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The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Flowers: Choosing and Working with a Wedding Florist

Updated: Jan 29


Unlike other aspects of wedding planning, organising your wedding florals can be a daunting process, especially if you don’t have floristry experience or this is your first time needing flowers for an event.

We’re here to help! Whether you’re 6-9 months out from your wedding date, have booked your venue well in advance and are excited to get started with collaborating with your vendors or feeling overwhelmed by the wedding planning process, our comprehensive guide to wedding flowers is the best place to start, answering the most commonly asked questions about wedding floristry.

While you may have begun perusing floral designs on your Pinterest board, have you compiled a detailed list of every arrangement needed for your big day? If not, no worries! We understand the multitude of vendor meetings during wedding planning, and our guide aims to streamline the process. This guide is designed to instil the confidence needed to begin your wedding floral planning to ensure you feel organised when meeting your first florist.

Wedding planning is a monumental task, but it's a beautiful journey. Among its key elements are the flowers, and that's where a wedding florist, like Iris and Elle, steps in. A wedding florist specialises in bringing the florals you dream of for your big day to life and their expertise contributes significantly to setting the perfect ambiance for your special day. A florist will help guide you in choosing the right flowers, colours, and designs, ensuring your wedding day is etched in unforgettable floral beauty.

When Should I Contact a Wedding Florist?

Securing a florist should be prioritised among the initial wedding vendor hires—ideally, initiate your search between eight and 12 months before the scheduled wedding day.

Essentially, once your venue is booked, and the date is officially set, you can begin looking for a florist that is the right fit for your event. The intricate work involved in crafting beautiful flower arrangements, coupled with the time and team required, means that wedding florists' schedules can fill up swiftly. This is particularly true if your wedding falls within the peak Spring wedding season and given the current surge in weddings. Conducting vetting sessions with florists early in the planning stages will enhance your chances of securing the florist you love and avoiding disappointment.

Aim to finalise a contract between 9 and 10 months prior to the wedding. A lengthier lead time enables your florist to place any essential orders tailored to your specific wedding requirements. After locking in your contract we suggest arranging a meeting with your chosen florist three to five months prior to your wedding date to delve into the specifics. Schedule in-person meetings or phone calls with a curated list of florists to establish connections and gain insights into their work, personality, and to finalise accurate pricing.

What Do I Need to Know Before Talking to a Wedding Florist?

When preparing for your initial consultation with a florist, whether via email, phone call or in person, ensure you have essential details at hand, such as your wedding venue, date, approximate guest count, bridal party size, budget estimates, preferred style, must-have flowers, and any floral exclusions.This sounds like a lot but don't feel overwhelmed, you don't need to be well-versed in flower names or provide finalised details, your florist will help you work through these hurdles and will let you know what specifics they need to work around.

Define your floral requirements and establish a budget

Basic information like what arrangements you'll be needing and a rough budget to work within is crucial for your florist. Before your first meeting, confirm your wedding date and ideally, secure a venue,. This allows the florist to reserve the date, determine seasonal parameters for flowers (which can influence the overall direction of your florals and pricing) and grasp the aesthetic context of your wedding backdrop. Having a preliminary budget in mind helps facilitate meaningful discussions during the meeting. While the consultation is an opportunity to refine the budget, having a realistic spending range from the start ensures productive conversations about pricing. This is particularly important for florists to tailor their quotes to fit budget constraints and address any design preferences that might incur additional costs. At Iris and Elle we like to set to ends of the spectrum, are you going for the 'Vogue look' like your wedding could be in a magazine or is the wedding 'budget-friendly'?

Details are important, but you don't need every nuance finalised. Contrary to a common misconception, couples don't need an exhaustive collection of images or Pinterest boards for their design meetings. One impactful inspiration image can convey a lot. Rather than overwhelming the process with numerous photos, focus on expressing what you love most about a particular image—whether it's the colour, texture, shape, or vase. It's perfectly acceptable if you don't adore every aspect of an image; the key is identifying and articulating your preferences clearly. In particular, your inspiration photos should pinpoint the colour scheme you want your florist to work with and the style you like, whether this is a traditional look, whimsical style or a contemporary refined take on floristry. Not sure exactly how to source inspiration that meets this require? No worries. Iris and Elle owners, Zahra and Elena, are experienced in working through your inspiration photos to create a custom colour palette and pinpointing an exact style for the florals. Our clients often subconsciously put together themed inspiration so don't overthink this process, it's meant to be the fun part!


How Do I Find The Right Wedding Florist?

How do you know a florist is good and worth trusting to bring your dream wedding to life?

Before reaching out to any florist, do your research.

Our best tip is to meet with florists whose work resonates with you—someone you'd entrust to bring your vision to life.

