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

 

Megan and James’ June Lakeside Nuptials- Interlaken Inn

Ohhh this weddingggg!  Where do I even begin?  I loved this couple.  Megan’s Father was actually a funeral director at one time, so this man knew his flowers, and only wanted the very best for his Daughter.  The pressure was on, but I grew to really love this bunch!  Every vendor who worked on this wedding did.

What a lovely couple Megan and James make!  They are both so sentimental and so in love.  Megan was the first bride who ever asked for a picture with me so she has a special place in my heart; right alongside her gorgeous Peony centerpieces.

What a beautiful time of year June is for flowers!  We used Peonies, Roses and Delphinium for the majority of these designs.  I especially liked the candlelit centerpieces which adorned half of the tables.  We submerged Delphinium in cylinder vases, anchored with river rock.  It was a very pretty effect, and paired beautifully with the garden style centerpieces.

I was so honored when Megan’s mother called me a month or so after the wedding to order a silk replica of her bouquet and James’ boutonniere.  One of these days I hope to write a blog comparing the two bouquets and boutonnieres, it is always a challenge going from fresh to silks but I thought the effort was well worth it.

Well enough talking, feast your eyes on these images from Ever After Visuals!  They did such an amazing job, the first photo is my favorite!  I’m going to post mostly photos of the florals, but you really should check out the full album here: Ever After Visuals

MEGJAM_W_2007_Jm2m1Megan and James pic collage (1)megan and james2m&j2

Here is a little peek at the photos we snapped during set up:
Peony Centerpiece at Interlaken Innpeony delphinium centerpiecemenu and centerpieceextreme close up peony delphinium queen anne's laceWhat a great group of vendors we had a chance to work with on this event, among them were:

Photography- Ever After Visuals

Makeup- LaV Beauty

Coordinator- Jeanne Stark, Hudson Valley Ceremonies

Entertainment- DJ Jimmy Lutz, Lutz Entertainment

 

That’s Fabulous Friday- Spring Weddings, Flowering Branch Event and Feathering Sparrow’s Nest!

Happy almost spring, flower lovers!!!  Next week marks the first two events of our 2014 spring wedding season!  We will be keeping busy with all of the prep for these beautiful events; and by popular demand, we will also be opening the Flower Market once again!  And just in time for our FLOWERING BRANCH EVENT!!!  Forsythia, Pussy Willow and Cherry Blossom will all be making an appearance for the next several weeks!

Cherry Blossoms in Mason Jar

At the last meeting with the Unique Ladies of the Hudson Valley I was so impressed with Krista Jones, founder of Sparrow’s Nest! http://www.sparrowsnestcharity.com/ After loosing a number of her very dear friends to cancer, she saw first hand how difficult this battle is for mothers who are often, “too sick to cook, to sick to think of what to make for dinner, to sick to shop for it, and often too financially destitute to buy it.”  Which is essentially how Sparrow’s Nest began, Krista began cooking for her friends in need.  These days Krista and her team of amazing volunteers now cook and deliver 2 meals  a week to families, so Moms can “fight the fight”.  However, this wonderful charity could really use a new, health department approved kitchen to be able to continue their work here in the Hudson Valley.  So we are doing what we can over here in flowerland to help out.

Blog logo collage

We will be donating 5% of all wedding deposits to Sparrow’s Nest up until May 31, 2014.  In addition, since you all seem to love our $5 Minis at the Flower Market so much, we are selling them with feather accents all spring, and will be donating $. 50 for each one sold to Sparrow’s Nest as well.  These little beauties make lovely little accents for Easter Dinners, Graduation Parties, Communions, Confirmations, and any other spring events that you can think of!  As always, please give us at least two day’s notice for larger orders of Minis.

feathered mini with sparrow bird

Mini with Hydrangea, Ranucula, Hyacinth, and Feather accent

For those of you who don’t already know, all of our Minis are placed in either recycled baby food jars, recycled votive candle glass, and any other tiny little glass jars we can find.  So when you purchase one you are keeping this glassware out of landfills, helping a great charity, and adding more beauty to your life and the world!  What’s not to love?

