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Am I doing this right?

I'm planning from afar and have been looking at florists.  I called a bunch of people and got different quotes and have decided to go with the one giving me the best rate.  My planner was nice enough to check out their work for me and gave them a thumbs up.  I'm going down to Miami in a week and trying to decide the following:

Do I pay them a deposit now before the sample?  Or...  Meet with them, get to know them, see their flowers, then give them a deposit, and then see their sample at another time (which would mean another trip to Miami).

What procedure did you take?  Also, if I decide to change my centerpieces/colors/styles, are they supposed to do another sample for me for free?

PS:  I haven't received their contract, so don't I pay the deposit once I receive a contract?  Or do I give them a deposit to hold my date without the contract?  I do have a proposal, however.

Re: Am I doing this right?

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    cmp1986cmp1986 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I think most florists won't make a sample unless you have signed the contract. If you can see the sample before signing, I say go for it. Then once you make your decision, you can give them a deposit. In order to sign the contract they are going to require a deposit to hold your date. The depoist is usually 1/3 of your whole flower budget. I never got a sample, but I got to see her showroom and I was able to see a CP of a wedding she was doing that weekend. I told her what I wanted and then she told me how much. I gave her the deposit and signed the contract. I honestly don't know if they'd give you another free sample if you were to change your mind on the flowers. The best thing you can do is just ask. If it was me, I'd make sure she has good word of mouth. Then I'd schedule an apt. See different pics she has and show her my ideas. See what ideas she comes up with. Then if I liked her and got a good vibe. I'd give her the deposit and sign the contract. In the end if she does great work and you get a great vibe from her, go for it. Plus your planner checked her out. Hope this helps you out.
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