How to Pick the Right Florist for Your Wedding

Choosing your florist is one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make for your wedding. Flowers set the mood and tone for the day and will be live forever in wedding photographs, so this isn’t a decision to take lightly.

After you pick a date, set a budget, and secure venues for the ceremony and reception, you’ll need to start finding vendors for nearly every aspect of the big day. For now, though, we’ll focus on finding a florist.

Most planners suggest booking a florist at least 6-7 months in advance of the ceremony, but that is only a guideline and can vary depending on the florist and the time of year. It doesn’t pay to wait, though, because the longer you do, the greater the chances that someone else will book your date. In fact, you may want to start looking for florists fairly early in the process; just be sure you’ve already booked your venues and decided on your colors.

Do Your Homework

Before you begin searching for your florist, you need to two things, one is a ballpark budget, and the other is the floral style you want for your big day.

Since it is early in the process, you may not have an exact budget allotted for flowers, but at this point, you should have a general idea. It is very important for the florist to have both of these bits of information so they can plan accordingly and make sure expectations are met.

When searching for a florist for your big day, it’s always a good idea to ask friends and co-workers for suggestions, especially ones that were recently married. Wedding websites are also a good reference since many of them let you search vendors by city or zip code. Once you have a few possibilities, check out the florists’ websites and social media to determine if their style and price point is a good fit for your vision and budget.

After you’ve narrowed down a few florists, call each one you would like to potentially work with, and find out first and foremost if they are available for your wedding day. If they are, set up a consultation as soon as possible. If they are not available, ask them for a reference. Be honest about your budget when soliciting quotes because that may eliminate some options right away. It’s better to know right off the bat if a florist is not a good fit than to waste your time and theirs.

It’s a good idea to meet with or have a call with anyone you’re strongly considering so you are able to see how well their style and vision for your wedding matches up with your own.

During your consultation, be prepared to spend a chunk time and ask a lot of questions. This is the time to really focus on your bridal vision and get creative. It’s also a time to make some important decisions if your vision doesn’t align with your budget.

I found the perfect florist! Now what?

As soon as you find a florist you like and agree on a budget and style, the florist should present you with a proposal. This document should spell everything out in writing and will likely include some provisions you’ll want to be aware of. Now is the time to negotiate or ask for changes if you are uncomfortable with something listed. Once you sign the proposal, it becomes your contract, so it may be a good idea to have a lawyer look it over before you agree to everything.

Once you sign on the dotted line and pay your deposit, which almost every florist will require – congratulations – you’ve hired your florist and can cross one big item off your checklist! Be sure to notify your florist if any sudden changes happen prior to your wedding day and be available if they need to contact you with questions or concerns.

If you’re recently engaged and are starting to plan your wedding, Congratulations! We want to be your florist! We specialize in weddings and would love to make your special day as beautiful as you imagine it to be. Give our wedding specialist a call at (800) 556-6610 to set up an appointment. We’ll be happy to walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
Coming in May – Now that you know how to find the perfect florist for your wedding day, you’ll want to read some tips on what NOT to do when working with your florist.

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The Easter Lily Capital of the World

It’s likely you’ve never heard of Smith River, California, but odds are that’s where your Easter Lily was grown. This fertile land – located in the far northwest corner of California – is home to less than 900 residents, but produces about 95% of the world’s Easter lily bulbs – making it the Easter Lily Capital of the World.

With towering redwood trees to the east and the sparkling Pacific Ocean to the west, this gorgeous river valley – comprised of about 600 acres – is considered the most ideal spot on Earth for growing Easter lily bulbs due to its nearly perfect growing climate and soil condition.

In fact, only five Easter Lily bulb farms – owned by four families – produce up to 14 million bulbs each year. So how did this small strip of coastal land become such a dominant force in the production of Easter Lilies?

It all began in 1919 when a man named Louis Houghton introduced some hybrid lily bulbs to the south coast of Oregon and planted the seeds – so to speak – of what would become the Easter Lily Capital of the World. Prior to 1941, nearly all of the Easter lilies plants in North America were imported from Japan, but WWII changed that when Americans found themselves cut off from their beloved white lilies.

By 1945, Houghton’s crop had taken off and there were around 1,200 growers producing bulbs all along the Pacific Coast. That number would steadily drop as growers found the bulbs difficult to grow commercially.

Easter Egg Hunt by Toppers European Floral Design

It takes at least three years to grow the bulb to commercial size, and each year the bulbs must be dug up and sorted by hand – then either shipped to the greenhouse or replanted for another year.

Unlike other crops that are planted, left to grow, and harvested later, Easter Lily bulbs must be planted, harvested and shipped within a span of three months. That means in order to force the bulbs to bloom in time for Easter, they require 40 days of a forced artificial winter by refrigeration followed by a brief growing period in a high-temperature greenhouse.

The growing schedule is crucial since the value of the bulbs drops considerably even one day past Easter. To complicate matters, Easter doesn’t fall on the same day every year and can vary by as much as five weeks, so timing is everything.

With Easter only days away, this magnificent plant is available now. Give us a call or stop by and pick one out for your Easter celebration or check out our selection of Easter flowers.

Are you considering an Easter lily this year? Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your beautiful new plant.

  • If your Easter lily came with a decorative plastic, foil or paper wrapper, remove that as soon as possible in order to prevent the lily from becoming waterlogged.
  • When choosing a “home” for your lily makes sure to choose a location away from drafts and drying heat sources.
  • Water your plant if the surface feels dry, but be careful not to over-water. Easter lilies require a medium moisture level and should never stand in water for any length of time.
  • Potted Easter lilies kept indoors need bright, indirect natural light but, too much exposure to sunlight can cause burning issues.
  • Remove the yellow anthers from the center of each flower to prolong the life of the blossoms.
  • Easter lilies can be planted outside in a sunny location after the flowers have withered away.
  • If you plant your Easter lily outside, cover the roots with mulch to help keep them shaded.
  • Once planted outside, the lily should be watered freely during the active growth period and be kept moist during the winter.

Remember: Easter lily plants are highly toxic to cats.