The overall appearance of your wedding day to leave an impression — and your florist is a major actor.

Wedding flowers are really the centerpiece of your wedding celebration , and they can help create the mood you want: romantic, modern and whimsical. The list goes on and on. Finding a florist is an important part of your wedding’s planning, however there are a few things you’ll need to consider prior to signing an agreement with your floral pro. Here’s a step-by step guide to selecting the ideal florist to celebrate your wedding day.

How Do You Choose an Florist for Your Wedding?

We recommend that you begin looking into wedding florists around 11 months prior to the big event, with the aim to make a formal agreement between 9 and 10 months prior to the wedding. In essence, once you’ve booked your venue and have established a date you’ll be able to begin looking for other vendors, including your florist. In the current wedding boom, vendors are booking up quicker than ever (especially especially if you’re getting married in the peak wedding season) So the sooner you are able to secure an experienced florist the better!

1. Establish Your Flower Style

Certain florists are specialized in tall, lavish elaborate centerpieces, whereas others are better at contemporary, minimalist arrangements. Find photos of bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces you like to discover your preferred style, and choose the wedding colors. Learn about some of the most frequently used floral terms as well as the types of flowers and greenery, so you’ll be able to talk shop with your florist.

2. Determine Your Floral Needs

Do you want someone who’ll not just design your floral arrangements, but also assist in determining the look of your tables at the reception and aisle for your ceremony? A floral designer is probably better suited to your needs. Do you already have a wedding planner or an eye for style? If so, a traditional florist can work. Find out the most suitable for you. This will allow for you to limit your options, and also help decide on your budget.

3. Make Your Own Floral Budget

Decoration and flowers should contribute around 10% of your budget for your wedding. According to the Knot Real Wedding Study, the average couple spent two thousand pounds on floral decor–but that number varies widely depending on your wedding location, number of guests and other aspects. If you are a flower lover and want a grand floral arrangements, or are already set on peonies in November, be sure to increase up this number. Also, consider additional costs like the cost of setup and breakdown tax and suggestions. It’s important to have a specific number in mind when you start meeting to wedding florists.

4. Request Recommendations

Like all wedding pros You want a florist that is trustworthy as well as competent, and is within your budget. You also should find someone who is willing to listen to your ideas and has a taste you respect. One of the best methods to locate a florist is through word of mouth–ask for recommendations from your friends who have recently married and check out reviews online from The Knot Marketplace. There are also the actual wedding photos of events which took place at the location of your wedding, look up photos of floral arrangements that you like, and then find out who created these arrangements. Should you be working with the wedding planner or coordinator for the venue, they’ll provide suggestions for local florists.

5. Schedule an Interview

You should choose someone you trust to make the appropriate floral decisions. Someone who intuitively knows what will look good together. Schedule meetings with your “short checklist” of florists so that you can meet face-to-face and look over a portfolio of their work. It’s a good idea to come with an agenda of questions and to have the following information to hand:

Your wedding date
A rough estimate of guest count, including the number of wedding party participants
Your wedding venue
Flower ideas and color schemes
A list of other booked wedding vendors

6. “Show, Don’t Tell

Are you a true minimalist? Are you planning to do an uber-romantic or glamorous wedding? Your florist doesn’t have a mind-reading ability and pictures are more persuasive than words. Take the images from your Pinterest board, a wedding dress fabric swatch, and a photograph of your wedding dress or attire to your interview. Talk about your dream and your budget.

7. Review the Proposal

Choose your top choices and then have an additional interview or follow-up discussion to hash out details like exact flowers, cost of materials and rental costs, as well as set-up along with breakdown prices. Have each florist put together a detailed proposal for the wedding’s floral theme Based on the information you’ve given them about your ideas and budget. If you’ve discussed many various ideas, ask the florists to create a “high” best-case scenario as well as a “low” bare-minimum proposal. You could always mix and create a mid-range package. Maybe you’ll pay more for the centerpieces while reducing the bridesmaid bouquets.

8. Pick a Winner

Analyze your options and choose the best match. If you are concerned about certain costs or aspects of the proposal, speak about them with your chosen florist right now. If you’re satisfied about the idea, the wedding florist will translate into a formal contract.