we are so pleased to be featured in the Fall 2010 seasons beautiful Inside Weddings magazine
Our wonderful Organic Bride and Groom , Amy & Nick asked us to create an Eco friendly wedding using sustainably grown veggies and flowers, materials and elements for a simply stunning vineyard wedding. Our 8 page feature shows just a hint of the wonderful touches that we created for them.
We hope that you will be inspired by this fun couple and allow us the Joy of bringing YOUR
Wedding day vision to life.
The use of rich colors and textures added to the organic elegance of the setting
Planning a wedding or special event can be a daunting task. Great vendors can make that experience a dream instead of a nightmare.
Especially in our current economy.
So What’s wrong with just going with the Prefered Vendors on your Venues List? Shouldnt that be the easiest option?
In all the craziness of the wedding biz there are some Venues that are holding the Couples over a barrel as well as vendors who wish to work at their locations, This is known as “Pay To Play” and is the dirty little secret that is creeping into the mix.
Basically the situation rears its ugly head as you sit down to sign contracts on your dream venue and find that you MUST pick from a selection of Planners & Prefered vendors from a list. They may not fit your vision and price range, but you MUST use only these folks! They do not tell you that the vendors have been asked to PAY a fee to be on the list and that some pay a percentage back to the venue. And who gets the fee tacked on to their bill? The bride of course!
Even worse is the “Outside” vendor fees some will demand if you wish to bring in your own Favorite baker, Florist, Photographer and Dj. I have heard outrageous fees of $500-$1000. to bring them in! If you trust your selected vendors and they have proof of Business license and insurance and references and a portfolio, why should they charge you to have them walk on the premises?
So how can this trend be stopped? Brides have More Power than they think. Voting with your Pocket book and selecting venues that allow you to be selective is a start. After all you have worked hard to pay for your wedding and should be able to get the best fit for your personality and budget.
1. Ask the venue if they allow you to bring in your professional of choice. Most Quality venues will allow you to select florist, and photographers and Dj as long as they are licensed and insured. I stress the PRO aspect of this, as most wont allow DIY other than a favor or gift for the guests. DIY disasters of the past may have something to do with some of the reasoning they demand you to use their list, but most in the industry think it is a $$$ Grab by venues feeling the economic pinch!
2.Ask if their “prefered ” vendors are PAID advertisers or PROVEN TALENT. If they are upfront they will disclose this. Many wonderful venues and caterers have favorite folks they have worked with and who are respectful of the venue and meet the credentials and insurance demands of the property.These are the Proven talent and will be “Suggested” . You should be able to meet them and get a feel for their style and then decide. But NOT have to be forced to pick only these suggestions.
You may be into an alternative style of Music or Want RAW food or all organic floral designs. Will you have to Settle for a traditional meal , cookie cutter flowers and the 70-year-old house DJ?LOL
3. Ask if you need to have an Insurance rider? Yes they do demand these at times and this is again an additional fee that may have to be added to your budget. Most professionals have basic liability, But when venues force the harpist to show proof of $ million dollar insurance for her 30 minute performance. they can cause last-minute hassles. Day of event coverage can be purchased for your vendors , but some venues try to force out your selections the last week or so with this disclosure. ALWAYS check the contracts!
4. If couples start opting for venues that allow some wiggle room and Individuality in the planning of their big days and avoid the Venues that demand “their way or the highway” it will protect future couples from going over budget and not getting their dream wedding .
Above all NEVER go blindly into a contract , ask questions, and get written answers .
Be pro active and aware that MANY fine independent vendors are being pushed out by this practice, and it is tainting the industry’s reputation. YOU Have the Right to choose!
Over the years I have met with hundreds of couples to plan the floral decor for their big day. And many times the first comment made is ” I have No Idea what flowers cost or which to choose!” This is why Hiring the experienced Floral Pro to work with is a VIP list item. The time, stress and hassles are removed and laid in the hands of someone with a passion and knowledge of flowers who will take on a HUGE responsibility of setting the scene for your vows and the reception to follow.
