If you have not already heard, myself and one of my stylists, Jaime, are doing an IGTV series called “Wedding Wednesdays”. This series started because as I am planning my own wedding, things actually ended up being a little more difficult than I thought! SO, we started this to help brides with some of the leg work and do some of the research on things that were a little more time consuming in the wedding planning process. This last video we posted, was a deep dive into 2 local florists and I wanted to post in depth their response to the process of booking them as your florist! Enjoy the read!
Marigold + Vase
Established 2018 by Kacy Whittington
I have worked in the floral industry for 9 years. I got my start in a grocery store. I was a cashier and basically begged my manager for the floral manager position ( having never even owned a house plant! ) and insisted that I would do well and learn whatever I needed to succeed. I got the job! I had an awkward first year of learning as much as I could on my own. Trial and error. Pinterest. Instagram. Books. Magazines. I absorbed anything I could and put it into practice.
I quickly realized how much I enjoyed working with flowers. It was art. I had always loved art. I grew up crafting, painting, drawing, making my own clothes, and I never could have imagined it would evolve into working with flowers. I truly feel I was meant for this and got so lucky in being given the chance at the job.
Over the next 8 years I bounced around between a few floral shops and grocery stores that offered full service flowers including weddings, events, and funerals. By the fall of 2018 I decided to start a little passion project for myself as a creative outlet. I wasn’t fulfilled at my day job and knew spending time crafting floral designs at home for myself, family and friends would be rewarding. By January 2019 I had a name for this project. Marigold + Vase!
I think the biggest steps towards me finding my place in the Buffalo Wedding scene were doing pop ups at markets like Horsefeathers and Jack Craft Fair. The reactions from people, including other artists and vendors, were so wonderful and encouraging. From there, meeting new friends and participating in fun and artistic photo shoots seemed to fuel the fire and I was quickly starting to fill my calendar with wedding consultations! I have literally started a business almost entirely based off my Instagram. What a world!
I had 5 weddings for 2019 which was the perfect amount to start with. I’ve done several events, large photo shoots, and supplied Root and Bloom with fresh cut bouquets and arrangements during the summer. By fall I went down to part time at my full time job to allow myself more time to focus on Marigold + Vase. As of March 2020 I will officially be self employed and 100% focused on Marigold + Vase.
2020 is looking like an extremely promising year! Currently I have 18 weddings booked for 2020 and even a couple for 2021! I am currently working from my home studio but with how well things have been going I am thinking and dreaming of expanding in the next couple years!
My hopes and goals are to connect with brides who are looking for unique and non traditional florals for their weddings. I am inspired by a lot of the floral trends I see from the West Coast. I enjoy mixing soft and feminine with funky and unexpected texture, dramatic colors, wild greenery, and dried elements. I am not your grandma’s florist!
My Tips and My Practices
1.What do YOU like? It’s okay not to know right away. Spend some time on Pinterest or Instagram. Follow and save as many accounts and photos as possible. What are the common themes? Styles? Colors? Even if your likes are all over the place, it’s a great starting point for you to see what you’re drawn to. Are all the bouquets white and pink? Vibrant and colorful? Jewel tones? Are the bouquets round and classic in style? Are they asymmetrical in shape with wild branches and greenery hanging down? Do the bouquets you like tend to have roses and hydrangeas and common flowers you see in the store often? Do they feel romantic when you look at them? Or do the bouquets look abstract and packed with colors and flowers you wouldn’t even think of? Are they fun and interesting? Are you ALLERGIC to anything?
2. Stalk a Florist. Once you decide on what style YOU like and represents YOU, then start searching for a local florist who fits your style and vibe. I am all about each bride having flowers that show off her personality and of course excite and inspire her! I believe the flowers should be a fun and easy part of wedding planning. I love when the bride’s give me a color scheme and let me run with it! The best bride’s are those who have trust in me and totally believe in my creativity and want to be surprised on their special day. Narrow down your favorite florists and follow them, watch their stories, save their photos that are your favorites. Interact with them! I love when brides or even potential brides comment or message me even just to give a little compliment or ask me curious question! I also love it when I find out a bride and I are both totally obsessed with Gilmore Girls. I think a connection can be very important and beneficial to a good relationship with any vendor, especially a florist! I enjoy getting to know my brides. It helps me feel more confident when creating and understanding THEM. When you’re ready to reach out and set up a consultation. Don’t be shy. Do it quickly. For me a lot of my brides have been reaching out anywhere from 8 months to a year in advance!
