That’s Fabulous Friday- The Return of the Blogs, Help Wanted, and New Businesses!

Happy Friday everyone!  At long last I have finally begun blogging again!  As most of you know, I used to blog in our off season.  However there really is no off season for us any more.  If you check out the blog these days you will finally get a chance to see a lot of the events from 2013 and a few from 2014  http://anightinbloom.com/blog/ .  I always try my best to blog only once I have all of the pro pics, but these days with photographers as busy as I am, I am going to consider all of our blog posts a work in progress.  When I receive pro pics, I will add them on to our already published posts.  I do still hope to continue our tradition of the Bloomie Awards, but first I need to get cooking with posting all of these little beauties. Please bear with me!

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Since we are so busy we will be looking for additional help in nearly all areas this spring.  We will have internships, general help, wedding set up and take down, and PR/ Marketing. Free lance floral designers are also more than welcome to apply.  If you are interested in applying, please send a cover letter and resume to Lauren’s email at anightinbloominfo@gmail.com.

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I attended the Unique Ladies of the Hudson Valley’s meet up last night https://www.facebook.com/uniqueladiesofthehudsonvalley and I really had a great time!  This time the event was held at Nostrano Vineyards.  What a spectacular location for weddings, I had a chance to peek at their wedding album and I really hope we have a chance to work there in the future!  The wine was delicious too, so if you are hoping to visit, I really recommend that you do!   http://nostranovineyards.com/  What made this event even more delicious were the cheeses provided by Clinton Cheese and Provisions, http://www.clintonprovisions.com/.  And yes, my dear Hudson Valley couples, they will make you wedding “welcome baskets” filled with all local Hudson Valley Product.  You’re welcome :-)

I have attended quite a few of these events, run by Melissa Surprise http://surprisephotography.com/, in the past but this one seemed to gather a nice amount of brand new wedding businesses!  There is nothing like meeting new entrepreneurs, just beginning their own adventures in the wedding industry.  When I first began A Night in Bloom there were times where it was so difficult I just wanted to cry, but there is nothing more satisfying then when you persevere and actually end up with a successful business!

Please be sure to check out the following new businesses and show them some love:

North Country Vintage Rentals (yes, they have larger pieces such as couches, and upholstered items!),

http://www.northcountryvintage.com

Hudson Valley Brides  (a new blog, coming soon)!

MV Photography (one of our Shirt Factory neighbors!)

http://www.meganvanakenphotography.com/#!wedding/c1ah8

I am sure I am forgetting a few more on here, so if I left you out, please message me and I will be happy to add you along!

That’s all for now friends, please stay tuned because there are so many wonderful things happening here in Flowerland, but also in Kingston these days!  I have a LOT to catch up on!

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

~Heather

 

 

Andrea and Brendan’s June Nuptials- The Hill, Hudson NY

I really think sometimes flowers just know they are going to an astonishingly sweet as can be couple.  At least that seemed to be the case with these lovely Peonies and wildflowers!  Please check out Andrea and Brendan’s picture perfect wedding at The Hill. This wedding had so many pretty details: vintage teacups, suitcases, lace wrapped vases, charming table numbers.  It all came together beautifully.  Although we were contracted for full service for this wedding, Andrea still supplied much of the accessories on her own, as did Greengage Marmalade, the caterer. Bearfly Designs also lended their talents with their lighting design, a must for all barn weddings!  This was a great example of many, many vendors and families pooling all of their resources and talents for a lovely end product!

Andrea and her Mom never even told me they had worked for florists for many years, until after the wedding.  They knew how extra stressed I would be if I knew this, and I really appreciated it because they surely were right.  Talk about pressure!  Working for other wedding pros is always a huge honor, but it is also very nerve wracking.

