Friday, January 11, 2008

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

The first of the year is always the busiest time of year for "wedding appointments". All the newly engaged couples out there are ready to start the wedding process. That means lots of meetings! As a florist, we usually end up meeting with multiple brides each day to go over the details of their special day. I thought I would share a few "meeting" tips to help you get through the florist interviewing process.
1. View the florists work via the web or at one of their events before you even meet with them. This will ensure that they are capable of providing the style that you might be looking for when it comes to design
2. When you call to make your appointment keep in mind that most florists can't take weekend appointments because they are usually busy designing another brides wedding on the weekend. Think of it this way - "would you want your florist to be busy with other wedding appointments when they should be focused on your flowers on the day of your wedding?"
3. Confirm that the florist is available on the day of your wedding. If they do take more than one wedding a weekend, just make sure that you will have your own dedicated staff on the day of your wedding. For example, at The Hidden Garden we take 2-3 weddings a weekend but we also have different design teams that attend each wedding so you are guaranteed your own crew on your day. This is critical. You also want to make sure that the person you have been dealing with at the floral studio is also the "manager" that is on site the day of your wedding. It will just leave you feeling more relaxed if you are in the hands of someone you know.
3. Bring all the photos of wedding flowers you like and even images you don't like to the meeting. This will give the florist a good sense of the design and style you want for wedding decor.
4. Plan on spending at least 1 hour at your first meeting with the florist. They should get all the details of your upcoming day at this initial meeting (ie - guest count, color choices, table design, bouquet options etc)
5. Ask the floral expert how long before you will receive a complete written proposal from them. It should be approximately 1 week.
6. Find out what the best form of communicating with them would be through the planning process. You will have lots of questions during your planning months. You might want to change some items, show her new photos or just get advice on color combos. It's always nice to know that the florist is readily available to you for these quick questions.
7. Ask if (and they should) and when they do a sample meeting. This is the most important part of the whole process in my opinion. This meeting usually takes place a month and a half before the big day. At this meeting you should see the linen options, chair choices, a complete sample of the actual centerpiece, votive candle options, menu/napkin treatment etc. This is where it all comes together. By the time you leave this meeting you should be thinking "I have a great visual of what my reception room is going to look like". This will allow you to be very confident on the day of the wedding. There should be no surprises then when it comes to the flowers!
8. Confirm how many people will be on location the day of your wedding, what time will they arrive, will they be done prior to guests arrival (really important), what time will they come back to strike.
9. Last but not least, if mother nature decides that there needs to be some flower substitutions, make sure they are of equal caliber as the flowers that you have requested.

The planning process should be fun and exciting. Hopefully these tips help make the flower process a little less stressful.
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