1. Is my date available?
If it is, check to see if a deposit is necessary to hold the date. Also ask if there is any consultation fee. Inquire as to whether you can receive a price proposal before deposit its placed.
2. Do you have actual photographs or samples of your past work?
It's important to see the work of the actual florist not air brushed photos from a FTD book. There is no better way to see if their style complements your tastes and verify just how skilled they are.
3. Is there a delivery or set-up fee?
Watch out this can be a substantial extra charge. Most florists will charge a delivery and set-up fee especially if you have either complex flower arrangements or a site that is a long distance from their shop. If the charge is high, consider finding a florist closer to the site or cut back on the complicated decorations.
4. Do you offer any silk or dried flower arrangements?
This may be important to you if you want to save your bouquet or want an unusual look for a table centerpiece. Sometimes these two options may be less expensive than fresh flowers, especially for some exotics like orchids. A table centerpiece idea: dried rose topiaries double as an elegant keepsake.
5. How many weddings do you do in a day?
The biggest problem with some florists is that they become over-extended trying to do too many weddings in one day. A florist can probably do two or three events a day if the events are held at different times or the florists has plenty of help. If the florist schedule looks crowded for your wedding date, they may arrive late or deliver the wrong flowers. Be sure to look for someone focused on your wedding not just your checkbook.
6. Are you familiar with my ceremony and reception site locations?
If not, will you visit it with me? It may be a good idea to introduce your florist to the ceremony or reception site if they have never seen it. Ask if there is any charge for this on-site visit.
7. What rental items do you have? How are they priced?
Some things you many want to rent include a candelabrum, aisle standards or urns. The best florists don't over charge on rentals. One way to find out is to compare prices with a local rental store. A common markup for florists is about 10% for their time to coordinate this detail. If you would prefer to rent the items yourself because you can get a better price, be sure you have the time to pick up and return the items.
8. Can I attend one of your weddings during set-up for a look at your designs?
Here is another way to determine how professional and talented your florist is. You will need to visit during set-up and leave before the wedding party arrives. Try not to interrupt the florists or their staff while they work (save your questions for later.) Look for timeliness, freshness of the flowers, and how well the florist and staff work together.
9. What time will you be at my ceremony and reception sites to set up my wedding?
Confirm this time constantly throughout your planning. Many florists set up weddings a couple of hours in advance. If this is the case with your wedding, make sure the temperature at your site will not be too hot for the flowers.
10. Will you merely drop off my flowers or stay through the ceremony?
The degree of service here differs dramatically from florist to florist. Some just drop off the flowers for the ceremony and leave, while others will stay to pin on corsages, make sure nothing is missing etc. There will be an extra fee of generally $50-75 for this service; however this could be a worthwhile investment.
11. What happens if the flowers I pick are not available for my wedding?
How will you determine what flowers to substitute?
12. What is the policy if i want to add extra items such as another table centerpiece or boutonniere at the last minute?
Jasmine MacDonald is the editor of Fun Weddings and Merry Brides, which will provide you with daily ideas and tips to help you plan the perfect wedding while staying within your budget.