A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with Angela, the owner of Bella Lu Floral, and chat about what her floral design process looks like and what couples should expect when working with her. Every florist will be a little different, but Angela not only does floral arrangements, but will help a couple work through any design aspects of their wedding day.
One of the first things any couple should do when looking at any vendor (but particularly florists) is make sure you’ve looked through their work. Make sure to visit their website and look through their Instagram. You want to make sure their design style is something that makes sense for the aesthetic you are envisioning for your wedding day. While most vendors have some flexibility with their design range, you’ll get their best work when you are looking for something they do well and frequently.
For a florist, you’ll also want to see what their packages include. Florists and event designers’ packages can range from just making your bouquets and adding flowers to a vase for your centerpieces to full service design helping you pick table cloths and even helping you pick furniture rentals. Make sure you are clear on what will be included in your floral design package. You can always further clarify when you are in your initial meeting, but most websites will give you a basic understanding of what they offer
Once you’ve narrowed down your florists to a couple top contenders, you’ll want to set-up a meeting. The sooner you can set-up this initial meeting the better! Angela typically books out 12 to 18 months in advance. During this initial meeting you should clarify what’s included in their package and talk with them about your vision for your wedding day. You should also spend some time talking about what their design process looks like, as this process varies drastically from florist to florist.
Another big item you should talk about is budget! Before you get too far into the design process, it is important to clarify your budget to make sure that you are designing things within the scope that your budget would allow. A good florist will work with your budget to create something beautiful that matches your design vision, but will also tell you when something isn’t feasible or will need modification to make sense for your budget. They will also help you to prioritize elements within your floral design to maximize your budget.
As far as inspiration is concerned, Angela’s process involves working with a couple to find images that they love in a shared Pinterest board. She’s very clear that those images should serve as inspiration, not something that the couple wants to recreate. Within those inspiration images try to pinpoint what exactly you like about the image. Do you love the colors, the shape, the flowers themselves, or just the overall vibe? Pictures are really worth a thousand words and getting specific about what you love will help your floral designer to create something perfect for you.
For Angela, this design and inspiration conversation will continue until about six to twelve weeks prior to your wedding. At that point, designs will need to be finalized, so you can get your final costs and Angela can order the flowers. Up until that point, Angela is happy to make any changes to your design that you may want. You initially had planned on having deep red roses in a more traditional bouquet and now you want an armful of wildflowers? Great! As long as you make those changes before the design is finalize, you have a lot of flexibility. As Angela, works through various iterations of your design, she’ll also update you with how that’ll affect your overall budget. Make sure to ask your florist what the process would look like to change directions with your floral design and when the last possible date to make changes to that design would be.
About 2 weeks before your wedding, Angela will touch base to talk through any final logistics. You’ll want to update your floral team with your timeline for your wedding day, floor plans, a contact person for your wedding day, rain plans, and any specific delivery instructions. Angela prefers to do this about 2 weeks before your wedding, so you can spend your wedding week enjoying the last week of your engagement and doing all the last minute wedding prep.
Florals are typically one of the largest elements in your overall wedding design, so you want to make sure that you select a florist who you love both their work and them as a person!