Photography by Anna Godwin

At Southern Posies, our heart for our brides is even bigger than our love for cookie cake. We are the ones that cheer when you initially contact us telling us the good news, the ones that pour your first glass of champagne to toast your marriage, and the ones who get a little teary eyed when you bring your new baby by to see us.

It is in the relationships that we get to build in this line of work that keeps our creative minds filled with endless possibilities on ways to bring our client’s love stories, events and special milestones to life.

We often get a lot of questions about our services and processes and felt it was time to share all the nitty gritty of how we operate. Underneath the Southern Posies roof sits a handful of various job descriptions and tasks. Two of the main services in regards to weddings and events are: Full Planning, Design and Event Management as well as Floral Design services. Today we are going to introduce you to our Floral Design service and explain the intricacies of this service, why we do it, how much we love it and how we are different. First off, let’s answer one of the most asked questions….

What does it mean to hire us as your floral designer and can I hire you even if I am using another planner or designer?

Our floral design service is a stand-alone service, meaning you can book us for florals even if you are handling things on your own or working with a another planner. And we LOVE working with other planners as there is something so incredible about combining minds and talents across this industry that inspires us. We definitely encourage you to have a seasoned planner that can walk with you through this process. Even though you may be a Type A, super organized, love a checklist and task person, it still helps to have someone with experience in events and design to help guide your way through the process so you can truly enjoy being engaged. As wedding planners, we are your cheerleader, your negotiator, your voice of reason, and are there to hold your hand and walk you through this entire process joyfully and with ease. Regardless of whether or not we are the best fit for you in the planning realm (which stay tuned next week for details on our planning process), our goal is to always ensure every bride is taken care of on her wedding day with a professional.

Hiring us as your floral designer means that you are about to walk into an organized, creative, thoughtful and intentional realm alongside a passionate team that genuinely loves what they do. It is the joy found in other’s faces when they see our designs, the feeling we create in a space that makes you feel happy and welcome, the newfound appreciation of nature and the sweet noses sneaking smells of arrangements, the radiant smile a bride has when we present her with her bouquet, the podium flowers gracing an awards ceremony filled with incredible minds and our work of art taking center stage – it is such an honor to express and spread happiness and joy through blooms.

Photography by Anna Godwin

We love creating special things, working with our hands, and bringing to life a bride’s flower dreams for her wedding or a client’s 100 year business celebration. Whatever the occasion, small or large, we want in on celebrating all of life’s milestones with you.

Photography by Cathrine Taylor

So, next question – how do we start working together on your event?

In our initial conversation we like to find out more about you and your celebration. If it is a wedding we love to dive into to details about you and your fiancé, where you are from, how long you have been together and then breaking into more of design details and what you are currently visualizing for your event. We find out flowers you love, flowers you don’t, flowers that may have a special meaning to you. We find out your style – are you attracted to more rounded and traditional shaped designs or whimsical and garden gathered. We talk colors, look at inspiration and discuss where are you are in this planning process. From there, we typically send over a floral brochure listing out our minimum for floral design as well as additional service fees you will see associated.

How does this work and what fees will I see in the brochure as well as your minimum?

Our brochure is essentially a recap of our phone conversation explaining our process and additional service fees you would see associated with us with floral design. We established a minimum for weddings years ago due to the expectations we knew our client’s wanted to achieve. We also felt that this gives individuals a good, realistic and healthy starting point. Of course the overall cost truly depends on so many variables (season, style, colors, actual floral and greenery components, freight, composition of design, etc.) Our minimum is $4,000. Additional service fees you would also see associated with us would be our standard setup/takedown fee which is a percentage of the subtotal of your floral order and this covers our team labor that comes in to actually set up the designs, take them back down, clean the inventory and re-stock everything that was used. The cost associated with each item is essentially what you would pay if you were to pick up the item from our studio so the setup/takedown cost kicks in to cover the additional labor of actually setting up the piece and taking it down. The additional fees from there would be your standard travel fee which usually depends on the transportation needed to successfully move all items to the location and then of course sales tax on the actual floral products. Accommodations and additional lifting mechanisms (i.e. boom or scissor lifts, rigging, etc.) are sometimes needed depending on the install, size as well as load-in situation and of course the overall location.

