How To Choose Your Wedding Florist

San Francisco wedding florist

We call know flowers are pretty but many of us have not been planning our wedding since we were twelve and aren't sure which flowers to choose. Even if you can articulate your favorite flowers, you likely haven't hired a florist before. I'm going to talk you through my experience and give some tips to help you find the right florist for your wedding.

First things first: You're going to notice I’m saying “I” and not "we" on because I cut Stephen loose on this decision. While we made most decisions together, all aesthetic decisions were decidedly unimportant to my husband. So it goes.

Use Your Imagination...And Pinterest

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The one guiding word I had for every decision in wedding planning was simple. When I started imaging how things would look I imagined something almost minimalistic (because even though I’m attracted to minimalism I can never actually commit to it) with a few fun details.

I imagined eucalyptus laid on the tables as the main element with a few flowers here and there for more color. I went crazy on Pinterest pinning all kinds of things that caught my eye, then I narrowed down to a final board of things that worked well together.

For personal flowers (bride and bridesmaids bouquets and boutonnieres) I knew I wanted a loose and flowy style with lots of green, yellow and white. I love texture and anything a little weird-looking. So I knew I wanted to go with someone with a non-traditional style.

Follow Florists On Social Media

Since I’m a wedding photographer and a lover of plants and flowers, I was already following a few florists on Instagram, which I highly recommend to see their most recent work and get a feel for their style! You'll get a good feel for a florists current work, which may be different from the images on their website depending on how often they update it.

Narrow Down and Get In Touch

In total I inquired with three florists. One of them got back to me right away to say she was booked and referred us to Rare Sparrow. I checked out their Instagram feed first and loved what I saw. When I contacted Rare Sparrow, Shannon was super responsive and friendly.

I sent her a few pictures of things I pinned and answered her questionnaire about what I was looking for and she sent me a comprehensive estimate. I appreciated how clearly everything was presented and how quickly she made changes when I realized I needed more boutonnieres and corsages than I thought.

Let Them Do Their Thing

Last year I was shooting a wedding with Apis Floral and admiring their work as they set up and I took pictures (above). I mentioned to them that the flowers were so cool and unique and they said the bride had told them to do whatever they wanted. Of course! Great things happen when artists are allowed to do their thing.

So when it came to my own wedding I only made a few specific requests. And YOU GUYS, I was so happy with how everything turned out! I'm so glad I wasn't overly specific because the flowers at once were very much what I envisioned but there were also lots of surprises. It wasn't until the following day that I really got to take a better look at my bridal bouquet and appreciate the variety of blooms.

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Other florists I recommend:

Amanda Vidmar (SF) @amandavidmar

Wallflower Design (SF) @wallflower.design

Gorgeous and Green (Oakland) @gorgeousandgreen

Apis Floral (San Jose) @apisfloral

Handsome Flowers (Berkeley)