How to Choose a Wedding Florist in 5 Simple Steps
Wedding florists estimate that the average amount most couples spend on their total floral budget is around $2,200. For guidance on your finances — from someone who knows peonies are one of the most sought-after wedding flowers — there’s no better solution than to work with a florist. Learn how to choose a wedding florist with this step-by-step guide, and see why 4 in 10 Americans say a professional florist has helped them.
Check out our simple tips, free tools, and actionable advice below. Then, review our list of questions to ask a florist and get some advice on how to avoid the most common wedding flower mistakes.
When should you find a florist for your wedding?
At least four months before the date. However, six to eight months out is best because it gives you time to shop around, compare prices, and finalize contract details.
Discover how to choose a wedding florist in 5 steps:
Follow these easy instructions to clarify your vision, source a list of talented vendors, and choose the best florist for your wedding.
1. Organize your ideas.
Arrangement ideas can be anything from a specific type of flower you want to feature to an entire bouquet concept. Look up your wedding theme online to see what flowers other brides use. View photos from friends and family wedding albums. Cut out bridal magazine pictures to create a vision board. Gather all of your floral content in one place and discover recurring themes such as types of flowers, colors, and arrangement styles. Use those patterns to fine-tune your own vision.
Try one of these free digital tools to organize your wedding flower ideas and show them to florists:
Bridal Bouquet Builder: Create a 3D version of your dream wedding bouquet. Use it as a jumping-off point for your bridesmaid bouquets and centerpieces. Subscribe to the premium version to unlock customizable bouquet recipes from professional wedding florists.
Canva: Capture the feeling you want your flowers to evoke using an abstract mood board on Canva. Upload images from your computer or online that reflect the color scheme, style, and bouquet shape you want to have.
2. Determine how many types of flowers you need.
Choose if you will incorporate all the traditional types of flower arrangements in your celebration, which include: a bridal bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets or corsages, boutonnieres, centerpieces, cake decor, and venue decor.
Bridal bouquets are large wedding dress accessories that look nice in photos, give the bride something to do with her hands during the ceremony, and can be thrown during the reception. Bridesmaid bouquets and corsages are also attractive additions to wedding pictures and can create a uniform party look, which is especially important if they plan to wear mismatched dresses.
However, you can pick cheaper props such as candle-lit lanterns, macrame artworks, or ribbon bouquets instead of flowers. If you do, substitute boutonniere flowers too with unusual and elegant alternatives such as paper cranes or monogrammed pocket squares. Design your wedding table centerpieces, cake decor, and venue decor flowers to match or reflect your bridal bouquet and wedding theme.
Use your budget to determine which wedding arrangement types you want to have. Start with your bridal bouquet then add wedding party flowers. Include flowers in your centerpieces and cake or venue decor if you have room in your budget afterward.
Plan to have one bridal bouquet, a bridesmaid bouquet for every bridesmaid, one groom boutonniere, and a boutonniere for every groomsman at a minimum. Calculate how many flower table centerpieces you need by calculating how many tables you will have at your reception using a free 3D wedding design tool like Social Tables.
Design your cake with and without flowers then compare estimates for both designs to see how much money you can save if you do not include them. Consider if your venue needs extra decor and then ask if they allow outside florists to work in their space.
3. Establish a budget.
Expect to spend 8-10% of your overall wedding budget on flowers. Compare that number to these average wedding arrangement prices from professional florists:
Bridal bouquets: $100-$200
Bridesmaid bouquets: $50-$150 each
Boutonnieres/corsages: $50-$150 each
Wedding table centerpieces: $125-$400 each
Cake decor: $25-$150
Venue decor: $250-$750
Factor in additional delivery and installation fees (roughly 6-11% of your total florist bill), labor fees (18-20%), rental security deposit fees (around $50-$100), and state and county sales tax (9-16%) if applicable. Calculate how much money you will have leftover after you subtract your desired number of arrangements plus additional fees and taxes from your budget. Use that number to streamline your search.
4. Create and vet a list of potential companies.
Start with personal referrals from friends, family members, and colleagues. Do a cursory internet search on Google, Yelp, and Find a Florist to discover highly-rated wedding florists near you. Write a post on social media that asks your extended network who they recommend. Read popular wedding blogs to discover new and award-winning wedding florists in the immediate area.
Cross-reference your list of possible florists with the following accredited business and industry-specific sites:
Better Business Bureau: Search the florist’s first and last name plus their company’s name. Read reviews (if any) from real customers.
Local, regional, and national florist associations: Explore the directories of associations nearby to see if anyone on the list is a member.
Their company website: Browse wedding flower examples, client testimonials, and awards or accolades.
Once you narrow it down, look for examples of their work that are similar to your own vision. Pay special attention to any wedding themes they specialize in. Also, see if you can spot similarities between all of their flower designs. These shared characteristics make up their signature style and will likely appear in your flower arrangements should you choose to hire them.
Consider their level of experience and how many years they have been in the industry. Professional wedding florists with roughly 5-7 years of experience will likely charge average rates while more or less experienced florist prices will vary accordingly.
Find out whether they work alone or with a team. Freelance florists have more opportunity to make special accommodations, provide hands-on service, and negotiate package deals. Professional florist teams share a wealth of knowledge, experience, and creativity between them. They also have more capacity to handle last-minute changes.
5. Finalize your decision.
Share your wedding flower vision board, budget, and timeline before your first meeting. Include pictures of your dress, wedding theme inspiration, and any relevant cake or venue details too.
Ask to review a copy of their standard contract. Inquire about their flexibility on terms or policies that are most relevant to your wedding. Determine if this is a dealbreaker for you.
Get a detailed quote that includes a breakdown of how many flower stems they expect to use along with what kind of containers. Weed out florists who are 1. Out of your budget or 2. Unwilling to negotiate a smaller quantity of stems or cheaper vases.
Compose a list of questions about their services. See if they provide the answers in the FAQ section of their website before you ask them to save you both some time.
Double-check cancellation policies, payment plan options, and additional onsite services you may need. Keep an eye out for minimum order requirements and availability on your wedding date while you’re at it.
Talk to them in person or over the phone to get a better sense of their personality. Intuitively decide if this is someone you feel can bring your vision to life. Pay special attention to their communication style, how fast they respond, and what hours they operate. See if these details align with your wedding planning schedule or personal needs.
What questions should I ask a wedding florist?
Ask a florist this list of questions in order to figure out if they’re a good fit, discover the true cost of working with them, and get concrete information on how they fit into your wedding planning timeline:
When and why did you become a florist?
Are you available on my wedding date? Do you have any other events booked before or after my wedding on this same day?
Are you willing to work within my budget? What happens if we go over?
What is your creative process like?
What services do you provide? Are there any services you don’t offer that I should be aware of?
Have you designed wedding flowers like the ones on my vision board before?
Do you have any ideas or suggestions for my designs?
Will you communicate directly with my venue and/or wedding cake baker?
Who is responsible for flower arrangement delivery, setup, and takedown?
What does your day-of wedding timeline look like?
How and when do you accept payment(s)? Do you offer payment plans?
Is there anything else I should know about your quote or possible fees?
Avoid these common mistakes when picking a wedding florist:
Don’t choose flowers that have powerful aromas. They can cause allergic reactions among guests. Opt for fake versions of your favorite fragrant blooms or ask your florist to find a lightly scented flower that is the same shape and color as your original choice.
Don’t delay your search. Avoid costly last-minute bookings and stressful DIY projects by planning your flowers soon after you secure a venue.
Don’t try to replicate your inspiration board. Trust that you chose the best possible florist who will come up with something similar yet completely unique for your special day.