I recently did an Instagram story series on the topic of booking your wedding florist, and I was BLOWN AWAY by all the responses I got from brides and fellow wedding vendors that tuned in! Since Instagram stories expire, I thought I should share my thoughts in a more "permanent" way by blogging about my own booking process process and I would love to hear others feedback as well. Enjoy! :)
The first step in the booking process is getting to know the couple and learning about their wedding vision with a complimentary consultation. If I am available for a particular couple's wedding day, I will schedule a complimentary consultation with them to chat via phone call or Skype (or we can also grab coffee in person too!) and see if we would make a good creative team. To prepare for our time together, I will typically ask them to see an inspirational Pinterest board, if they have one, to give me a visual aid on their floral style. At this meeting, a couple will typically describe a detailed sort of "look" they are looking for- however, most couples don't know all the different flower options that fit into their color palette, which ones are in season, and which ones are in their budget. Also, couples tend to book their wedding florist between 6 months to a year before their weddings, so when it comes to the exact details, they typically aren't quite sure of the exact amount of centerpieces they will need, if they want a mix of tall or high or just low or just high, and if they will have extra money in the budget for that garland on the bar they have been eyeing. So during our meeting, I will share some suggestions on flowers, seasonality, etc., and give the couple a rough estimate for what I predict their florals could cost, again based on their style, seasonality of desired flowers, etc!
Normally when a couple reaches out to me, they have already done some research and are on the way to deciding if I'm the best fit for their wedding day. They have read my reviews from my previous couples, looked carefully at my portfolio weddings and designs, and they have probably even scoped me out on Instagram, where they got to see some "behind-the-scenes" and a glimpse into my personal life! So all that to say, by the time we have our consultation, it's my hope that this couple already trusts me to execute their wedding floral designs within their budget while bringing their vision to life in a way that is unique to them.
Once a couple decides to move forward with securing their wedding date on my design calendar, the booking process is completed by signing their contract and paying their retainer. I use Honeybook to sign contracts and accept payments all electronically, and it is so helpful and user-friendly, and my clients love that is all done online! As a side-note, I have written a few blog posts about Honeybook, here and here, that will explain why I love it so much and how I use it to stay organized.
After that is taken care of, the couple receives their initial design plan electronically. This custom design plan takes me anywhere from 4-5 hours to create, from start to finish, and includes a cohesive color palette, overview of each of the flowers used, including colors and types, a breakdown of each design, and the inspiration photos for bouquets, centerpieces, ceremony arches, etc. These design plans typically end up being between 12-15 pages long, depending on the size of the wedding, and I also include a pricing sheet, based on the initial floral designs we talked about. To be able to provide a price, I actually need to count out each stem/bunch of the flowers I am planning to purchase for their wedding! On average, I use over 1000 flower/greenery stems for a wedding, and I need to account for each of those in my initial pricing, to provide the most accurate quote. I come to a price by counting out each flower/greenery stem I need to purchase, factoring in assistants for custom on-site work, transportation (if I need to rent a vehicle to deliver all their flowers), and then of course, my time, labor and expertise. Once my couple sees their custom proposal, they can make any changes up to 30 days before the wedding, so nothing is "locked in stone" until then, but this plan becomes the framework and a working document that we use for the rest of their design planning process!
I hope this helps in explaining the booking process of a wedding florist, and I would love to hear any questions you may have- comment below or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll respond shortly! If you are a bride still searching for a wedding florist for 2018, head over to the contact page to set up your complimentary consultation!
*Header image provided by SC Stockshop