We are back with more wedding flower advice! (You can catch up yesterday’s kick off to wedding flower week!) This time we are talking planning details, as in when should you meet with your florist for the first time? Too early and you could get overwhelmed or the meeting could be unproductive, but meet too late and you’ll just be scrambling and flustered! So, when is that sweet spot? I asked the best wedding florists in the Washington DC area for their advice about when in the when in the wedding planning process should couples meet with their wedding florist. When do they like to meet with their clients? Here is what they had to say…
If you have your heart set on a specific floral designer then the sooner the better! Clients can book up to a year in advance of the wedding to secure the date with their favorite designer. You don’t need to get into specifics right away, but you can at least hold the date with a deposit and good idea of the budget you will have for floral design. It is best to have the following information before booking a floral designer: date, location of ceremony and reception, number of guests and number of attendants in the bridal party. Alicia, owner of Alicia Jayne Florals
When couples meet with a florist is less a matter of when in terms of time and more a matter of when you are ready. While it can be typical to meet anywhere from six to eight months out from the wedding at the outset to as close as two to four months when planning tightly, we tend to think the best time is when you are prepared to discuss flowers. You don’t need to know anything about flowers, but having a general idea of your color scheme, overall style of the wedding, and some sense of what you like and dislike will be useful to the discussion. Gerry and Rebecca, owners of Petal’s Edge Floral Design
Anytime after you’ve booked your wedding venue(s) and know your wedding color palette. It’s also great to have your gown and/or bridesmaids dresses chosen as we love to see those details! Florists are one of the few vendors that touch every part of the wedding day, so we often can help solidify the overall look and design of the wedding, especially if you are including a wedding planner (which we highly recommend!). Christi, president of Bergerons Flowers
Floral Design: J. Morris Flowers
Before going to a wedding florist, make sure you’ve booked your venue and determined the overall style. This will help narrow down floral ideas. If your wedding is during peak season (April-June, Sept-Oct) or the holidays (Christmas, Memorial Day, etc), make the appointment as soon as possible. Also, if you have a specific florist in mind, go in for a consultation early – chances are if you are determined on a florist, so are others. Liza, owner of Studio DBI
Planning for floral designs for your wedding really depends on your budget and size of your event. If you are having a simple wedding with just a few wedding party designs along with centerpieces for 10 tables or less, you can wait until about three to six months prior. To be fair, please note that your favorite florist might not be available for your date that close to it. So, if you really have a favorite florist, don’t wait more than nine months prior to your wedding. Some of our dates get filled up even a year in advance. Katie, owner of Elegance & Simplicity
“Couples preparing for their wedding will need to make multiple decisions regarding their wedding day and the choices and options may seem overwhelming. We suggest an initial floral design consultation after your venue has been chosen and advise as early as a nine to twelve months in advance for busy months such as May, June, September and October; and six months in advance for any other time of the year.” – Lisa, owner of Petals and Promises
It totally depends on the clients expectations of the florist. Some floral designers are also event designers, so in this instance it is crucial to get to them early in the process so they can help with the overall theme and look of the wedding. They will manage rentals and ensure that the entire wedding is cohesive. If your floral designer is highly sought after at the very least you will want to reserve the date. Our studio has a securing the date clause, which allows clients to reserve our services in advance and then they can get their details in order. If the floral designer is not doing the event design then it is wise to make your first visit to the florist after you have chosen dresses and colors of the wedding and after your wedding look is chosen so you can get down to the business of flowers. Your florist will also need to know the colors of linens and other rentals as they are chosen. If the floral designer is acting as an event designer it is his/her role to help with the selection of these items. Holly, owner of Holly Chapple Flowers
When to have your first meeting really depends, but if you have a popular date, like September, October, May or June, then you should meet at least a year in advance. Jennifer, owner of J. Morris Flowers
Thank you so much for such great advice about when to have your first wedding floral meeting!! I hope you’ll stick with us for wedding floral week here on United With Love. Please check out each of these talented DC area wedding florists on their websites. And, remember to come back all week long because we have so much more coming at you; I can’t wait!
In the meantime, be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC, MD and VA wedding pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.