In addition to working with Sophie at Blossom and Vine, I also work at Sol Yoga in Frederick, MD. One day over the summer, I was talking to Erin, a yoga teacher, and she suggested we do a staff flower workshop because yoga and flowers clearly go hand-in-hand. So we set a date and invited the staff out to Daphne Hill for a floral design workshop. We asked Jen of Jen S Photography to come take photos and create an arrangement with us (she turned out to be one heck of a designer!). The day was warm and lovely and we had a blast getting to arrange just for fun and share the beauty of flowers with the Sol team. The icing on the cake, though, was when studio founder, Dorcas McWilliams, surprised us all and showed up at the workshop straight from the airport. She lives in New Caledonia and runs the studio remotely. She had secretly made plans to be in town during the workshop and to be present for the 300 hour teacher graduation, taking place the same weekend. The BEST surprise and the best day.
You know in your heart that your wedding florist understands your vision. You trust she has the skill to bring it to life within your budget. This leaves you feeling relaxed and excited in the days leading up to your wedding. These steps give you the tools to choose your florist based on trust instead of price tag.
Step 1: KNOW YOUR BUDGET
It's hard to compare apples to apples when it comes to hand-crafted, custom designed, one of a kind floral arrangements. A good florist will be able to create a floral design plan that you love and that fits within your budget (as long as it fulfills her minimum). KNOWING your honest and true budget and being able to easily communicate that to a potential florist allows you the freedom to make the final decision based on who you trust the most rather than being stuck in a "how low can you go" pricing game. Take the time to sit down with all of the people involved in paying for the wedding. A lot of couples spend 8-10% of their wedding budget on flowers depending on how flower heavy they go. Have an open and frank conversation about your overall budget and how the breakdown looks. Get comfortable and confident with your budget.
Step 2: DO THE RESEARCH
Again, TRUST is the name of the game. You can learn tons about your potential wedding vendors before first contact. Here's how...
- Do you love her aesthetic? Look at her Instagram feed, blog, website portfolio and published work. If you said "Spring Pastels and go..." do you have confidence she would hand you something you love? This is the kind of trust you are looking for.
- Does she have a minimum budget requirement? If so, does your budget meet it? If not, try not to feel offended if she politely declines to work with you on this event. She might be able to recommend a different florist with a similar style but a business geared toward weddings in your price range.
- READ HER REVIEWS! These are like friends whispering "I've been there and this was my experience". Look for quality over quantity. Sentences like "she understood how to make the space feel a certain way" and "she worked to understand my vision and created something better than what I could have imagined" help to build trust.
- Look at her about page. Do you like her as a person? Do your values seem to align? This part is about personality fit. Trust your instincts, it is much easier to work successfully with a person you like.
STEP 3: PICK YOUR TOP TWO
Now that you have done the leg work, you are able to confidently save time and energy by narrowing your list down to two florists that you feel you already know and love. If you have a favorite, reach out to her first. Your florist will pick up on the vibe that you are already excited about her. Knowing you are serious will give her the confidence to put her heart and soul into understanding your vision. She will pour her creative juices into creating a mood board and proposal designed just for you that you can both fall in love with.
Once you find a florist you can trust, sit back and enjoy being engaged!
What a flower, beauty and fun filled weekend this little family had in Hillsville, VA! We hung by the river...
I did some fun Mother's Day arrangements using flowers from my mother-in-laws garden and we all got to relax a little!
As the mom of 4 YOUNG kids, I sometimes (read several times a day), feel myself going nuts!! It is so easy to get bogged down in the tediousness of the bijillion diaper changes, tons of meals & snacks which turn into tons of food & crumbs everywhere, LAUNDRY, errands, etc. of each day. Often, when I look up and out of our little bubble, I find hurt and hardship and sadness going on in the world. Despair and a feeling of being simply overwhelmed can sometimes totally overtake me.
It was in one of these moments of feeling drained of hope, that I stumbled upon a picture (on Pinterest...of all the productive things I could have been doing during nap time!) of the most beautiful bouquet I had ever seen. It was wild and fresh and lush and made me smile. I found more and more beautiful flowers and smiled a bit more and more. By the time the babies woke up, I was magically feeling refreshed.
I don't want to ignore the hard parts of life but I do want to choose to see the beauty of life more. For me, flowers are a way of helping me see the simple beauty that DOES exist.
As I have started to pay more attention to flowers, I am finding them everywhere! I find myself smiling when I see them growing wild on the side of the road. I find myself loading the kids up to go search for them in the woods. I find myself giddy with excitement as the little seeds that we planted are popping up. Then, I look up and see my daughter giddy with excitement! She is outside in her bare feet, the babies are playing in the grass and we are all here, enjoying the beauty of the spring day. And I, gasp, am truly in the moment, enjoying the sweetness of getting to be the mother of these beautiful babies.
So, I have become flower wild! I have been reading flower books, taking flower classes, talking to flower farmers and designers. I have been planting and arranging and selling :) as many flowers as I can.
Yes, there have been late nights arranging, nap times filled with "work" and Saturdays spent begging my tired husband to hang with the kids while I till the beds. But, there have been many more family tromps through the woods gathering flowers, kids with muddy feet digging in the dirt and cold beers with my husband at the end of a productive day.
In the end, my hope is that this little business of mine will not be something that I do in addition to being a mother. It is my hope that it will become my style of mothering. I hope that it will help me live in the moment and to appreciate and see the beauty in these fleeting days of being a mom to 4 YOUNG kids. To focus on the good and to bring as many flowers into the lives of my little family and in turn, into the lives of as many people as possible!!
So, please follow along in our adventure. I hope this will be a place to find a little piece of beauty in a day that may need it :)