We sat down with Shanda Zelaya, owner of Eszi & Flor (soon to be Flor de Casa Designs), on how to best work with a floral designer. Shanda is based out of Tysons, Virginia and specializes in large bouquets, private events, and weddings. She mapped out the process for us below!
What are the steps to book a floral designer?
There are normally three steps to working with a floral designer.
Consultation: Every floral designer has a slightly different process. Typically, the first consultation is a 30-minute phone call. This is when we will discuss what services you will need, color palettes, style of design, the vision of your event, wedding party details etc. So, be prepared for lots of questions!
Proposal: After the initial consultation, I put together a proposal, which usually takes 3-4 business days and we meet to discuss it. My proposals are valid for 14 days, which gives you time to review it, ask any questions, and make adjustments.
Booked!: Clients will usually book my services within that 14 day window with a 30% retainer fee due at the time of signing the contract. My clients have the option to do everything digitally, so I have booked weddings without ever meeting a bride face-to-face. However, I prefer to meet them in person when it’s time to sign the contract. I want to establish a relationship with my clients that goes beyond the wedding day or event.
What is the difference between a florist and a floral designer?
A florist is someone who has a storefront and can take walk-in clients. Many florists have floral designers working at their shops.
Floral designers tend to only cater to weddings and events. They specialize in a certain style or design and do not typically have storefronts. Appointments are needed to meet with floral designers.
Should an individual already have a budget in mind?
Absolutely. For weddings, I find that brides don’t know what their budget should be and need a bit of guidance. Brides typically believe their budget should be 10% of their overall budget. However, depending on their vision, the true cost can be far greater than 10% and can lead to a bit of sticker shock. To avoid this, I first get to know what their vision is. I work with them to define what that floral budget will ultimately look like based on that. In the end, it is a number we are both comfortable with.
How far in advance should someone book a floral designer?
If you have found a particular designer you want to work with, I suggest booking quickly. Typically, 6-9 months in advance is a good time. If you need event design for a wedding along with floral design, then booking your designer 9-12 months in advance will be best.
Does an individual keep the flowers after the event?
Yes! All flowers purchased by an individual are theirs. Clients who book my services not only keep the flowers, but the vases as well. Some clients choose to gift the centerpieces to their guests, take them home, or simply discard them after the event. One of my favorite memories was when a couple donated their arrangements to a nursing home. It is beautiful to see the flowers being enjoyed by so many people!
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