I’ve never met anyone who instinctively knows how to plan a wedding if they haven’t done it before- it’s usually a mix of trial-and-error, lots of help from wedding mags and the web, and a bit of common sense.
Since you’ve got a lot to think about right now, let me explain how it usually goes with the flowers:
12-18 months to go
As soon as you’ve booked the venue and have an idea (even if vague) about what florals you’d like, get in touch with a florist whose style you like and set up a meeting with them. And I can’t stress this enough- find the florist who’s work you LOVE! There is no point going somewhere ‘cheap’ or ‘just down the road’ and trying to force them into the style and quality of floristry you want- this can only end in disappointment.
Trawl the internet, look at portfolios… you’ll know it when you see it. And book in quick when you find the one. We don’t have eight arms and cannot take an unlimited number of events every weekend.
Oh, and ask your photographer who they would recommend- they are visual, creative people, with a good eye.
6-12 months to go
You’ve had an initial quote by now, and hopefully have booked the services of someone you trust. Now is the time to be mulling over the flowers while you pull the rest of the wedding together. Don’t be tempted to keep making changes with your florist as soon as you think of new ideas- you will just confuse yourself and end up with lots of different versions of very similar quotes. Save up your questions and hit the florist all at once with them so they can advise on the scheme as a whole.
2-6 months to go
This is when you need to be finalising your flower choices. By 2 months out, you should know how many gents need buttonholes and how many tables need to be dressed. If you’re not sure what to go for to create the best effect for your budget, ask the florist’s advice- they dress countless weddings a year and know how to make things look great. Once it’s all locked in, you can relax, but not before…
1 month to go
It’s time to pay your balance. Please try to do this in a timely fashion without your suppliers having to chase you. Things will need to be ordered- glassware, candles, equipment, and the flowers of course! You run the risk of not getting exactly what you asked for if you pay too late.
The wedding is this week!
Everything is organised for your flowers and all other aspects of the day. Now is the time to sit back, enjoy a bit of pampering and the arrival of friends and family for the wedding. Do get in touch with your florist if there are any last minute changes though, such as how many buttonholes need to be delivered to different locations. It is common for these things to change and it’s no problem, just easier to sort out before the day itself.
Your bouquets will usually turn up whilst you’re having your hair done and there are lots of distractions. Try to concentrate on what the florist tells you, as there may be instructions on how to unpackage the bouquets if they are in water, and a cool, safe place will need to be found for them until you leave.
Final word of advice?
When people get excited they raise their arms up for some reason! Try to check yourself throughout the day and keep your hands at belly-button level (or lower) so your gorgeous bouquet doesn’t look like a lollipop in the pictures 😉