Floral Designers vs. Florists

Even though their names are really similar, there are some key differences between Floral Designers and Florists. In today’s post, I’m hoping to clear up any confusion between these two!

Just this week on Instagram, I asked you all to tell me what you thought of when you heard the words “Floral Designer” and when you heard the word “Florist.” I’m sharing a select few of these responses below!

Nikki Santerre Photography

According to Instagram users, a Floral Designer is….
A magic maker

A flower genius

Luxury, high-end, boutique, comprehensive

Peonies and ranunculus



Experienced, not grocery store arrangements

And according to Instagram users, a Florist is…
Only uses hydrangeas, lilies, and roses

Fern and carnations

Where to get flowers

Flower provider

A lot of these are really great responses! But you know what is even more telling? Many, MANY people only answered one of the questions and not the other. That tells me that there is some confusion between the two - likely the second question wasn’t answered because you thought it was the same thing. So let’s break down each of these roles and figure out when you need a Floral Designer and when you need a Florist!

Floral Designers
According to Wikipedia, floral design (and thus floral designers) is, “the art of using plant materials and flowers to create a pleasing and balanced composition. Professionally designed floral designs, arrangements or artwork incorporate the elements of floral design: line, form, space, texture, and color, and the principles of floral design: balance, proportion, rhythm, contrast, harmony, and unity.

Floral Designers use flowers and foliage as their medium to create art. This means that you can sift through a Floral Designer’s portfolio, website, or Instagram all day long and almost never find two items exactly alike. It also means that a Floral Designer will not replicate another design for you. Floral Designers will use almost any type of flower or foliage we can get our hands on. Because Floral Designers have spent a great deal of time studying art, design, and a huge variety of flowers, you can expect prices to be higher than those of a Florist.

So when should you hire a Floral Designer?
A Floral Designer should be your option if you want something created for a once-in-a-lifetime event or are on the hunt for something completely unique. A Floral Designer will also be your best bet if you’re looking for customized installations and designs. Know that when you hire a Floral Designer, you will spend some time looking at various flowers, styles, and aesthetics. Also know that you will not know EXACTLY what your arrangements will look until the second it is handed over to you. This is not to say you won’t have an idea of what will be provided, but because Floral Designers are artists, we put a creative spin on each and every item we create based on the principles of design.

According to Merriam-Webster, a florist richmond  is “a person who sells or grows for sale flowers and ornamental plants.”

Oftentimes, you’ll find a florist’s website shows photos of exact arrangements you can purchase, and they will deliver what you purchase exactly as it’s shown. More often than not, they use well-known, standard flowers and foliage such as white and red roses, baby’s breath, fern, lilies, hydrangeas, daisies, sunflowers, and mums. They have a staff who is provided with instructions on exactly how to arrange products based on the photos you see, and very rarely (if ever) will create something new and unique. For these reasons, florist prices tend to be less than floral designers because their labor and time involved in putting together a pre-designed arrangement is much less - not to mention their flower choices are less expensive as well.

So when should you hire a Florist?
Florists are an excellent choice when you need something quickly! They are also a better choice when you are on a very tight budget. Just know that when you hire a Florist, what you see in photos is likely what you get. You will spend very little time, if any, chatting through an actual design because it’s already been created.

Still have questions on what a Floral Designer will provide or what a Florist will provide? As always, I am an open book, so feel free to email me or leave your questions in the comments and I’ll answer them there!

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