Red Pattern

Monday, May 28, 2012

Finding a Florist: Part 2

Recently, I shared with y'all the characteristics I was looking for in a florist, as well as one of the things I wanted to include in the floral decorations for the wedding. (Side note: choosing a florist has been the only decision Mr. Coach and I haven't made together concerning the wedding. I gave him a break on this one, so when I say "I chose or I wanted" I'm not leaving him out - I just flew solo on this one!)

Now that everyone knows the background info, its time to talk about meeting with the florists and choosing one. After my online searches, I contacted two design companies: Luxe Petals and Red Sole Events.

Remember, I had 3 things I was really looking for:

  • An emphasis on flowers, rather than other decor items. 
  • The type of weddings it looked like they typically designed - indoor, outdoor, formal, casual, etc.
  • Whether or not they had designed any weddings at the Piazza

Unfortunately, Red Sole events was not booking during October due to a personal matter, so I was left with only one florist to meet with.  Because I really liked what I had seen on their website, I decided to leave it that way until after I had met with Luxe Petals, and then I would decide if I needed to meet with others.
via Luxe Petals on Facebook
via Luxe Petals on Facebook 

I set up a consultation with Joie, the owner of Luxe Petals, and anxiously awaited our Saturday Starbucks date. When we were finally able to meet, I was impressed by her professionalism. She took detailed notes and studied the picture inspiration I had brought along with me. As you can tell by the pictures, she does an amazing job with the floral decor. After meeting with her I was also able to tell that she has done many different types of weddings, and seemed like she would be very comfortable at the Piazza. Finally, although she had not designed a wedding for the Piazza at the time we met, she had one booked during the time between our meeting and the wedding in October. So, she would have already been introduced to the venue before our wedding.

I left Starbucks feeling good about our meeting, but honestly - not great. On paper, Luxe Petals seemed perfect. Joie took many notes and looked at all the pictures I brought along, and I knew if she designed the wedding decorations it would be beautiful, but I wasn't 100% sure it would be exactly as I had imagined. I received her pricing quote a few days later, and it was very close to what I was expecting to pay. However, I had already made the decision to set up a meeting with another florist because I needed to be sure. This was one of those times I just had to go with my gut - Joie didn't do anything wrong, I just wasn't positive she was the right choice for us.

After the first meeting, it was back to the internet search. This time, I discovered (or rediscovered, actually) Haute Floral by Kristen Wolchik. I had seen her work a while back as the florist for Mrs. FroYo, and I loved the creativity she displayed - including a bouquet made completely of yogurt toppings! I'm not exactly sure why I hadn't remembered her earlier, but I'm so thankful I came across her website when I did. I immediately contacted her and set up a consultation.
via Haute Floral on Facebook, Photo by Stacie Tatum
via Haute Floral on Facebook

Like Joie, Kristen was very professional. She took notes, looked at the pictures I had brought along (the same as the last meeting) and listened to what I had to say. But with Kristen, it just clicked. She immediately saw the big picture I was aiming for, she voiced some of her ideas (that were RIGHT on with what I wanted) and I could just see her scheming up a plan for our big day. This time, I left the meeting hoping the price would be right and I could book her right away. Luckily, the price was right where it needed to be, and Kristen made it very clear that we could tweak it to add or take away as needed, which I really appreciated. So, I sent her the deposit and it was a done deal!

Haute Floral had an emphasis on floral design and a variety of experience with past weddings. Kristen had also worked on previous weddings at the Piazza, but only at their larger ballroom, not the one we had chosen. I still really appreciated this because she's familiar with the venue and their policies. I also had faith that Kristen could take all of my crazy ideas and turn them into one beautiful wedding design.

Ultimately, these two vendors were very similar when you put them side by side. But with Haute Floral/Kristen I just knew I had to have her at my wedding! I love to plan, make lists and compare and contrast, but with this experience I learned how important it is to just meet with a vendor in person and get to know them. It can really make the difference between choosing them or continuing your search.

Now that you know who I chose, tell me about your process in choosing a florist! How did you know when you found "the one" - was it a matter of pros and cons on paper, or did you go with your gut feeling?

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