Planning a wedding is challenging enough when planning one in your hometown. A destination wedding adds an even greater level of complexity on top.
One of the biggest challenges you will come across when planning a destination wedding is selecting vendors from far away. After all, how can you sign contracts worth thousands of dollars with vendors whose work you have not experienced yourself.
In this article, we go over some tips and tricks of hiring a florist for a destination wedding. If you are looking for a different vendor, check out our article on selecting vendors for a destination wedding.
Finding a florist for a destination wedding
Start by looking for a florist that is local to the destination. They are more likely to have worked at your wedding venue and will know what room setups work best. They are also more familiar with local flowers and can save you a ton of money based on their experience.
Where can you find florists that are local to your destination wedding location?
Start by asking the sales manager at your wedding venue for some recommendations. They deal with enough florists locally and will be the best resource to provide three to four reputable companies.
In addition, you can do research online to identify additional candidates. Try doing a simple Google search (For ex. “wedding florists in Chicago Illinois”). You can do a similar search in Pinterest as well to see if any of the florist ahve their own boards where they are showing off their work.
When looking at the floral arrangement’s online, keep an eye out for how detailed every piece is. How much effort was put into each arrangement? How intricate are the designs? Do the arrangements mesh with your style? Were the photos taken by a professional photographer or were they home cooked?
To get even more recommendations, consider utilizing the community (Forums) on websites like Weddingwire and Theknot.com. You can ask other brides who they used for their wedding and whether they would recommend them.
Doing the above research will yield the names of several florists at the destination. Call each one to ask the questions listed below.
Questions to ask a wedding florist
- Are you available on my wedding day?
- How many years have you run this business? Do you have any formal training or apprenticeship prior to opening your own shop?
- Can I see a portfolio of your work from previous weddings? Do you have a website or a Pinterest page that can show me your range as a florist?
- Will you be the one arranging my flowers or will it someone else? If it is someone else, then I would like to meet them and see their work specifically.
- How many weddings do you customarily do during one weekend? How busy are you during the time of year of my wedding?
- Do you do custom floral arrangements?
- What flowers are in season during the time of my wedding?
- If I provide you a photo of an arrangement I like, can you replicate it?
- Are you familiar with my wedding reception venue? The church where I am getting married?
- Is my budget something you can work with?
- What kind of arrangements would you recommend for someone with my budget? Keep in mind that you may need the following: Bouquet for yourself, bouquets for bridal attendants, boutonnieres for groom, groomsmen and fathers, corsages for your mothers; flowers to decorate the reception and ceremony location, and centerpieces for the reception tables.
- What kind of packages are available in my budget?
- Based on my color scheme what flowers would you recommend?
- Will you include a tossing bouquet?
- Can you make a sample bouquet or arrangement for me and them email the photo?
- What time will the flowers be delivered?
- How many days ahead of the wedding do you prepare the bouquets and the arrangements?
- Will you assist me in the preservation of my bouquet afterwards?
- How do you charge for your services? Per item or do you base one quote and with an itemized list of what is included in it? Do you offer pre-designed packages?
- What if I want extras? Do you offer per piece pricing if I need to add extra bridal bouquets, or boutonnieres or centerpieces.
- What is the deposit?
- What Is The Refund/Cancellation Process?
- When Is Payment Due?
- Do You Have Liability Insurance?
- Can I see a copy of a contract?
- Will you provide transportation to the wedding venue or do I have to arrange for pickup of the flowers. Is there a delivery fee?
- Is there a set up fee?
- Can you provide me with the name and contact information of three brides that would vouch for your work?
In talking with individual florists, take notes on whether they are easy to talk to. Do they understand what you are asking for? Do they seem rushed when talking to you. Are the replies boilerplate or are they really answering your questions. In addition to answering your questions in a satisfactory manner, did they offer any advice that you found helpful?
Once you have interviewed each one, go over your notes to see which one you felt most comfortable speaking to and whether they are competent enough to do the job you require.
But before you book the florist, make sure you book a venue
Why do you need to book a wedding venue first? Because your florist won’t be able to quote you a price without knowing what your needs are. Each wedding venue is unique and requires a different combination of floral elements. After all, how will you know how many floral arrangements you will need? Or whether the colors chosen by the florist will match the colors of the venue itself?
Your wedding will probably be the only time in your life that you will need this many floral arrangements. Selecting the right florist will ensure that you get the best in-season blooms that are beautiful and within your budget.
What should you read next?
Read our tips on negotiating with wedding vendors.