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Hiring a florist can be the extra touch you need for a special event, such as a celebration, wedding, or corporate event. However, most people don’t have experience hiring a professional florist, so knowing where to start can seem overwhelming. We answer some of the most common questions to help you make an informed decision.
A florist is a person who works with flowers and plants, providing floral design services, creating floral arrangements, and selling flowers. Floral arrangements and design services can range from creating small bouquets, wreaths, and centerpieces to crafting large floral display walls.
A florist sells floral arrangements or floral design services to individual consumers and businesses. The florist can work with the customer to understand their floral vision (specific flowers, colors, etc.) and execute on the request. Additionally, florists often work in flower and plant shops, where they care for the flowers and arrange bouquets to sell.
Floral design is the process of using certain flowers and plants to create a unified and aesthetically pleasing display. Floral design will take into consideration how the colors and scents all work together. Additionally, floral design looks to achieve a balanced final result, so a single plant or flower doesn’t dominate.
Typically, floral designer is another term for a florist. However, many professionals who brand themselves as “floral designers” versus “florists” do so because they’re exceptionally skilled at arranging floral bouquets and displays. A floral designer works with flowers and plants, including silk or dried varieties.
Florists have “tricks of the trade” to keep flowers fresh as long as possible. One of the most important is storing flowers at appropriate temperatures. Some may need direct sunlight and warmth, while others require cool temperatures and indirect light. A florist knows how to store different types of flowers to maximize their longevity.
To help flower arrangements last as long as possible:
Florists tend to work with the types of flowers that last longest in arrangements. The most popular, long-lasting flowers include:
Most florists buy their flowers from wholesalers. As florists tend to purchase flowers in larger quantities than the everyday consumer, they can work with a wholesaler to get discounted prices. Some florists may also have connections with farmers or gardeners in their area who sell local, seasonal flowers.
Individuals can send anonymous bouquets, but if the recipient asks who sent the flowers, the florist may have to share the information. This is due to the recent rise of stalking incidents. Some florists may ask to see a police report, but most will share the sender’s name when asked.
According to The Knot, the average cost of a florist for a wedding was $2,000 in 2019. Of course, this figure can vary significantly based on several factors. Your wedding’s location, the number of flowers, and specific requests can all raise the price.
Most florists don’t expect a tip. Instead, a helpful, nice gesture is leaving a positive review online or recommending the florist to friends and family members. If your florist does an exceptional job and you do want to tip, the standard amount is 10-15%.
Writing a card for a sympathy flower arrangement can be challenging. The content usually depends on your relationship and the situation. If you need some inspiration, you can always find helpful examples online. Your florist has probably seen many of these cards, so you could also ask for their advice.
A diploma isn’t necessary to become a florist, but classes in art, biology, botany, and design may be useful. Additionally, if you plan to open up your own floral shop or business, taking business classes can help. Individuals can take online courses or study under another florist to get some experience in the field.
You don't need a license to be a florist. However, if you plan to run your own floral business and offer deliveries, you may need a commercial driver's license if it's mandatory in your state. If you don’t want to get a commercial license, you can outsource your deliveries.
You can get into floral design by doing some research on the topic. You can also read books about flowers and floral design concepts. Once you have a basic foundation of knowledge, try experimenting by designing your own bouquets. Eventually, you’ll learn if floral design is right for you.
Floral designers need a moderate amount of on-the-job training. As this isn’t something you go to school for, the skills are acquired through training and experience. People who want to be floral designers can work under an experienced florist to learn the craft.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2020 median pay for a florist was $29,140 or $14.01 per hour. Of course, this can vary significantly depending on your location. Additionally, your total annual salary will also depend on your experience, portfolio, and hours worked.
As mentioned before, florists and floral designers are interchangeable job titles. In the United States, the hourly wage for a florist can range from $9.09 to $18.60, with an average of $13.07 per hour. A florist who doesn't offer floral design services is more likely to be closer to the bottom of the range.