When it comes to wedding bouquets, floral displays, swags, table centerpieces and flower arrangements, the best way to make sure that you end up with exactly what you want is clear communication with your florist. The following checklist will help prepare you with all the facts for any situation that may arise, let your florist know exactly what your wants and needs are, and help you to make the final decision regarding which flowers will work best for your wedding:

Start Early
You should begin researching florists at least six months before the wedding. This allows time to find a suitable wedding florist and begin working with them to develop your wedding day flowers. Ask to see a portfolio of their work and inquire about their design philosophy to see if it will complement your vision.

Do Your Homework
Spend some time before your initial consultation studying wedding magazines to get an idea of what floral designs you like. Remember, the florist will be able to create arrangements in virtually any color scheme you prefer. Check out our Flower Suggestions and Bouquet Styles pages for great wedding floral ideas.

The Initial Consultation
The first meeting with your florist usually takes one to two hours, and will cover all of your floral options from bouquets and boutonnieres to centerpieces and swags. You will also get an idea of what flowers will be in season on your wedding day and what is available for you to choose from. Bring wedding magazine images you like as a resource.

Come Prepared
It’s always a good idea to know your Floral Budget before meeting with your florist. Be sure to bring the following wedding information to the meeting; date and time of ceremony, date and time of reception, time of scheduled photography session, name, address and contact numbers for both wedding and reception venues, and the name and phone number of your contact person (usually the maid of honor or best man). You will also want to provide the florist with your colors, styles, and fabric samples.

Handy Pricing Guidelines
The price of your wedding flowers will depend on three criteria: (1) the types of flowers you choose, (2) the quantity of flowers you will need and (3) the seasonal availability of your chosen blooms. Be sure to ask the florist what options you will have in-season, so you can stay on budget.

Important Considerations
When choosing your flower style keep in mind how tall you are, how formal the wedding will be, how ornate the wedding gown is, and what time of year it will be occurring. If you are petite or have an ornate gown, keep the bouquet simple so it won’t compete with the overall look. A large or cascading bouquet works best with simple wedding gowns or tall brides. Make sure you choose hardy blooms that can withstand hours without water. If you are having a summer wedding or are getting married in a warm climate, it’s best to stay away from delicate blooms that will wilt in hot temperatures.

Get Everything in Writing
Make sure you have a written contract with your florist, specifically stating what flowers you will have, how many bouquets and arrangements you will have, the price, and delivery method and time.

Final Confirmation
Confirm your order and delivery at least 4 days before the wedding. Make sure the flowers will be delivered before the photographer arrives, so they’ll be included in your wedding photographs.