Friday, February 22, 2013

When there's a florist in the family Part 1

When my sister announced her engagement a few years ago I was so excited for her!  She wanted me to be the Matron of Honor and only attendant, and of course, her floral designer!  The tricky part- we live 6 hours apart.  We planned everything via phone, email, text messages and one or two visits face to face.  I love my sister dearly and she made my job easy.  She liked orchids.  The color scheme was white, green and touches of lavender.  Other than that, she left everything up to me! 
The logistics of designing a wedding out of town is 1.) where to get the flowers from and 2.) WHERE to design the flowers.  Do I do everything here in Virginia and transport it?  Not as practical as finding a location in Columbus (OH) to design everything.  Thankfully after being a member of the floral community in C-bus (as locals call it) for so many years I have wonderful friends who I can count on to help me out.  My good friend David works for a local wholesaler and they have plenty of space so I was able to order all my flower through him and design everything at the wholesale house.  GREAT.  Now, how am I supposed to do my Matron of Honor duties, get ready, dressed and deliver flowers to the ceremony & reception? 
Now here comes my love of orchids.  Not only are they versatile but long lasting.  I did the orchids on the pew candle holders the night before, right after the rehersal.  The rest, well, remember my good friend David? My wonderfully generous friend David?!!  He delivered the rest to the ceremony and reception locations. 
Orchid personal flowers are great because, again, they last and also they are *almost* crush proof and light-weight.  This is my brother-in-law's.
 The rosary you see is attached to my sister's bouquet.  It is a very special rosary, from Ireland, belonging to our great great aunt Mary and is made from the green Conemara marble only found on the west coast of Ireland.
Now I want to make a point about lighting effects.  The photographer was wonderful.  And the two pictures above illustrate how the same flowers look completly different indoors with incandescent lighting versus outside in natural lighting.  Brides beware of this when you see that "perfect" shade of flower may just be the lighting giving it that fuschia glow and not the actual flower! 
Me and my sister :)
 The arrangement was one of a pair I did for the fireplace, the pic above
is the table centerpieces.
The beautiful Columbus skyline in the back ground at the venue's outdoor stairs leading down to the Scioto River.
The cake !
The happy couple :)  It was a beautiful wedding for my sister and her groom and I am so happy that I could be a part of their special day. :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Delivery and Set up Fees for Events

In the video above, Chris Kattan illustrates how NOT to load flowers :)
Just what factors go into establishing set-up and delivery fees?  Actually quite a little bit.  It's not just the distance traveled and the fuel and time it takes to travel to various locations.  A small wedding can take up to 30 minutes to pack up in the van properly so nothing shifts during travel. (and it may only be traveling 10 minutes away!) A large wedding with centerpieces, bouquets, extra flowers and greenery, toolboxes, supplies, take much longer.  We have to take into consideration what will be taken off the truck first when we arrive, secure centerpieces so that they don't go spilling  on the way, secure bouquets so that they aren't in danger of moving/shifting/tipping over also. For the most part, we only have the floor of the van to utilize and not the entire van space (floor to ceiling).  Centerpieces are not able to be stacked on top of each other.   Once we arrive at the location it's not a simple matter to unload.  Every item must be carefully removed from it's secure location so flowers and foliages don't get broken or crushed.  Depending on the venue, the distance from where we are allowed to park to the location of the event can be quite a distance to walk and carry everything.  This usually involves several trips before we are even able to place centerpieces on tables and deliver bouquets to the brides.  If there are any arrangements or flowers that need to be designed on site this adds time and labor to the price.  After everything is in place we clean up any debris off floors, tables etc from placing arrangements. Then we pack up all the boxes, flowers, toolboxes and any other supplies into the van for the return trip.  If more than one vehicle is needed for transportation, add another vehicle, fuel, time and labor of additional employees.  Weddings and special events take lots of hard work to achieve that professional, polished look for you and your guests upon arriving at the event location. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine Orders

We still have roses! We still have lots of gorgeous flowers to make that someone special smile!  Delivery options still available for tues, weds and thursday...don't wait till the last minute or you might miss out!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Careful with those internet sites...

If you Google "florists in winchester" what pops up first are 'order gathering' shops links.

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NONE of these are REAL LOCAL FLORISTS.  They are buildings of phone operators who take your order and then try to wire it to a REAL local florist.   Always go to the "about us" page or "contact us" page and it should be clearly listed a street address in the local town.  Most family run flower shops will have actual pictures of their shop or pictures of the owners.  #2 Merit Florist may have family members on the CEO board, but they don't have a physical shop in Winchester....I think they operate out of Texas.  Do your research and always use a Real Local Florist, even if it isn't my shop, I would rather you deal locally than waste your money on these national chain "fronts".   

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Daily Delivery tips

As of the 2010 Census, there were 78,000 people living in Frederick County.  I can not even begin to list how many businesses there are in Frederick county, but if you flip through the yellow pages, there are many.  That is why it is vitally important to give us as much correct information as possible as to the address where you would like your arrangement delivered.  As much as we would like to assist every customer, we simply cannot look up that information for you.  It would be much like taking all your holiday cards to the post office without addresses and asking them to look everything up for you.  
We may hire extra drivers during the holidays, some will be more familiar with certain areas of the county and city than others, however, it is impossible to know and memorize every person working at every business. For example, Valley Health employs hundreds if not thousands of employees, some which rotate between medical facilities and medical buildings.  This is why we need a phone number, department name, job title, etc.  We have to be able to track that person down should they leave early, be out to lunch, or in some instances share a similar name with another employee at that location. 
Correct physical addresses, including company name, suite/floor #, department name, phone number etc is vital.   Correct home addresses are equally important as well as cell phone numbers for recipients.  Most people work outside the home during the day. And many of the houses in the county are not marked with a house number.  The number is on the mail box, possibly in a grouping of mailboxes that sit at the bottom of a long drive with many houses on it.  These are just some examples of difficulties that can occur when we try to deliver your flower arrangement in a timely manner.