They are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul.
[Luther Burbank- Naturalist]
This statement makes your florist a very important part of your event preparation, but firstly you need to be happy with your choice.
Ask lots of questions, about different flowers, whats in season etc
Ask to see portfolio's. You want a florist who's style matches your own.
Its also important to mention any themes, and take colour swatches so that the florist can help you choose the best blooms.
As well as looking great you have to take into consideration the scent of the flowers, some may be very beautiful to look at but can be overpowering in smell.
Consider the locations that need to be decorated.
For a wedding as a general guide you may need -
Church [ pedestal , pew ends]
Reception [ top table, guest tables]
Personal [ Bride, Bridesmaids, groom, best man, ushers,mothers, fathers, gift bouquets]
In an autumn or winter wedding, the addition of a candelabra to the flower arrangements can be particularly striking.
And for any other non wedding event-
Pedestal arrangements etc
A good florist will also know many local venues and will be able to give you direction on what works best where.
Also remember that many florists charge a delivery fee and for set up at your ceremony and reception sites.
Take time in choosing flowers for your event, they are usually primary in the decoration of your venue.
See a few different florist, interview them properly, if a florist is pushing you towards arrangements you can't afford, move on.
Also as a cost saving exercise, you can give away your table centrepieces at the end of the evening to special family members or guests, or keep for those unable to attend.
Photo Credit: http://www.bridalbud.com/