As an experienced San Diego wedding florist I’ve seen it all over the years. But one of the things that remains the same across the board is the questions I’m asked. I’ve compiled a list of the most popular questions I receive and what to ask when looking for your perfect San Diego wedding florist.
San Diego Wedding Flower Availability
- What happens if a flower I want is unavailable?
Many florists offer quotes that give specific flower varietals, and others don’t. At the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter if the bloom is there or not. Chose the florist who can make something incredible with whatever they’re given. Most clients have no idea how many substitutions we have to make on the day we pick our order up. Trust us, we’ll use another flower that might just be better than what you previously imagined!
Inspiration vs. Actual Photos
2. Am I receiving the same flowers that are in the inspiration photos we select?
Everybody in the industry responds a little differently about this topic, so it’s best to ask so there are no surprises on the wedding day. Usually, these pictures are just that-inspiration. We see the style, overall colors used, shape, etc, and we use that as the foundation of our design. While some florists are fine with recreating another’s work, some florists prefer to design from a blank slate and customize each and every aspect. Make sure to ask how your florist works. Sometimes clients send photos that incorporate items that are too expensive or are out of season (think Christmas greens in July). So the client needs to understand what they are asking for and what is possible within their given price range. How closely we can follow a photo depends on the look, the client, and the budget.
- Can you provide a mock-up of my design?
Florists are more than willing to design a piece beforehand, but oftentimes the cost of making one centerpiece can far outweigh the cost of what it will run for the actual day. Since florists buy in bulk they use the remaining flowers for other pieces in your order. If they do not have any other orders to use the purchased flowers than they have to charge more. Remember to always ask about the mock-up’s cost now and if it will change closer to the wedding.
What do florists include in their proposals? Are you full-service?
- Do you include candles?
Candles, tapers, votives, compotes. If they’re on the table in a photo, it’s best to ask if these are available to rent, or already included in the cost of the flowers. Depending on the San Diego wedding florist, some will separate each cost into line-items, and some don’t. Keep in mind that the more specific the look the more costly those items will be (think gold candlesticks with a mauve taper, and handmade ceramic votives). If it’s trendy, it will not only cost more for the consumer to purchase, but also for the florist to buy via wholesale.
5. Is setup and breakdown included in the cost of flowers?
Setup and breakdown are added to the end of the quote. This cost varies based on the amount of time, number of hands and the skill level of those people helping. The cost for placing one vase on a table is completely different from arranging a series of 40 vessels on a rectangle table in various heights. Keep in mind that the larger the wedding, the more setup and breakdown will cost because everything is magnified. Breakdown for a small wedding reception of 30 is completely different than striking 30 tables for a wedding of 300.
6. What size arrangement looks best for my table size and shape?
Ask the florist to show you what looks best and why, that way you can understand that flowers need to be in scale with the rest of the table. If you want a huge centerpiece that is too large for an area, the florist should be honest with the client. Most of us aren’t here to just sell you whatever you want, but also what will look best.
San Diego Wedding Flower Cost
7. Do you have a minimum?
This is an incredibly important question to ask. Many florists have minimums because they might be working only your wedding that day. Also-their minimums might be higher because they’re using harder to source, and more expensive botanicals. Other florists work multiple weddings in the same day, so they can have a lower minimum.
8. What does the average client spend with you for a wedding of my size?
It’s always nice to know this answer, because if you’re on the fence about being able to afford the florist, this question can help put your costs into perspective. If the wedding you are envisioning aligns with the florist’s average price range then you might have found a good fit. However, If what you’re looking for is dramatically less than their average it’s time to ask them if they can work within your range and if so, what that would look like. For additional information on how to identify your perfect budget, head over here for an in-depth analysis.