... hopefully the answers you've been looking for....

Jessie Copper :: Sunday 5th July 2020 :: Latest Blog Posts

Bridal enquiries come in many forms. Some people just send me a date and want to know if I'm available. Others send reams of ideas and requirements right from the off. I don't mind how they come! Tell me as much or as little as you like, just as long as it sets the planning ball rolling. 

But there are almost always questions. Questions about what we do here at West Dorset Wedding Flowers. Questions about what things will cost. And questions about whatever else is on your mind regarding those all-important floral decisions.

I will always send you comprehensive price information in response to every enquiry and availability if you've told me the date of your big day.

My other advice blogs focus on planning, decisions and budget priorities but hopefully here you will find answers to the rest of the nitty-gritty. 

And if you have other questions that you would like answers to (and that I could include here!), just drop me a line.

Chances are another bride will be wondering about the same thing.

Here goes!

Image by OXI Photography


Qu. Do you have a selection of set designs for me to choose from?

Ans. No, I don't - all my designs are unique and bespoke. The range of flowers that I work with and the wide variety that Mother Nature offers mean that designs would rarely turn out identical anyway. You show me what you like (pictures will do!) and I can then tailor this to match your style, colour scheme, the season and any other size/design requirements that are personal to you. 

Image by Lyme Bay Photography


Qu. Where do you source your raw materials from?

Ans. I am proud to work closely with a wide range of flower and foliage suppliers who I have built long-term relationships with over the years. Sometimes things don't go quite as planned, because transporting and caring for delicate fresh materials can be a tricky business, so it is important to have a range of suppliers that I can trust in order to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible and that there are back-up options if necessary. 

As often as possible, I source my supplies locally from Dorset flower growers as I love to support those closest to here and reduce our carbon footprint. 

But British weather is changeable and difficult to predict so we also source additional supplies direct from Holland and South America/Africa to fuel our creativity. These options allow us to work with roses all year round and a wide variety of other beautiful blooms. Where possible we reduce our use of hot housed plants and plastic wrapping materials in favour of fair-trade growers working with the natural materials and climate of their country.

If you wish me to work exclusively with local materials for your event, just let me know when you book. Dependant on the time of year, the range of supplies may be a little limited but I will always do my best to meet your brief with what is available.

Image by Sadie Osborne


Qu. Do you offer one-to-one consultations?

Ans. Yes, of course. My floral service is based on excellent customer care and superb attention to detail. Therefore - unless you live abroad and won't be visiting the area, or on the off-chance that a global pandemic restricts social interaction - I always meet with every bride to discuss their plans in full. My office is at the end of my garden here at my home in Dorchester. When you book a consultation, I will send you full address and direction information. During your consultation we will go through all your ideas together, discuss 'the dream', expand the possibilities and hopefully inspire you so that you leave both excited about your wedding flowers and confident in my ability to fulfil your requirements and meet your expectations. 

If you are planning your wedding from abroad, don't worry! We can share ideas and make everything happen via the wonders of modern technology. Pinterest boards, email, Skype calls and the good ol' blower are all equally useful methods by which I can help to bring your ideas to life and move your plans forward.

Image by Aimee Joy Photography


Qu. When will I have to confirm the details of my order?

Ans. Following your initial consultation, you will receive a detailed quotation within a few days. A 20% deposit will now be due in order to hold the date further. But don't worry! You don't need to finalise everything before you pay your deposit. The chances are that details like exact buttonhole, pew and table numbers will still be a mystery, so you can continue to amend your order right up until 2 weeks before the big day. By that point you need to have checked all details, finalised any queries and paid the final balance. During the last 2 weeks prior to the wedding no changes can be made to your booking as the raw materials will have been ordered. Terms and Conditions naturally apply regarding cancellations, etc. and this detailed information will be sent out with your first quotation. 

Image by Sofie Michelle Photography


Qu. I fancy getting creative myself and making my own table decorations. Can you supply me with the raw materials?

Ans. Certainly! Many clients prefer to make some of their floral designs themselves either for fun or to help with cost. We can supply buckets of loose flowers for you to do so. The flowers/foliage will be conditioned ready and we can loan you the transport buckets too, to keep things simple for you (we may charge a small refundable deposit to cover the safe return of our containers). All we will need from you in advance is a precise stem count showing which flowers you would like and how many of each you need. Minimum/wrap quantities for each variety may apply and we can advise you on this. Your flowers will be available 1-3 days before the event on the day of your choice. A word of advice though; make sure you don't give yourself more work to do than you can manage, and always allow far more time than you think. Floristry can be a slow process if you have limited experience, and - though a fun thing to do - getting rushed and stressed the day before your wedding is not an ideal scenario. Unless you have done plenty of floristry before, allocate yourselves the easy jobs and leave the more technical designs (and stress!) up to the experts.

Image by Sofie Michelle Photography


Qu. I plan to have 12 table decorations, all in vases. Do I need to buy those vases?

Ans. Not unless you want to. We have a very comprehensive hire range called Something Borrowed and so we are happy to hire you whatever containers, candelabras, lanterns signage, etc. you need. These hired items can be part of designs that we are making for you or you can hire them independently to make your own displays. Follow this link to browse our selection. 

Image by Anna Morgan Photography


Qu. When will my wedding flowers be delivered?

