So today is the day I finally reveal to you our florist! First though, I want to take a quick minute to tell you how I felt about the process.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I found deciding a flower budget to be very difficult. What do flowers cost? How do you know how much to spend? Thankfully, Em over at Burning River Bride totally helped me out—she sent me a super great email with tips about what to think about (ie in-season flowers? all one color? etc.) , what our floral needs might be (ie this many bouts, this many bouquets,etc)…AND she prepared me for the costs. Hello, flowers are expensive!!! Dang. At least I didn’t go in and get shell-shocked. Thanks lady!
We’ll have 1/3 of our centerpieces like this…
I only interviewed two florists. I say only because I think my mom wanted me to interview one more, but I was sort of done with it—at this point in my planning, I am pretty good at narrowing down the options and the workload. I knew that interviewing another florist was going to cause me to feel confused about who to choose and that the quotes wouldn’t be that different from those I already had, because I went in to the interviews with a budget number in mind. There’s my first “find a florist” tip, kids: figure out how much you want to spend, even if you have no clue. Ballpark it, and your florist will usually try to stay within that range. It helped that Florist B gave me two separate quotes, so even though I only interviewed two florists, I ended up with three quotes to prepare.
And 2/3 like this…
“Find a florist” Tip 2: Go with your gut. I decided to meet with Florist A after she did the flowers for a friend’s wedding. She came highly recommended, not only by my friend, but also by another bridal blogger. I was fully expecting to love this florist and go with her, because I was told her prices would be great and she was great to work with. I walked away from the meeting feeling a little differently:
Florist A was very nice, but she was very boisterous (bordering on super loud—and I am a loud person, so for me to say that? Wow.) and easily excited. That’s great, but I left the meeting feeling very overwhelmed. I brought many inspiration pictures to show her, including shots of centerpieces, bouquets, etc. that I liked, as well as pictures of my shoes and my dress. She didn’t even look at them. NOT ONCE. What?! She sat me down at her workbench, took out a piece of paper, and said, “Let’s design your bouquet.” Well, that’s great, but I have no idea about flowers and as she was suggesting them left and right, I had no idea what she was talking about—and she didn’t show me any pictures of them. I was in and out in about half an hour, and when I left, I had no idea what the bouquet we had just “designed” would even look like. And I still had all my pictures in hand, not glanced through or kept by the florist at all. I knew, almost right away, that unless her quote came in super low, I probably wouldn’t be going with her.
Florist B, on the contrary, was a cheerful, quiet woman who welcomed me right into her workshop. We sat down on stools and she looked through all the pictures I had brought, asking questions about why I liked certain bouquets and showing me pictures of flowers that I could use to achieve those looks. She took color photocopies of most of my photos so she could keep them and let me browse through a million “flip books” of different florals in different color groups. If I saw something I liked, she checked its seasonality and wrote it down for me. We chit-chatted for nearly an hour and a half, and the entire time I felt like I was in the company of an older, wiser friend. I left the meeting feeling really excited, but knew she was a very popular and well-known florist in Milwaukee, so I was afraid that her quotes might not fall within my budget.
And some lush bouquets like this!
When the quotes came in, I was shocked. Florist A sent me one quote that was well over the budget I had set. Florist B sent me not one, but TWO quotes that fell right at my budget. Hooray! I knew I had found my florist.
I am excited to tell you that we will be working with Debrah at Petaluna Floral, whose shop is right in our neighborhood. I am so excited to be working with Debrah—I feel like she really understood my vision, yet respected my budget. And their floral process is very cool: they only book one wedding per day, and we can add, change, or delete items all the way until a month before the wedding. As a bonus, they will hand-paint color drawings of what our bouquets, bouts, and centerpieces will look like, so we can fully see them before they purchase all the flowers. How amazing is that? So “finding a florist” is crossed off the list, and I feel really happy about our decision.
How did you decide on your florist? Was it an easy decision for you?
And because you made it through this really long wordy post…how about another engagement picture to ogle? 🙂
(Photo by Sarah Immel Photography)