Over the past few months, we've gotten an abnormally high number of requests from planners and clients to provide floral samples, which sparked this blog post. What are the pros, cons, and the best timing for these? We've got the answers: PROS: Samples are a great way to ensure your vision is executed properly. This is your chance to revise any elements that might not be exactly what you wanted. CONS: In most cases, samples are not only not free but are also slightly higher in price than the actual centerpiece. Why is that? you might be asking. When pricing out centerpieces, we consider stem count and box pricing. However, when we're ordering for just 1 centerpiece we're losing out on high volume pricing. And depending on your florist, they might charge extra to cover the time set aside for the sample consultation. TIMING: 1 or 2 weeks before your wedding is not the right time to order a sample. At that point, the flower order has been placed and you don't have much wiggle room with making any significant changes. On the flip side, getting a sample 6 months out is also not the best time - if your design is focused heavily on seasonal flowers, something available in October might not be available in April. Just like catering, flowers are heavily driven by seasons. We recommend doing a sample 3-4 weeks out and giving your florist at least a week or two notice in advance to be able to place their flower order. We also urge that if you do decide to do a sample centerpiece, coordinate this with either your tasting or your sample tablescape setup at the rental/catering location. A centerpiece on a full table looks very different than a centerpiece on a bare table.
And remember - read your florist's contract. If you're considering a sample, ask about the process before signing that contract - each florist has a different policy.