wedding flowers countdown to ensure nothing is overlooked! One year to go - Compile a scrapbook of flower varieties and color schemes you like by tearing pages from Wedding Flowers and Wedding. - Find out if your venue has its own in-house florist you can use. Nine months to go - Once you’ve picked your dress and the attendants’ outfits, add a swatch of both fabrics to your scrapbook to refer to when you’re looking at colors for your flowers. - If you’re not using the florist promoted by your venue, start looking for potential florists close to where you’re getting married. Ask for recommendations from recently married friends, search our online supplier directory or look in the Yellow Pages. - Compile a florist shortlist. Make appointments to see each one and take your scrapbook with you to each meeting. Book your favorite, the earlier the better. - Make sure you get the booking confirmed in writing, together with an estimated breakdown of costs. You may also be expected to pay your florist a deposit. Six months to go - If the florist isn’t familiar with your venue, it’s a good idea to ask them to join you on a visit so they can advice on the best way to decorate each room. - Now’s the time to finalize your flower order, together with the number of arrangements needed. Three months to go - If you’re wearing flowers in your hair, order a trial set and have a run-through with your hairdresser. One month to go - Hold a final meeting with your florist to reconfirm the number of arrangements. - Provide details of all delivery addresses. Most florists will set up three hours before the ceremony, so plan a suitable schedule. - Double check with your venue that the florist will be able to set up at your pre-arranged time. - Find out when the florist expects the bill to be settled – normally 10 days in advance – then arrange receipt of payment. Three days to go - Check with your florist that all the flowers you’ve ordered are available. If your florist has to order any alternatives, arrange to view them if necessary. - Discuss any last-minute arrangements. - Make sure your florist has a list of emergency contact numbers in case of any unforeseen problems. The big day! - Ask your florist to check for blooms that may have been damaged in transit. - Hand over buttonholes for the groom’s side of the wedding party to the best man. - Store any other buttonholes and corsages somewhere cool and dry. - Place hand-tied bouquets in the water. Wired arrangements should be spritzed regularly with water. - Dry off the stems of your bouquet at least half an hour before you leave for the ceremony, so there is no danger of them staining your outfits.