What to Ask Wedding Florists or Floral Designers

By Nily Glaser
We recommend that if possible, both bride and groom will attend all interviews.

First things first! Always carry a note pad and pen to write down important information and questions that may arise during your interview.

In order to comparison shop and select wisely, interview at least 3 Florists - Floral Designers.

The tips, questions and ideas you gathered in Part I
"How to choose a florist or a floral designer",
provide a wonderful preparation for your interviews.

What to Expect of the Contact Person:

A business card of each person you will work with.
Complete contact information including name, address, phone, fax, cell phone, email and web site address.
A brochure that shows samples of floral designs, explains what is available, what is their specialty if any, specials, exclusions, and options.
References. List of satisfied customers willing to be contacted.
Samples of their work in their specialty category or preferably in each wedding flowers design category - traditional, original, exotic, contemporary and the current trends in wedding flowers.
Samples of their work in each wedding flowers arrangement including but not limited to altar and aisle arrangements for the ceremony site, guest book table, memorial table, cake table, decorations and centerpieces for the reception site, bridal bouquets, other bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, head dress, garlands, flower arrangements decorating wedding cakes, other decorations they offer such as seat covers, ribbons, balloon arrangements etc...

Questions for the Contact Person:

Please note that the questions are general. Some questions may not apply in all situations.

Do you charge for consultation(s)? You may wish to ask this question before scheduling the interview.
Will you personally be the florist - floral designer for our wedding?
If not, who will? When can we interview them and see their work?
How long have you been accommodating weddings?
How many wedding clients have you served?
How many weddings a year do you serve?
Do you have experience with weddings of our type and size within our budget?
Have you worked with our ceremony and reception facilities before?
What type of design do you consider as your specialty?
Do you provide additional services such as decorating - decorations, chair covers, ribbons, balloons, etc...?
Do you check out the ceremony and reception facilities and evaluate them for decorations?
Will you work with our wedding cake baker should we choose to decorate the cake with flowers?
Can you provide us with a portfolio and references we may contact?
Can you provide us with a profile of the florist - floral designer that will be assigned to our wedding including: training and education to become a florist - floral designer, experience in weddings flower arrangements and decorations, what size weddings, full or part time (Professional or hobbyist)
What will you do if the florist - floral designer you assigned to us no longer work for you when our wedding day comes up?
Do you use flowers from your inventory, or do you order flowers as needed to accomplish each project?
Do you own dedicated flower storage coolers?
Do you own flower delivery vans?
How long before the wedding do you put together the flower arrangements and bouquets?
How much time will you need for delivery and set-up?
How much time will you need to disassemble?
How many people will help you with the design, delivery, set-up and disassembly?
Do you provide holders for the flowers such as urns, and centerpiece containers?
Are the containers for us to keep,___________ on loan __________or rented ___________?
Our wedding colors are ___________________ the location is _______________ the date (season) is ___________ what type of flowers and what style arrangements would you recommend? why?
Do you design flower arrangements for multiple use?
Will you be able to accommodate us if we choose flowers that are either out of season or rare for this geographical region?
What will you do if the flowers we want are not available?
Will you provide us with suggestions for alternative flower choices and designs?
Will you accommodate special last minute requests for changes or for additional flower arrangements?
What is the latest time frame for making changes?
How long before the wedding ceremony will you set up?
How long before the wedding reception will you set up?
What will happen to us if for some reason you have to back out?
Do you offer a bridal package? More than one?
What are your rates for the different packages and what are the options available?
Do you offer a complementary flower arrangement for the rehearsal meal with any package?
How do we book your services?
What do your customers spend on an average for a wedding similar to ours?
Are taxes included in the price?____________ If not, what is the percentage we need to add?
Are gratuities included in the price?__________ If not, what is the percentage we need to add?
Is travel included in the price?
Are delivery, set-up and disassembly included in the price?
If travel, set-up and disassembly take longer than anticipated, do you charge for overtime?
What additional expenses may we expect?
Do you require a deposit?
How much and by when will we need to put down the deposit?
When is the balance due?
Do you offer any discounts?
Do you accept checks and credit cards?
How many consultations do you provide in your package prices?
Do you offer any guarantees?
What is your policy regarding delivery times?
How soon can you provide us with an estimate?
Will you provide us with a written contract?
Does the contract include a 3 day cancellation clause? *

What are your cancellation - re fund terms should we cancel later than the 3 days?
Do you carry liability and performance insurance?
Are you and your staff insured and bonded?
Are you members of any professional organizations?
How soon before the wedding will you go over our order with us, to assure it is complete and acceptable?

Once you made your choice, you need to receive a written contract signed by the person in charge, and dated. The contract must include all of your responsibilities and all of the responsibilities, warranties and guarantees offered by the florist - floral designer.
Caveat Emptor - Buyer beware! Read each contract very carefully, on, under and above the line. Be sure that you understand it fully and agree with all the terms. If you have questions, concerns, or are uncertain, contact them for clarification.
* In most parts of the USA you have 3 days to examine the contract and if you need to, cancel with no penalties.

Copyrights © 2004 All Rights Reserved Nily Glaser, A-wedding Day and Gan Publishing

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