your dream come true but partner with you to help you decorate your reception and create memorable bouquets?
You are looking for someone who will partner with you, not just tell you what you should do.
First off, remember, you are looking for someone who will partner with you, not just tell you what you should do. Finding someone that listens and can interpret your floral wish list might take a little extra work at the beginning but will pay off in the end. This blog will give you some pointers to help you save time and frustration. Here are my 5 steps to follow to find a great florist!
Step 1: Start by asking friends, family and other wedding vendors (including your venue) for recommendations for florists they feel do a great job. This is always a great place to start.
Step 2: Once you have a few names, do some on line searches looking for positive reviews. Do you they have a wedding website? Are they listed on the Knot.com and WeddingWire.com? If so, it means they are serious about doing weddings and most likely love doing them. Keep in mind that some florists don’t want to do weddings, while others are event florists that only do special events.
Step 3: Look for those florists that post photos of their own design work. Stock photos are great but a florist that is active creating wedding designs should show enough pride in their work to display photos on their website, their Facebook page, etc. Do they show many different styles of design or do the weddings seem similar? Remember, you want someone who will listen to your interpretation of your wedding flowers, not just do what they have done for others in the past. Some florists have a style and do similar designs over and over. That’s wonderful if you share their tastes but not very good if you don’t. At this stage, you are doing some “leg” work from the comfort of your home computer. Now you need to narrow down the number of florists you will consider into a manageable amount. The goal here is to find a florist you feel comfortable with with as little effort on your part as possible. This leg work is essential. If you are unsure if a particular florist will travel to your location or is available on your wedding date, now would be a good time to call and ask a few questions.
Step 4: Making an appointment to meet in person is the next step. You’ll want to contact florists that might be a good match for you. The idea is not to go from florist to florist leaving you confused and exhausted. If you’ve done your homework upfront, you should be able to narrow down your choices to 2 or 3 great options. Schedule a time to meet at their shop. Don’t forget, that florists have very busy weekend schedules and Saturday appointments might be scarce or non existent during busy wedding seasons. Notice the way the shop greets you when you call for an appointment. Do you they seem eager to meet you? Do they return your call? It seems logical that if they treat you well before you have chosen them to be your florist, they will treat you well once you are a client. If they are not respectful prior to meeting chances are that treatment will continue through the whole process. With all the pressure you will be under planning your wedding, you really don’t want vendors that make your life any harder than it already is.
Step 5: Even if the florist does not ask you to, be sure to bring inspiration pictures, a list of what you will need, swatches and photos of dresses and be prepared with a budget. You are in control here and it’s up to you to set the pace. A florist that has no idea what you like, what you need, or how much you can afford to allocate towards your floral decor has no other option but to guess and guessing is never a good idea. The quicker they can get into your “floral zone” and know your budgetary restrictions, the more productive the meeting will be. By the end of your consultation, you should have a pretty good feel for the shop, the floral consultant (or owner) and if their designs will fit your tastes and budget. Don’t get discouraged if what you want doesn’t fit your budget. Being flexible with flower selection and open minded about arrangement size. The key here is to be reasonable. A good florist should take the time to explain why things cost what they do. Going from florist to florist, looking for someone that will give you that amazing $300 centerpiece for $50 is just a waste of their time and more importantly, yours.
If you have followed all 5 of these steps, chances are you will have found a great florist to help you with your wedding.
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