As a floral and decor specialist, I get to meet with all walks of life, with all sorts of ideas up the wazoo of how they want their wedding to look and feel.
Vintage weddings with harvest tables, pumpkins, and pinecones.
Glamourous and glitzy weddings with mirror plates, crystals, bling, and flash.
Down-to-earth affairs with some sparkle, but not too much, leaving it crisp and clean.
So you can imagine when I hold consultations with clients, it can go a number of different ways. Being a designer, having a visual mind to be able to convey your client's ideas is paramount above all else - we are trained almost as mind-readers. After all, you are hiring us to pretty much bring what you have in your head to life. It's an experience, a relationship that is a constantly work in progress.
As such, when it's your turn to go into a design meeting, help out a girl out a little bit and come prepared! But really, the following tips will make sure that you and your designer are on the same page and she will be able to get you the most accurate proposal.
1. Colour palette - colour is probably one of the most important, if not the most important, part of design. Knowing what colours you want to use in your wedding will determine the overall style and look, as well as what is available to you when it comes to flowers and season. When determining your colour palette, choose a neutral colour (ivory, white, cream, champagne, grey, etc.) and your "feature" colour (ex. in a palette of blush, gold, champagne, your feature colour will be the blush or pink). This will at least give your designer a head start on where to look when creating your look.
2. Quantities - a little less important, but more related to your budget, having an idea of your quantities will give your designer the ability to quote appropriately. 15 centerpieces is a far cry from 30, and sometimes floral designers may be able to tweak the price in your favour if there are more pieces involved. These don't have to be accurate for your first meeting - usually designers will confirm the final total much closer to the wedding day when you know your final guest count.
3. Composition and style - when talking about style, designers are more looking for a direction - for example, if you are going for more sleek and contemporary, rather than vintage and lush, then the looks will turn out very differently even with the same colour palette. Composition relates to florals - if you like the look, wild garden feel for your bouquet rather than structured and round, this is something to note.
4. Must have or must not have flowers - designers understand if you don't know ALL the floral types in the world, but getting a general idea of preference would greatly affect your overall cost. For example, peonies are more rare and are amongst some of the priciest florals in the industry as they are only in season for 3-4 weeks out of the year - a fact that many people don't know. So if this is your "must have" floral, bring it up with your designer and she may be able to make some suggestions and alternatives.
5. Budget - of course, getting an accurate proposal also depends on knowing what is your top end of spending. Designers are not cookie cutter, and neither are you. Every couple and client have different tastes and lifestyles, and therefore everyone's budget is different as well. Let your designer know how much you are allotting to the floral and decor portion of your budget. To give you an idea, centerpieces, bouquets, and boutonnieres generally start around $2000 in the GTA and depending on style and preference, maybe even more.
6. Logistics - sometimes this isn't completely necessary, but if you know that you have a downtown venue with no access to a loading dock or elevator, probably a good idea to mention that to your designer too as it would affect their set up and delivery.
Your designer should have the knowledge and ability to suggest various different options to you for your design - however, providing the above facts will make the process more efficient and ensure that you are utilizing your precious time more effectively!