A - Have a basic idea of what you would like by looking at photos and magazines, but keep your mind open for suggestions from your florist. They will know what flowers will match your colour scheme, stay fresh the longest, and may even be in season and available locally on your wedding day.
B - Form a first impression through recommendations, the web, a phone call, and visiting the shop. You may also wish to check with the Better Business Bureau before proceeding. Check the availability.
C - Check out about 3 florists to find the one that best suits you. Arrange a consultation to find out who will work on your wedding, if you like their style, and if the person appears knowledgeable and interested. Ask to see albums of previous work. Note how fresh the flowers on display are. If you are interested, also discuss the cake topper and the possibility of preserving some of the flowers after the wedding.
D - Check the references. Ask about things such as punctuality, plus the freshness and appeal of the final product. Ask what they liked, if there were any problems, and if they would recommend this florist.
E - Sign the contract. Make sure it includes the locations, the arrival time, hours of service, all the details of what is included (an itemized list, including type/colours of flowers) or perhaps cost extra (delivery, set-up, vases/stands...). Any legal considerations such the cancellation policy should also be in writing. Make sure the details of the deposit are clear, as well as how much is owing, and when it's due.