Believe it or not, it looks like there is an actual end in sight for our current stay-at-home orders. As many states and counties are tentatively beginning Phase 1, we are excitedly planning and adjusting for what this might look like when it comes to planning your wedding. While we’re not out of the woods yet, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Maybe you’ve still got a few big items on the planning checklist that will have to be accomplished virtually, though, and that’s where today’s Virtual Planning Tips will come in handy!

Today we want to introduce you to our friend Rachel Williams, the owner and designer behind Dogwood Florals. Rachel, who is originally from Boston, is now based right close to us in Los Angeles and we are thrilled! Florists like Rachel have been transitioning what would typically be face to face meetings to virtual through services like Zoom or FaceTime. But what should you do to prepare for a virtual florist meeting?

1. Organize The Info

First, you’ll want to organize your information. Create a new note in your Client Lounge or in your favorite note-taking app. Questions your florist might ask in the initial meeting include:

  • Wedding Date
  • Color Palette
  • Venue
  • Number of Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Flower Girls, Ring Bearers, Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents and Ushers
  • Any favorite flowers or absolutely not flowers

Rachel says, “I think the first meeting can seem overwhelming for brides – but it totally doesn’t need to be! The most important things for me are the overall atmosphere the client is going for at their wedding, and who the couple themselves are.”

2. Find Inspiration

Create a new board in the Design Studio of your Client Lounge or pull out the trusty Pinterest! Start broad in the search for your wedding, with colors or themes, and focus on fine-tuning your vision from there. So “pink and orange” “boho” wedding could actually become a “Blush and Rust, Modern Wedding” with pops of gold and details unique to your love story. Rachel always tells her brides that, “There’s no need right away to know specific flowers, color palette, have an exact table count, etc. Usually, on our first phone call or meeting, we’ll go over all the initial ideas and fine-tune from there.”

3. Narrow Down The Selection

This is where your wedding coordinator comes in handy! Our trusted floral partners can number 50+ florists deep, and that can be overwhelming for a couple to sort through alone. Have your wedding planner provide referrals or offer feedback on florists you are considering meeting with. Our process is to narrow the selection based on your style, budget, and personality so that we ensure each recommendation is not only a trusted industry partner but someone you’d love to call a friend.

We’d recommend starting the search sooner, rather than later. Florists are generally booking 6+ months out and Rachel agrees: “I also typically book 6 months to a year in advance, so there’s plenty of time to chat about ideas, trade inspo photos, and tweak things! The planning and design of your flowers totally doesn’t need to be stressful. I try to make the process as super easy and fun for the bride as it is for me!”

SEE MORE: Meet Alysa Tarantino from Fiore Floral Studios in KC

4. Meet + Greet

Another Pro Tip – narrow down the florists you’d like to meet with to your top two, at most three. If we’re being honest, everyone in our community is amazing and there is almost no wrong choice! But after you’ve met with three or more vendors, they generally tend to swim together in your planning-brain, making the final decision more difficult than it should be.

Schedule a FaceTime, Zoom, or Hangouts meet + greet with your florists of choice. Even better, if they are working from their studio or shop they can walk you through their design process for an in-depth behind the scenes! I have a feeling we’ll see a lot more virtual meetings in this industry, even once the stay at home orders have been lifted. Virtual meetings are a great way to protect your schedule as a busy newly engaged couple, and allow y’all to have a personal look into a vendor’s working space or studio, really giving you the chance to connect with them on a more personal level.

5. Happily Ever After

We will say this time and time again — Trust your gut judgment. Select the florist who you feel most connected with, and who you’ll feel confident can bring your vision to life. But what if you love them all and can’t choose a favorite quite yet?! Consider ordering a small, contact-less delivery arrangement from each. Not only will you get to see their vision and unique, creative design before making a decision, but you’ll have the chance to support a local artist and spread some smiles through flowers. Needing a few more ideas? Don’t hesitate to reach out! We love to provide inspiration and recommendations!

Want to Know More About Dogwood Florals?!

Meet Rachel Williams

My flower journey began in college. As a painter and fine artist, I was stumped looking for the perfect creative career when I fell into the world of floral design. I landed an internship at a flower shop, and the rest is history! With my background as a painter, I found a real aptitude and passion for floral design – an exciting new medium to me with endless possibilities. After spending some time working under various florists & friends, Dogwood Florals was born! I am now working out of my in-home studio in Los Angeles.

My style of designing is always evolving, but my love for local flowers, wild bouquets, and pops of color stay constant. Although I’m still a sucker for classic lush, white wedding flowers! I love when a bride wants to play with color and texture in her wedding flowers – it’s the perfect opportunity to have some fun with the styling of your wedding. When you trust your florist, good things happen!

As a floral designer, my goal for each wedding is to bring the couples mood board to life and incorporate their personalities in each detail. Just how each couple I get to work with is totally unique, so are their flowers and the design for their wedding. No two are alike! I love being able to get to know my clients throughout the planning process, and then be hustling to watch it all come together on their wedding day. Bringing their visions to life is always my end goal and makes every rose thorn totally worth it!

Elopement Styled Shoot Details

Venue: Angeles National Forest | Planning + Coordination: Whatever is Lovely Events | Photography: Melista Bahler Photography and Guilia Moltisanti | Florist: Dogwood Florals | Beauty: Makeup by Marbella | Attire: Lavished Lens | Specialty: Tree Myriah | Lovebirds: Megan Acero