Florists Reveal Their Top Tips For Stress-Free Wedding Flowers - Exclusive

Almost every couple planning their wedding hits a point in the process where they seriously question why they didn't just elope instead. 72% of those who answered a Zola survey said they were experiencing high levels of stress about wedding planning. 

"It's really not as much about the wedding planning as it is about what wedding planning and weddings represent," wedding therapist Landis Bear, LMHC, told Brides. "It's a life transition for everyone involved, and with life transitions come identity shifts and a sense of loss of who you were before," she added. This potential identity crisis is already on top of the financial stress and family expectations that comes with wedding planning.

To help mitigate the stress of wedding planning, Michelle Leo Cousins of Michelle Leo Events told Brides that it helps when you prioritize the essentials. Make a list of what's non-negotiable for you on your wedding day so, as you plan, you can remind yourself of your initial vision, which can help you stay on budget. This means you need to have already established an idea of what you'd like your wedding to look and feel like. Clarissa Marchia, founder of Boston's Lucy Blooms, told The List that couples will want to start this process eight to 12 months before their desired date to make sure their dream vendors and locations are available. 

What to do before you meet with your wedding florist

"Visuals are everything when it comes to explaining the overall feeling of your event," Clarissa Marchia told The List. That's why she suggests having a collection — whether it be cut-out pictures from a magazine or a Pinterest board you can share with your designer — of visual examples of what you love and what you hate when you go meet with your wedding florist.

When you meet with your wedding florist, you're also going to want to be able to tell them about your venue, whether you're having two locations for the ceremony and reception or just one. Plus, it's important to make sure the floral designer knows the color scheme of your venues, advises Bloomberry Floral Design. They're going to want to know the overall aesthetic of the space, too, so they don't create pieces that will clash either in color or vibe. 

Besides the venue and a Pinterest board of wedding inspo, you're also going to have to decide on a wedding dress, says The Knot. The style of the dress, like the venue, will help your floral designer to create your bridal bouquet and other arrangements that match the volume of your dress. The more detail you can bring to your florist about how the space is going to look, the better they'll be able to help visualize and create your desired wedding aesthetic. 

Florists say you should budget this much for wedding flowers

One major decision that needs to be made before you meet with your florist is your wedding budget. Specifically, the maximum amount you want to spend on flowers. The Knot suggests that when you do meet with your florist, ask them what work can realistically be done within your budget. 

Traditionally, approximately 8% of your budget should be allotted for flowers, per The Knot, with wiggle room needed for pricing changes. But if you're budget-conscious, Clarissa Marchia told The List she recommends her clients prioritize quality over quantity when it comes to arrangements. "Instead of having a lot of smaller designs, focus on a few larger impactful designs if you're trying to stick within a budget."

Mary-Anne Da'Marzo, founder of London's The Last Bunch is able to offer clients fixed pricing when they contract with her since she works exclusively with dried and preserved florals. "Everlasting flowers can sometimes be a cheaper option," she told The List, explaining, "We get incredible rates on flowers which would have otherwise been thrown away. We have to purchase flowers when they are at their most open in order to take them through the preservation process." 

These things are the things your florist can't control

When you meet with your florist, make sure you're upfront about your budget, and don't be afraid to ask what's attainable within that budget. But keep in mind, there are a few factors even the best florists can't control. Part of stress-free wedding planning is also having realistic expectations of what your vendors can control — and what they can't. 

Mary-Anne Da'Marzo told The List that brides need to understand that prices can, and will, change from the time you make your wedding flower contract to delivery day. Just one of the many lasting changes Covid-19 has had on the wedding industry is that supplies have gone down while prices have skyrocketed. "When a florist prices your wedding it will be based on a forecast price," Da'Marzo explains. It's one of the reasons why, if you don't have flexibility in your budget, you should consider fixed-priced options for flowers. 

Anything from natural disasters to shipping disruptions can affect not just the type of flowers that are available, but how much they will cost. To handle the stress of this uncertainty, talk to your florist about backup choices when it comes to flower type and color. Wedgewood Weddings suggests being open to new ideas your florist might have about how to achieve the aesthetic you want while sticking inside your budget.