Dear Preston: My Florist Is Demanding Payment Before The Wedding


Dear Preston:

My only daughter is finally getting married and I am working with the top florist in Los Angeles. I finally had a chance to sit down and read their contract and am shocked they are asking for the full payment two weeks before the wedding. I find this to be unfair. What happens if they do not deliver to my satisfaction? I would like peace of mind and would feel more comfortable paying at least 25 percent after the event. What are your thoughts on this?

Mom in shock

Dear M in S:

Let me start by saying that, payment in full before the wedding is a standard practice in the event world. I am sure the venue or hotel you are using is also asking you for full payment, no? Many years ago, I had a contract that allowed 30 percent of  the payment to be paid after my events.  I quickly had to change that. For some reason most clients seemed to focus on an insignificant detail in order to keep that 30 percent balance.

You must understand there is a huge investment of time, flowers, materials and talent that goes into executing the flowers for your daughter’s wedding. It’s very difficult for a florist to do your daughter’s wedding and risk not getting paid.  That said, I am very happy that you are working with the top florist in L.A.  I am sure they have a stellar reputation, one that will allow you to take a leap of faith and feel confident that they will do a great job. I am sorry if I sound one-sided, but I happen to agree with the provisions in your contract.  I will say that you need to make sure that they give you a presentation that shows you exactly what you are getting. Bu doing this you can be sure there are no surprises.

Question: Do you ask for full payment before an event? What is your advice to this client?