Event Floral Planning, Demystified

Two Eagles Marcus/GlitterBooth.com

If you’ve got a big event on the books, you’ll probably find yourself on the hunt for a florist who specializes in projects of that scale. We’re talking milestone parties, fundraisers, corporate affairs, galas and more. Our very own Kiersten Schulte, Director of Corporate Relations, sat down to answer your most pressing questions about the process.

How far in advance of my event do I need to book my florist?

We always recommend the sooner the better. This gives your florist time to lock in lower pricing through their wholesalers and growers, and makes sure you have a place on their calendar. For example, if you know your event will consist of 100+ tables, it’s best for you to start working with your florist at least 6 months prior to your event. If you have a smaller, more intimate event, two weeks is ample time. Sometimes flowers tend to fall to the wayside in planning, but they are as important as food and entertainment.

What’s the best way to come up with a floral scheme for my event?  What should I consider as I make a plan for flowers?

We like to base floral concepts around your color scheme. If you have event-specific colors, or simply want to stay with your branding standards, we can work with that. If you want to go against the grain and have a curated look, then take the time to consult with your florist and make a plan for a look that fits your brand and is memorable. My biggest recommendation is view your relationship with your florist as “hand-in-hand.” Let them guide you, but don’t hesitate to give feedback. After you receive a sample design for your event, if you aren’t happy with it, don’t be afraid to say something. You will ultimately gain trust in one another with this approach.

Any good inspiration sources you’d recommend?

Pinterest, Instagram, Google . . . We live in age of instant information. If you simply Google search “blue flower centerpieces,” you’re sure to get back thousands of pictures.

Two Eagles Marcus/GlitterBooth.com

When I’m interviewing florists for my event, what should I ask them?

The first thing is to ask is if they can accommodate corporate and special events. Some florists specialize in it and others don’t. The next thing to ask would be if they are available on your event date. Many florists that accommodate special events have a team dedicated to design, delivery, execution, installation, etc. Some event installations can take eight hours, while others can take an hour. These are all very important details for the florist and the client to consider before booking.

How do I set a budget for my event?

A line item for decor is important to consider when planning your event budget. Many organizations like to place a dollar amount per person attending, which is highly suggested. It is also important to put a dollar figure to your table. This dollar figure would include the linen, decor, plating, flatware, etc. If you are having a fundraiser, what is your goal? Are parts of the dollars raised going to event expenses, or are you getting certain elements sponsored? The budget is always different for everyone. If it is something you aren’t sure about, then just let your florist provide you with a proposal, and you can work from there.

Two Eagles Marcus/GlitterBooth.com

What are some good ways to reduce the floral costs for my event?

Rental, rental, rental! Many florists offer vase rental and equipment rental. Vases and containers are half to 3/4th the price if they are rented, versus purchased. Another way to look at cutting costs is to ask your florist about in-kind sponsorship. Now, this would be in exchange for mentions, logo placement, etc. In many cases, it won’t cover all of the cost, but anything helps. This does circle us back to making sure you connect with your florist in ample time. Like all businesses, florists work on annual budgets and part of the annual budget is allocating funds to in-kind sponsorship.

How many times should I meet with my florist throughout the planning process, and should I expect to see a final design beforehand?

I would anticipate meeting with your florist for the initial consultation. Most follow up communication will be handled via email and phone call. You can certainly ask to see a sample design, and while many will provide it free-of-charge, others may ask that you pay a portion of the design price.

Two Eagles Marcus/GlitterBooth.com

How long does it typically take a wedding and event florist to set up?

That all depends on the size of the event. I have had set ups that have taken two days and others that have taken 30 minutes.

Is it common for the event hosts to keep designs, containers or other items afterwards?

In many cases, a florist will offer a same-night pick up service for a fee. If you prefer to opt out of that fee then your florist may ask
you to bring all of your items back the following business day. We have let clients keep some of the designs from their event to enjoy until the floral expires. We just ask that they bring back the container.


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