What to include in an email when inquiring with a florist (or any other vendor) for your wedding

You got engaged, congratulations! If you have dipped your toe into the wedding planning pool, you are probably starting to reach out to some vendors.

Now my first piece of advice is actually to hire a wedding planner if your budget permits. I work in the wedding industry and know a lot about the in’s and out’s of planning a wedding, but when I got married last year even I reached out to my favourite wedding planners as I knew they would be invaluable on the big day and the months leading up to it. Depending on what sort of planning package you get, you may be responsible for reaching out to some vendors. Your planners will point you in the direction of some good recommendations. Or if you are going planner free, then this is an extra good guide to help you in your vendor search.

Once you get that list of companies you want to contact, here are some pointers as to what to include in your email when you do. And spoiler alert, the more info you can provide the better. I can’t tell you how many emails I have gotten that just say “Hi I’m looking for a wedding florist, can you send me a quote”. And that’s it. No other information. Like none. What I see when I read those emails is you are just lobbing the ball into my court and want me to do the work of asking you the questions. But if you can provide a little more information, it will go a long way. So let’s dive right in, shall we?

This one is key, lots of florists (and other vendors) only take on one or just a few events a day/weekend so there is no point setting up a consult and getting a quote if the vendor isn’t available. This just saves everyone time and emails, if we know the date right off the bat, that helps to determine our availability.

This is helpful to know as well, not all florists will work outside of the city. If you are contacting florists in Vancouver, but your wedding is in Whistler, or Squamish, or Abbotsford, not all florists will travel to these locations. Also, sometimes florists/other vendors have venues that they love working with, so that can be helpful too. A vendor might jump to reply if they know the event is in a location they love. I for one, love working at Stanley Park Pavillion, Cecil Green, Vandusen Gardens, UBC Boathouse, the Pipeshop, the Wallace and the Polygon Gallery, to name a few.

Are you planning on wedding with 200 guests or maybe more like 50? Are you only looking for bridal party flowers or do you want the whole shebang – wedding party, ceremony, reception, all the florals? Now you don’t necessarily have to know your exact guest count, or exactly how many tables, but just a general idea of size/scale of the event. This also speaks to the availability factor as well. For example, if I have a small wedding already booked for a day and someone else contacts me for that same day, but also has a small-medium sized wedding, I can probably accommodate both. Or, if I have a medium to large wedding booked, but someone contacts me only looking for bridal party flowers, then I can probably accommodate that as well. But I can’t manage 2 full scale 300 person weddings on one day, so once I have one booked for a date, that’s it, I won’t take on anything else.

Colour Scheme/style:
Check out the florist’s portfolio/Instagram/website prior to contacting them. Does their work appeal to you? Does it fit the style of bouquets and arrangements you are envisioning? If you want something that’s more natural looking, lush and garden-like, I wouldn’t reach out to a florist whose work is predominately showing more structural or edgy designs. Kind of like how you wouldn’t order sushi at an Italian restaurant…clearly that’s outside of their wheelhouse.
I feel like this tip can also definitely apply to photographers. They typically have a style they work in, with a certain look to the finished edited images. So if their portfolio has all dark and moody shots, but you want something that’s more natural and light looking, I would look elsewhere.
That being said, we all like to stretch our creative muscles, so if you really love the work that they are showing but maybe have a bit of a twist or different idea, there’s no harm in reaching out to inquire.
This is also where photos can come in handy, if you have collected a few inspirational images that appeal to you, or have started a Pinterest board, send that along too, some visual aids are always helpful.

Ok this one is important, but not the be all and end all in terms of reaching out to a florist or a vendor. Some vendors can’t accommodate all budgets, and some have minimum spends. So yes, in those cases, including this in your email can be helpful because if what you are hoping to spend is way below what they would typically take on then obviously it wouldn’t be a good fit and you can find that out right away. Most people have a budget and in order to find out if a florist or other vendor fits in yours sending all of the above info along with your ballpark number can be a great jumping off point.

Once I have all the info listed above, then I like to move on to setting up a consultation with a couple, that way we can go over all of the details, cause there will be a lot to cover even with all of the above info. I find this easier to do in a conversation than an email, which is why even if you provide me with a detail filled email, I still like to set up a time to chat. We can talk budgets and if what you are hoping for isn’t lining up with the budget you’ve given me, then we can talk through some options that would fit. We talk about colours, one person’s “blush pink” can be another person’s “champagne”. Different options for centrepieces, long tables vs round. Ceremony arrangements, say an Arch vs Alter Arrangements (this is a hot topic I have a whole upcoming post about). These are all things we as the vendors can help advise you on, it is after all our job. I would never expect a couple to know alllll of the things, chances are you haven’t planned a wedding before so I am happy to help guide you and offer the expertise I have gained from doing literally hundreds of weddings in my almost 14 years in the business.

So if you are on the hunt for a wedding florist, and looking to get married in and around Vancouver, be sure to shoot me an email at nicola@nicolaadam.com and using my above tips as a guide!