Since I didn’t know we were working with fellow florists, I thoroughly enjoyed the day.  This was the first time we were lucky enough to work at The Hill, and what a beautiful location it is!  The weather was sunny and beautiful, and although we finished on time, and were scheduled to leave, my crew and I hid in the background to catch a glimpse of Andrea as she arrived. She looked absolutely stunning, and Andrew looked as handsome and happy as could be.  We drove away happy to have played a roll in such a beautiful and joyous occasion!

Congratulations Andrea and Brendan, we wish you many, many years of blessings and happiness!

~Heather

Please feast your eyes on these unbelievable photos courtesy of the very talented Forged in the North Photography!

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Brendan and Andrea 4The following photos were snapped by us during the set up:

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We were delighted to work alongside the following vendors:

Venue: The Hill

http://hudsonvalleyweddings.net/

Photography: Forged in the North Photography

http://www.forgedinthenorth.com

Catering: Greengage Marmalade:

http://www.greengagecatering.com/

Baker: Alison Spieler

Lighting: Bearfly

http://www.bearflydesigns.com/lighting.html

Ceremony Music: Sarah Goldstone

http://www.jamminwithyou.com/nyteachers/sarah-goldstone

DJ/ Entertainment: Stolen Moments

http://www.stolenmoments.com/

 

Nissa & Michael’s Perfect Peony Wedding- The Garrison

This wedding has gotten a lot of attention because many of you saw the photo I posted of the bouquet on Instagram, and you all still to refer to it as, “The Perfect Peony Wedding”!  It really was!

Nissa was a bride who initially seemed very laid back when it came to florals.  When we first met, she assured me that she wasn’t too terribly attached to one look over another, or one specific flower type.  That all changed by the time her and Michael’s big day arrived!  We used Pinterest quite a bit when planning these gorgeous florals, and Nissa became very focused on a very difficult to find salmon pink Ranucula.  It was a tall order to find this lovely little bloom, but I was able to ask a big favor from one of my favorite wholesalers and we were able to get just the shade Nissa was hoping for!  I really loved the florals for this wedding, but I’d love everyone to pay close attention to the ceremony arrangements hanging from the chairs!  See folks, you can still have lovely, affordable wildflowers WITHOUT using Baby’s Breath!

There were so many pretty little details at this wedding.  Nissa’s bouquet was wrapped in a vintage lace handkerchief that was very special to her, and the centerpieces were all displayed in cubes wrapped in lace, which were just lovely!  The weather could not have been prettier, and I am sure the day ended up just as perfect as it began.  I am really looking forward to seeing the pro pics from this one!

Congratulations Nissa and Michael, wishing you all the very best!!!

~Heather

 

 

a peony so beautiful we want to smack it

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We were delighted to work along with the following vendors:

Maggie Heinzel-Neel Photography: http://www.photosforyourwedding.com

Golden Scroll Soloists Quartet: http://www.goldenscrollsoloists.com/
JTD Entertainment DJ: http://www.jtdproductions.com/
Officiant Rev. Gary Deinstadt: http://www.garydeinstadt.com/rev/

 

Put a Big, Beautiful Bow on it Folks, 2014 is Done!

I can still remember one of the best pieces of advice I received when working at my first florist. I was struggling to make a perfect bow and the shop owner had 3 different designers show me the “correct way”.  Each designer showed me a different technique.  The last designer eventually told me there really was no “right way” to make a bow.  She went on to tell me you make them the way you are told to, until the day arrives where you develop your own technique and that is the day you can begin calling yourself a floral designer.

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2014 was the first year I finally felt comfortable enough to begin ignoring a lot of the advice I have received since beginning A Night in Bloom.  It was also my year of “just say no”.  I think I have reached a point where I know what works for me and my business and what does not.

If a potential order seemed to not be a match for me;  I did not hesitate to take a pass on it, no matter how pretty the details may have seemed.  I no longer worried “what if I don’t book up every single weekend of the wedding season?”   I took a lot of time off this past summer, entire weekends for my children’s birthdays; and in a very audacious move, I did not take any December orders.  Many of you are still peeved at me for that, and I’m sorry, but I had to.  This is a beautiful industry to work in, but it is also a very draining one.

