Getting married? Before meeting with your wedding florist, make sure you ask them these 5 questions!
Where does your florist order flowers from?
This may get me hated among other florists, but it needs to be said. Not all wholesale companies are the same. It’s hard to explain without going into great detail on exactly how the whole farm to wholesale to florist works but I’ll explain how we (“we” meaning Roots Floral Design) order our blooms in hope to shed some light on the process. We order our flowers from three different wholesale companies. About 20-30% of our order we purchase from a local wholesaler here in Cincinnati. At our local wholesaler we order what I like to call our “bread and butter” flowers. These flowers are staples in the floral industry; your standard roses, greenery, and fillers. These flowers are long lasting, quality blooms that are typically cost friendly. No matter where you purchase these “bread and butter” flowers, you can expect the same quality across the board. Since we can depend on that quality, we order from where we can purchase them the cheapest, and for us that happens to be at our local wholesaler. The bulk of our order, around 60-70% is from a wholesale company called Mayesh. We’ve used Mayesh from the beginning and love them. Their flowers are of a phenomenal quality and their customer service is supreme. Our Mayesh rep is based out of LA so we are lucky to also have some picks from the LA Flower Market where we can get unique and speciality blooms. For these speciality flowers (shipped in from all over the world) and their quality, we pay a pretty penny for them. I promise you though, it is worth every single penny. The last 10-20% is from local farms. Some flowers don’t ship well like Dahlias, Foxglove, and others. These blooms are some of our favorites so we purchase them locally to ensure the best quality. We also like to support our Ohio and Kentucky flower farmers so if we can purchase certain flowers locally, we will. Brides and grooms, I don’t expect you to know about wholesale companies and their differences. But, I do hope that you ask your florist where they order from and why. Don’t be afraid to ask if the wholesale company they purchase from can deliver the highest quality of blooms and if they can order unique flowers.
How does your florist transport your arrangements to the wedding venue?
In all my years of being a florist, I’ve only had one bride ask me this question. Honestly, it’s a question that needs to asked more frequently. When I very first started out, I crammed all the flower arrangements in the back of my Jeep. It worked for just starting out, but not worth it long term. Centerpieces would often tip over, crushing the blooms and spilling the water. During the summer months the flowers would sometimes wilt and even die because of inadequate cooling and shade. I knew there had to be a better way, and there was. We transport all of our flowers in an insulated trailer. Our trailer has a Coolbot installed, which allows the trailer to stay at a cool 38-48 degrees (this temperature is best for flowers). We also have a special delivery system called the Seminole Floral Delivery System. This allows all of our arrangements to stay perfectly upright while in transport and allows for easy removal when need to be brought inside a venue. This delivery system also allows our flowers to not get squished or smashed during delivery. We’ve spent over 5k on customizing our trailer and it was one of the best investments I have made. Peace of mind goes a long way when driving with such delicate flowers. Not every florist will have a trailer like ours, but most should have found other ways to get your arrangements to and from your wedding safely. Protect your investment and ask your florist how they transport!
Does your florist provide a client experience?
This may not seem important in the beginning, but it will make all the difference on your wedding day. For our clients, their client experience starts at the very beginning. We provide both a visual and pricing proposal to all of our couples. I spend hours putting these proposals together. And I do it all before a client has even booked me. Why do I spend all that time and energy without a guarantee? I simply believe that the transaction is more than me providing flowers for a wedding day. I really strive for a relationship with my couples to ensure honest communication and creative flexibility. I believe that each of my couples wedding is unique and special and therefore should have specialized treatment. Throughout our relationship I keep my clients updated with their flower orders, provide blog posts with tips and tricks, among other things. I meet with my couples at least twice during their engagement period so they have peace of mind on their wedding day. There are a lot of other companies out there. During my consultation I highlight all the reasons why my business stands out from others. I’ll bring up certain aspects of my business that most couples wouldn’t think are important but soon realize that they are. If you’re meeting with a floral company, ask them why you should hire them. What makes them different than every other florist out there? Don’t be the couple that finds out on their wedding day that their florist has terrible customer service or didn’t deliver what was promised.
Research your florist’s portfolio. Do they have full wedding galleries available?
