What Every Bride Should Know for Her Floral Appointments

How to select your wedding-day flowers and what you need to consider before your first meeting.

Talented floral designer Amy Child Marella of The Hidden Garden shares her expert tips on what you need to know before your first floral design meeting.

Photo: Samuel Lippke Studios

So you don’t know the difference between lilacs and lilies, or can’t make up your mind between white or pink roses? Don’t fret – that’s why you hired a floral professional. From price points to image-sharing websites, we break down what you need to know when preparing for your first wedding florist meeting and the questions you should ask your floral designer leading up to your big day in order for your florist to produce the right arrangements for you.

First Meeting Prep

- Organize your image-sharing website albums.

Use Pinterest to pin in as many pictures that will help you depict the overall “feeling” you are trying to convey at the ceremony and reception. Make notes under each photo about the colors, textures, patterns, and elements you like, and, as equally important, what you don’t like. For example, “I don’t like roses, but I love the ‘mood’ of this room and the height and size of the arrangements.” Send your related page link to the designer, so he or she can review it prior to the meeting and be prepared for your arrival.

- Research your chosen floral designer.

Make sure he or she is a good fit for you and your spending limit, has a reliable reputation, and has wedding experience. Vet the florist through friends, your wedding venue, and other vendors. Perusing websites that offer past customer reviews is an especially helpful tool. 

- Arrive with a realistic floral budget in mind.

Realistic expectations ensure the meeting will be productive and allow you to discuss elements that are within your price point. It’s fun to dream big for your wedding, but if you don’t have $50,000 to spend on flowers, don’t waste your time discussing floral chandeliers that are dripping in crystals. Be honest with your floral-design team. Your spending limit will likely not be the smallest (or largest) they have worked within. Remember, it is their job to create something beautiful that suits you and your funds. 

First Meeting and Beyond

- Make sure you can access your image-sharing website page, a link to the venue, and other online resources you have prepared.

A seasoned floral designer will be able to immediately pick up on your aesthetic from your inspiration images and materials to help you hone your vision.  

- Don’t stress about finding a photo of your dream centerpiece, chuppah, or escort card table.

Floral designers typically like to draw inspiration from a few different photos, so they can make the arrangements tailored to you. They want to be able to create a piece that is unique to you – not carbon copies of other designs.  

- Don’t bring too many people to your initial meeting.

More people means more opinions, which isn’t always a good thing. Consider inviting your mom (or future mother-in-law), wedding planner, and maid of honor. Give yourself a chance to create a clear idea with your designer and then share it with family and friends before the next meeting (most likely the sample presentation).

- Don’t rush your first appointment.

Give yourself 60 to 90 minutes. You will be surprised how much there is to go over and how many questions will surface to even the most inexperienced of floral enthusiasts. 

- Ask about their typical “run of show” for a wedding day.

You’ll want to know what time the staff plans to arrive; advise them of your point person for the day of the wedding; and ask approximately how many crew members will be in attendance. Make sure your florist is familiar with the venue, and that the person you have been “planning” your flowers with is the go-to person on the big day.  

- Confirm when you will see a sample of your floral arrangements.

Make sure it’s far enough in advance that you feel comfortable making changes, but still close enough to ensure the flowers that you are viewing are the same ones that will be adorning your wedding the day-of. 

- Inquire if the floral team has more than one wedding on that date.

It's okay if they do. Just confirm that a dedicated staff will be at your celebration, and that your point person will be managing the arrangements and bouquets. 

The floral designers should be 30 minutes ahead of you and your guests, blending into the crowd and making it all look like magic, as if these flowers just appeared! They should not be seen running around at any point, awkwardly creating arrangements or taking bouquets from bridesmaids’ hands and putting them on the dinner tables.

You hired a florist to do all of the worrying for you that day, at least when it comes to the floral décor. Trust that they know what they are doing, that you made a good choice, and as the saying goes – relax and smell the roses.

Opening photo by Samuel Lippke Studios; Floral Design by The Hidden Garden; Planning & Design by Geller Events. See the full wedding: Tuscany Meets Rustic California Outdoor Wedding Under the Stars!