Hiring a Floral Designer in 2021 - Guest Post by Eden's Echo Floral Design – Texas Weddings
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Hiring a Floral Designer in 2021 – Guest Post by Eden’s Echo Floral Design

First of all, Happy New Year!!!  We made it!  Now it’s time to plan that wedding.  Once you have your venue locked down, it’s time to look at other big ticket items like catering and floral.  I’m Erin McLarty, owner of Eden’s Echo Floral Design, here to help you navigate the world of wedding floral planning.

The B Word

Everything begins with your Wedding Budget.  I cannot stress this enough.  Knowing your complete wedding budget is the first and most important step in planning your wedding. Then, get to pinning!  If flowers are high up on your list of must-haves, carve out a decent portion of your overall budget, about 12-15% or more.  That may sound like a lot – but big, gorgeous floral designs and installations require a lot of people and a lot of flowers.  Just as with any vendor, you want to hire someone you get along well with. Someone who takes the time to listen to your vision and answers all your questions and concerns. Plus, the right floral designer has a portfolio that shows they can do what you are looking for.

When should you have a consultation? 

Typically we get inquiries anywhere from six months to a year in advance, sometimes more.  If you’re having a larger event, definitely start the interview process early.

How do you narrow down who to talk to?

Look at your favorite wedding planning website, check out Instagram, and ask friends and family who have gotten married in the last few years.  Pick out two or three who have portfolios that catch your eye and check out their reviews. If they look great, send them an email or call them up to schedule a consultation.

What should you expect before, during, and after a consultation?

Before a consultation, most floral designers will ask the basic questions, such as your budget, event size, favorite flowers, wedding colors, venue chosen, and ask to see a few inspiration pictures. If you’re not sure what your floral budget is, go back to your total wedding budget and plan for 12-15%.  If you can’t bring yourself to spend that much on floral because it’s not a big priority, request suggestions on simple centerpiece ideas and modest bouquets.  Having photos is a huge help and will make things go faster, even if it’s just three or four.  During the consultation, you’ll go back over all the basic information you gave initially, but more in depth.  Expect to spend around an hour chatting with the florist if you have a fairly good idea of what you’re looking for.  If your event is large scale with big ideas, it could be double that or require multiple consultations.  Be sure to ask about deposit requirements and how they prefer to take payments.  Once they have all the details and the consultation wraps up, ask them when to expect a quote and follow up with them if you haven’t heard back and it is past that time.  If you meet with a floral designer on a Thursday, chances are you won’t get something back until the following week.  The best days to schedule consultations are Mondays and Tuesdays, when we aren’t designing!  

Deciphering the Quote

Prepare for sticker shock!  Even going in aware that your quote will likely be in a certain range, it can be an eye opener that the bouquet you’re dreaming of is $400, or the ceremony arch full of pampas grass or garden roses was quoted at $2000 or more.  A lot of florists will prepare you during the consultation to let you know if your vision matches your budget.  No one likes the B word, but it’s important to discuss and set realistic expectations. For me, I always say splurge on the bridal bouquet since it will be the most photographed piece of the wedding.  Now, on to the rest.  If everything fits within your budget on the first version of the quote, congratulations!  If not, it may require some adjustments.  I will usually make adjustments once or twice to get a quote just right for a couple, and I’m happy to do it.  

Different Florists, Different Quotes

So you have two quotes from two different floral designers.  It’s the same Pinterest Board, same number of bouquets and tables, but one is $2000 more.  Why?  If you get two quotes for what you think are the same flowers, they’re probably not the same level of design and materials.  The more expensive quote likely includes a greater amount of flowers, recommending larger arrangements because they quoted based on your pictures, or maybe they’re using higher end flowers and different containers.  Let me tell you, it is OK to ask the florist about it.  However, it is strongly discouraged to show one florist another company’s quote.  Simply discuss with the florist how to get the quote to a place where you’re confident you’ll be getting something you love. Then book so you don’t lose your date!

Finalizing Your Flowers

Communication is everything.  About 5 weeks prior to your event, you should have a fairly good idea of your final table count. Be sure to check in with your florist to make any last minute quantity or style changes before the balance is due.  If you’ve decided to change your colors a bit, or want to go a different direction, discuss it at this time and be as detailed as possible.  Go over the schedule and make sure they have all the contact information for the venue and planner. I also like to check in with my clients the week of the wedding just to make sure everything is going smoothly and reassure them that everything is going according to plan with the flowers and we are excited to be a part of their day.

Wedding Day and Beyond

When your flowers arrive, give everything a once over.  If there is something you would like adjusted (like adding or removing a little greenery or a few extra blooms to your bouquet), kindly make the request. Your florist will be more than happy to make any adjustments possible so you’re 100% satisfied with your flowers.  Be sure to get your florist in touch with your photographer so they can share your pictures and submit them to wedding blogs. Lastly, review your vendors and refer them to friends and family.  It is the best way to say thank you!

Learn more about Eden’s Echo Floral Design by visiting their website.