Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Art of Making Pretty - Sticker Shock

Floral designers use flowers to help enhance and create a beautiful environment. The word experience perhaps best describes what we are selling. There is just a ton of outdated information floating around.  In this second installment of my The Art of Making Pretty series - I am putting these little snippets of truth or advice out there into the universe, in hopes to help bridge some gaps between clients and floral designers.

Oh, and some of my bouquets to enjoy!

The Plaza Hotel NYC wedding flowers

Here's the simple truth - flowers are expensive. Flowers are not cheap - not even carnations (which I actually like) or mums. Each stem takes the same amount of time to order, process place, set up, and deliver. We all know that time is money, but also the flowers themselves are not cheap. Not even for the floral designers when we produce or purchase them. We also suffer from sticker shock.  Brides and grooms you are not alone. We feel your pain, sincerely. At least most of us do :-) . 

Hudson Valley NY wedding flowers - Kingston, Ulster County, Dutchess County,
The Calendar House 

Thanks to social media the flower world has exploded! This is an exciting time for floral designers and clients. So many lovely choices - so, so, so, many! The dreamy inspiration we are inundated with can be both a blessing and a curse. I love that there is more of a demand for all the "pretty" that is out there, since that is all I will use.  Remember flowers are my addiction. A costly one, because I want the best and can not get my fix using flowers that are sub-par. I know I am not alone. Clients and designers need the pretty just as much as Gollum needs his "Precious." Yes I am a dork :-) .

Glenmere Mansion wedding flowers

In the past when looking at wedding day flowers, a couple may have just picked from choices A, B or C from a catalog - not an actual portfolio. Things were simple and very, very boring. You could expect to get the standard stuff (yuck) and pay a standard price (still costly). A formula or "recipe" was common practice. Standards have changed - or rather they have evolved. Today every last detail is custom. Each celebration is unique. The bar has been risen on wedding and event flowers. This is great for everyone. Exceptional floral designs created specifically for that couple are now expected. The cookie cutter mentality will not be accepted (a definite blessing). However, better flowers, custom designs and a greater experience does come at a higher price - for all of us (the curse).

Beautiful wedding flowers are here to stay. Higher expectations and prices the new norm. We are all paying the price - clients and designers alike. No one wants to be hustled and feel swindled - a fair price should be expected, but fair does not mean cheap. Maybe I am just naive, but I believe clients and designers want the same thing - a meeting of the minds...and great flowers! :-)  We are all kind of floating around in uncharted waters - together treading and waiting for a life preserver to be tossed. How we choose to manage expectations on both ends will help us to sink or swim.
hand-tied bridal bouquet
Outside on a box in Upstate NY
photo by John Splendido

This segues to the next topic for The Art of Making Pretty series: Managing Expectations (coming soon!)

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