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Hi, I'm Stefanie, owner and lead designer of a Kansas City-based boutique wedding flower studio called KC Bloom.

My husband and I have dedicated our family to Jesus Christ, and we love being a part of a vibrant local church. Parenting our two young kiddos keeps us very busy (and very tired), and now we've added wrangling a goldendoodle/velociraptor puppy named Biscuit to our daily tasks.

We're committed to making our family life simple and joyful. This blog will highlight a lot of floral work and business, with sprinklings of home projects and recipes - my other two passions! 

Meet Stefanie

How to Find a Wedding Florist

Floral Education

Autumn wedding floral, White Iron Ridge, Smithville MO

All my engaged friends, raise your hands. *Starts counting… loses her place… starts again… gives up*   Wow, there are a LOT of you. Good news, your friendly wedding vendor pal is here to help.  My name is Stefanie, and as a wedding florist in Kansas City, I’m here to explain and guide you through some of the big wedding planning decisions. If you’re a local couple, go ahead and click here to find out how I can help you not just digitally, but in real, actual life. 

In my world, I talk to a lot of brides as they’re just getting started on the journey to their big day.  Floral design tends to take up about 10-15% of the total wedding budget – this can vary a lot based on your vision for the day. We’ll talk about pricing variations in a different post!  For now, I want to give you some basic information so you can choose your florist with confidence.

Be ready to hear me say, “That depends” a lot.  Because it does. 

BUDGET.  Just do it.

I say this as a friend and because I love you – KNOW YOUR BUDGET.  I love when a bride gives me the rundown of what she wants, then tells me where they’d like to land budget-wise.  Those parameters are extremely helpful for me so I can provide inspiration photos that are appropriate and select flower types and quantities for each piece correctly.  If your budget is $3,000, I would consider that to be “floral-adjacent”, and you’ll see pictures with light centerpieces, smaller personal bouquets, and minimal candles.  If your budget is $7,000, that’s a nice mid-range spot for most standard-sized weddings, and you can have a lush ceremony arch or ceiling installation, as well as larger bouquets and specialty pieces at the altar or entrances.  Coming in with $15,000 to spend puts you squarely in the flower-friendly category, with the potential for several abundant floral installations, lush bouquets, and many points of floral interest throughout the event.

The key is knowing the number that feels right.  Pinterest is an amazing resource for inspiration.  Pinterest is not a great resource for setting realistic budget expectations. This is where your florist can and should help.

Every florist has a different style, price point, and set of specialties. We typically have information on our websites about minimum budget requirements and the services we offer, so make sure you do your research (if we’re doing it right, this research should take you no time at all). 

Know the basics, the specifics come later

We generally thrive in a creative, open environment with a couple who trusts in our expertise. Unless you are a florist yourself, there is no need to provide a specific list of the exact flowers you want – give your professional a color palette, your inspiration photos, the venue information, and the way you’d like your event to feel (modern, bright, cozy, colorful, cheerful, modest, minimal, funky, etc.) and let us do the work.

Initial details that we love to know:

  1. The number of tables – at this point it can be a guess, but make it a good one 
  2. Number of attendants on both sides
  3. Do you have flower girls or Jr Bridesmaids?  
  4. Do you want boutonnieres and corsages and, if so, how many? 
  5. Do you want ceremony decor (aisle floral, altar arrangements, entrance signage, arch)
  6. What kind of reception decor do you want (a large arch, ceiling installation, simple or luxurious centerpieces, tons of candles, etc)
  7. Do you anticipate a sweetheart or head table?  
  8. Do you have a planner?  A photographer?  Let us know who you’ve already booked.

Best resources to find quality vendors

Here are my recommended ways to find a florist (or any vendor, really), listed in order of preference.

PERSONAL REFERRAL – The best (and most efficient) resource is friends, family, or a venue/vendor you’ve already booked. They will be able to guide you to professionals that they trust and save you the time of combing through hundreds of listings and profiles. 

SEARCH ENGINE – If that doesn’t pan out, turn to trusty ‘ole Google or Instagram. Type in “wedding florist Kansas City” or “wedding florist ________ (insert city here)” and just start clicking! Dig into their portfolio gallery, see their style, and get a feeling for their past work.

WEDDING SHOWS – Wedding expos are a great resource for meeting vendors in person, and most of them are newer, smaller vendors who are eager to earn your business.    

INDUSTRY PUBLICATIONS – Sites like The Wedding Chicks, Green Wedding Shoes, Style Me Pretty, The Knot, Wedding Wire, and other aggregate sites feature specialty weddings and have a vendor listing for your area. Vendors on these sites have paid to be listed, so do your due diligence to make sure they are also qualified.

LOCAL PUBLICATIONS – Similar websites are typically also available at the local level. For instance, Kansas City has two major publications (Kansas City Engaged, and Wed KC) that feature all sorts of amazing local vendors, and they also have social media groups specifically dedicated to helping you find the perfect vendor fit.

How will I know?

If you’re not singing Whitney Houston in your head right now, we’re not vibing yet but I’ll pull you in eventually.  The patent answer for this one is go with your heart.

If you have the time and space to do it, I highly recommend looking into multiple florists before selecting “the one”.  But I’ve had several brides that I clicked with from the first minute and there was no doubt that we were planning a wedding together.  Listen to YOUR heart, do what YOU want, and make sure YOU love them/what they do!  Don’t let anyone push you around, baby.

If you need a warm, supportive customer service experience, consider a “limited engagement” studio – these designers take one wedding per weekend (like me) and a limited number per year (also like me!).  What this means is that you are always talking to the person who will actually be designing and installing your flowers, and you have their full attention. This also means you might sit at a slightly higher price point because smaller studios just don’t have the buying power that a larger company enjoys. 

If price is the highest priority, look into larger studios. They can provide pieces at a lower cost point, and they have the manpower and experience at lots of different venues. Their buying power comes from producing 5-10 events per week (that’s a LOT of flowers), so you can be reasonably sure they have great logistics and plenty of staff. They will also most likely be available for your date.

Just get started

Fill out a couple of website inquiry forms to see if they’re available for your date. It’s that easy!  Most will schedule an initial consultation by video chat or over a cup of coffee. This is a huge step toward feeling comfortable with your choice.

Best time to book

Generally, hire your florist pretty quickly.  We would love 8-10 months for planning at minimum, especially if you have a larger event that requires hiring additional labor and logistics management. We may need to source some of the glassware, containers, stands, candles, and other decor – during the pandemic things were backordered for 6-8 months!  That insane lead time has leveled out since then, but there are still things that just take time to pull together.

For the casual wedding enthusiast (most of us), with an anticipated guest count of 100-200 people, a 10-12 month lead time is fantastic. Smaller, intimate events with a lighter emphasis on floral work can be achieved in a shorter period of time.  Luxury events need 18-24 months to really make sure every detail is covered (and they tend to have a VERY large team of vendors to coordinate).

Most of us will list our desired lead times in an FAQ section on our website, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding the information.  Some are great with a quick turnaround, others prefer to have a long lead time, but book someone fairly early in the process to make sure you (and your florist) aren’t scrambling.

The End 

Hopefully I’ve given you enough to get started on your floral journey.  Obviously, if you’re in the market for a wedding florist in Kansas City (or anywhere in the Midwest) you should check out my portfolio, read up on my services, and get in touch!  

Also, if you’re a KC local, I have a running list of some of KC’s amazing wedding vendors for you!