Give us all the florals, and we’ll give you a very happy Polka Dot Wedding team indeed! So when one of our brilliant vendors wants to share with us some handy hints on how to work with your florist for your wedding at home, well… we obviously jumped at the chance! Cassandra Kempster-Roberts is just as divine as her beautiful floral work; enjoy her 5 Questions You Need To Ask Your Florist For Your Backyard Wedding.

Backyards and homes come in different shapes, sizes, and styles, as do the weddings they hold and the couples and florists involved. With that in mind, these five questions are by no means an exhaustive list. You may find your florist has already covered these – and many more – with you during the quoting and planning stages. If there’s anything you’re unsure about, always ask!

1. How should I store my flowers?

Your florist will be able to guide you on how best to look after your specific floral arrangements. Generally, though, flowers last better when you keep them out of direct sunlight and draughts, away from heating and cooling sources, and also away from the fruit bowl (some fruit may speed up the aging of your flowers). You may have teed up to have your flowers delivered so close to the main event that storage isn’t too much of a consideration.

2. Do I pick up my flowers or will they be delivered?

Whether you pick up your flowers from your florist or they deliver may depend on you, your florist and your situation. For example, if you’re having a more involved set-up in the backyard, your florist could need to create and install some arrangements on-site, like a floral arbour. If you have fewer flowers – perhaps a bouquet and buttonholes – picking up might suit your needs, but equally delivery may be an option regardless of your order size. If you’ve arranged to collect the flowers, check with your florist as to how you might need to transport them – for example, if there is a table centre or vase arrangements, will they be packed ready for you to transport, or do you need to bring something to keep them undamaged or upright in your vehicle? If you have a number of floral arrangements or a large arrangement, will they fit in your car or is it better to have them delivered? It’s possible you may have a mix of collection and delivery too depending on your needs and running order.

3. When will the flowers arrive?
If your florist is delivering, the delivery time is something you’ll tee up together, to ensure you have the flowers when you need them. Maybe your photographer is coming early to get shots well before guests arrive; or if it’s just your reception being held in your backyard but your ceremony is elsewhere, you’ll need your personal flowers before you head off.

If your florist is going to be installing flowers on-site, they’ll talk to you about when they need access to the backyard so they’ve enough time to set everything up. If you’re not going to be there at that time (i.e. it’s a relative’s backyard) or will be busy getting ready, it’s helpful to let your florist know the name and number of who to contact when they arrive to get access.

4. What about a wet weather plan?
If you’re hoping to have an open-air outdoor backyard wedding, discuss a wet weather plan with your vendors. Rain aside, if you know your backyard gets very windy or hot at the time of year you’re getting married, be honest with your florist. This might help inform some choices about what they suggest in terms of designs, flowers, and foliage, and how they construct the arrangements.

5. What can I keep, what needs to be returned?
Depending on what florals are planned, there may be vases, vessels, containers or other items to be returned. Your florist can let you know exactly what is and isn’t included for you to keep, and you can discuss whether they collect these from you or you return them, and when.