One aspect of planning that really wasn’t a priority to me was flowers. I mean, I love flowers: I love getting them sent to me, I enjoy buying them at the store every now and then to spruce up the kitchen, and I love the way they smell. But I’m definitely not THAT Bride. You know, the Bride that HAS to have pink peonies even at a December wedding. That’s just not me.
In my last wedding, flowers was something I literally had no involvement in. I mean I picked my colors, and they worked around those. But I didn’t pick out the bouquets, or the centerpieces and I have no idea what they cost. All I really know is that they were BEAUTIFUL. But that, again, is thanks to my wonderful ex SIL’s who took care of everything in the flower department (and even got them at wholesale prices!) So when it came time set a flowers budget, I literally had NO IDEA. So I set my budget at $500 for everything. I thought that sounded like a LOT. But I also knew that I was guessing and that it might fluctuate a bit. When I was looking at the different inspiration blogs online, I knew what i had fallen in love with couldn’t be more then that, right? I fell in love with simple centerpieces like this:
Photo Credit Wedding Chicks via Pinterest
And I mean, Baby’s Breath centerpieces are SIMPLE, and CHEAP, right? So, since I had no idea where to start with florists, at my January visit to the venue, when our DOC offered to put me into contact with a florist she has worked with in the past. “She’s very sweet, and since she works out of a fruit stand, she has low overhead and has VERY reasonable prices.” AWESOME. Or so I thought.
I emailed S in regards to setting up a consultation and sent the images above, and a few of the bouquets I had liked. She said that they would be super easy to do, but never quoted prices. Lesson learned #1: get even a ROUGH estimate before setting a consultation so you know if it’s even worth your time. Going off of my DOC’s recommendation I scheduled a consultation and MOH went with me to check it out. S was very nice and the sample bouquets and boutonnieres she made for me were GORGEOUS. I LOVED them. But still no prices. It’s a good thing MOH was taking notes because I had MAJOR sticker shock. MAJOR. I had researched flower prices on Weddingbee and as far as bouquets go, her prices were a LITTLE bit on the high end, but not OUTRAGEOUS. But $25 for a boutonniere?!? REALLLLY. For Button Mums. Ummm OK. That’s where the appointment started going downhill. She just kept mentioning stuff and I kept nodding. Lesson Learned #2: Ask VERY specific questions, not generic ones, you will regret it. S was very nice and let me take home the sample bouquets to admire and share with Mr. B. As she was wrapping them up, she informed me she would send me an itemized quote later that night, and casually threw in, that her delivery fee is usually $500, but because she loved my venue and I was a referral she was knocking off $50. The rest of the conversation went something like this:
S: “Also because you were a referral, I waived the $150 consultation fee.”
J: “Oh Thank you, that’s really nice I really appreciate it”
What I was thinking:
Hold the phone. CONSULTATION FEE? You sent me 6 emails and not once did you mention a consultation fee. If you waive a fee, I didn’t know existed…I feel like you’re guilting me into booking you.
Button Mums Boutonniere
Driving the hour home, I was mentally adding up stuff based on what she had mentioned. In my head I came up with about $1000, and then I rounded up to $1400 because I figured that I was under-guessing. Then I started stressing out.
But why stress? I haven’t seen the quote yet, I’m probably way overreacting. RIGHT?
WRONG. Oh SO wrong.
$1900! For Baby’s Breath centerpieces! Cue mini panic attack. I mean I knew my original “budget” was really more of a guess then a budget, but this quote QUADRUPLED that. Doubled, I could probably handle. But quadrupled? N-O. After a few days, and a lot of reassurance from my other bride friends that I wasn’t crazy and that was way too much for what I wanted, I politely emailed her that I would be going with someone else. Man was I scared to send that email!
Did you work with a vendor who seemed to be taking advantage of you? Did you learn your lesson about asking questions?