Rittners School Of Floral Design
In Boston Advice to Brides
Part 2: The Wedding Consultation
After you have decided what florist you think you would like
to do your wedding, it is generally a good idea to sit down with
him/her and go over the details. In the trade we call this a bridal
or wedding consultation. In this section of our web site we'd like
to offer some suggestions that may help you in this meeting.
- Don't try to call florists to get every detail
concerning prices and creative ideas on the phone. Planning floral decorations
for a wedding
requires time and effort. The floral designer
can't really do his/her best for you on the phone, and will resent it if you
try to get the whole function planned on the phone. Plan to go
in to see the florist.
- Don't just barge in on a florist in the middle of
a day and expect him/her to do a consult with you. It's not unusual for
a bridal consultation to last at least one hour, often longer. Set up an appointment at a mutually convenient time.
- Similarly never, ever, ever, try to get a florist to do a consult in the middle of
a flower holiday (eg. Valentines' Day, Mothers' Day, etc.) when
a flower shop is wild. Florists get a
bit upset with this (especially if your wedding is two years from now!!)
- Some florists charge extra for the consultation. Others will tell you
that the cost of the consultation will be deducted from the cost of the
wedding, should s/he get the order. Some may not charge anything for the consult.
There is no one set practice in the floral
The florist is going to be spending time with you,
and you will be asking his/her expertise. Just as other professionals charge
for their time, so too can the florist.
- Treat the florist with respect. Be honest. If you are only pricing, say
so. Don't give the impression that you are booking an order especially if
you are simply comparing the price with the one you got from the florist
to whom you already gave the order!!
- If you set up an appointment to discuss the flowers for your wedding,
plan on showing up. If you have an unavoidable reason for
cancelling, give the florist the courtesy of calling and re-scheduling.
- There is a tendency to be a little nervous when planning the flowers for
one's wedding, so often brides will bring along their mother, sister, friends,
The Boston Celtics, etc. for moral support and advice.
Try not to bring too many people with
you. Bring your mom or a friend, or possibly the groom, but not half of your
- Your little kids from a past marriage may be cute, and it is true you may
have had a hard time finding a sitter, but believe me, they will be bored
with your consultation. Many florists do complain about this one!! Always
bring along coloring books, etc. or better yet, if possible, leave the youngster
home with a sitter or at daycare.
- Before you go in to see the florist, have a general idea of how much you
want to spend. Weddings can be very modest or very
ornate. Sometimes brides feel that because the flowers are transient in
lasting quality, they can really cut corners in this area. While you can have
a very modest wedding that is still pretty, listen carefully to your florist's
suggestions. Wedding photos are often sad testimonies to weddings that had
too many corners cut as far as flowers are concerned. And remember that the brides had to
look at those photos with regrret for years afterwards.
Oh, yes...Please try not to argue or fight with your mother or the groom during the
consultation. Suggestions that are offered by the florist are just that...suggestions.
- If you have a parent who is especially difficult, and
you know it, think of bringing along a favorite aunt etc. instead. Try to avoid conflicts.
- If A florist
is good enough to help you work out your order, you should be upfront with any
price concerns, & first try to work with that florist to try to deal with them. Running
around comparing prices never guarantees better prices or better quality.
- Try to
go in with some sort of an idea of what you like. Surely there must have been a
friend's wedding that you attended or a movie that you viewed with ideas that you liked.
If not, perhaps you like a certain look or style, or prefer certain flowers.
At the very least you must certainly prefer certain colors. Express these things.
You'd be amazed at what a florist can do with some basic ideas along these lines.
- Perhaps you have a few pictures from a magazine or book. These are all good
starting points for planning a wedding that is right for you. These are good ways
for you to communicate to your florist the general style, look or approach. Try
not to get caught in the trap of insisting on exact duplicates of what you see
in print. Allow yourself and your florist some creative room.
- Remember that if you are concerned about budget, flexibility is the key.
The florist is dealing with perishable merchandise that may be brought in from
all over the world. If you simply must have flowers that are out of season,
you will have to pay more for them. The more freedom you allow your florist to
work within seasonal choices, the more likely you can save money.
- Similarly, keep in mind that it may seem romantic & wonderful to have a Christmas
Wedding, or a Valentine's Day Wedding, but any time you pick a holiday period for
your wedding you are running the risk that many florists won't want to do your
flowers (because they are so busy), or if they are willing to take on your wedding
the cost of the materials
will reflect the higher holiday prices.
- Always have alternative flower choices in mind, or
allow your florist to consider alternatives.
If you have a second
choice, make sure that it is something that you like as much (or almost as much)
as the first choice, so that you won't be disappointed if it must be used.
- Bring as much information along with you as you can. Swatches of
material used for gowns is helpful, but bring along a piece of material
that is large enough to see (not a thread or two!!) Swatches are also helpful
in determining colors. Telling your florist that a "dusty rose" color will be
used is essentially meaningless. Manufacturers come up with thousands upon thousands
of trade names to describe colors. Also
give the florist some room to manipulate. If you insist on exact matches of
colors it will be harder (sometimes impossible) to achieve and often more costly. Let
your florist work within ranges of colors or combine different colors together
to come up with interesting looks.
The more that you know in terms of numbers of guests, tables, settings, and whether
there are other weddings scheduled the same day at that location (gives the florist
an idea as to how long s/he has to set up) are all helpful to facilitating the
- Oh, one last thought. Try to keep the personal flowers (eg. corsages) for
the two mothers the same (or as close as possible). Yes, I know you might be
thinking, "Orchids for my Mom, and poison ivy for his Mother." but it really doesn't
accomplish anything. Try to keep their flowers as similar as possible, so that
you won't hear about possible hard feelings twenty years after the wedding has
Remember, your florist has done this many times before, and s/he is
there to help you. If you follow these hints, you will find that
the process will be a little easier.
Please, above all. Relax!!!
And have a very happy wedding!!!!
Wedding Consultation Tips-Part I
the first section of our wedding consultations suggestions,
gives practical tips for choosing your florist.
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