We were driving to the middle of no where for Easter Dinner yesterday. Passing many a florists, some of them I've worked with and some of them, I've never heard of.
I don't claim to know every florist in the known and unknown universe, I don't claim that title. But I do know every Wedding Florist in probably a 50+ square mile radius.
What is the difference you ask me... well a florist that sends FTD deliveries all day, and designs birthday and funeral arrangements doesn't necessarily do wedding flowers. Some do, but not all.
There are some florists that focus on weddings, and 90% of all of their business is weddings. It is extremely important to know who does weddings, knows weddings, knows facilities, and knows and understand weddings.
Not all florists are created equally. Make sure to get referrals from your venues, make sure there isn't a list of who and who isn't allowed to work there. Talk to your other vendors there are probably one or two that you hear over and over and over again. Make a point to take note of who's name(s) come up repeatedly.
And make sure to note that all florists are not created equally.