It is generally a good idea to schedule a wedding consultation with your florist to go over all the details of your wedding plan. Your florist has done this before, so you can relax and trust them.
Florists used to offer wedding consultations at no charge but I think you will see this change in the not to distant future. I have yet to decide whether I will have a flat fee or just have a fee that will apply to the order if the bride books the wedding.
This year after much reflection, I decided to take a look at how much free time I put in on weddings, mostly after my 50-60 hour work week. Many hours each day have been spent coming up with ideas, pricing, only to have the bride end up going with another florist, or having a friend do it, or doing the flowers themselves. Usually without the courtesy of even a phone call.
While I do respect that brides have many tough decisions to make, this practice of brides giving the impression that they are booking an order while they are simply comparing the price of the quote they have already received from another florist, is a big waste of every ones time. Price comparison never guarantees better quality or even better prices. We all buy our flowers from the same place. The difference in price tends to come from our fixed costs, like the rent we pay for our space, and the salary we pay our employees. I’ve taken a poll from many florist recently, and every one has said they will not provide written estimates any more, because of the price shopping and the fact that customers use them to negotiate a better price. I’m not against price negotiating, but I think you should be up front about it.
Treat your florist with respect and be honest. A good florist can create beautiful events for any budget, and your style can be made in a wide variety of prices. As florists we spend a lot of time with brides, sharing our expertise and like most professionals, who charge for their time, so should we. Don’t be afraid to tell the florist up front that you are price shopping, tell them what you are looking to spend, and then if you don’t like the quote they have given, be kind and let them know you are going to keep looking.
I have people call me all the time trying to get every detail concerning pricing and decor ideas over the phone, but this is not something that I can do over the phone in the middle of a busy day. Floral design requires a lot of time, effort and attention to the details. Make an appointment and go see your florist in person, or put your plan on paper and email it to your florist if you are comfortable communicating on the computer.
Flower shops are crazy during the holidays, we are so stressed and frantic, more than you can even imagine, trust me, it is not a good time to call and talk about your wedding. You will find us much more pleasant if you wait until after the holiday to schedule that consultation. It’s not unusual for a bridal consultation to last at least one hour, often longer. So don’t just drop by, instead set up an appointment at a mutually convenient time. Floral art is very labor intensive, if you really want a particular florist to do your wedding be sure to book your event in advance.