I think if we're honest we all have a bad habit of skim reading contracts (if we even look at them at all!) but when planning your wedding, checking contracts is VITAL to ensuring you fully understand the service your suppliers will be providing and knowing what you're paying for (and what you're not!). You don't want to receive any added fees that you weren't aware of!
First of all, don't assume all of your suppliers contracts are the same! Each supplier will have a personalised contract covering their preferred processes and working methods and so it is really important to read and understand them all.
Here are my top things to take note of in your wedding florist's contract:
1. Minimum spend
Some florists have a minimum spend requirement for wedding bookings, others don't, there really is no right or wrong with this one! Minimum spends are sometimes determined by the type of business the florist runs (for example; specialist wedding florist, high street florist, studio florist etc) and how many wedding bookings they take.
Some florists prefer to work on one larger wedding per day / weekend, whereas others prefer to work on multiple smaller wedding bookings. Something to note; if your florist is working exclusively on your wedding they are more likely to be available to assist should anything unexpected happen on the day as they won't be required to rush off to another wedding.
2. Exclusivity Clauses
What even is an exclusivity clause?! This is when you agree that ALL of the floral arrangements and décor for your wedding will be provided by your chosen florist. This prohibits you from using different florists for different aspects of your wedding (i.e. one for bouquets, one for centrepieces) as well as agreeing not to make any floral arrangements (including faux) yourself.
Florists usually prefer exclusivity for weddings because they can guarantee the standard of floristry work at your wedding, their work doesn't get confused with the work of others and it saves admin hours communicating with other suppliers.
The benefit to you is that your wedding has a strong cohesive look and style throughout, you have less suppliers to co-ordinate and you can be confident leaving it all to the professionals on the day, giving you more time for relaxing, getting ready... and drinking prosecco!
3. Booking Fees
Most florists will take a non-refundable booking fee to secure their services. This can either be a set amount or a percentage of your total wedding order (it just depends how your florist prefers to work). This fee is usually taken from your total order to create your final payable invoice.
For most florists, this fee is non-refundable should you cancel your booking as it goes towards paying for the administrative and planning time involved in creating your wedding flowers as well as any sundries and materials that need to be purchases in advance. When a wedding goes ahead as planned, these administrative costs are absorbed into the total invoice for your wedding.
4. Final Payment Dates
Don't forget: it is up to YOU to remember when your payments are due. Some florists ask for their final invoices to be paid 4, 6 or 8 weeks ahead of the wedding, it just depends of their preferred working methods. Check your contract and make a note of it in your diary!
Florists ask for these payments to be made ahead of your wedding day to allow them to place advanced orders from their wholesalers and purchase any additional sundries they might need.
5. Security Deposits
A refundable security deposit is usually charged on any hired items such as vases and vessels or decorative pieces, like candlesticks or plinths. This amount is then refunded on the safe return of the florist's products.
Should any pieces be damaged or lost you will be charged a replacement fee which is taken from this amount. If the replacement amount is more than the deposit paid, you will be liable to pay the difference and the security deposit will also be retained.
Photo by Sophie Renshaw Photography.
Last but by no means least, if there is something in your wedding florist's contract that you're not sure of... just ask! At Emma Jane Floral Design I pride myself on transparency and am more than happy to chat through any points that you're not sure about!
To enquire about flowers for your wedding, fill out my contact form.