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Hey friends. My name is Stephanie Lang and I’ve been the owner of Lang Floral Designs for over a decade. I built this business from the ground up, and over the years, I have learned a lot about the wedding industry, how most vendors operate, and what makes a good wedding florist and wedding vendor.
At the end of each wedding season, I send out a survey to that year’s brides. I’m proud to say that those surveys come back raving about of service we provided, not just day of, but during all the planning months leading up to the big day. So, I’m giving you my best tips on how to book a quality wedding vendor like myself…plus red flags for things to run from.
Because here’s the thing, I wasn’t always one of the best wedding florists in East Tennessee. It took several years early in my business to get some systems in place to be sure little things didn’t slip through the cracks. I’m a designer at heart, so the actual art of floral design has always come easy. But the business side was a struggle for me for many years. Emails got lost in the shuffle, working along side the other vendors didn’t always come easy, and I didn’t always lay out a straight forward process for my brides to be able to follow.
So, now that I have evolved my business into something I’m truly proud of and something my brides say was a breeze to work with, I’m sharing all my best tips on how to book a great wedding florist (and other vendors) that you’ll love!
- SET THE DATE:
Set a date and book a venue before anything else.
- CHOOSE THE STYLE:
Using your venue and your personal style as a starting point, begin thinking about your overall wedding style. What’s most fitting for you and your fiance? Pinterest is a great place to start, but be sure you don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed by the abundance of beautiful ideas. There will be Pins in all styles that you just love, but once you head in one direction, DELETE those other pins and don’t look back at them again. Once you have a general style idea, you’ll likely see bridal bouquet pictures that seem like a great fit. If you don’t know where to start, check out my recent blog: TOP 10 BRIDAL BOUQUETS…AND HOW TO DESCRIBE THEM TO YOUR FLORIST.
- CHOOSE YOUR COLORS:
This one is flexible for me. If you have a general idea of the colors your bridesmaids will be in, that’s great. But as the florist, I don’t need an EXACT color swatch before I can do a great job with your info. The fact of the matter is, flowers are an organic product, and so colors will vary. It’s more important for us to decide on a general color pallet. If you need help with that, check out our recent blog: WEDDING COLOR SCHEME IDEAS. Once you have colors in mind, your florist can help you decide if your flowers should match the colors, go more neutral, or compliment them. Don’t feel like you have to decide your floral colors exactly before a meeting with a florist!
- START LOOKING FOR FLORISTS:
I wrote a guest blog with more details on how to select the perfect florist for you HERE. But my basic suggestions are to find several florists whose style you really like. Sometimes venues and planners/coordinators have preferred vendor lists. These are a great starting point. Then I would highly recommend checking their reviews. You should make sure reviews talk about not only the flowers, but the process, responsiveness, etc. You want to be sure your wedding vendors do great work during the entire planning process, not just the day of.
- MEET WITH SOME FLORISTS:
Book a meeting with 1-3 florists who are available for your date. You should have a few inspiration pictures of bouquets and other floral elements you like. Or, share your Pinterest board with them. But try not to get bogged down by the exact details: flower type, seasons, exact centerpieces, etc. Give your florists some freedom to make suggestions and adjust the original plan to best fit your needs and budget.
- BOOK YOUR FAVORITE FLORIST ASAP!:
Your florist should send you a quote and contract in writing. If those documents are super vague, that should be a red flag. Most florists reserve the right to make minor floral adjustments the week of the wedding as they see fit, because we can’t control nature. But the plan should be clearly listed out in writing.
You should also be aware that your wedding vendors are NOT officially booked until a deposit (or retainer) are paid, and contract is signed. If a wedding vendor isn’t asking for these things, run! The contract and deposit aren’t just for them. They’re for you too. You’d be surprised at how many brides come to me in a panic because they thought a florist was holding their date forevermore on a handshake. NOPE! Not the case. That’s simply not how the event industry works.
When you meet with your florist, it might be a good idea to ask them then if they hold your date for any length of time during the quoting process. We hold the date for a week so the client has time to review and sign the contract if they want to book us right away. But I know some vendors don’t have that same process. You’ll do yourself a favor by asking that question during the meeting.
Moissanite Engagement Ring
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Lang Floral Designs is a premier wedding florist in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We do wedding and event flowers in the surrounding areas of East Tennessee and North Georgia, and we also love providing brides everywhere with useful ideas and information for their wedding day. For a better idea of all we can do at your wedding, click here. Contact us today if you’re interested in hiring us for your wedding or event.