The 4 Types of Florists and How to Narrow Your Search
Updated: Apr 7
What you need to know to narrow your search and choose the best type for your event
"Alexa...what type of florist is best?"
If you've ever wondered what the difference between a florist and a floral designer is, you're in the right place. Every year newly engaged couples embark on the daunting task of choosing a florist that will bring their wedding vision to life. But there could literally be thousands to choose from in your state alone.
We think the best place to start is understanding the 4 main types of wedding flower providers. By understanding what each has to offer, you can quickly narrow your search and spend more time on the fun stuff.
1. Traditional Retail Florists -
Who: Traditional retail florists are going to be independent retail establishments that give customers a brick-and-mortar flower shopping experience. These businesses usually offer a range of flowers for all occasions, including weddings.
knowledgeable, with potentially many years of experience
has flowers out to see every day if you need help visualizing in person
access to special varieties and colors
lots of inventory in stock so great if you like to make last minute changes
What to Watch Out For:
limited date availability around peak holidays (Valentines, Mothers Day) and popular wedding weekends
ensure you're choosing a florist that works in the style you're looking for. Visit their website and social media pages to see what type of arrangements they produce for weddings.
2. Boutique Floral Design Studio
Who: Studio floral designers operate locations that are not for walk-in traffic and may not offer everyday flower arrangements. Their focus is specifically on special events like weddings. Someone that identifies as a floral designer considers themselves an artist with flowers as their medium. They want to create custom work for every client and consider the flowers as a component of the overall design
focus is solely on wedding and event work so they're able to stay up-to-date on trends and creating new and exciting designs
many offer rental add-ons such as candles, arches, and tableware
can handle larger jobs and custom design requests
excellent client experience; very attentive and accommodating
What to Watch Out For:
working with a designer requires a lot of trust, so it's important to create connection and find someone who has a style you like
in demand designers book up quickly, sometimes a year or more in advance
Many studios have order minimums that might be outside your budget
Who: The farmer/florist is a fun way to be truly connected to the flowers in your wedding. Flower growers have incredible knowledge of the varieties they grow and supporting your local community farmer is a way to show your guests what's important to you as a couple.
many farms grow interesting varieties you won't see anywhere else
their flowers are super fresh and picked at their peak
eliminating the middle man between the grower and the consumer gives you some very affordable flower choices especially for premium blooms like peonies, dahlias, and garden roses
Locally grown flowers are better for the environment because they don't require extensive transportation
What to Watch Our For:
some varieties and colors of flowers may be out of season when you have your event
Many farmer florists only take on events when they have an abundance of flowers so availability can be limited
Farmer florists are also harder to find in certain areas so check out https://www.americangrownflowers.org/ to find a farmer/florist near you
4. Grocery Stores
Who: Many people consider the grocery store their "go-to" for flowers and their wedding is no exception. You may have dozens of grocery stores at your disposal, but it's a good idea to visit each one first and survey the quality of the items they stock.
very affordable; grocery chains get deep discounts on flowers by buying in bulk across their stores
convenient location and wide availability
easy options, can often be selected out of a catalog saving time during the planning process
What to Watch Out For:
most chains don't offer flower delivery
items are created from a corporate recipe book with little room for changes
employees work for the grocery store and may be less invested in getting to know you, checking quality or giving you great customer service
If none of these options meet your needs there are many other niche providers too including garden centers and online-retailers. If you're really feeling adventurous try your hand at DIY! With a better understanding of what's out there you can seek vendors that meet your specific needs and start to narrow your list.
Drop your questions and comments below