Designing With Flowers: Should A Bride Pay For Her Bouquet Sample?


Preston Bailey Bridal Bouquet

Dear Preston:

I am doing a wedding next month and my bride has insisted that she see a sample of her bridal bouquet a month before the wedding.  I asked if she would be willing to cover the costs associated with the sample bouquet and she flatly refused.  I have never showed samples of a bouquet before an actual wedding and am stumped; what should I do?

Bouquet Sample
Dear B:

Speaking candidly, I think your bride is being unreasonable in her refusal to pay for the sample. I suggest that you explain that your time and materials do not grow on trees.  That said, you must try and understand where she is coming from. For many brides, bouquets are a very personal item that are meant as the biggest accessory to their dress, which they spend days–even months–looking for.

Your email brings to mind a bride I had many years ago. I told her I would surprise her with a special bouquet as my gift to her.  before she walked down the aisle, I handed her what I believed was a masterpiece. To my surprise, she started crying!  I thought it was tears of joy but it was because she hated it!  I felt terrible, and to add insult to injury, she told me I ruined her wedding years later when I ran into her.


After writing this out, I have changed my mind. In the he hopes of giving your bride good customer service, I think you should bite the bullet and make her the bouquet.  Perhaps you can spread out the cost of the sample with the other flowers you are doing for the wedding. Moving forward, you can let your brides know that any samples will need to be paid for.

Question: Do you advise this florist do to the sample at their expense? Have you ever had such a request?