Wedding Wisdom Wednesday: Decoding the Florist Proposal
Local wedding pros share insight and tips for planning your wedding.
One of the most exciting parts of planning a wedding is deciding on your wedding flowers and who is going to provide them. Once you have created your inspiration board or Pinterest board, shared it with potential florists, and talked with them further about your vision, you will then receive each florist’s proposal of how they would bring your vision to life. While this is all so exciting, you may notice is that each florist creates their proposals differently.
Some may send a text or PDF document with an attached mood board and color palette, event details and client name/information, a list of each line item with descriptions of what is included, and the dollar amount the proposal comes to. Some florists will even itemize their proposals. Others may not, or only give you subtotals for each section of the event i.e., ceremony, cocktail hour, reception. Still other florists use software programs specifically tailored for florists, which allow the client to view a digital PDF. Those proposals might also include the florist’s contract, specific flower varieties that will be included, and rentals included in the proposal. This flood of information can leave anyone feeling overwhelmed, to say the least.
Over the years, I have tried many of these options when creating proposals for clients, so they get the information they need and are able to get excited about what their day will look like. There is no right or wrong way to create a proposal; what matters is that you as the client get what you need to feel comfortable moving forward. Here are what I consider the key elements to look for when reviewing the proposals you receive, so you can feel confident in moving forward with a decision:
- Your color palette and desired aesthetic are made clear in the proposal. Whether that is communicated in written descriptions or with visuals, you will want to make sure that the florist understands and is able to summarize the look and feel you are going for on your wedding day.
- There is clear communication around what will be included in the proposed design. The florist might verbally communicate their thoughts behind the design, quantities of each item and rentals included, or they may provide a written description for each line item. As long as there is clear communication around this, you can feel confident in what will be provided on the day of.
- Key flower requests are outlined. This is a major area where you will see differences in proposals. Some florists will write out every single flower and foliage variety included in the proposal; others will not. Either way is fine, but laying out every single flower variety and foliage to be used is not necessary. There are a few reasons why a florist may not include that level of detail: We don’t know full availability of blooms until about two weeks prior to the wedding, when we can order them; also, COVID has severely affected the supply chain, and we are seeing extreme shortages and drastic price increases as a result. If the florist has chosen not to disclose every single item they want to use in the design, it is because they need flexibility to swap out specific types of flowers in order to stay within your budget. The important thing to look for is that if you have any specific flower requests, they should be highlighted in the proposal, even if not every single flower or foliage is outlined.
I hope this has helped to clear up some confusion around florist proposals so you and your fiancé can make the best decision for your wedding day! The most important thing to keep in mind is that you “click” with the florist you are hiring. Trust is the key ingredient to a smooth wedding day; if you do not fully trust your florist, that could impact your day. If you are very open and honest with the florist, you will always be able to work together for the best results!
Heather Hanselmann (she/her) is the owner of Fezz & Hazel and has had her work featured on the Cake and Lace blog, MunaLuchi Bride magazine and Dancing With Her magazine. She has been twice nominated for Best of Columbus Weddings and for Intrigue Design’s “Designer to Watch” category. Flowers found her when she inadvertently volunteered herself to design and produce her best friend’s wedding in 2018. As a former-wedding-planner-accidentally-turned-florist, Heather has a unique perspective on weddings. This gives her clients an advantage when working with her on designing their dream florals, because she understands the logistics of a wedding as a whole and not just from the perspective of being the florist. She is passionate about designing sustainable, luxury weddings without sacrifice and strives to educate clients on the benefits they receive by choosing to host a sustainable wedding. She has been in business for 3.5 years as a florist and works out of her home studio in Columbus.