Do you know what to expect when booking your floral consultation? If the answer is no, then you're not alone. When working through your wedding planning process your florist is going to play an integral role in helping you not only with designs, but also offering insight on what the best fit will be for your wedding flowers. I feel like shopping for flowers is similar to shopping for a dress. You might go into it with a very specific vision in mind and then completely change that once you're in the throws and can actually see things in person and talk through it with an expert. And that is perfectly ok! Here are some helpful tips from our dear friend, and expert, Dallas of Bloomsbury Blooms in Anchorage.
1.) How do I prepare for my floral consultation? Do I need to gather any information to bring with me ahead of time? You really don't need to bring too much information to the consultation. Sometimes a single photo or image you found online or ripped out of a magazine can be enough to get started and convey the overall look you want, if you really love the image. You will, of course, need to have decided on a budget before the meeting. It can be helpful if you have an estimate of table numbers and guests in order to give you a more accurate quote. We will also cover basics such as how many bridesmaids bouquets and boutonnières you will need.
2.) What should I expect at the consultation? The florist will ask you questions about your general vision for the wedding, colors, style, linens, menu, and a variety of other details to try and get a feel for your style and what you are looking for. Think of it as a first date, you will know if you want a second date or not. After an initial consultation I always know if I am the right florist for the couple. After the first consultation I send a rough plan and bid based on the needs discussed at the meeting. Rule number one, plans almost always change. The table numbers will change and the bridesmaids dress color might change. After the first consultation you don't need to have all of the details planned out as there will be plenty of time to work on this with your florist over the next few months. Feeling like the florist understands your style and can work with your budget are the two most important things at this point.
3.) I have very specific flowers that I want at my wedding. What if they aren't in season? There are so many beautiful flowers in all of the seasons! Trust the florist to find something similar that you will love. In season flowers and local when possible will look best. Keep in mind that images on Pinterest can be deceiving and as your florist we know how to achieve the look that you want while still remaining realistic in terms of seasonal availability and your budget
4.) How do I set a realistic floral budget? On average, floral should be delegated 10% of the total wedding budget. This number varies depending on the location and each couple's needs. This is also very dependent on priorities. Some couples choose a theme where their floral is the highlight and focus of the day while others opt for simpler and understated flowers.
5.) Why do flowers and floral arrangements cost what they do? I could make a long list of all the cost associated with flowers including the farming aspects, transportation, time spent planning etc, but it can be summed up by saying that there are many steps involved. Flowers are very delicate, and a lot of care goes in to every aspect of the process. It may seem that we are just taking stems and putting them in a vase, but there is so much more to it than that. Lots of materials are used to create each look and it can take very long hours for several days just to produce one wedding. Setting up hanging pieces or arbors are also very time consuming and take some degree of expertise to make sure they stay, and stay beautiful, throughout the entire event!
6.) What are two of the biggest pieces of advice or information florists wished that their clients knew before making their floral plans? The number one piece of advice I would offer is that if you convey a general idea to the floral designer let them have room to be creative. It will be much more beautiful than if you try to plan the details of the flowers for them! Trust your florist with her knowledge of the seasons and how that affects the availability of your flowers. We really want to make your event as beautiful as possible and that is why we steer you in the right direction!
About the Expert: Dallas Wildeve is an Anchorage florist who combines locally grown, foraged and imported blooms to create beautiful and unique works of art. Bloomsbury Blooms evolved out of Dallas' lifelong passion for combining textures, colors and patterns, growing things and bringing nature into the home. She's colorful, creative and has a wonderful shop in downtown Anchorage with little handpicked treats, books and antiques for purchase! Stop in to say hello or contact her to book your floral consultation.