3. What do you need? It is helpful going into your floral planning with a basic understanding of what you will need. Who is in your bridal party? They will need bouquets and boutonnieres. Do you plan to have a flower girl or ring bearers? Depending on their age there are lots of options to include them. Traditionally family members you are close with or want to honor or spotlight on the day of will also receive a corsage or boutonniere. Is your wedding outdoors or indoors? Is the venue very colorful and decorated already or too plain? There are so many options for ceremony decor but it really depends on the venue. Ask the venue about their rules for floral vendors and their suggestions for making the most of the space. Remember your ceremony is going to be photographed the most and if it is within your budget I would always suggest some floral decor for this moment! Reception decor is another major portion of the wedding to consider. Find out how many tables, what shape, and placement they will be in. Is the dining area dark? Does it need some color and maybe some candles? Do you want the tables to make a statement to your guests and impress them? You could do large and showy arrangements loaded with flowers and surrounded by candles and greenery. Do you want this portion of the evening to be more low key? You could do loose greens or just a small and simple collection of bud vases on the tables. Again, always ask the venue what they suggest or what they have seen done before that they liked.
When I am helping brides plan for their reception I typically give them a detailed list of all the options I think THEY would like and that are within their budget. I will also create either a Word Document, Pinterest Board, or text them photo examples showing them what each option would resemble. I try very hard to make sure any idea or suggestion I give a bride I can show them some sort of visual reference. I want all my brides to feel comfortable and knowledgeable about their options.
4. What is your budget? I do like to ask this upfront. I know it can be an uncomfortable topic but it is out of practicality I ask. Even a price range is a great thing to have an idea about. Flowers for weddings can be anywhere anywhere from $800-$6000+ depending on your florist and YOUR needs and wants. For me weddings range from $1,500-$3,000 for a standard wedding. A grand or highly stylized wedding could be closer to $4,000-$6,000. All weddings are different and it is important to discuss in detail what each bride dreams of, what she is prepared to spend, what is most important regarding flowers, and what she is willing to part with if her budget doesn’t allow. For most of my brides I give them a lot of choices in each category so they can find a good balance and mix and match bouquet, ceremony, and reception options to best suit them and their budget.
5. Remember you are dealing with Mother Nature!- Every element I am dealing with is a product of mother nature and therefore I do not have control over it. I try to be as transparent and practical as possible when discussing specific flowers and colors with brides. I will never promise something that is not in season, doesn’t exist, or is too fragile to be in a bouquet during an outside ceremony on a 90 degree day. Sometimes “coral” can actually be hot pink or peachy in color. Sometimes white can be slightly creamy or green. If you’re asking for a specific garden rose I will do my best to procure it but I will also let you know that If I cannot get that particular rose I will substitute with something similar. The more open and understanding you are with these natural elements the more I can do for you! Having a color scheme and knowing a few flowers you love is awesome! If you have those and let me build on that for you I can create something really special!
6. My process from start to finish!- When a bride reaches out to me the most important information for me to know right away is Her name, wedding date, venue, and budget if she has one. I also love to know how they found me. Was it through Instagram? Did a friend refer them? Did they meet me at an event? After confirming if their date is still available I would like to start with a phone consultation. During this phone call, which usually last about 30-45 minutes, I gather as many details as the bride has so far especially any color schemes or decor themes for her wedding. If she has photos to share for inspiration I love to see those. I guide her through the conversation starting with her bridal party, family personals, ceremony, and reception ideas. We discuss what is most important for her flowers. Does she want very specific flowers and colors or more of a “ designer’s choice” package where she gives me a general description and lets me choose all the specifics. I take notes and from there email her with a detailed proposal including pricing. The proposal also includes additional ideas and options that I think they may value as well as the steps to move forward and book if they’re interested. To book your wedding date I require a small deposit and signed contract. Usually after a bride has booked I set up a Pinterest Vision Board for their wedding flowers and we set up a time to sit down face to face and dive deeper into her wedding details! This can be whenever a bride wants but my main goal is to always have as much finalized as possible as soon as possible. Final decisions I encourage to be made at least 3-5 months before the wedding. I highly encourage brides to contact me with any questions or ideas they have along the way. I am even open to texting. I know sometimes they just want to share a quick idea or photo and I know how practical texting can be sometimes. I try to always end any form of communication with an acknowledgment of when our next check in will be so they never think I just dropped of the planet. Just this week I sent out Check In emails to all my summer and fall brides to set the pace for the rest of the year with each of them.
1250 Niagara Street, Buffalo