For years I have been reading in the general media (internet, bridal magazines, wedding planner checklists, etc.) that you should book your wedding florist approximately 6 months prior to your wedding date – and for years I have been shaking my head at this.
In this blog I give you pointers and reasons why you should book your wedding florist between 12 and 10 month in advance:
The reality is that the best suppliers do get booked up the quickest. Your wedding flowers and centerpiece décor are some of the elements that can really make or break your big day so you would want the best supplier for that. For example: You could have the best photographer (and you should), but he can not make cheap centerpieces look like a million dollar centerpiece. Your flowers and decor will form part of your wedding pictures for the rest of your life.
The majority of our clients book our services between 9 and 12 months prior to their wedding date. It works great for us and for them with plenty of benefits that last minute brides will never be aware of.
Weddings are changing by the year and becoming more detailed than what the industry has ever seen before. People’s priorities, standards and needs for their wedding differ from one couple to the next and as a supplier in the industry it is important that we are flexible in our designs and options to meet those needs.
What is more important is that your entire wedding theme and feeling needs to flow from one element to the next, incorporating many small elements and bringing it all together to form one beautiful, well balanced picture. A floral designer can assist you to visualize the bigger picture, give you professional advice on colours, texture and styling and just put everything into perspective.
As we have seen many weddings and have been involved in planning of ‘table top layouts’ and other elements of weddings for years, this puts us in a great position to
offer you advice and give you ideas. This will result in you, the bride, being much calmer during the planning of your wedding, knowing you are heading in the right
direction, as your ideas will become much clearer from the start.
My advice is; once you have a venue, you should start looking at floral designers who look like they might be talking ‘your kind of wedding language’ with their flowers. At this stage I also recommend researching and contacting all other wedding suppliers, even if it is a year before the wedding date. You will get a very accurate idea on pricing and what is available in each field of the market.
This will also help you plan your budget better for your entire wedding.
Many floral designers take on a limited number of orders per date. Place yourself in their shoes for a few seconds, then you will realize why they only take on a limited
number of orders per date: The work they do is 85 to 95% physical work with long hours on their feet. With every year and in every season, some dates are more popular than others and get booked out quickly. Once a floral designer is fully booked, they simply cannot take on more orders. That means once the service is booked, you will have a dedicated set-up team with your dedicated floral designer. Floral designers start their workdays very early and the earliest rise is on the day of your wedding as most personal florals like corsages, buttonholes and some hand bouquets are only made on the day to ensure they are fresh. It takes a few hours to make these personal florals. After that they start loading the vehicle(s) and drive to your venue with the greatest of care to deliver and set-up at your wedding.
Flowers are very seasonal and their availability from year to year can also differ as it is influenced by water availability, rain, storm damage, etc. As a floral designer, I personally visit the market once a week as most weeks, this puts me in a position to know what is happening, what is available and what is not. We have also become quite good with pricing and availability predictions as we have built up relationships with wholesale suppliers and flower farms alike. I spend a lot of my time managing the bride’s expectations, especially where she has been planning her wedding for months to a year and only then comes to meet me for a consultation, and the only ideas she has on paper and in her mind is of a flower that is not available in the month of her wedding. Her whole world comes crashing down and my job becomes very hard at this stage. Brides that visit me much earlier on are more informed and relaxed knowing that I understand their theme and colours and will pull that through into the flowers. We also have a great section on our website that guides you with flower availability in your colour and the month you get married.
You may be concerned about booking yo
ur wedding flowers a year in advance. A lot can happen in one year, right? Because of this we have some leeway in our service agreement that allows the client to make changes to their order up to a certain time. This allows them to change the style or colour completely, or to change quantities, etc., etc., etc. Therefore there is also no set value for your order in the contract, which means if you started off with 20 guest tables, and as you continue planning you realized, you will only need 14, we just adjust your order accordingly.
If you book your floral designer in advance, you can decide to what degree you would like to involve them in your wedding. For example, I have had brides who booked my service 11 months in advance and as time went by I received little e-mails from them sharing their menu design, their thank you gifts, their wedding invites, etc. Each one of these little elements is like a puzzle piece and each of them helps to build the bigger picture. When it comes to the centerpiece mock-up time, I already have a picture perfect idea of exactly the style, look and feel that the bride wants to create. And suddenly it all comes together and they cannot believe how perfect it is.
I hope I have given you enough reasons to get cracking on your research and quote requests with your wedding florists or with me.