Ans. The short answer is 'On the morning of your wedding'. Wherever possible, all items are made at our workshop, refrigerated if necessary and delivered on the day itself to ensure that everything is super fresh and looking perfect for the most important moment. Occasionally, if your order is very large or if there are big installations (such as arches) to put in place which have to be made on site, my team and I will begin the deliveries and installations the afternoon/evening of the day before. This is both to ensure that we can get everything there on time with our vehicles and also to give us sufficient time to make all the designs. Certain factors can affect whether prior-delivery is possible, namely the temperature of the weather (flowers don't like hot sunshine!) and also the availability of your venue the day before. But don't worry.... we will organise all this, contact your venue, make a delivery plan and make sure everything will happen when it's supposed to. Leave it all to us.

Image by 'Photos by Jim'


Qu. What time will my flowers arrive on the wedding day?

Ans. I will always give clear 'delivery by...' time slots. For delicate items such as bouquets, buttonholes and hair-flowers, this is usually 1.5-2hrs before you need the flowers. This time will be listed clearly on your order details, and is a deadline - i.e. - this is the LATEST that your flowers will arrive. Note that they may often arrive quite a bit earlier than this, so it is important that someone is available to receive them all morning, just in case. If you have hair-flowers ordered and need to co-ordinate their arrival for when the hair-dresser will need them, make sure you let me know. I will combine the logistics of ensuring flower freshness, the number of delivery vehicles and drivers, the most environmentally-friendly use of fuel and the time frames set, to compile a delivery schedule that fits for that particular day. Every wedding is different, which means that every wedding morning is different for us. There is no standard plan. We have become experts at organising everything so that it all happens perfectly and on time.

Image by Sadie Osborne


Qu. If my flowers arrive a little bit before I need them, where should I put them?

Ans.  The delivery driver (it might be me, or it might be one of my lovely team members ...) will give you full instruction upon delivery. But I know it is useful to know in advance what space you will need. Delicate wired items like buttonholes, corsages and hair-flowers will need to be refrigerated (left in their boxes to give them protection), so make sure there are a couple of shelves left empty in your fridge in readiness. Leave them there until the last minute that they are needed to ensure all-day freshness, particularly in very warm weather. Your bouquets will be boxed and will need to be placed somewhere that is cool, dry, away from animals/young children, and not in a room that is a busy thoroughfare. Again, leave them safely in their boxes until you are dressed and almost ready to leave for your ceremony. 

Image by Linus Moran Photography


Qu. I'm bound to be nervous. What is your top tip before I leave for my wedding?

Ans. Aside from the obvious advice of 'take a deep breath', 'have a glass of bubbly' and 'try to remember every moment', my top tip would be to stand in front of a mirror in your gown and holding your bouquet, preferably on your own. Just focus on thinking about how best to carry it so that both you and your flowers look at your best. Relax your arms, stand up tall and smile. Then memorise that. I see many brides who hold their bouquets too high because they are nervous/excited. It's probably just the florist in me but it looks much better in your photos if you have had a little practice run first. 

Image by Linus Moran Photography


Qu. Do you charge for delivery?

Ans. Yes, we do. Our delivery charge is a per-mile charge to cover the cost of running the vehicle for that journey and the driver's time. We will travel as far as you want us to, but obviously the further afield your wedding is taking place, the more this delivery charge will be. The charge is per van-load, so larger orders may incur a number of delivery charges. 

Image by Philippa Gedge Photography


Qu. Can you deliver to multiple addresses?

Ans. Yes, of course. Invariably, most weddings involve separate deliveries to the bride(s), groom(s), ceremony and venue locations. Onward deliveries only incur a mileage charge for the onward distance, assuming that an additional vehicle isn't required. During the planning of your wedding flowers, we will finalise all these delivery details. We aim to always keep our delivery charges as fair as possible, to simply cover the costs that we will incur. 

Image by Linus Moran Photography


Qu. I'm on a tight budget. Can I collect my flowers to avoid the delivery charges?

Ans. Yes, if that suits you. We will happily provide a collection address and time-frame for you to do so. A word of warning though; most people underestimate the amount of space required to transport wedding flowers safely. For example, a set of 4 boxed bride/bridesmaid's bouquets will fill a large car boot entirely and will need sufficient height, so parcel-shelved/saloon boots will not be big enough. Usually an estate car with the back seats flat will be required for even a small quantity of bridal flowers. If in doubt, we would always recommend that you use our delivery service; my team and I are highly experienced at transporting floral designs of all shapes and sizes to make sure that everything arrives in one piece and in top-notch condition.

Image by Sadie Osborne


Qu. Do you charge for venue set-up?

Ans. For the most part, the set-up costs are covered within our charges for each floral item you have ordered. For example, we will factor into the cost of your table decorations the time it will take to put them in place on the tables and positioned to their best effect. The only items we may charge additional set-up charges for are non-floral items that you require us to put in place and for which we are not otherwise charging; for example, sometimes a bride will say that she will be leaving all the table-candles/place-name settings/favours ready at the venue, and can we please put them in place on the tables because the venue staff/caterers will not have time. We are happy to do this (so long as we know in advance and have sufficient time ourselves), but we will charge an hourly rate for my team to do so.

Again, we try to be as fair and transparent with any additional costs as we can be and these will be explained and itemised on your quotation. 

Image by Philippa Gedge Photography


I hope this blog has given some answers to those nagging questions. If you still have queries, don't hesitate to drop me a line