When you run a business, is all money good in your books? This probably sounds like a pretty strange question, because the purpose in business is to make money right? But where each business draws the line in the sand is their choice. Recently I’ve heard of businesses declining working with same sex couples, other businesses refuse work on Valentine’s Day, some will not take on events during the Christmas/New Year period as so many growers shut over the holidays so stock is hard to come by. Each to his own I say.
When I was growing up, the old adage of never discussing religion, politics and money at a dinner party, seemed to be pretty sensible. In many ways, this decorum should also apply in business, after all, if a client wants us to decorate a chuppah, an Orthodox Church, or an arbour in a garden, what bearing should our personal views have?
Like every other business in the world, all sorts of briefs are going to land on your table. Truthfully, the amount of times I’ve been handed a bunch of blue dyed orchids, and thought….what on earth am I going to create with these 😂 is more than I care to count. My personal view is that I am a designer, I am given a brief, and I execute that brief. Flowers choices aside, there are some scenarios or situations with the (ahem) ‘group’ dynamic that could perhaps influence a decision in taking on work. Like any relationship, communication with your vendors is so incredibly important. Both parties must feel they are able to work well together, that they are on the same page and that there is a mutual respect. Here are a few tips to getting the most out of your meeting.
- If you have a budget- BE HONEST!
We all have a budget to work with in life, it’s a reality of the daily grind. If you have a non-negotiable budget the best conversation to have with your suppliers is one that lays this on the table, so they best understand what scope they have to work with. Let’s be real- your can’t have champagne on a beer budget.
- Have your decision makers present
To have a productive meeting with your vendors it is imperative you have the decision makers present. Meeting your suppliers, getting that initial impression, building a rapport, and having a discussion that includes the vital players is the only way everyone can be on the same page. By the same token, having people there who are not vital to the process can be very distracting. The conversation can travel to too many places, and too many opinions can leave everyone confused. Heard the saying ‘Too many chefs spoil the broth’? This is certainly the case when conceptualising with, or briefing your suppliers. Whilst it is a very exciting time for many members of the family, there may be other times throughout the planning process that you can utilise the many hands that make light work.
- Schedule your meetings as and when you are ready to make decisions
There is a lot to organise in a wedding, but there is also a natural progression to ticking off the tasks. Have you decided on the date? Have you booked the venue? These are the very first things you need to decide upon before thinking about anything else.
Once you date has been decided, your flower choices are determined according to season. Does that mean you are now ready to meet with a florist? No. A wedding florist will generally provide a colour consultation free of charge, but the cost of sitting down with each client can be costly to a business if the meetings multiply or if meetings do not result in decision making.
If you want to get an idea of prices before you are ready to make design/concept decisions, Florist with Flowers has a Price Guide online that you can check out here.
Have your bridal gown, as well as any bridesmaids gowns purchased/ordered so that your florist knows what colour palette he/she will be working with. If you could also have suit/tie/accessories worked out, it helps your consultant get the whole picture.
- When things change- keep your vendors in the loop
Life rarely goes according to plan, things do change and everyone understands that. Just bear in mind that your vendors decline other work based on your booking, and the work involved in your brief. When reductions are required, give your vendors plenty of notice. Major reductions are usually not accepted closer to the wedding day as there is little chance the vendor will be able to recoupe the income will additional work. Booking deposits are generally non refundable.
Getting married or planning a large event is an exciting time. To have the best experience it is important to choose quality suppliers, be prepared to make compromises when your budget does not match your vision, and to communicate with all parties to make sure you don’t assume something is understood, but has been left unspoken.