Rebecca Richman (one of Soiree Philadelphia founding members and a recent bride herself) has been a planner for the last four years with Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants and has been quoted & her work has been featured in numerous publications, including The Knot magazine, Philadelphia Weddings magazine, Nouveau Magazine, Baltimore Sun, Huffington Post, MunaLuchi Bridal, and on WHYY. Rebecca is also the co-director of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Association of Bridal Consultants and a founding Marketing Board Member of Wish Upon A Wedding Philadelphia.
Floral meetings can be both exciting and daunting for brides. It’s fun to sit down with someone creative to discuss all of the pretty things that you want at your wedding but it can also be daunting as you don’t quite know what to expect or to bring with you and you’re nervous about what that proposal (filled with all of your dream ideas and flowers) is going to cost you. Here are some tips on what to do to prepare before your first trip to the florist.
- As always, research: Make sure you check sites like weddingwire.com and get referrals from friends or your uber fabulous wedding planner. You never want to meet with someone that you know nothing about so make sure you do your research. Feel free to meet with more than one florist too. It’s good to get a variety of ideas and perspectives.
- Bring pictures! Whether you tear them from a magazine, print them from your computer or show a florist your Pinterest board, make sure you show them pictures of the things you like and don’t like. It will help them to understand your style and the look you are going for and make it easier then for the florist to make suggestions and generate ideas.
- Provide the basic info they need: It’s always good to come to the meeting with a document of the basics, ceremony location and time, reception location and time, number of members of the bridal party, # of mother, fathers and grandparents and guest count. They will need this information at some point in the meeting so if you come prepared with it they can get through the logistical stuff and then on to the fun things!
- Know your budget: I know, the not so fun part. Figure out where you want to be budget wise and also think about what that budget includes. Does it include linen? Lighting? Chair upgrades? These are all questions your florist will ask you at your meeting so think about these things in advance.
- Dream big but please be realistic. We have all seen those jaw dropping photos of suspended beds of flowers over long tables dripping with roses and orchids and accented with the most intricately detailed linen and chivari chairs and so many candles on every inch of the table that we could roast smores…yea it’s stunning but understand that those things cost money, lots of money. Some of those tables you see on the covers of Grace Ormonde cost upwards of $600, $700, $800… a piece. They contain hundreds of flowers that are flown from all over the world and need to be kept in the most pristine conditions, cared for by talented professionals so that they are fresh and beautiful on your wedding day. All of this takes money, time, labor AND your florist does still need to make a profit so they can live to. It’s important to dream big but also have realistic expectations. Any good florist will be able to look at your dream photos and either provide it for you if it fits in your budget or will be able to find beautiful alternatives if it isn’t.
- Don’t worry if you find something that you like better, later…I try not to schedule my bride’s floral meetings too far in advance. I was a bride recently so I know that we read magazines and blogs and pretty soon my vintage, DIYish, mixed china, old suitcase inspired vision I had for my wedding has completely morphed and I need clean lines, glass tabletops and metallic floral vessels for my now modern wedding. That’s okay, most florists need your final counts and decisions about 2 weeks-1 month out from the wedding date so they can order your flowers and purchase any vessels they need. You will have plenty of time to change your mind along the way.
Hope these bits of advice help you plan for your floral meeting!