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A Budding Romance: For some brides, the wedding is not complete unless brilliantly colored flowers and rich green foliage are draped from every candelabrum and spilling from each bouquet. Other brides prefer the simple elegance of a few white calla lilies tied together with a satin ribbon. No matter what your preference, a professional florist can create a look you will love.

Finding the Florist Know Your Foliage: Study for the interviews. Use library books and magazine articles to learn flower terminology. Jot down anything unusual that you might want in the arrangements. While wedding arrangements featuring fruits or pine cones might be a hot trend, not all florists dabble with nontraditional items.

Make an Appointment: Set up an appointment for a one-on-one with a designer at the shop. Make sure that the same designer you talk to will be the one creating the floral masterpieces for your ceremony and reception. Ask to see the designer’s portfolio and for a list of references. Negotiate the Contract: Solicit bids from your top choices. Find out what items will be included in the contract. Does the florist offer candelabras and other furnishings? Does he or she charge a set up fee? Can the designer guarantee the freshness of flowers and greenery? Does the florist create gift baskets for parties and other special occasions? Name Your Family Florist: Reserve the florist at least eight months before the wedding. Ask the florist to put his or her ideas for your wedding in writing. Know what you are paying for before the wedding day. Couples work closely with their florist to create beautiful floral designs for their ceremony, reception, and other special events. Many couples develop close relationships with their designer(s) that span decades. Consider hiring a florist that you can trust with all your special events. You never know when you will need a friendly family florist.

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