Thursday, August 30, 2007

Introduction of the florists

So we have figured out our vision, and thought some about linens. What about flowers?

Back when Calvin and I were thinking of a smaller wedding, we figured that we would do the flowers ourselves. How hard could it actually be? With flowers available at Costco or Fifty Flowers, among others, it seemed like it would be really easy to do.

It all changed when we booked our reception site, and began to think about the logistics of doing our own flowers. While I feel confident about the actual arranging, I wasn't certain about the logistics of transportation and setup. With not a whole lot of reliable in town friends, it seemed like we may as well at least look into florists.

Florists are expensive. Really expensive. And a lot of what you are paying for is the labor. Additionally, research florists is extremely difficult, at least in the Cleveland area. If a florist has a website, it is most likely one of the FTD websites.

The Renaissance had a list of preferred vendors, and the church has a florist that they use for most services. Since neither I nor my mom are big fans of what the normal church florist does, we decided not to contact them. The florists in town that my family has used for past occasions have either changed hands or closed in the last five years, so we looked into the places that the Renaissance suggested.

We contacted:
Stephen Tokar at Stephen M. Tokar Custom Floral

(images from his website)

Arne Klein at Blooms by Plantscaping

(All photos by Steven Mastroianni)

Ric Eckhoff at Palermo Florist (no website)

(image from here)

Pieter Bouterse Studio

(images from their website)

Debbie at Al Wilhelmy Flowers, who didn't have any photos that I could find.

I worked up the nerve to call Arne and Debbie; Calvin contacted the other three. I left messages with both, and Arne was the first to call back. Never having actually called any other vendor, I just blurted out that I was getting married, and I wanted to set up an appointment, and really had no idea how to go about doing things. Arne was fabulous, and suggested that I bring in pictures of what I (we) like, along with pics of the dress and swatches of the bridesmaids' dresses. He also explained to me exactly what he does, and how he works within budgets. I'd also heard good things about him on indiebride.

Now that I knew what we needed to do, once appointments were made, we just had to go to them. Do you have any additional tips on what to bring when meeting with florists?


R. Schreiber-Reis said...

Beyond pictures of arrangements that you both like, you should take a copy of your inspiration board (which is wonderful, by the way). That will allow your florist to get a better sense of the whole project, beyond color swatches.

One way our florist helped us to save money was by ordering the flowers for our centerpieces and allowing us to do the work setting them up. We were able to use more flowers in each piece, and save a ton of money. However, with the logistics of your reception location, that may be much more difficult than it was for us.

Meg said...

Thanks for the suggestions!

Katie said...
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