Prior to the meeting, familiarise yourself with their work, the best place to check this out is via Instagram. Research various florists, ask for references, and schedule consultations. Look for a florist with diverse flower options, reliable delivery, positive customer service, and a creative approach. A great place to find this information is through google reviews - look out for five stars and reviews that specifically mention their experience using the florist for their wedding. Going the extra mile and reaching out to previous brides the florist has tagged on instagram in their wedding posts is the best way to gauge what the florist is like to work with and the quality of their work.

Experience and expertise are crucial factors in selecting a wedding florist. An experienced florist brings valuable skills and knowledge, staying updated on wedding flower trends. They offer expert advice on flower choices, colours, and arrangements that align with your wedding theme.

Beyond their work, consider the florist's overall customer service. Top florists are responsive, easy to work with, and go the extra mile to ensure flawless wedding flowers. They should demonstrate reliability and professionalism. If their communication from the get-go doesn't fill you with trust they may not be the right fit for you.

Take it from us, opting to work with a local florist over a well-known event florist that is further away is best. This ensures that the flowers are as fresh as possible, giving you the most life out of them on your special day and also helps with reducing the overall cost of the flowers as delivery and the florist's time are the most expense parts of the overall quote. Iris and Elle suggests to start by googling "florist (insert wedding venue location)" to find florists local to your wedding venue. Check out the most highly reviewed florists by looking through their photos and confirm their services includes weddings by looking for a 'Wedding' tab on their website.

Does your chosen florist provide a set of Terms & Conditions or a contract upon booking? If they do, it's a positive sign. This indicates the florist's commitment to professionalism, establishing clear expectations for both parties—the client and the provider. Familiarize yourself with the payment schedule, the florist's protocols for consultations and cancellations, the extent of permissible changes to an order, and the procedure in case a requested flower variety becomes unavailable. Clarity in the process and essential information is essential to prevent any misunderstandings or disappointments between both parties.

How Much Should I Spend on Flowers For a Wedding?

In the course of investigating local florists, you will notice that their websites typically lack explicit pricing details.This is because of the diverse costs associated with various flower types and the price fluctuations occurring with seasonal changes. The investment in wedding flowers spans a wide spectrum, varying from a modest sum to a substantial amount.

The overall quote for your florals depends on the intricacy of the desired designs, the availability of specific flowers, the types of flowers used and importantly, the choice of florist.

Iris and Elle owner, Zahra, likes to put flower price into perspective by reminding clients to keep in mind that cut flowers come from living plants - if you have ever had a flowering house plant you know how slow the growing process is for flowers.

It is generally advisable to allocate approximately 10-15% of your overall wedding budget for floral arrangements. To ensure that your floral choices align with your budget, engage in an open discussion about cost with potential floral designers during your initial consultation. In short, fresh flowers are not cheap but they are, in our opinion, worthwhile and florists have the expertise to know how to bring your vision to life within a reasonable budget.


What Does Working With a Wedding Florist Involve?

The process of working with a wedding florist includes:

Consultation: Schedule an initial meeting to discuss your wedding theme, style, and budget. Our tips for effective communication with your florist includes creating a vision board or portfolio for them to draw inspiration from. This can include pictures of your venue, pictures of your bridal party's outfits, the style of decor you plan to use and most importantly, wedding flowers that you love. Communicating exactly what you envision can be challenging, so entering with an open mind is crucial and be open to suggestions, especially regarding season-specific concerns. Your florist is aware of current trends and is there to help you allocate your budget effectively. If they recommend alternative flower types, trust their expertise and consider the potential benefits in terms of colour schemes or photographic appeal.Encourage Creativity! Leverage the florist's expertise, sharing details about your wedding while allowing room for recommendations and creativity. Florists understand seasonal blooms, budget-friendly options, and how to complement your theme.

Proposal: After the consultation, the florist will present a proposal outlining recommended floral arrangements, colours, and designs and provide a ball-park quote.

Planning: This is the part of the process that requirements the most collaboration from you. If you are having floral arrangements aside from bouquets, your florist will require a well-thought-out floor plan and run sheet as well as coordination with other vendors such as photographers and furniture hire. Knowing the on-the-day team in advance ensures smooth collaboration without bothering you and your partner.

Provide accurate addresses to the florist for proper arrangement deliveries. Keep them informed of any updates, and ensure they know the wedding day schedule. Florists handle setup and takedown, known as "bumping in" and "bumping out." Time requirements vary based on arrangement size, and additional staff may be needed for strict setup timelines or multiple locations. Staff may need to stand by for arrangement relocation between ceremony and reception.

Addressing weather concerns is vital, and the florist plans accordingly for floral care and styling. If a relocation is needed due to rain, a backup plan discussed in advance avoids surprises.

Having a florist familiar with your venue is advantageous. Acquaintance with the site can save time on the wedding day. Ensure they've visited the venue or seen photos of where your wedding events will take place, understand its features, and know the precise locations for your arrangements.

Questions to run over with your florists during the planning stage include:

  1. Will they deliver the flowers or do you need to arrange pickup? Delivery and installation (if required) often incurs additional charges. At Iris and Elle we offer free delivery to Brisbane based venues.

