A Lesson in Floral Design and Life

At 9:30 P.M. on a Monday I get a call from a nervous bride. Her wedding is in five days and her florist bailed out last minute.

I felt an immediate desire to help.

I explained to the bride that I'm already contracted for that day, however considering the circumstances I would call my wholesaler to see if they have the flowers she wants available.

P.S. Her florist did not order her flowers or have her specialty containers on hand - five days before the wedding. Essentially, her florist did nothing. I was starting from zero.

Here is how the rest of the day panned out:

At 6:00 A.M. the following morning I made several calls and was able to find ALL the flowers needed to make her:

  • 15 centerpieces
  • 1 bridal bouquet
  • 7 bridesmaids bouquets
  • 10 cocktail table arrangements and more
  • I also called additional staff to be sure they were on call to assist me

At 7:00 A.M. I call to say I can do it all. I've located the flowers needed and I will personally go find the specialty containers and vases she wants for her centerpieces later in the day.

The bride asks about pricing, so I provide her with my pricing  - $3,000 for everything, including delivery.

At 9:00 A.M. the bride says my price is higher than the previous quote she received and asks if I can do it for less. Can I do it for less?? [Cue Lee's eyes bugging out of her head] Are you kidding me?

I explain that I need a definite yes or no because I must let my wholesaler know if I am buying the flowers that I placed on hold and I only have a few hours to get the necessary items she needed because my week was already filled with prior commitments.

At 10:30 A.M. she says "no thank you." She can't spend any more than what she originally budgeted.

To recap :

The previous person quoted $2,000. This florist also previously made the bride a sample that in no way resembled what she wanted (this was told to me by the bride). However, she had faith they would come through on her big day. This was not the case - the hired florist bailed on her last minute and the price they quoted was then meaningless since they provided nothing!!

The bride was having a wedding for 160 + guests at a private residence of a friend. Rented items included:

  • Tent
  • Portable toilets
  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • Linens
  • Specialty vintage china
  • Flatware
  • Glassware
  • Caterer, etc.
  • Plus the cost of hair, make up, manicure, and countless other items

In the end, I spent about 3 hours trying to help someone I never met along with the time that my wholesaler spent confirming the availability of flowers on hand.

Lessons learned:
Try not to make the same mistake twice. This goes to the bride and everyone.

For myself, try not to make your problem, my problem and waste my time, energy and the time of my resources  all who were all on call waiting to help.