The Ugly Truth About Wedding Planning: Part 3

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I am not a wedding planner. But after doing wedding flowers for years, I can at least demystify wedding flowers.

My goal is to help you with some of that stress and uncertainty when it comes to flowers.

And I’m not asking anything in return. 

I just want to give you tips that will make the flower planning part a breeze.

I think flowers should be fun and memorable, and if you are losing sleep over it, you’re not having fun.

I have ​SO MUCH​ to share on this topic. But here are the ​top 6 things ​you can do to make sure you get the wedding flowers of your dreams, without the stress. 

And, you can actually apply these lessons to all of your wedding vendors! So let’s dig in.

1. Dream a Little Dream

Your first step can and should be to dream about your wedding.

What kind of vibe are you going for?

What feelings do you want to evoke?

What will be special to you as a couple?

What kind of flowers do you want to hold or wear? 

You should gather ideas about the types of flowers you think are pretty, bouquets you like, centerpieces and table settings, colors, ribbons, all kinds of things.

If you are stuck, I don’t have to tell you that Pinterest is a great place to get started in finding your inspiration. This is the FUN PART, so please have fun with it!

I don’t care if your Pinterest board has weddings from Hawaii and Death Valley on the same board. We are all about finding what YOU like in this stage, and we will find common themes later. I recommend making a separate board for flower inspiration.

2. Know Your Priorities

Knowing your priorities is so important, and it needs to happen before you talk to any vendors.

Do you get SO AMPED thinking about your DJ and tearing it up on the dance floor? But when it comes to food, you just want to make sure no one goes hungry? 

That’s good, because it means that you have prioritized. In that scenario, you are prioritizing the DJ over the caterer, and you are willing to make some foodie sacrifices to have an amazing DJ.

When it comes to flowers, you have to answer the question: ​are flowers a priority for you?​

If you don’t really care about flowers, I promise I won’t be offended. Not everyone does.

For most couples, flowers are not their biggest priority, but are still a necessity.

When you think about bouquets and boutonnieres, ceremony flowers, reception flowers, and all the rest, it can become a big list. ​

What flowers are the most important to you? What from your list is negotiable? Where are you willing to spend more, or less?

You can use my FREE Wedding Flower Checklist below to think about what pieces are most important to you.

3. Set a Budget

Now that you know your priorities, you can set a budget. 

You will probably have an overall wedding budget to work with, so you have to determine what your budget is for each vendor.

Typically, couples purchase the venue first, and go from there.  

Typical day-of wedding vendors include an officiant, floral designer, event designer, caterer, bartender, DJ, photographer, videographer, wedding planner, and day-of coordinator.

You also have to think about hair, makeup, transportation, and dress alterations.

If you tried to prioritize all of these things equally, you would have an awful time trying to stick to your budget.

With your list of priorities, you can set your budget in a way that makes sense to you as a couple.

It also helps to know what people expect to spend on each vendor in your area.

Nationally, the average wedding costs $38,700, and over a third of couples spend more than they initially budgeted. With a little digging, you can find out on average how much people spend on each vendor. 

For example, in Seattle, the average spend on florals is about $3,000. Not everyone can afford that, but then again, not everyone prioritizes flowers.

4. Know What You Need

Now that you have your priorities and the corresponding budget, you can begin thinking through what you really need from each of your wedding vendors.

Your discussions with your floral designer and other vendors will be easier if we know how we can best meet your needs.

Think about the following basics:

  • What flowers do we need as a couple, for our bridal party, and for the ceremony and reception? (Download the  Wedding Flower Checklist for a complete list of wedding flowers to think through.) 
  • How many of each item do we need?
  • Do I need full-service florals, including things like delivery, setup, and take-down? 

Remember the Pinterest board with flowers from both Death Valley and Hawaii? This is where creative planning comes in:

  • Do I have a clear vision, or do I need help articulating it?
  • What do I like about the flowers I have pinned or seen elsewhere?
  • What kind of creative guidance do we need from the floral designer?
  • Do we need to coordinate the creative vision with other vendors?

5. Make Sure You Click

At this stage, you are probably talking to floral designers, meeting for consultations, and asking for proposals.

When you meet your potential vendors, my biggest tip for success is to make sure you click with them!

Shopping for vendors is just like building a team, and you want to make sure you choose people that will go to bat for you.

As a floral designer, I want you to feel at ease when you are with me. I want to make sure your needs and priorities are heard.

If you are on a budget, I want to be able to talk about it candidly and think through our options. We should be able to bounce ideas off of each other.

And I am always, always excited to provide creative guidance and bring your vision to life!

As my client, you get my full attention when we are together, whether we are in person or on the phone.

As a rule, you should always feel like the priority when a wedding vendor is talking with you about your wedding. I sometimes get clients who just plain didn’t feel heard, and that hurts my heart. 

This is your big day, and you deserve to be put front and center!

But more than that, you want people on your wedding team that you enjoy talking to, dealing with, and being around.

If you and a vendor don’t click when you meet, you should keep looking for someone amazing!

6. Hire a Pro

You are building a team for a huge milestone in your life.

It is honestly worth hiring a professional.

This is doubly true for anything coming in “fresh” that day—including flowers, food, and décor.

You do not want to be up till 2am the night before your wedding putting together centerpieces. That is my job, and yes, I will stay up all night tweaking centerpieces if it means you get the amazing flowers you deserve.

You also have to think about transport, set-up, moving pieces from the ceremony to the reception, and cleaning up.

There are some things you can DIY.

Invitations? Sure.

Place cards? You bet!

Wedding favors? Why not!

But 24 centerpieces, 8 bouquets, 8 boutonnieres, and a hanging flower chandelier? No freaking way! 

It is worth every penny to hire someone who you click with and trust, who has your best interests at heart, who does this every day, and who knows how to solve whatever problems arise.

A big project like a wedding is always going to have some kind of challenge, but when you hire a professional, they will know how to handle it quickly and efficiently.

My goal is for you to enjoy your wedding and your wedding flowers.

You cannot do that if you try to DIY everything! Hiring a team of professionals is going to give you the peace of mind you need to actually enjoy your day.

These 6 tips will help you get what you need, without the stress. 

Doing a little bit of prep work will go a long way. I have so much more to share with you on wedding flowers. Click on to see what’s next.