In 2014, the average cost of floral arrangements for weddings was 7% of the wedding budget, or $2,141. Because wedding flowers can be a significant cost for your wedding, it is important that you work with your florist to design flower arrangements that you love and that you can afford. The best way to do this is to schedule an in-person consultation with your florist. An in-person wedding consultation is a specific time when your florist will sit down with you to discuss your needs and options and decide on your final wedding arrangements. To get the most out of your floral consultation, you should follow the tips below. 

Arrange Your Consultation On a Weekday

Florists tend to be busiest on weekends, because they often supply flowers for parties and weddings on weekends. On Fridays, florists are often busy prepping arrangements for the weekend. For these reasons, it is best to schedule your consultation Monday-Thursday, during working hours.

It is also important to keep in mind that a florist will rarely shut down their shop for a private consultation. Although you may be able to schedule a consultation on a weekday evening, if you are working with a small florist shop with only one or two employees, it is likely that your florist's attention will be divided with people stopping into the shop to purchase flowers or ask questions.

On weekdays during working hours, you are more likely to have a casual, uninterrupted consultation and your florist can give you more options. Additionally, it will be less of a problem if your scheduled consultation runs slightly longer than expected.  

Schedule Your Consultation Well Before Your Wedding

You should schedule your consultation several months before your wedding, if possible. If not, you should try to schedule it at least several weeks before your wedding. More time between your consultation and your wedding will allow your florist to source the flowers that you want, possibly even placing orders for specialty flowers to be grown locally for you. This will give you more choice when it comes to your flower arrangements. 

Limit the Number of People Attending Your Consultation 

Having too many people attend your floral consultation can result in a lot of opinions and very few actual decisions. It is common to limit the floral consultation to the bride and the groom. However, if one of you is not interested in flowers, it is okay to go to the floral consultation with someone with more experience and interest instead. For example, it is common for the mother of the bride or groom to help choose the floral arrangements. 

Bring Photos and Color Swatches of Your Other Wedding Items 

While you should schedule your floral consultation early, you should not schedule it until you have made some basic decisions about your wedding, such as your wedding style and colors. If you have more information, such as the style of the bridesmaids' dresses or the bride's gown, you should bring detailed photographs or color swatches to help in the matching process. It is also common to bring pictures of flowers and arrangements that you like or do not like in order to start a conversation with your florist. 

Educate Yourself About Flowers 

While you do not have to be an expert (That is why you are hiring a florist!), you should know some basics about flowers before you go to your consultation. For example, you may want to look up which types of flowers are grown locally, so you know what your less expensive, fresher options will be. Additionally, you should know what kind of arrangements you would like. For example, do you simply want a bouquet and centerpieces, or would you like decorative flowers around the banquet hall?

Preparing yourself for your floral consultation will make your consultation more effective and help ensure that you get flowers that you can not only afford but that will also help express the sentiment you want to create on your wedding day. Check out a flower shop like Bouquet Flower Shop to get started.