The Flower Shortage
No point sugar-coating it: there's currently a cut flower shortage. Recently several of my wholesalers have ceased taking pre-booked orders because the demand for flowers is higher than local and international farms can keep up with. Swell. As if my rebooked-rebooked wedding couples haven't already coped with enough uncertainty, but now I have the difficult job of informing them that their flower varieties are unpredictable at the moment. On the plus side, those hundreds of flower seeds I mentioned previously? Well, they're all doing spectacularly well and are filling in the gaps for my weddings, occasionals orders and the homegrown bouquet subscriptions...
Photo by: Miller & Ellis Photography
No couple should have to "settle" on a florist especially for an occasion as special as their wedding. The experience of searching for, and hiring your floral vendor, should mimic the big day; it should be exciting, memorable and fun! But the search for the perfect florist requires some prep on the couples' part, so below are some tips I'd like to share to inspire and empower couples to determine who the right florist is for them...whom ever they are!
Are they authentically interested?
Within that initial meeting with your potential wedding florist you should be able to pick up on whether or not they are authentically interested in your business. Are they taking notes and asking questions? Did they inquire about elements like: colours, styles, varieties, venue, and decor? Did they ask you about your budget? Have they offered up photos of their past work and talked about seasonal flowers and current trends? The conversation has the potential to go very in-depth with mutual questioning, brainstorming and insight, but if it doesn't, and therefore doesn't meet the needs of you as a client, it might be time to meet with another vendor.
Does their past work reflect your future vision?
You don't go to a seafood restaurant if you're allergic to shellfish, so why waste time browsing the menu at a high-end luxury floral design studio when you're hosting a casual backyard wedding? Establishing your general flower style is easy (btw, you don't need 400 pins on your Pinterest board to hone down on this, you just need a general vibe: classic, boho, modern) and should be evident in the past work of the designer you are meeting. After 2 minutes of cruising their Instagram page or website you should be able to tell if a meeting is worth your and their while.
Can they work within your budget?
So "the budget" is often a touchy subject for couples on the hunt for vendors. Weddings can be very costly and the fear of being pressured into spending too much can be very real. My suggestion on this subject is to have some honest conversations with your vendor. Before you settle on a hard and fast number for your floral budget and then start a search for a florist, ask the designer if they would be willing to make suggestions on cost-effective alternatives that still try to honour your dream. If their not, they might still be a fabulous designer, but just not the right one for you.
Get it in writing --FAST!
After all the work of finding the perfect designer for you, meeting with them, waiting for an estimate and settling on a design and budget, don't waste time on signing their contract and leaving your retainer/deposit. Most vendors only hold your date for 7 days after the proposal is issued and boy do the good ones book up quickly. In the written agreement it is also important to have all the details and logistics covered: the theme/style, colour scheme, desired flowers and flowers to avoid, numbers of pieces, THE DATE and delivery time, a cost breakdown (including security deposit for rentals, and set up, delivery and taxes visible), as well as a payment schedule. This ensures that there is no stress, and there are only good surprises on the big day.