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Is a floral mock-up included in my wedding flowers?

What is a floral mock-up? Do I even need a mock-up before my wedding? Based on our experience, here at Quill + Oak, a Hamilton, Niagara + Toronto wedding florist, we say forget the mock-up.
Image by Mango Studios

What is a floral mock-up? Do I even need a mock-up before my wedding? Based on our experience, here at Quill + Oak, a Hamilton, Niagara + Toronto wedding florist, we say forget the mock-up.

What is a floral mock-up or sample?

Generally, a floral mock-up or sample is meant to show clients what they will be getting on their big day. This can be a great assurance when it comes to something like your place settings and tableware – essentially things that will not change between February to August. Unfortunately, the flower markets can change dramatically from month-to-month and even week-to-week. If you choose a florist who emphasizes working with seasonal blooms (like us!), whatever flowers might be included in your mock-up will likely not be available for your actual wedding date and vice versa. What should serve to define and manage your expectations will more than likely result in unmet expectations. In my mind, this entirely defeats the purpose in the first place!

Why did Brides.com tell me I need one?

This Brides.com article encourages brides to ask for a mock-up. If you read the article carefully it sounds like they are focusing on how the linens, place settings and table top elements look together. They really only mention flowers as an afterthought. If you are investing in renting beautiful tableware, I think a seeing them together is imperative. The author didn’t mention that flowers are seasonal and that even the same varieties can be highly variable. It’s possible that the experts interviewed handle tabletop rentals and flowers as part of their event design services so it makes sense for them to highlight the rentals. It’s also possible that these florists work exclusively with standard flowers (available year round) and don’t really dabble with seasonal specialties. I *love* using seasonal specialities so super accurate mock-ups are just impossible for me. You can read more about standard and season blooms here.

Can you still nail my flowers without one?

I feel confident that I can nail your look without the need for a mock-up. My goal is always to manage expectations and prioritize clear communication. This is why during the consultation process I will ask potential clients to:

  1. Provide images they’re attracted to – This is super important! I want to see what colour palettes, shapes, and styles you love.
  2. Tell me about flowers you love or dislike and why – If you love peonies, you’ll probably love garden roses and ranunculus. If you hate protea you’ll probably hate thistles too. Do you hate carnations but don’t know why? You probably haven’t seen the interesting shades they now come in or the cool ways hip florists use them!
  3. Talk about the vibe you are going for – A desert boho vibe and a classic, elegant evening affair have very different looks. During our consultation, we will talk about everything to make sure we are on the same page.
  4. Double check the “Suggested Varieties” section of your proposal – I include a list of flowers I’d love to use for your wedding (based on availability) so you can google their names and make sure they jive with your vibe. These aren’t guaranteed or exhaustive but it will definitely give you a good idea!

We encourage our clients to look through our portfolio, get a sense of our style, make sure your proposal reflects your vision and then… trust! Trust that we’re going to deliver beautiful flowers that will dazzle. If you get nervous, head over to our testimonials and remind yourself that our couples were impressed with great service and beautiful flowers.

Ok, what if I still want a mock-up?

If you still decide you’d like to add a floral mock-up and in-person final meeting, we can accommodate. Our goal is to make sure our clients trust us and you are jazzed about your big day. Sometimes seeing is believing. Even if you know that the flowers in the mock-up will not (and cannot) be the same as your big day. Seeing the place settings and linens etc all together with flowers can really help you feel sure. In this case, I recommend coordinating a venue walk-through with your table settings and floral mock-up.

This service starts at $300 + travel fees. The price is entirely dependent on the cost of bringing in multiple varieties necessary for the arrangement – including all stems purchased. Remember, even if there’s only 3 garden roses in the arrangement, you need to cover the cost of the 12 stem bunch. The cost of a mock-up can really add up! And is one more reason I encourage clients to forgo the mock-up and trust us to pull out all the stops the day of your wedding.

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