Even with me taking some time off, 2014 was our best year so far!  As many of you may recall, we did a soft launch of the Flower Market last winter.  What we did not plan for was the overwhelming amount of wedding work that came in!  2014 wedding orders were off the charts for us!  I have never had a year with so many orders, and therefore since our weddings are still the core of our business, I had to put the Flower Market on hold.  I do still have the website up, and I know many of you are still hoping that we will offer everyday designs, but for the moment, I am going to keep this area of our business on hold.  But I promise, you will all be notified the moment that I decide to explore this area again!

I don’t know how I ever could have had such a successful year without the support of my amazing staff!!! These ladies are the backbone of everything we do!

Jodi, the words Thank You will never be enough for all of your hard work this season.  You have done an amazing job, and I can’t wait to start working with you again next season!  You have truly morphed into a floral designer this year with your sassy attitude, willingness to let things go, and your ability to work to all hours, in the name of making everything just a little more beautiful!  Yet the moment that really stands out in my mind was the one day when I found the studio messy, and realized we had officially broken your always neat as a pin ways.  You had become a florist!!!

Lauren, we have all really enjoyed having you with us as an intern and now as a real flower girl!  I know your time with us has been brief, but you have helped us in very significant ways!  I wish you all the very best as you near graduation, and please know that we are happy to have you with us as long as you would like to stay!

Debbie, you are a terrific friend and my very own Suzie Orman!  Thank you for always bringing me back to earth!  You may have the most difficult job of all!!!

Erica, we have been through so much!  Thank you for standing by me, my family, and this business from the very beginning.  We love you like family and look forward to even more celebrations with you and your own wonderful family!

SaraRose, you are as sweet as the flower in your name!  Thank you for all of your endless patience, and love for my rascally little children!  Bryan and I would be so lost without you!!!

Kate, you have been such a tremendous asset to our team.  We all so enjoy working with you and really hope you will consider helping us more in the future!!!

To the angels of our business, our families, friends, and fellow business owners- Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for us, from the bottom of my heart!!!

To Bryan, I realize you would have been quite happy with a “normal” life.  I never loose sight of this and I thank you for your courage in taking all of these chances with me!!!  I am so grateful to you for your encouragement, for I could not imagine a life more beautiful than the one we have together!

Me and Bryan

2014 was filled with blessings, and I know that 2015 is going to be even better!  Thank you so much to all of our past clients, so many of you are now close friends and I am so grateful for that!  I can’t think of many other businesses where clients become such good friends.

We are already feeling so much love for our 2015 couples and these dreamy events we have planned!  Please stay tuned, you won’t want to miss a single detail!!!

Much love to you all for a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!!!

~Heather

 

 

Something Needs to be Said

For the past two years  I have played “flower rescuer” to far too many couples!  I have had couples call me in tears, near hysterics, and feeling completely infuriated by so-called florists, event stylists, and planners.  People, I cannot stress this enough:  you get what you pay for.  If all your vendor has to show are some Pinterest boards of what they can do for you, this is NOT the same thing as what they can actually offer you in reality.  All of our photos are photos of work and rental items that we actually have in the here and now, not items that we can find for you or make for you.

Please do your research.  If the only experience your vendor has is working for other professionals creating and designing; this again, is not the same thing as them working on their own, getting the job done on time and on budget.

Here is my updated 2014 list of what to look for in your florist or event stylist:

1.  How long have they been in business on their own, not in the industry, but flying solo?  I am not discounting the idea of hiring a newbie.  I’m just hoping that they will be forthcoming and not overestimate what they can and cannot deliver.  More experienced designers and planners will likely charge more for having more experience.  Newcomers will likely charge less, with your understanding that things may not go 100% as planned.

