Flowers – like music – can really make an event. For astonishing arrangements that make your wedding or celebration the best ever, you need a flower master.
How to navigate hiring a florist? Sierra Pyron of Gracie’s Garden in Atlanta, Georgia, and Dana Pearson of Garden Gate Vintage in Salt Lake City, Utah talk tips, budgets, and questions to ask, so you get the flowers of your dreams.
What should you look for when hiring an event florist?
Look for a portfolio of the company’s work, not just stock photos of what they can offer, suggest Sierra. Read reviews from previous clients. Once you’ve covered basics, make sure you have an awesome rapport with the florist. Sierra and Dana urge you to express your vision and be sure the florist understands your goals. Both love working with flowers, and they want you find someone who has a passion for their craft. Not only that, Dana says, “you want someone who gets your style and vibe.” A great florist will guide you through the process, offer creative options, while staying true to your vision.
Are there specific questions to ask when hiring?
Get straight on what cost includes. Sierra says savvy customers ask if the total includes tax, delivery, set-up, and teardown, You don’t want surprises during your post-wedding bliss. Does the company book multiple events in one day? How long have they been in business? Do they offer packages? And on the lighter side, Dana suggests asking if the bride or groom can accompany the florist to the wholesalers. Her company offers this service and she says people love it, as they have a chance to see what flowers are available to them, beyond the scope of what they know about.
How do florists and client determine budget?
Like any business partnership, you come to an agreement. Event size, floral arrangements desired, the varieties of and availability of flowers, and distance from venue are all factors that weigh in on cost, shares Sierra. Dana loves when clients come in with a budget and pricing in mind, and says to remember that having a budget may mean compromising your Pinterest secret garden vision. A great florist, she says, will help clients understand options within their budgets.
Are there ways people can make their event more budget-friendly?
Definitely. In-season flowers are more affordable. Local is more affordable. To make your floral budget stretch further, Sierra suggests flowers with more oomph for the same cost. For example, a stem of hydrangea is typically the same price as a single rose, but the hydrangea is much larger. Another trick is having your flowers do double duty. She says bridesmaids bouquets can be reused as centerpieces for the reception, and the ceremony floral decor can be moved to the reception. Be creative!
What are the coolest floral trends you’re seeing right now?
In the Salt Lake City region, Dana notices that Pinterest drives the trends for brides. Additionally she’s seeing lots of color, bright greens, and bolder choices.
Around the Atlanta area, Sierra is loving the popularity of the Victorian and Baroque looks. She’s digging the bridal bouquets that look like classic paintings. She’s also seeing a strong trend of centerpieces with lush colors, soft accents, and antique ribbon.
Any last minute tips?
If you’re not already a crafty creature, don’t use your wedding or special event to start, says Sierra. She also recommends not relying on your crafty friend/cousin/sister to help you with your flowers. Not only will your hands be battered, it’s a lot of work. As a woman who did the flowers for her 2005 wedding and 10th anniversary vow renewal ceremony, Sierra will testify that it’s a lot to take on.
Both Dana and Sierra agree that a written contract is your salvation. A handshake and a smile won’t cut it. Clear communication and a detailed write out of every aspect from the flowers used, design of the arrangements, costs included, and set-up and breakdown will make for a happier day.
Last tip from Dana, if you’re getting flowers for a wedding, don’t forget the boutonniere or corsage for your wedding officiant!