This article is part of the Ask the Expert blog series, serving up expert wedding planning advice for couples anywhere in their planning stages! See the rest of the series here.
All floral in this blog’s images are Fiore Floral Studio creations.
Meet the Creative
Meet Alysa, the mastermind behind Fiore Floral Studio!
Alysa is a right-brained, nature-adoring, natural-born creative with a proclivity for planning, a propensity to procrastinate, and an astonishing affinity for alliteration. (see what she did there?)
When it comes to design, Alysa’s recipe is simple. She starts with creative and unexpected color combinations, puts a heavy emphasis on texture (one of my favorite things about her work!), seeks out unusual and visually stunning blooms, and adds locally foraged elements to connect her design back to nature.
Alysa and I have had the pleasure of working together on numerous occasions and her work is eye-catching, thoughtful, and downright visionary.
How do you recommend determining your budget for flowers?
Great question. Setting a floral budget is a little tricky and requires some research and preparation if you want to nail down a realistic number. But it’s worth it. Not all of my brides come to me with a budget in mind, but I absolutely love when they do. If I’m given a number during our initial consultation I’m able to tailor all of my design choices to fit within their budget, it also allows me to offer suggestions on how to make the most of it.
Here’s my pro advice:
Skip Pinterest and head to Instagram for floral inspiration.
Look specifically for local wedding florists. When you find a few designers whose style matches your vision go to their websites and see if they have a minimum order amount. If so, you have a good starting point for your budget. If they don’t have a minimum, or if the given minimum exceeds what you wanted to spend on flowers do a little more research.
Next, make a list of all of the design items you’ll need for your wedding.
Bridal bouquet, maid bouquets, corsages, flower girl petals, bouts (don’t forget about ushers, dads, and grandpas!) ceremony decor, cake flowers, centerpieces (estimate your guest count and base the number of centerpieces assuming each round table seats 8 guests), head table decor, etc.
Be thorough. When it comes to getting price estimates, never underestimate the willingness of a recently married friend to share her wedding planning knowledge. Use that information and your list of design items to get a solid floral budget.
What are some tips to differentiate different professional's styles and specialities?
The easiest way to tell a designer’s style and specialty is to check out their Instagram. Chances are it’s where their most recent work is posted and it’s updated more frequently than their website. Look at their tagged photos too. Whatever you see the most of is their style.
What's the one thing you wish every couple knew at the beginning of the planning process?
At the end of the day, you’re throwing a party to celebrate your love and the beginning of your life together. Focus on the experience. I witness a lot of unnecessary stress over some very silly things. I blame Pinterest. Yes, the place cards you pinned are super cool - but please tell me about one wedding you attended where the place cards were the things you raved about the next day. Did you ever go to a wedding and have a terrible time because the groomsmen’s ties were a different shade of pink than the flowers in the bridesmaid’s bouquets? I’ll answer for you… definitely not. Just focus on what’s important (the two of you getting married and celebrating with your nearest and dearest) and avoid the stress.
What are the most important information a couple should take away from a consultation with you?
A couple should leave our consultation with full trust in my expertise and design abilities. They should feel relaxed and confident knowing that I’ll work with them and their budget to make their wedding day beautiful.
What is your most common FAQ from clients, and how do you answer it?
The question I get most frequently is from potential clients who email wanting a blind quote. Meaning, they send a vague list of items ("bridal bouquet, 4 bridesmaids, 5 bouts, 15 centerpieces, how much?") and want a price proposal without a consultation or giving any specifics. In this case, I answer by explaining the variables in pricing florals and why just giving them a blind number won’t be realistic. I then ask if they’d like to meet for a consultation.
It’s super important to meet with your florist. We’re artists and we are going to dream up designs and then create them with our own two hands, just for your wedding. We need to get to know you so we can do our best work!
What else would you like to share?
My favorite color? Red.
My favorite flower? Rose.
My favorite food? Chinese.
My favorite rapper? Tech.
My favorite Golden Girl? Blanche.