Get References and Read Reviews- Ask recently married friends for references. Read reviews online and in bridal magazines. Read the good and the bad and use your best judgment. When in doubt, schedule multiple consultations with different florists to get a feel for the people who will be involved in creating your wedding bouquets and arrangements.
Ask to See Pictures- Many florists will keep pictures of past bouquets and arrangements or at least a catalog of what they can offer.
Provide Your Own Pictures- Be sure to provide the florist with pictures of bouquets you love and pictures of other design elements that inspire the look you crave.
Get It All in Writing and in Detail- Be sure to have the types of flowers to be used, the size of the bouquets and the arrangements and any substitutions that may be used should the flowers desired not be available in the price range decided. Be prepared to pay the high end of the estimate if needed. Flower quotes tend to be estimated but you should never be expected to pay more than the high end of the estimate.
Allow for Substitutions- The florist can probably save you money by substituting flowers that will create a similar look to the ones you want. The florist would substitute with something that is cheaper per stem, takes up more room per stem or just something that is grown more locally and most likely to be readily available at the time of the wedding.
Consider the Season- Keep in mind prices may go up when the wedding date is near a “flower” holiday. Holiday’s like Valentine’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day are high traffic for florist and flowers and their time will cost more.
Signs of a Good Florist- A good florist will be willing to work within your budget and give you options. They will also be willing to coordinate with other vendors as needed such as the wedding cake designer.
Be a Good Customer- Your mind will change a million times as a bride. Email any questions, concerns or changes and ideas if your florist has an email. This will give them a few days to get back to you. They do have other customers and doing the work of a florist is time intensive work. It is normal for florists to charge for consultations beyond one or two initial consultations. Some florists will charge a fee for the first consultation to be deducted from the cost of your package should you book them.
If you have done all you can to choose a good florist, you then just have to trust in their abilities and know that your flowers will be beautiful no matter what.