2. Can they show you actual work they have done on their own, not while working under the instruction of another business?  Keep in mind if they show you a wedding that they helped with while working for another company, they were being instructed on how to put everything together, had their timeline already prepared for them, staff to go to with questions, etc.

3.  Ask for professional references if they are just starting out on their own.  If this person claims to have 50 years of experience in design or planning, they need to be able to prove this.

4. Do they have a cooler?  I know, I know, many go without them, but come on!  These are flowers for a wedding, you don’t get a do over.  If flowers wilt, there is no magic way to breathe life back into them!

5. Are they insured?  This one should go without saying, but still be sure to ask.

6. Do they have experienced back up?  This is a must!!!

7. Do they have props or rental items? Again, this goes back to Pinterest, why would a company only use stock photos of what they can do?  If they do offer these items, ask to physically see them.  If they claim they can get you the same upholstered chair that you saw on Style Me Pretty ask them if it is guaranteed by your wedding date.  The market is really tight on certain items right now.  Even antique repros may have lead times, which in many cases can be a year or more.  The same goes for custom glassware and lanterns.  Get all pricing quotes in writing.

8. How does their pricing work?  If you suddenly come across the deal of the century, you may be in for a big surprise with the actual resultsThis is one of the most common reasons why we have to play “rescue florist”.  Many beginners do not understand how to price wedding designs, and drop their clients rather than eat the cost of their mistakes.

9. How available are they?  I notice many professional wedding businesses drop off with their social media posts a lot during the months of June- October.  There is a reason for this, they are working, a lot.  When you see millions of Pins, and nonstop Tweets this may be a tip that this business has some time on its hands. 

Special considerations for Couples Hiring Planners:

I strongly recommend hiring a full service planner, especially for outdoor events and settings where weddings do not always take place.  In my opinion, if you are contracting a planner for wedding planning (not day of coordination), they should be able to provide their couples with the following:

1. Budgeting for the entire wedding.

2. Basic pricing of floral designs in the Hudson Valley.

3. Basic costs of non-floral decorative elements such as candles, twigs, twinkle lights, tablecloths, and runners.

4. They should also be able to handle things like what types of tables you will have, sizes and dimensions of bars,chairs,  table tops, aisles, and other areas needing decor.

***Another thing to consider is how well does your planner know your other vendors?  You want to be sure things will run as smoothly as possible. The more frequently they work together, the better the outcome will be.

I realize everyone needs to start somewhere. It wasn’t too long ago that I was the new kid on the block, however I was fortunate enough to have had many years of professional experience working for retail flower shops before I embarked on my adventure in small business ownership.  Pinterest wasn’t around back then, and I had to work extra hard to show clients my value.  Weddings are a lot of work. They are very special events in our lives, and they should not be treated as an add on business or a hobby.  For those of you considering styling or floral design as careers, there are plenty of other options other than events where you can get your feet wet without worrying about ruining someone’s wedding day or the legal ramifications that may follow.

Please forgive me if this sounds harsh, I am just overwhelmed by last minute orders this year because of these types of  “businesses,” and it needs to be brought to everyone’s attention before couples sign on the dotted line.  I am happy to help where I can and I am always grateful for the work.  However I fear that these are the types of incidents which make all wedding professionals look bad during a time where we are always striving to show society our worth.  Thanks for listening.

~Heather

 

 

Free Flower Fridays are back…on Instagram!

From now until Mother’s Day A Night in Bloom will be accepting contest submissions for the first ever Found Flowers Contest!  We want to see all the places flowers are popping up in your life.  If you see flowers embedded in a cast iron street lamp, pretty blooms in a store window, or even flowers in your own garden, let us know! To enter, simply snap a photo of the flowers and upload to Instagram with the hashtag: #BloomyFinds

The winner will be selected on Friday, May 9th and will be awarded a free bouquet– just in time for Mother’s Day!

*Stay tuned for next week when we announce our Kingston House Crush contest!*

Happy flower hunting!

found flowers skitch