biz bits

questions from brides

Brides have questions—florists should have the answers.

Most brides give unceasing thought to planning every detail of their perfect weddings. But when it comes to flower selection, they typically are not as confident in their decisions. They are not familiar with different floral options and associated considerations, including when flowers are available, how long particular varieties last and the mechanics needed to secure bouquets. The more a florist can assist the bride, the more likely she is to be satisfied. Moreover, when a florist asks the right questions and provides helpful answers, he or she creates an opportunity to sell more product. To help florists better serve inquisitive bridal customers, Smithers-Oasis Design Directors offer simple answers to the top questions a florist should be prepared to answer during a wedding consultation.

- What flowers are most appropriate for the season of my wedding?
Florists should be able to tell brides which fresh flowers will be available and perform best in the month of the wedding. They also can identify which flowers are problematic and should be avoided and which are out of season.

- What styles and colors are in fashion, and which fresh flowers will match?
A design-savvy florist will be interested in the bride’s dress style and the type of mood she wants to project, whether it be glamorous, romantic or traditional. Once this is determined, the florist should be able to offer floral suggestions to complement the look.

- Can you deliver beauty and style on my budget?
Only a few elite ignore a budget. Florists should present creative options to stretch dollars, like repurposing an arrangement at the ceremony for the gift table at the reception. Also, florists should demonstrate how details can upgrade a bouquet in a modest to marvelous fashion by adding items such as decorative pins and bouquet collars.

- Do you have photographs of arrangements you have created in the past?
A nice tool for florists is a photo album of their most recent work. Updated photos on the shop’s Web site also can be powerful selling tools.

- What innovative ideas can you suggest to make my wedding special?
Florists always should offer creative locations that can be adorned with flowers to make weddings memorable for guests and increasingly profitable for themselves.

- Have you been to my ceremony/reception location before?
Knowing the location not only gives the bride peace of mind but it gives the florist an advantage to upsell. Florists can bring new ideas with phrases such as, “The last time I was here I wish we had done ... .” If this is a new location for the florist, he or she should offer to visit the site with the bride in order to point out both traditional and nontraditional flower locations, boosting the bride’s confidence and adding a personal touch while ensuring that the florist is prepared and able to increase profits. Visiting the site a second time, closer to the date of the wedding, also may prove to be profitable if a bride was holding back due to budgetary concerns in the beginning of the planning process. Also, if a florist shows enthusiasm about the location, the bride may feel comfortable spending more money there.

- Is this one appointment all we need?
While many florists have only one or two consultations with a bride, a good tip is to schedule a meeting with the bride the day before the wedding to obtain her approval. In a casual half-hour meeting, florists can show the bride her bouquet and other arrangements for the next day. This way, the bride knows what she is getting—eliminating some of her wedding-day stress—and the florist is not under the stress of possible wedding day or post-wedding complaints, ensuring full payment. The fewer surprises, the better.

- How do I hold my bouquet?
Making sure the bride knows how to hold the bouquet is important for her comfort as well as for displaying the florist’s work. The bride should not hold the handle like an ice-cream cone; rather, her arms should be down with her forearms resting around her hip bones, allowing her wrists to move and draw focus to the bouquet.

Source: Smithers-Oasis Design Directors;

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