wedding gold rings on roses
FOTOLIA

The right florist is critical to the overall wedding experience for both you and your guests. If you have a florist in mind for your special day, it’s important to work with him or her early in the process to make sure your expectations are well defined.

Look for a collaborative spirit and creativity in your florist. The combinations they are putting together for your bouquet should match not just your color scheme but also your overall personality. Be sure to meet early and often with your florist to make sure you’re on the same page with your flower, color and presentation preferences.

Set a budget

Professional flowers and accessories can take up a large chunk of any wedding budget, so it’s crucial to your bottom line to set aside the right amount of money. Ask yourself what you’re looking to pay. Even if it looks like flowers may exceed what you have budgeted, there are creative ways to shift your wedding funds around to make it happen.

Don’t be afraid to negotiate with florists, as it’s an expected part of doing business. They may be willing to take your rate, especially if their business traditionally slows down in the winter months.

Make a list

Online tools and websites have made it easy for brides and grooms to research their potential vendors, including florists in the local area. Sit down with your local newspaper or favorite mobile device and get searching.

Look for special rates for winter weddings and take notes about what kinds of packages your florists offer. They may sell a bundle that includes a bouquet, corsages and decorative accents. It never hurts to negotiate a better deal if the shop owner seems open to it, so test the waters before throwing a reduced rate out into the open.

Contract, please

Even if you personally know the florist you are considering hiring for your wedding, you should still always have a signed contract that outlines specifications, project deadlines and final cost estimates.

Be leery of professional florists who don’t offer a standard contract for their work. Signing a contract protects you in the case of not receiving full services, and can help you get your money back in the event of a disagreement.

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