Dear Petal’s Edge,
How important is it that my florist has worked at my ceremony and reception sites before?
– Geri D.
When meeting with new clients we are frequently asked if we have worked at their wedding sites before, so this is clearly a question that many brides and grooms consider when hiring vendors! Thanks for asking!
While it might seem initially that it is very important that a florist has worked at your site before you should first consider what you are hiring them to do for you. Certainly if you are having them install a floral wall, suspend a chuppah or other structure from a ceiling or otherwise attach or construct something on site that would require them to know the site’s policies, dimensions and needs, then yes, it will probably make their job much easier if they already know the site. In this way they will be better suited to recommend what will and will not work. But that is not to say they cannot learn these things in the time between when you initially meet with them and your wedding date. Additionally, even if they know the site already, if they have never been asked to hang something from the ceiling at this particular site, then they will still have to research how it will be done regardless.
However, the truth is that very few weddings incorporate these kinds of installed elements. The vast majority of weddings ask their florist for fairly standard pieces – personal flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres), ceremony arrangements and centerpieces for the dinner tables. All of those pieces have standard locations that they are placed on. In a church, or even in a hotel ballroom that has been set up with chairs and an aisle for a wedding ceremony, there is usually a very clear location where the florist would need to place the altar pieces or construct the arch/chuppah. In a room set with tables for dinner, we simply place the centerpieces where the tables have been placed and dressed with linens and place settings. In essence, we simply follow where the caterer or hotel staff set up the tables and chairs. So, in that respect, no, it’s not really critical that we know how the site is set up.
Now perhaps you are asking this question from more of a decor perspective – do we know what the site looks like so that we can make recommendations on color and style that will match the site? While that might have some relevance, again, we ask you to consider what you are asking the florist to do. Are you going to ask them to suggest a color palette and look for your wedding flowers, or do you already have one in mind? Most of our clients come in with a style and palette already in mind, and ask us to help them design florals around that look. So, unless someone comes in as a blank slate, both style and color wise, and wants us to choose for them, or is hiring us for full planning to design the wedding from the site on up, the look of the wedding has typically been inspired by your site and personal taste long before we are a part of the decision making.
We hope that helps!
Do you have a question about flowers or wedding planning? Send us your question in the comment field or by email (to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line “Ask the Florist”), and we’ll include it in a future round of Ask the Florist!