As a bride looking to line up your wedding vendors, you have certainly been cruising all the big wedding websites for information and advice. Quite a few of these sites have a list of questions for you to ask your florist. One site actually has 33 questions you should ask your wedding florist! I don’t think anyone wants a four-hour consultation! But some of these questions are important and The Knot has a list of ten questions. Okay, I can handle that! And to save time in your consultation, I’ll answer them for you right now!
- Have you done many weddings? Yes, the Garden by the Gate has been in business for five years and we have done about 75 weddings. Weddings are almost all that we do; we also provide flowers for wedding showers, rehearsal dinners, and we have actually done flowers for a number of our previous brides’ baby showers! It’s almost like we’re part of the family.
- Can I see photographs or live examples of your work? Of course! We have some photo albums of our work and lots of photos on our website and Pinterest boards and on our blog. It would be kind of hard to show you an actual wedding arrangement because when we are designing a wedding, we’re way too busy to do a consultation! We like to focus on one thing at a time and give you our full attention.
- Have you done weddings at our ceremony or reception venue before? We may have worked at your site before, but if we haven’t, we love to take a road trip with you and check it out! We’ll look it over and together discuss what type of decoration it needs. Then we’ll talk to the venue manager and find out what is allowed, when we can begin, when things have to be removed, etc.
- How many weddings are you handling on the same day or weekend as mine? Will you simply be dropping off flowers, or will you be helping set up too? We only do one wedding per weekend, because that’s the way we like it. We’ll concentrate on your event alone. Wedding florists who do several weddings per weekend do a great job, too, because they have the staff to do it.
Our prices always include delivery and set-up, unless you are more than 30 miles away from our studio, then there is a delivery charge.
- How do you like to work with clients? We treat our clients like friends; we sit around the table and get to know you as a person and as a couple before we start talking about your wedding flowers. Then we want to know all of your thoughts and ideas. We even want to know what you don’t like! There is never a charge or limit on consultations. Before we meet the first time, we start a Pinterest board for you and start gathering ideas. We invite you to pin on it too! But we give it a secret name so it’s just between us and anyone you want to invite. After we find out what you want, we will send you a detailed proposal that includes a slide show with inspiration pictures and photos of the flowers we might use. An itemized quote shows the prices of the individual items. This is a working document that we work with until it is to your liking.
- Are you willing to work within my budget? We can almost always come up with a proposal within your budget. Sometimes that means different flower choices or it might mean scaling down some aspect of the decor, such as having flowers only on every other table. The most important thing is to be open about why you want some changes in the proposal and we’ll work with you.
- Will you be responsible for working with my venue to find out about any restrictions they may have in terms of décor and installation? Our first idea is to just ask you what the restrictions are; your venue will have given you a contract containing those rules, such as whether flame is allowed, or how things may be attached to venue property. If it is something more complex, we’ll be glad to talk directly to the venue manager.
- What other services do you offer? We would LOVE for you to ask us this. We can provide many things besides flowers, such as table runners, rental of chalkboards, lanterns, candleholders, backdrops, cake stands, and more. We also can custom craft things like escort cards, table numbers, banners, or custom water bottles. Check out the rentals page.
- Who will handle setup and delivery? What about breakdown? How long will you need for both, and what are the fees? We do all the setup and delivery for you. Breakdown the night of the wedding is an extra charge (you’ll feel it’s well worth it when your friends and family can walk away from it all at the end of the evening). Timing depends on the individual event, but if time is short, we’ll bring on extra helpers.
- What happens to the flowers after the wedding? It’s really up to you, but it is something we need to talk about early on. If you want to send your centerpieces home with your guests, then we’ll need to include the cost of the containers in your price. If you are renting the containers, we’ll discuss the return timeline. We can also donate your flowers to our local assisted living home for the elderly or disabled. They love to see the beautiful flowers and it’s so much better than tossing them in the trash!