We hope to see you next week, and look forward to sharing what we are up to as the weddings unfold!

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!!!

~Heather

 

Trends on Thursday- Lovin’ on Lanterns!

Lovin' on LanternsInspiration board by our wonderful Nadine :-)

Oh my goodness, Hudson Valley couples are just crazy for lanterns these days!  Maybe it is their romantic candlelit glow; or perhaps it is their ability to fill up a lot of real estate on reception tables, without the higher price tag attached to fresh floral designs.  Whatever the reason, here is what you need to know:

To get the most impact, consider pairing different height lanterns together; such as small, medium and large sizes.  Although they are lovely on their own, they can look even better when dressed up with luxurious ribbons, and fresh floral accents.  In the past we have had a lot of luck with just adding a few blown open Roses and ribbons to the tops of lanterns.  Our favorite way to dress them up is to place each lantern into the center of a wreath.

For those of you with very limited budgets, keep in mind that lanterns can easily transition from ceremony to reception. If you are having an outdoor ceremony, hang your lanterns from shepherd’s hooks.  If you are having an indoor ceremony use them to line your aisle by tying them to your chairs, or  placing them next to each chair.  Once the ceremony is over, move the lanterns to the reception tables.

To save the very most on your wedding budget consider renting lanterns from your florist or event designer.  The other alternative is to head over to Ikea and scoop them up; however you will need to store them in the months leading up to your wedding.  You will also want to purchase more than you think you will need! In the event that you actually need 14 and you have only purchased 12, you may have to scramble if they have discontinued your style.  I would STRONGLY advise skipping Home Goods and the Christmas Tree Store for  these items.  Rarely will they have the amount you need.  And should you need just one more, you will really be stuck sourcing them, since many times the accessories in these stores are discontinued already.

Here are two of A Night in Bloom’s most sought after rental  lanterns.  The first one is a rustic garden style one, which coordinates with many of our other pieces.

20140208_095706

The second one is a style which is designed to be placed in outdoor gardens but this style contains LED candles in them and therefore may be used at venues which don’t allow candles.  They also make excellent accessories to outdoor pathways, should you have an evening wedding.  They are great for outdoor, tented soirees!

Kurtz_04Photo courtesy of Candeo Photo:

http://www.candeophoto.com/

Hopefully this gives you enough of an overview on this trend to get started.  Happy planning everyone!

~Heather

 

 

Tips on Tuesday: Potted Plants as Ceremony Decor and More!

pottedplants

This is a post I have been meaning to write for some time now.  You can save a small fortune on your wedding florals by incororating potted plants into your overall decor!  I would love to think that every client that walks through our doors will have a huge budget to delegate to items such as alter arrangements and entryways, but this is simply not the case.

Why not try checking out your local garden center for summer and fall weddings and invest in the largest size potted Petunias or Mums they have?  Then have your florist add tall ornamental grasses, branches or twigs to them for added height and drama.  Just be sure you decide who is in charge of transporting these bad boys!  They will take up a ton of room in most cars and they will not share space with other items such as vases, chalkboards, or any other DIY accessories you may be transporting.

Another great option (though quite a bit more expensive), is to use items such as Lemon Trees.  They may be a little pricey but you can have them in your homes after the wedding, or give them as super thoughtful gifts.  I have even had couple purchase trees with the root balls on them, which they planted afterward.

One of my favorite couples of 2012 asked us to provide lots of potted lavender for their wedding day, which they later used to landscape their property!

Smaller potted plants such as African Violets, Kalanchoe, Succulents, and fresh Herbs are all favorites for centerpiece and favor options.  We have become friends with quite a few local garden centers through the years, and would be delighted to help you source just the right plants or trees for your special day.  This is certainly a trend worth considering.  Happy Planning!

~Heather