Does it have to cost a fortune? No! BUT you must be realistic in your expectations to the budget factor. Being upfront with your available budget for flowers is a must. Any great designer will be happy to discuss options to fit your needs.
If on a tight budget, many may think OH!! I will DIY my flowers!” From experience I can say that the average Bride will spend MORE on her DIY attempt and be stressed out to the point of tears trying to get it all done and placed in the limited time frame of a hectic wedding day, than if she would have selected a designer with vision who could create something beautiful in the same price point.
BUT ITS JUST FLOWERS!
It’s More than just flowers. It’s about SERVICE. From the first meeting with a Bride until the day of the wedding, a designer is gathering items, ordering flowers, prepping , designing, storing in a controlled temperature and fussing over every detail with delivery and setup and all the fine touches . A pro designer is looking out for your best interest and making sure that as you walk down the aisle the only tears you have are Tears of happiness. That is Priceless.
BUT I WANT IT ALL!
LOL, I hear this so often, and like any expense in weddings, you must reel in your desire to “Overdo” and allow the designers to guide you to the perfect blend of your style , personality & Budget. If you are a dreamy bride and want lavish roses and dripping orchids, but your pocket says daisies and snapdragon. The look can still be achieved, using spray roses and your color palette to “paint the picture” of a romantic garden or Parisian spring. This is where the Pro can do their MAGIC!!
I would like to show you some fabulous looks in the BUDGET, MID & TOP Range to show you that using a creative touch and the best wedding professionals will give you great results and not break the bank.
The Fantastic Frugal wedding
Floral pricing on an event for 50 with a small wedding party using a selection of sunny flowers in season and pretty accents and flourishes could be under $900. Plus delivery for a version of this delightful wedding. You dont have to use a Bud vase only approach to your tables. Creative , simple designs in recycled , shabby chic or vintage vases can be an option. Or forget the vase all together and go for origami folded paper with a single blossom, Wow and artistry are unlimited, and sometimes less is more! Allow your local floral designer to show you the latest hot budget ideas and save you the hassles while impressing your guests.
The Romantic mid range wedding
Using a mix of the brides favorites and selections of colors to compliment the setting a Couple on a mid range floral budget of $2000. to $4500. could achieve a delightful romantic look with many details and designer flourishes.
In this price range a touch of “Focal flowers” such as seasonal peonies and Cymbidium orchids can be used to add that upscale feel , yet stay in a moderate range. This is the most desired look for my romantic brides, and the look is lush yet refined. Price factors that can move the range up or down is the choice of vases and additional Bling or accessories such as multiple votives, silver and mirrors.
The attention to detail is sure to delight guests and make lasting memories for everyone. Allowing your floral designer to treat you to various pricing options and flourishes can keep you on track and focussed. The service they provide is amazing and detailed to create the endless memories of a romantic wedding day.
The Tip Top Platinum wedding
Weddings in this category can be from the cutting edge theme to the Extreme. But in general are located at 5 star resorts, Country Clubs and Estates and require a Designer and crew for creation. Many start to run into the high figures due to high guest counts of 300 or more. Floral Price range can start in the $6500. range for a lavish small event and go over the moon. Events that hit the Platinum status often require sound and lighting, draping, staging in several ares of the locations , specialty transportation, props and custom linens and extravagant use of flowers, trees, plants and fabrics which is coordinated by the floral event designer with constant contact with your wedding planner and her team.
It’s common to have the floral designer create several different looks for different rooms. From the brides room to the ceremony to the cocktail areas and onto the reception and after parties. This is one style of wedding that MUST be organized with Professional Planner, floral designer and creative team.
This is YOUR day, and whatever your budget and personality, allowing a professional designer to create your flowers and decor at any price point will be something you will never forget and it will allow you to truly enjoy one of the most important days in your life!