To the photographers, wedding planners, site coordinators, caterers & cake bakers out there – this week on Flirty Fleurs we have assembled a series of tips to help us strengthen our working relationships with you. We contacted numerous florists across the country and asked them for their input to create this collaborative post – we asked them to tell us what would they say to another vendor if given the chance.
This is what they have to say for wedding planners::
• One of the most helpful things planners do is educate clients about their budgets. I would love to meet up with a planner and help give her the info she needs to do that best.
• Please be upfront and honest about your client’s budget and then let us be as creative as possible within that framework. Please don’t talk up your client’s expectations above the level of their budget—it forces me to be the bad guy, and I hate being the bad guy. Let’s discuss the budget and have a game plan for what the client likes BEFORE the consultation. That way we can have an efficient consultation and look like we’ve done our homework before meeting the client.
• Although I can work with any budget, I can’t necessarily give you everything you want on that budget. I will come up with as many great ideas for you as I can.
• Please do not tell your client you work with a “cheap” florist. Just as planning is your livelihood, flowers are ours. We charge fairly for what we do. Please respect us for our craft, skill and labor!
• Please avoid comparing my prices to those of other florists. Florists do not come “one size fits all.” We all design and operate differently. Our prices vary and “cheaper” does not mean better. There’s a lot of truth to the statement that you get what you pay for.
• Please do not share our contracts/proposals/quotes with other florists because you’re hunting for the cheapest bid for your client or because you’re good friends with the florist you really want your client to select. Please come to me if you don’t feel the bid will fit your client’s needs.
• Please let me know that you’ve received my bid. I put a lot of time and effort into my proposal and I’d really appreciate the acknowledgement that you’ve received it. And if your client doesn’t respond, I’d be grateful if you’d follow up with them.
• We can certainly understand that it’s your job to represent your client, but please remember that you will likely only work with that client once. You may, however, work with us many times. Nickel-and-diming us, putting us at odds with one another, or keeping us out of the creative process will very quickly limit the number of vendors willing to work with you.
• Please do not ask a florist to pre-order/purchase flowers for you so you can design the flowers on your own to help save your client money.
• I know how incredibly valuable your time is and I promise not to waste it. If you can do the same for me, I’d so grateful. Likewise, I’ll do my best to respond to your communications as quickly as possible; please return the favor.
• Please provide a detailed itinerary/day-of timeline in advance—it’s helpful for all vendors!
• Having a “vision” for an event is great, but don’t forget to give credit to the floral designer who executed that vision for the client.
• It’s okay if you don’t know or can’t remember how to pin a boutonniere. I’m happy to help. Just tell me so I can help you!
• We don’t expect wedding planners to be florists, but it is nice if we can share a little floral knowledge. One thing I try to educate my planners about is keeping the flowers as fresh as possible. On hot days (even if it’s not hot), give the wedding party their flowers as close to ceremony time as possible. Why? It keeps the flowers nicer longer—the men don’t break their boutonnieres, the women don’t knock their corsages against something, and the bouquets fare much better because they are not handled as much. One of the most common questions I get asked by wedding planners is, “how do I keep bouquets with hydrangea from wilting?” The best answer is not to give out flowers until close to the ceremony start time. If pictures are earlier in the day, get the bouquets back in water as soon as possible. On a hot day, hydrangea can wilt within an hour of being out of water, or even in water if it’s sitting in a hot place or in the sun. So, care and handling is very important, and we always review that with our clients and our planners so that they know what to expect from the flowers we provide.
We invite equally useful feedback from wedding planners, what can we do to help you?