How to Hire A Florist


By Chelsea Fuss for Project Wedding

We recently visited with acclaimed floral designer, Pam Zsori of Ink & Peat in Portland, Oregon to learn how to go about hiring a floral designer for a wedding. We also picked up a few flower tips along the way.

Pam is known for her unusual flower arrangements which are filled with, not just flowers, but seed pods, berries, twigs and succulents. With work featured in numerous magazines, websites and blogs, Pam has gained a reputation, not just for the eye catching nature of her arrangements, but for the high quality and thoughtful construction to her flower bouquets, centerpieces and bridal work. And when it comes to flower style, Pam loves eclectic, undone, and organic-style arrangements. Her flower arrangements are always inspired by nature.

Here are Pam's top 5 tips to consider when hiring a florist:

1. Find a florist whose signature style you admire. Does their portfolio look modern? Girly? Vintage? Classic? Work with someone whose style you love!

2. Consider your local market. Just because a magazine states that tulips are available all year does not mean the same is true for your location. Be weary of this advice until you speak with a local florist,  who will be able to give you proper tips for your area.

3. Bring as much inspiration as you can to your consultation. Know your budget, vision and location of your wedding. This will make for a productive meeting with your florist.

4. Don't just focus on a particular flower type. Know the style, colors and vision for your wedding. From there, your florist can help you find seasonally appropriate flowers to meet that vision.

5. Know your budget. Even having a ballpark estimate before meeting with your florist will help the designer create a proposal best suited to your financial needs. Flowers are usually about 10% of your total wedding budget, but this depends on your priorities. If you want flowers to be the main attraction, it might be up to 30%!

The Process:

Pam suggests you book your florist about 6 months in advance if possible.  After the initial consultation, the designer will create a proposal for you about a week later. From there, you will be able to negotiate flowers and possibly prices. Once a plan of action is decided upon, the customer normally pays a non-refundable 20% deposit. Changes can usually be made up to 30 days prior to the wedding. No one wants to write a check on their wedding day, so Pam suggests sticking to the due date and paying your balance 30 days before the wedding. It is not standard for florists to receive tips, but it might be a nice gesture, particularly if you are really happy with what your florist has created for you. 

A few more tips from Pam:

For a summer wedding, held outside in the heat of a blaring sun, Pam encourages brides to stay away from delicate, soft-petaled flowers and instead rely on sturdier varieties of blooms, twigs, and even moss! Pam embraces non-floral ingredients like succulents, unripe berries and even air plants. She suggests roses for a wedding held in the depth of winter. Why? Roses are available year-round and they offer the widest array of colors.

Pam's favorite bridal bouquet?

For a conservatory wedding, Pam created a loosely gathered bouquet of dahlias, garden roses, feverfew, grasses, clover, geranium leaves and unripe blackberries. The bouquet was inspired by sunset shades: pale yellow, pink, red and orange!

When shopping for a florist, make sure you find someone you like and whose style you love!

Article Credits: Pam Zsori at Ink and Peat. Images courtesy/copyright: Lisa Warninger. 


Last Updated: August 3, 2013 at 11:10 pm
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