Event Florals Planning Process
Confession: I was supposed to write this blog post about a week ago. Reality: I didn't feel inspired to write last week so I decided to hold off and wait for something to come to me. To some, this may seem like laziness or just a lame excuse to procrastinate. But for a creative-minded person like me, well, it's just the way my brain works!
As I was putting the finishing touches on a client's wedding design proposal earlier this week, I thought, "Hey, maybe someone out there would really like to know exactly what is involved in the floral planning process for an event!" And that's how I landed on this month's topic :)
Today, I'm going to walk you through my planning process all the way from a client's initial inquiry to after the event has concluded. So if you're ready to get the inside scoop, let's jump in!
This is the very first point of contact I have with a potential client. Usually, I'll receive an email from my website's contact form with the client asking me if I have availability for their event date. It is always my goal to respond as quickly as possible to let the client know if I have availability and to also set good expectations early on in our communication. If I am available, I will then email them a questionnaire which allows them to tell me all the important details, needs and budget for their big day!
Once I have taken some time to review their event details, needs, budget and inspiration photos, I will then determine if I think I will be a good fit for the client. It is sometimes tempting to want to say yes to everyone but, sometimes saying no is actually the right thing to do. If I think I can be a good fit for them, the next step of the process is for me to draft a quick event estimate. Simply put, the estimate includes individual budgets for each category. For example, I will list out the line items for the bridal party flowers, ceremony flowers, reception flowers, etc along with the individual budgets for each one of those categories. This way, the client and I can ensure that we are seeing eye to eye in regard to the financial aspect of the event.
Next up, we have the contract. Once I have gone back through the estimate and made a few adjustments, I will then email the official event contract through a program I like to use called Honeybook. This makes everything super easy to read through and comprehend and also allows my clients to E-Sign their contract and make their first payment! No need to wait on mailing the contract to the client, having them sign and mail back to me. HoneyBook really allows for smooth-sailing for both me and my client!
The Design Proposal
Ok, here's where the real fun begins! This step of the process is always where I really feel like the whole event vision starts coming together. I like to include more detailed descriptions of the designs, sample photos and even different design options for the client to choose from. For example, sometimes my clients will ask to see several different centerpiece design options. I think this allows them to feel more involved and connected to the whole design process too! Once everything is confirmed here, I'll send a final version of the proposal to my client which they will then approve, sign and make their second payment.
60 Days Out
This is when things start to get real! With only two months until the big day, I like to check in with my client and see how things are going. Event planning can be stressful sometimes so I definitely like to know how I can help in any way. Maybe they are wanting to add an extra arrangement or boutonniere. This is totally fine and a good time to make any additions or exchanges! The next payment is also due at this stage in the game.
30 Day Check Up
Similar to the 60 day point in the planning process, this marks ONE MONTH until event day! The client will send in their next payment here and this is their last chance to make any additions or exchanges in the design proposal.
Ordering the Flowers
This is the fun part for me as the florist! I like to place the flower order about a month out from the event day to ensure plenty of time. This is where I will imagine exactly which flowers will look best for the event and how many of each I will need for all of the arrangements, installations and personal flowers. This definitely takes a bit of time on my end but, it's always so exciting for me!
Just a few more days until the BIG DAY! During this week I am receiving all the flowers, processing them and designing all the floral pieces.
The Big Day
It's finally here!! Usually, this day feels like a whirlwind for me. Between loading up everything very carefully, driving to the venue, unloading everything carefully, setting up and hopefully getting to say hello and thank you to the client, it's always a VERY long and physically taxing day. BUT, all the planning and hard work pays off when I take time to stand back and gaze at everything that has come to life. And more importantly, knowing my client is satisfied and amazed with the end result is so gratifying for me!
Post-Event Check Up
Once everything is said and done and the couple has returned from their honeymoon, I like to send a handwritten note to them to thank them once again for trusting me to create their event floral vision. Writing handwritten notes to my family and friends has always been a favorite thing for me and event notes are no different! :)
I hope this gives you a little more of an inside look at the behind-the-scenes of what goes into planning the floral designs for an event! If you or someone you know is in need of event florals, please don't hesitate to contact me here.
Sending flower joy,
Morgan Elliott | Wellspring Floral
*Photography by Lindsey Mueller Photography