In this blog series I will detail the behind the scenes and all that goes into producing wedding floral designs. First, let's go over booking.
By request, I'm opening up the curtain to give you a behind the scenes look into what I do. Here you'll learn all about what it takes to create the finished product- your wedding flowers! In this first post, I share the start of the process.
Knowing your date, venue & favorite color stories always helps to identify the vibe and offer the best choices for you and your specific needs!
Each wedding is unique, but most follow these steps pretty closely. If you are in the process of wedding planning, this post outlines the steps and things you should know when contracting a wedding florist! Here is how it all begins!!!
The Inquiry (12-18 Months Out )
Most often, florists are the 3-4th vendor secured for the big day after the venue, wedding planner and photographer. Occasionally, a client has experience with a florist they would love to work with, or the flowers are a priority, and the flowers are booked earlier in the process. I always recommend having at least your date and venue set before reaching out to a florist, because the whole look & feel, and ultimately what's possible is influenced by the season and the setting.
It's a great idea to begin browsing some wedding blogs, saving some inspiration photos, and identifying how you want your wedding to look, feel, and most importantly, reflect you. Some clients work with a planner to develop these concepts early, which is wonderful! Once you've got some broad ideas, or specific ideas, it's a great time to find someone to conceptualize and execute. Many of my bookings come from word of mouth and instagram so ask your friends or the wedding pros you're already working with who they work with, and accounts they love for inspo.
1. Inquiry: Client or planner inquires about a date, shares some details of their vision and the day.
Typically for larger weddings on peak dates this occurs anywhere between 18-10 months out. Now with Covid effects, this timeframe looks different for some people. Right now (August 2020) Soulflora is a little more than half booked for peak season. If you are planning a smaller wedding, or needing to pivot due to covid, we are seeing people reach out with much shorter notice. That’s ok too! If we have the availability, and we can accommodate your needs, we are happy to work in a shorter timeframe. About 2 months out for a small event is still doable.
I love to learn a bit about the clients vision, vibe for the day, and some details including the size of the wedding, the look and feel if you need personals as well as decor for the ceremony, reception, if you have any installs in mind.
2. Preliminary discussion: I confirm availability, share general pricing, client shares inspiration photos.
Soulflora only accepts 1-2 full service event per weekend. If we are available for your date (yay!), we will ask to learn more about your needs. A general guideline of pricing, is provided so we can start off on the same page. I know that budgets and pricing can vary greatly, as weddings are so custom and individual. I feel it is important to begin with an accurate baseline even before getting into the specifics.
Sharing some favorite photos or a pinterest board helps me get a feel of the vibe the client is going for. We will chat about what you love about each photo during our consultation, and provide seasonal and personalized recommendations.
3. Consultation: We connect for a consult and go into details about what you need, your vision/ style, any questions, and we review their favorite photos.
Now the fun part! Most often (especially in current times) we connect over the phone or video call. We will chat about your vision and your needs, what you love about each photo, and provide seasonal and personalized recommendations.
4. Estimate: Estimate is prepared of all that is discussed and shared with the client.
Within about 1 week I create a customized estimate for the clients review. Dates are reserved for an additional 1 week while the estimate is being reviewed. Size/fullness, flower choice, and scope of the labor involved are the main factors that effect pricing. Estimates are a great starting point but items are subject to change as planning progresses and the event evolves. When reviewing an estimate, you should feel that the florist has a great understanding of your needs and vision. If there is ever a question on price or descriptions, just ask! I'm happy to explain the why behind the number, and explore possible alternative options.
5. Booking!: If a client would like to book, the invoice is produced. The retainer is paid & the terms and conditions are signed and returned!
Woohoo! I can't wait to work with you! The retainer payment and signed terms and conditions seal the deal and reserve our services for your date. Once we are officially booked, we can venture into the finer details. Personalized design boards, container rentals & more!
Keep a look out for my next post, when we pick the process up about 6 months before the wedding!
Photo: Katherine Brackman Photography
Planning: Susan LaReu Events
Stationery: Empress Stationery
Venue: Glen Manor House