Photography by AL Weddings

But what about that proposal and contract?

We get a lot of questions about this and our process is very intricate and more complex than just providing a quote. Some designers feel different and provide estimates up front but we have a lot of goals and high expectations set for ourselves and our creative team before we start formulating a proposal. Here are a few reasons why we do not send over proposals before establishing our partnership and signing a contract and remitting a retainer:

  1. Our goal is to get to know you. To create something one-of-a-kind, unique and intentional. We never want a client to feel like we have just thrown something together without a whole lot of thought or detail. Every client is different and we believe every wedding should be as well. Even though we are just talking blooms, it is diving into finding out who you are as a person that fuels our creativity. I can give so many scenarios of things I would have never known about our clients if I strictly sent over a rough or ‘cookie cutter’ proposal of ideas. It could be the tiniest nuance, smallest detail or value that we find out after getting to know each of our clients that makes our proposal process that extra special.
  2. Trust. Establishing a partnership with our client’s is so crucial in our eyes to creating because how can one truly invest 100% in designing something so important in your life without really feeling like or knowing they are a part of it. Make sense? Knowing we are going to work together to bring something unique to life for you is so incredibly exciting and something that again, fuels our creative wings and gives us the extra boost for lift off to design something super special.
  3. Length of time. Our proposals are lengthy, in-depth and oftentimes 25+ pages long. It includes a multitude of inspiration images that we source or hand draw, color palettes, actual florals and foliage components and individual break-downs with various options within your ceremony, reception and bridal party flowers. They can take weeks and sometimes months to actually put together. We will do as many proposal renditions as necessary for our clients until they are 150% ready to sign off on that beauty. Another perk of working with us, we are very transparent about your ingredients and pricing and can always find ways to adjust ingredients or just the makeup of a design piece to get the best bang for your buck.
  4. Site Visit. Even if it is a venue we have worked at multiple times before we always like to do a site visit with every single client. Like I mentioned, every client is different and so every wedding/event should be as well. Mapping out your guest traffic flow, where certain impactful locations would be throughout the space, how we visually see something here or there – that is something we love to walk through with each of our clients with fresh design eyes.
  5. Design Integrity.  Not to say this would happen intentionally but way back when we first did proposals prior to contracts there were a couple of times our exact designs were replicated.  That was tough to watch and I know every person has experienced this on some personal and professional level. While we completely respect all budgets it was hard to see hours and hours of custom ideas brought to fruition by someone else from our exact plan.  After this happened I felt some restructuring needed to happen. I wanted to find a better way to serve people, give my all and not be hesitant of pitching out of the box ideas. It also went back to the trust factor and I knew if I did not establish this first in our partnership with our clients I could not provide my very best design work with full confidence.

Now, giving you a few peeks at the final steps and a couple pages in one of our proposals (scroll to the bottom for your peek!).

After discussions and site visits, we get to work on crafting a one-of-a-kind proposal laying all of our ideas out on the table for you to see. The first proposal has it all — most of the time more than you need.  The first proposal really gives you all of our ideas and the directions we could head and then we find out what you love most.  And like I mentioned before, we make any and as many adjustments to proposals as we need to until you absolutely love it. We want to make sure you are happy with the direction, with every flower included, and with the financial investment.

Once we have confirmed your proposal it is on to finalizing our load in schedule and timeline details.  We also discuss what you wish to do with the flowers after the wedding and tips on preserving your bouquet. I hope this gives you a better picture of exactly what we do here at Southern Posies when it comes to our floral process and the heart behind it.

 

Stay tuned for another post soon in regards to our Planning, Design and Event Management service as well as other offerings we offer here at Southern Posies.  Wishing you a beautiful and bloom filled day!