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Luxury Weddings

Floral mock-ups

I am getting married in June 2014.  I know who I am using as my florist--we had an initial consultation and are on the same page for design and budget.  We haven't negotiated a formal contract yet, but he has my date in his calendar.  At how many months out do you think I need to get the contract nailed down?  Also, he said he would do mock up centerpieces for me so I could approve them--would this be something to see before signing the formal contract and putting down the deposit, or is this something that gets done closer to the wedding?

Thanks for any input.

Re: Floral mock-ups

  • The contract date depends on the florist and the payment schedule.  The mock-up we had was done within one month of the wedding.  
  • My florist is someone my family has used many times before, so that might account for some of my response, but I just wanted to share my experience.

    I had known from the start I was going to use her, so I actually checked with her about possible dates before booking all other vendors.

    Once we set the date, I contacted her and she sent me a formal letter saying I was on her calendar, and it listed some of the flower options we had discussed. This was Oct 2012 for an Oct 2013 wedding. There is no down payment required.

    In July of 2013, we met to discuss and finalize flower options.  We sat for about an hour and talked it all through, saw samples, etc.

    Her final payment will be due the day of the wedding (and I am super excited about her work!)  :)

    So, no down payment is required (and this is for all of her clients, not just because she knows us) and there was a long period of time between her booking our date and really finalizing our flower choices.
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  • If you know who you're using, what you want, and how much you're paying - I would get the contract signed and forget about it. 

    Personally, I've been burned by having verbal agreements in place of contracts, so I'm a "if it's not in writing, it's not happening" kind of person. Unless you're concerned that you'd drop him as a florist based on the mock up, I'd just negotiate the contract now and do the mock up closer to the wedding.

  • I have to agree with the PP about getting something in writing asap. Until you have something in writing, you have no true confirmation that they will work within your budget. What if you wait to do the contract until later, then realize that they are not as accommodating as you originally thought? It may be too late at that point to find another florist that you really love...

    When it comes to the mock up, you can certainly wait until closer, but don't feel like you have to. We were debating between two florists and had both of them put together a mock up of the centerpiece prior to making our decision. We were then able to make our final choice for the contract based on what we actually saw produced verses an image in our head. I know it made both of us much more comfortable and has helped things move along seamlessly... 
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    When we first met with our florist, we gave her an idea of what we were looking for.  She quoted us a figure.  We signed a contract and left a small deposit.  She would not sign a contract and put us on the calendar without a deposit.  Many vendors are like this because they can only take so many wedding orders for that day.  What if you find someone else, then tell them at the last minute.....they may have turned other brides away and have now lost money.  And if you wait too long to sign the contract, they may be all booked for your date.

    We later sat down a bit before the wedding to finalize the flowers in the centerpieces and bouquets and the overall look.  We did not get a mockup.   In retrospect, I feel like it was kinda crazy to not really know what we were getting and just assuming it would look beautiful.  Thankfully, it was better than I could've imagined.  

  • OjitosVerdesOjitosVerdes member
    250 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited August 2013
    I agree with the OPs- if you want to use this florist, book them right away. (Signed contract, deposit, etc). Our mock up is also going to be about a month out from the wedding, that way we can be relatively assured of what flowers will actually be available on our wedding date. 

    Edited for clarity. 
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