Singaporebrides | Essentials

July 2011

10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Florist

Flowers bring life and beauty to any wedding celebration. But hiring a florist may be a new and challenging task for you (especially if you can’t tell a daffodil from a daisy!). So do your research, ask for recommendations and shortlist a couple of wedding florists.

Before you pick a professional, arrange meet-ups to get a sense of how they work – you have to feel comfortable with your chosen florist. Serene Lee, floral designer and co-founder of bloomroom.sg, lists the key questions you should ask your potential florist when you first meet them.

1. WHAT’S YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE?

All florists have a design philosophy, whether it is the type of flowers they love to use or the arrangement styles they favour. It will be great if his or her signature style fits your wedding theme. But fret not if that’s not the case. Most florists are more than capable of adapting arrangements to suit your needs. Have a detailed chat with your potential florist to see if your creative visions are aligned. Serene advises: “Bring magazine tears of the type of bouquets and wedding décor you like to the discussion table. Ask if she will be able to recreate the same styles.”

Hort Park Wedding Singapore 31Linh and Yong Xi’s Lavender-filled Hort Park Wedding, by Smittenpixels Photography

2. ARE YOU AVAILABLE ON MY WEDDING DATE?

Good florists tend to be booked up quickly, so it’s important to make sure that the wedding florist you have in mind actually has a free slot for you. Serene says: “Do ask how many weddings or events he or she will be doing that day – it will give you an indication of how much time and effort the florist will be able to devote to you. Also ask if the florist will be the one who’s in charge of your project or if she will be delegating to her junior staff.”

3. CAN I SEE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE WEDDING PROJECTS YOU’VE DONE BEFORE?

Florists who handle a lot of weddings may have a portfolio of past works. Ask them to take you through each wedding project so you will get a sense of how creative they are and how they work with their clients. There are also smaller florists who might fit your budget and have relevant experience but are without portfolios. “In this case, ask for more details about what they’ve done before and request to see a sample of your floral centerpiece or the bridal bouquet before your Big Day,” advises Serene. “This is a tangible showcase that will help you to gauge their creative skills and ease your worries.”

4. I HAVE A WEDDING THEME BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANT. WHAT CREATIVE IDEAS DO YOU HAVE?

So you’ve decided on a theme but can’t make up your mind between a lovely hand-tied posy and a classic cascading bouquet? Not sure if roses will go with your French lace gown? This is the chance to test your florist’s creativity and floral expertise. Serene explains: “Engage her by asking for unique ideas. Ask your florist for her opinion on the palette of colours to use, whether fresh or artificial flowers work better and how to best present the blooms. For instance, I once created a flower ball for a bride instead of the usual bouquet.”

Calvary Baptist Church Singapore wedding 8Germaine and Mitchell’s Glamourous Wedding at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, by Antelope Studios

5. MY BUDGET IS $XXX. WHAT CAN I GO FOR?

As with all other aspects of your wedding, you need to set a budget for the wedding flowers. “A professional florist will be able to guide you towards choosing the right flowers to suit both your theme and budget – you shouldn’t have to go overboard and fill the ballroom with expensive blooms,” says Serene. “Your florist should also be able draw up a detailed list of bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres, car and venue décor, floral hairpieces and flower baskets that matches your needs.”

6. ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH MY WEDDING VENUE?

Bring along photos of the wedding venue from all angles to your discussion. This will help your florist to gauge the type and amount of wedding flowers needed for your wedding. “If your theme is elaborate and you need more than just the usual reception table flowers and pew ribbons, ask your florist to drop by the venue to get a sense of the place before the wedding,” suggests Serene.

Melody and Kang Min's Beautiful Wedding at Chijmes and Four Seasons 9Melody and Kang Min’s Beautiful Wedding at CHIJMES and Four Seasons, by Acapella Photography

7. WILL YOU DELIVER AND SET UP MY FLOWERS?

In a way, this depends on the bridal couple’s requirements (some prefer a fuss-free approach of collecting the flowers the night before, placing the arrangements at the stage and reception table themselves). If you need venue set-up because of an elaborate wedding theme, ask your florist when she will arrive, how long each set-up process takes and if there are any additional delivery fees and set-up charge.

8. DO YOU PROVIDE ADDITIONAL WEDDING ACCESSORIES LIKE WEDDING ARCHES AND CANDELABRAS?

Most florists have a stash of props and materials that they can use for wedding projects – just ask if these will be provided on your Big Day and if these are included in your total cost. “But if you have an elaborate theme, your florist may need to source for extra accessories to meet your requirements,” explains Serene. “In this case, the sourcing for the additional items and accessories will be added to your total bill.”

Clara and Lawrence’s Sky Garden Solemnisation, by Lightedpixels Photography

9. HOW MUCH DEPOSIT DO I HAVE TO PUT DOWN?

Most florists will require a deposit of between 30% to 50% of the total bill, with the balance due on the wedding day. Ask for an itemised quote listing down all the details and pricing, and check if there are any additional hidden costs before committing. Serene adds: “You shouldn’t be shocked when you see the final invoice – make sure your florist has clearly explained the nitty-gritties to you, like if there are any extra costs to add a boutonniere or change a floral arrangement at the last-minute.”

10. HOW DO I ENSURE MY BRIDAL BOUQUET LOOKS FRESH ON MY WEDDING DAY?

Wilting blooms are not a pretty sight. First, ask your florist what flowers will be able to withstand our sweltering Singaporean heat, advises Serene. “The good news is that most flowers – even naturally fragile tulips – will do, as long as you keep them in an air-conditioned room, with ends cut at an angle in a vase of water, until your ceremony’s about to begin. A tip: Ask your florist for a packet of flower food and mix it into the water – your flowers will keep even longer!”

From wrist corsages to floral hairpieces to reception table centerpieces, there are plenty of details to consider for your wedding. Engaging a good and professional wedding florist who’s in sync with your creative vision and understands your budget will help you to better navigate through a maze of floral decisions. But the first thing to do is… ask the right questions!


Credits: Featured image of Yuing Xian and Manville’s Intimate Solemnisation at Forlino’s by Bobbykiran Photography