Wedding Flowers Planner
So you've got the venue, dress and church booked and sorted. But when should you order your flowers?
Ideally, you should book the florist as soon as possible. Florists are normally booked up with weddings all summer, so it is good to know you've got the flowers sorted along with everything else.
A year before: Ask for recommendations from friends and browse websites to find a short list of your favourite florists. We have a fabulous wedding galley and a list of great florists in your area. Book appointments with each one to find your favourite and book the date with them. You don't need to have a firm idea of what you want, you just need to like their style and feel comfortable that they're on your wavelength. You could even order a small bouquet from them, to see if you like their style and service.
Nine months to go
Arrange a proper consultation for your wedding flowers. You will have to pay for this, but the value is subtracted from your final bill. It's definitely worth it – you'll have lots of time to discuss all your ideas. Your florist will have lots of literature, brochures and portfolios to look through but it's good to compile your own scrapbook of flower ideas, favourite colours, any themes, and fabric swatches you've collected to show your florist. They'll then take in your body shape, style of dress, colouring and the colours/themes you've chosen to find the right bouquet style and colours for you. You can also book the flowers for your reception and the ceremony.
Top tip: florists are often happy to transfer flowers from the ceremony to the reception for you, to save you money on your decorations. Try not to mix florists (i.e. using an in-house florist for the reception) as you might find you're disappointed that the flowers don't match.
Don't forget to get the confirmation in writing and an estimated breakdown of costs. Try to reserve 15-20% of your overall budget for the wedding flowers.
Six months to go
Ask your florist to accompany you to the venue of the ceremony and reception so she can get a feel for what decorations will best enhance the features of the rooms.
Three months to go
Confirm the exact numbers of all decorations and the total flower order. If you've booked an appointment for practice make-up and hair, order some floral hairpieces for your hair so you can see if you're happy with the result. They don't have to be the same flowers (if these are expensive), you could ask for cheaper substitutes instead. You'll then have time to change the order and look as necessary.
Top tip: don't forget the cake decorations, gift bouquets for your mum and mother-in-law, buttonholes and car decorations.
One month to go
Give your florist a detailed breakdown of the itinerary so they'll know when to set-up in the church, the venue, and when to deliver the bridal flowers. Give your florist the address details for each delivery. You may be expected to pay half the amount or even the total of your bill – find out when it needs to be settled if you've not been told already.
One day to go
Your florist will be busy decorating your venue and ensuring your flowers are wonderful! Don't panic if you haven't got your bouquet – florists like to deliver on the day for maximum freshness.
The big day
Top tip: don't put button holes in the fridge – normal fridge temperature is too cold for flowers. Put them in a cool garage or porch instead. If you've opted for floral accessories rather than a hand-held bouquet, arrange with your florist to meet you just before you enter the ceremony to attach them for you.
Ensure the groom has had his button-holes delivered to his address or has collected them from the florist.
Collect any hairpieces for your hair before you go to your hairdresser, or arrange for them to be delivered to the salon.
Flowers will arrive several hours before the ceremony. Some arrive in water, so ensure you've asked your florist how best to unwrap them and dry them off so they don't stain your dress. Put all the flowers somewhere cool.