This is probably one of the more important topics that should be researched or discussed with your wedding florist. In the wedding industry there is something called a “styled shoot”. Styled shoots are basically fake weddings. Photographers, planners, florists, cake makers, etc. come together to showcase their work in a controlled setting. I really like styled shoots and participate in about 2-3 a year. The reason why I put together a styled shoot is to showcase work I’ve never designed before. It allows me to be creative with color palette, installs, and design concepts that I would love to do for a real bride one day. It also gives me an opportunity to test out new mechanics and gives me a chance to expand my design skills. So, while having styled shoot photos as part of your portfolio isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you definitely want to make sure your florist has a lot of real weddings for you to scroll through. Designing for a real wedding requires being able to work in restricted timeframes and under pressure. Weather and other elements during the day can be unpredictable and you need to hire a florist who has experience and knows how to handle disasters when they happen (because they do happen!). On my website I have under my portfolio tab the option to look at weddings and individual arrangements. Clients can see the entire gallery from real weddings as well as all the work I’ve ever done individually. I also have on my Instagram, a BTS highlighted story, where I take viewers behind the scenes on a wedding day set up. Brides can see the before and after of a wedding day set up and can really understand all the hard work that goes into putting together a wedding. Before you book your florist strictly off of their instagram feed, make sure you do a little more research.
Ask about pricing. Why did your florist quote the wedding flowers for that amount?
Out of all 5 of these questions, this is the most important. During your consultation with your florist, ask why your flowers are priced the way they are. I’m an open book when it comes to pricing. It is my belief that my couples should have complete transparency when it comes to their investment. During my consultation I actually ask my couple if they have questions or concerns regarding my prices for their floral arrangements. To see more about pricing and why flowers cost the way they do you can read about it here or download my free bridal guide. If you receive several quotes from different florists and some have an increase or decrease of $500+, you need to ask them why. You don’t need to get into extreme details about the quote but ask why they are so much more expensive or cheaper than your other quotes. To be blunt, your florist needs to have a better answer than “Well, that is just how much I charge.” or “Well, this is my minimum”. Ask them about their experience. Ask them what mechanics they use (certain mechanics cost more than others!). Ask where they purchase their flowers from, and make sure they are purchasing long lasting and quality blooms. Ask about the individual price of something. Why is my travel and delivery fee so high? Why is my bouquet this price? All of these questions are completely valid and should have detailed and reasonable answers. If your florist can’t really give you a good answer, this is a red flag. Although prices of flowers do differ from wholesale company to wholesale company, it’s a difference of pennies not hundreds. Florist’s charge based on flower types, design style, mechanics, and experience. So, if you recieve a quote that is significantly less that other quotes you’ve gotten, you’re not getting a killer deal. You probably are just going to lose out on either floral quality, poor mechanics, or hiring a florist with no experience. For one of the most important days of your life, is it really worth it to save a few hundred bucks?
Getting married in Lexington or Louisville Kentucky? Tying the knot in Ohio? Reach out to Roots Floral Design!
Florals and greenery can make your special day stand out in a unique way that you’ll remember for years to come. Whether you already have floral ideas in mind for your wedding or you are hoping to achieve a specific look and feel, reach out to Roots Floral Design for elegant bouquets, ceremony backdrops and more for a truly romantic wedding!
"Highly recommend Roots Floral Design - absolutely beautiful! I can’t say enough good things about Kaytee and her team. The flowers for our wedding far exceeded our expectations. They were stunning and our guests raved about how beautiful the bouquets and decor were! Kaytee understood our vision and created a beautiful setting for the wedding. Last but not least, Kaytee worked well within our budget and made good recommendations. Thanks Kaytee and team!"
-Megan, Mother of the Bride, Spring 2019 Wedding
“Kaytee is an absolute GEM! She has so much passion and care for what she does, that you feel like she's a friend more than a vendor. She walks you through each step of the floral process with organization, examples, cost, and detail -- all things that make my detail-oriented heart happy. The end result far exceeded anything we could have hoped for or imagined. ALL. THE. GREENERY. Future brides, run, don't walk to Roots for your wedding. From start to finish, she took care of every single floral need to make our day positively beautiful.”
-Laura, Summer 2019 Wedding
"Kaytee became so much more than a vendor for us. The first time I met her I felt as though I met a long lost friend. She was the very first vendor I chose for the wedding (even before the venue) and she lived up to all my expectations and went above and beyond. Each time I met with her I felt confident that she completely comprehended my wants and would fashion them into something that looks put together, yet natural. The day-of she silently transformed a bland rustic space into an enchanting, romantic barn. I couldn't have asked for anything more beautiful or unique."
-Grace, Spring 2019 Wedding
"Kaytee was so great to work with!!! I provided her with some floral inspirations from Pinterest and Instagram but gave her a lot of free rein coming up with the flowers for our wedding and she went above and beyond expectations. Our photographer was obsessed with all the bouquets and we got so many great pictures of them! She did such a good job making my smaller budget work to make high impact arrangements. She's also the sweetest person to be around!"
-Bo, Spring 2019 Wedding