When Lovingly conducted its own wedding florist consultation research across partner florists in North America, one issue stood alone at the very top of the frustrations for florists list.
Couples with no clear ideas of what they want.
This overriding frustration included:
Are you one of the many florists who think it would be great if your clients turned up with ideas, answers, and specific aspirations? If they had thoughts about the number of guests?
Thirty? Three hundred? Somewhere in-between?!
Lovingly took immediate action in all these areas when creating a free wedding referrals service for our partners.
So here we take our many pages of research notes to create a post designed to help you streamline your floral wedding consultations for success.
If a happy couple turns up for that initial consultation with no ideas about their wedding flowers, wedding theme or color schemes, or budget, you have a serious problem as their florist.
We have learned how awkward it can be to see a happy young couple smiling at you, genuinely expecting their wonderful florist to make their perfect wedding flowers appear as if at the snap of her fingers.
And if you’ve experienced that, we feel for you.
All florists know that the creation and choosing of wedding flower designs, colors, wedding themes and the whole big picture must start somewhere.
And it’s always easier if your happy couple knows that, too!
There are florists, for example, who insist that consultations can only happen after the bride-to-be has chosen her dress, or has booked her venue.
This creates a starting point.
Having some sort of solid ground to stand on, and make decisions based on, is vital. Florists are brilliantly creative, but they can’t see the future.
Perfect wedding flowers depend on other elements.
So do perfect consultations.
If this is an issue for you, don’t be afraid to create pre-consultation guidelines. Ask questions like:
You can fill in the blanks yourself.
The point is to try and get couples planning, or at least seriously thinking, about needs and wants, before the consultation takes place.
It can make the difference between frustration and inspiration.
Lovingly encourages couples to use the free online website, social media platform, and virtual pinboard Pinterest when planning their wedding.
This is a great way to encourage not only active thinking through the collection of images, but also active organization of ideas, while creating wedding boards they can ultimately share with you.
Those images will allow you to see through your client’s eyes.
And you can also use Pinterest yourself.
The massive popularity of Pinterest for people planning weddings means it is also a great place for wedding florists to be active.
Creating a Pinterest account means you can essentially create an online floral portfolio, sharing your own designs and showcasing your talent.
While having it shared by others.
When that happens, people who like one of your images on somebody else’s Pinterest page will click it and find your page!
With 40 million people using Pinterest to help with their wedding planning every year, your Pinterest account could become a source of inspiration for a huge number of potential new customers.
Pinterested? You should be!
If you’re going to a bridal show, you need to start arranging your own space.
That space is where your brand lives; where you compete.
You design it to attract attention, showcase your creativity, and have a dedicated area where you can comfortably converse with newly engaged couples.
Now that’s a winning plan!
A dedicated space tells people at a glance that this is a speciality service. And if that space happens to be on a digital page — great. That works. If it’s at a bridal show — hey, same thing.
So what about your brick and mortar store?
If you can create a dedicated area for wedding consultations, the impression is powerful.
It doesn’t have to be big, but a dedicated space, decorated to that effect, will tell all who see it that the weddings side of your business is much more than a sideline for you.
In all areas, you are a professional wedding florist.
That’s true anyway, so make sure people know it!
We’ve all read articles that give advice about relationships and how to make them last the distance.
So how do you do that in your wedding business?
Well, relationships are relationships. The more you know about that special other person in the early stages, the better your chances are of knowing what works and what doesn’t.
Hey, let’s communicate!
In job interviews, interviewees are usually asked what they feel their strong points are and what they feel their weaknesses are.
Another great reason to start your own business!
Still, if you want to succeed, you need to know how to communicate with yourself.
Many couples want traditional weddings, with traditional arrangements; others increasingly want highly original themes that demand inventive and original arrangements to complement them.
As a creative, you need to know your own strengths and weaknesses.
Learning early what vision is playing in the mind of your client enables you to really think about what is being asked — and how well you feel you can respond to those demands.
Then again, if traditional demand has lulled you into a creative comfort zone, a challenge may be something you will really enjoy and rise to with great success.
With preparation in mind, what budgets are you willing/able to cater to?
If you have specific requirements, you need to ensure potential clients know that upfront, to avoid disappointment and potentially bad feelings.
This way, everybody gets a happy ending!