Charlie's Flower Boutique

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Are bridal flower workshops taking business away from florists?
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Can I be honest? Understandably some people do not know what to expect or have no idea about the cost of flowers for weddings, there is (I think) a common misconception that we florists hike up our prices when the word 'wedding' is mentioned. Maybe there are some that do, but I think mostly florists want to provide a good service at a fair price, after all, we want a return trade and good reviews which leads to more business. I think alot of people would be surprised at the amount of hours that can go into creating wedding flowers (I'll make another blog on that!). Anyway, I feel that there is a real trend in DIY weddings boosted by the sharing of information and inspiration on sites such as Pinterest and YouTube, where you can virtually find out anything and how to do it.

There can be many reasons why a bride wants to organise her own wedding flowers, being part of the creative process if you are that way inclined,  control, having a budding florist in the family, but I think in most cases it comes down to budget.

Talking to a fellow florist at an industry function about this subject, she commented that if a bride decides she is going to arrange her own flowers, then she will do it and so I think you can't take business away if it's not there in the first place, but what I can do is help be a part of the process. So if they can come along to a workshop, have a nice day and learn a few skills whilst paying for the educators time and knowledge then I think everybody wins. The florist receives some income from a wedding client they wouldn't normally have done and the bride has more confidence in her floristry skills whilst eating cake and drinking champagne, and with my workshops, they also receive ongoing support and advise until the big day which surely will help with any last minute changes.

I think there is room in the industry for freelancers such as myself who can offer workshops and courses along with the more traditional florist shops. I like running workshops, they're fun, give me a chance to connect with some of my Facebook fans and meet new ones, and they allow me to do something different to my wedding work. I'm excited to be running Autumn/winter wedding and Spring/Summer Wedding bridal flower workshops as well as my Christmas and Mother's Day Workshops, I'm hoping that from a business side they grow and grow and I get to do the job I love all the time!

For more information on the workshops please visit the Workshop page

Please feel free to follow me on Instagram (Charliebeeflowers), Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

 

How to choose the right wedding florist.

So how do you decide which florist to choose when there is so much choice out there?

So you've set the big day, your venue is booked, bridesmaids dresses have been chosen (or not!) and you have your colour theme, next is to book your florist. But how?!

You might not give two hoots about flowers and quite happy with a simple classic rose bouquet, or you've been trawling though Pintrest every night and have about 3 different boards of different ideas and can decide what on earth to go with! Whichever sort of bride you are, personally I don't think you can book your florist early enough but from my experience I would advise on the following:

  • How quickly have they come back to your enquiry? Yes florists are busy people especially during wedding season, but if it's been over a week - I would say move on as they're not going to be able to show you the dedication to your wedding if they can't even email or call you back in a decent time frame.
  • Recommendations - have a look on their Facebook pages, on Google + etc for reviews by other brides, or ask your family who they have used and if they would recommend, it sounds simple but word of mouth is very powerful. As florists, we love knowing our brides are telling people about us! Nicely!
  • Have they just given you a price straight away without asking more questions about the day? If you've not specified your wedding date, I would be dubious of a florist giving you a price for your flowers (unless you are having an all year round flower like a rose).
  • Make sure when you do receive a quote that there is a description so you know what flowers are going to be included, google them and make sure you know what they are and that you like them. 
  • Make sure the quote includes everything including any hidden charges such as hire fees for any props and delivery / pick up fees. Some florists will also charge for their time on the day if you are having your ceremony room turn round into your wedding breakfast and flowers on the table, the florist will be waiting for a few hours in the wings to do this so there may understandably be a charge for their time.
  • Are they flexible? have they kindly agreed to change a few things, or look for budget saving ideas for your wedding? By having a trusting relationship with your florist, you will be more relaxed about what you will have on the day!
  • Be open minded - sometimes florists can have nightmares trying to get hold of specialist flowers for weddings, things beyond our control can go wrong but personally I am up front and honest about this to my clients so there are no nasty surprises.
  • Vintage flowers? Rustic wedding? country, boho wedding flowers? Make sure that your florist knows where you are coming from by showing them pics of what you have seen. With these whimsical and unstructured wedding bouquets, the florist's artistic flare will shine through and they will do what feels right with the materials on the day so it might not look like to picture you've showed them - but it will be better, unique and yours.

Lastly, and I think most important is - Do you like them? Afterall, why would you want to part with waht can be a large sum of money to someone you're not that keen on or is a faceless big brand? Support your local florist and seek our those independent florist who are more likely to provide you with attention to detail, time and passion.

Of course, i'm a bit biased :D

 

 

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Vintage wedding fayre - the result!

As some of you may have read I was umming and ahhing about whether to invest in taking part in the National Vintage Wedding Fayre at the glorious Victoria Baths in Manchester.

Well I did! And it was a lovely day, lots of lovely people excited about their wedding, I tested out my new boards I had printed up and spoke to some great suppliers and picked up a couple of wedding clients too.

I was also more than happy to supply my flower creations for the bridal catwalk, the photography taken by Katy McCarthy (www.katemccarthyphotography.co.uk). I love them!

 

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