  2. Will the florist you have been in communications with personally oversee the decoration setup, or will an assistant handle it? Having a senior florist, the florist you will typically liaise with in the quoting and planning process is often most costly than a junior florist for on site installations.

  3. How do they adapt if the cost of a specific flower unexpectedly rises? (Flower prices can fluctuate, and you need a florist who can communicate and adapt quickly.)

  4. Do they manage multiple events on the same day, and does it pose any challenges?

Design: Upon approval, the florist designs and creates the floral arrangements. This typically occurs 2-3 days prior to the wedding day although large arrangements that require installation like floral arches, arbours and hanging designs are often set up on site.

Bump-in - Delivery and Installation: On the wedding day, the florist delivers and sets up the arrangements at the venue.

Bump-out - Cleanup: Post-wedding, the florist removes and cleans up the arrangements from the venue.


Do I Need a Florist or Can I Do My Own Wedding Flowers?

Deciding whether to hire a professional wedding florist depends on various factors, including your budget, wedding scale, and desired floral arrangements.

If you have some floristry experience, consider yourself a DIY expert or are planning an intimate affair, managing the flowers yourself might be achievable.

Conversely, for larger-scale weddings with budget flexibility, a professional florist can add a special touch to your venue and decor and take an extra (and very time-consuming) job off your list for the event.

Some couples opt to handle their own floral arrangements, considering it a potentially more economical choice. It's important to note that undertaking this task is far from straightforward. Your florist takes on the responsibility of sourcing, purchasing, and collecting the flowers you desire, often involving early morning trips to flower markets, negotiations with vendors, and last-minute adjustments that can be stressful for someone without experience such as flower heads not opening. Achieving the desired freshness and longevity of your flowers requires precise timing, and your wedding florist is well-versed in determining the optimum moment to assemble your bouquet, buttonholes, and arrangements. When it comes to a service like floristry, you get what you pay for, and the most expensive aspect is your florists time. Crafting beautiful floral displays is a time-consuming process. From cutting stems to wiring flowers, arranging and installing them, whether it's for your bridal bouquet or a table centrepiece, the effort is more extensive than one might imagine. When weighing up whether you want to put together your own wedding flowers it's important to consider whether you have or are willing to put in the long hours a couple of days leading up to the wedding and even the day of. If you're having an intimate wedding and don't envision extravagant florals, this may be achievable.

Transporting flowers presents its own set of challenges due to their bulkiness and delicacy. Your wedding florist takes charge of delivering florals on the morning of your wedding, in some cases using a specially fitted van to transport arrangements to your venue, ensuring the flowers remain fresh and secure. Florists possess the knowledge to place arrangements strategically, avoiding exposure to heaters that may harm fragile petals or away from direct sun exposure. They are also equipped to handle emergencies, such as flattened buttonholes, often carrying backup stems for unforeseen issues.

Furthermore, a professional florist should boast a diverse selection of flowers, including unique varieties not readily available at standard flower shops. They also have access to suppliers at wholesale cost so work with market-fresh flowers purchased at a lower price point than offered to the general public.

If this all sounds like you'd have too much on your plate but you had your heart set on playing a part in the creating process of your wedding florals or you're really budget conscious, re-purposing your aisle flowers or bridesmaid bouquets for the reception is a great option.

Ultimately, the decision rests with you and your priorities for the big day.

What floral arrangements do I need for my wedding?

Check out our free downloadable Wedding Florals Checklist for a comprehensive guide to work through when sending your intial inquiry to potential florists.

Getting married?

Not sure where to go from here to find the best wedding florist in Brisbane, Redcliffe, Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast?

Reach out to Iris and Elle to start working with our expert team of florists to start the process of bringing your dream wedding florals to life!

Opting for our services guarantees that you secure the most competitive rates for wedding flowers. Our wedding pricing is reflective of the fact that we don't have a retail store. Choosing to pass this saving to you, reduces our cost in comparison to other retail wedding florists to make your wedding florals as affordable as possible. We also include complimentary delivery within Brisbane.

From the initial consultation, creating a customised colour palette and flower list through to perfecting the final details and bringing your floral vision to life, Iris and Elle owner's Zahra and Elena will guide you through the process of bespoke wedding florals.

Our florals are made with love, to celebrate your love

and include the finer details so that every aspect of our work captures your romance

What sets us apart from other wedding florists, you ask? We take the time to truly understand your relationship and know the right questions to ask so that we can incorporate personalised touches into your day through the florals. Meaningful colour or flower choice inspired by special aspects of your relationship is our favourite aspect of the job. We love incorporating your 'something blue', a nod to your partner's name like Kate Middleton's use of 'Sweet William' flowers or a type of flower from the first bouquet your partner gave you in our work - it makes it that extra bit more memorable.

We can't wait to work with you soon!

Iris and Elle





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