Expert Tips for Hiring Your Wedding Florist

Photo of wedding flowers in boxes by Tahoe North Films

Tiffany Tullgren

July 25, 2023

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They symbolize life, renewal, innocence, and love. And since flowers create a backdrop for your photos and video, they can make a significant impact on the overall effect of your wedding.
How do you get them just right? Keep reading to get our wedding experts’ guide to flowers.

Getting Started

Because of the time and expense involved, flowers are one of the first wedding elements you should plan – usually right after you’ve selected your ceremony and reception location and photographer. Popular and talented florists book well in advance, and many experts recommend choosing your florist six months to a year before your wedding date.
Need help to figure out what you want? Start browsing through Pinterest and bridal magazines. Save or mark the photos that catch your eye. You could also look at wedding blogs, view your friends’ wedding photos, or the portfolios on wedding photographers’ sites.

Interview Time

Next, it’s time to talk to some florists. Start by browsing websites. Most florists will have a website with an online portfolio and some information about their credentials and experience.
Look for someone who matches your taste and style. Once you have a few in mind, call for an appointment.
At your initial consultation, come ready to discuss your ideas. Bring any photos you have that showcase your desired look, or share a list of flowers you know you like. But don’t just rely on the blooms to inspire your florist. Show her your dress and photographs of your reception site. Describe your invitations, cake, or anything else you may have already decided upon for your wedding. The more details you share, the more the florist can envision your day and share ideas on complementing and enhancing it with flowers.

Contract Signing

Once you’ve selected a florist, get your deal in writing. A florist should offer you a contract, including a detailed estimate of the design elements included, the flowers that will be used, the estimated costs, and a payment schedule.
You should expect and give your florist reasonable leeway to substitute specific blooms and designs as needed but make sure you understand the policy and process. This will help avoid unexpected changes on your wedding day and help facilitate clear and comprehensive communication with your florist.
A bride and her bridesmaids displaying their bouquets. Photo by Jana Johnston Photography


When it comes to planning your wedding flowers, designing is the fun part! Make a list of the items that you’ll need. Common floral elements include bouquets for the bride and her bridesmaids, boutonnieres and corsages for family members and the groomsmen, flower girl petals, altar arrangements, aisle and reception decor – including table centerpieces, buffet and cake decorations, and arrangements next to guest books, gift tables, and other areas.
Let her suggest spaces where floral arrangements might hide an eyesore or add an unexpected punch. She also may have thoughts on how to reuse specific arrangements in multiple locations. As your wedding festivities move from location to location, this will save you money.
Also, allow your florist to make out-of-the-box design suggestions. Not every arrangement has to include flowers, filler, and a vase. For a casual outdoor affair, your florist might suggest placing metal buckets filled with produce around the reception or using vine or leaf garlands. At a “shabby chic” wedding, you may consider using teacups en masse – each with one tiny rose. These non-traditional ideas will not only add texture and interest to your design, but they’ll also add big drama with a little price tag.


Establishing a budget with your florist will be a crucial task. Traditional flowers should account for around 10% of your overall wedding budget.
However, instead of sticking to a rigid formula, experts advise working with your florist and coordinator to determine an appropriate budget for your desired look and backing the dollar figure into your wedding budget.
Once you’ve set a budget, ask your florist for ideas to stretch it and be willing to listen! Remember, your florist is an expert at choosing suitable blooms and designs to maximize any budget. With an open mind and a creative spirit, you might be surprised that simple tweaks to your order can produce significant savings or create a bigger impact on your designs.
Another budget saver is to be flexible on flower varieties. Remember that seasonal and locally available flowers will always be more affordable. If you have your heart set on peonies in winter, importing them across the world will be your only option, and you’ll pay dearly for it. Ask your florist for recommendations that mimic the shape and look of the varietals you like but at a lower cost.
Choosing weather-appropriate flowers can also help you save. If you select delicate flowers that wilt quickly, your florist will need to have more on hand to replace failing blooms. Ask your florist to suggest alternative flowers or devise ways to keep the flowers looking fabulous and lasting throughout the day to cut down on waste.
It’s natural to be hesitant about changes to your “perfect” vision, but trust your vendor’s professional opinion. With some planning, creativity, and teamwork, your wedding flowers will be all you dreamed they could be!
As you search for your wedding florist, our team of professionals at Rough & Ready Vineyards is here to help. Contact us today by email or phone to learn more about our outdoor wedding venue and how we can help make your wedding day unforgettable.

Tiffany Tullgren

Written by Tiffany Tullgren

As Venue Manager for the Rough & Ready Vineyards, Tiffany has a genuine love and passion for planning and organizing weddings. She shares, “Being able to create memories that will last a lifetime for you and your guests is so rewarding. I enjoy making your dream wedding day come true!” Tiffany specializes in personalizing wedding services for each client and handling stressful event situations with grace.

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