Finding our Florist

florist[source: Ralph Daily via Flickr]

Finding a florist was a study in contrasts. While I had a surprisingly easy time figuring out what kind of flowers I wanted to have, I had an equally difficult time finding a florist who could deliver what I wanted within our budget.

I get it: I live in the SF Bay Area – vendors do not come cheap. But I really thought our new $1,000 budget would make finding a florist not so painful. I can’t image how I even thought we would be able to do anything with our original budget! A few potential florists had $1,500 MINIMUMS while others informed me that it was impossible to get the style I wanted with our budget.

But I was undaunted. I was able to find a day of coordinator under budget so I knew I’d be able to find someone to put together our flowers. Out of the 12 florists I contacted, I scheduled meetings with three of them, all of which did not flinch at our budget.

The mister met with the florists with me, which was a great help because he’s the official “Asker of Tough Questions.” The first florist we met with was nice and took the time to flesh out more of what I wanted and gauge our price sensitivities. While I did appreciate her careful attention to our bottom line, I did feel like she was pushing me to lower cost blooms above all else. She asked me if I liked carnations and even after hemming and hawing and finally saying, “Well, I don’t HATE them,” when I received her quote, there were carnations everywhere, including the corsages for our moms. I’m more than willing to spend some extra dollars on our moms’ flowers! She was more than willing to revise her proposal so it was more in line with the other proposals we received and while she was the most affordable, we crossed her off.

We met the second florist at her home, which she works out of. I liked her but couldn’t really get a real read on her because she rushed us out of our meeting. After spending nearly an hour with the first florist, I wasn’t prepared to meet and leave in under 30 minutes but that’s exactly what happened. She asked a few questions about our wedding and what we had planned so far, what we wanted, and bing, bang, boom! We were shaking hands and walking out the door. Her proposal ended up being almost $200 over budget and another one bit the dust.

The third and final florist was my first choice and I had my fingers and toes crossed that she would work out. We met her at Starbucks and in between talking about our wedding and floral visions (she told me that if she were to get married again, she would like to use the flowers I chose!) we chatted about our families and life. It was almost as if we were already friends. I was nervous about what her price would be with all the additional pieces we discovered we needed (we added two bridal party members, flowers for my grandparents and some other decor pieces for the living room of our venue) but we both left the meeting wanting her to work out. She took the time to visit the venue to get an idea of what kind of arrangement would look good on the mantle in the living room and presented her proposal: while it was more than the first florist, she came in under budget!

I’m so excited to be working with Mayumi of Pricanti Floral Arts and Design. She has been a real sweetheart and we were really impressed that she took it upon herself to visit our venue. Not only did she come in under budget, but she also had the best floral recommendations to boot! Orchids, peonies, anemones and ranunculus? What?!

pricanti floral headerThis was the picture that made me fall in love with Mayumi.

I’m confident that Mayumi will be able to bring my floral visions to life and I’m really looking forward to seeing what she ends up designing. Now let’s pray that I’ll get my parrot tulips. She emailed me back in July to tell me she saw some Parrot tulips at the flower mart so there’s definitely hope!

Tip: If you feel like your preferences are not being heard, SPEAK UP! Yes, the vendors are the pros and know how things work but if you’re not feeling their recommendation, you don’t have to accept it.

How did you find your florist? What factor went into your decision?


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