1/28/16

What Weddings Cost: Flowers

We’re back chatting what weddings cost today, and super excited to learn more about what to budget for wedding flowers from Katie of Sweet Annie Floral Design!

I first met Katie about a week after I set up my TLT Facebook page back in early 2013. As soon as it was live, my old neighbor-turned-friend emailed me asking whether I ever work with florists and if I did, whether I’d want to meet one of his best friends from college and in life, Katie from Sweet Annie, who was also in the beginnings of her venture as a solopreneur. Um, obviously I do work with florists and obviously I did want to meet her! Katie and I met for coffee and chatted for hours… it was so easy, it felt like we were old friends.

Since that day, Katie and I have worked together on a bunch of weddings, editorial shoots, and the like, but more importantly, we’ve brainstormed how to grow our businesses together, supported each other through the ups and inevitable downs of being an entrepreneur, we’ve celebrated milestones together, had some serious vent sessions, begun an annual tradition… you get the idea. The reason I connect with Katie so well is because her work ethic is parallel to mine and because she cares about her business just as much as I care about mine. I didn’t think she was crazy when she told me she made the 1.5 hour trip to the flower market at 4am the day before a wedding because she was worried the peach roses she bought at the market the day before were too saturated for the bride’s preference for “muted peach.” I don’t think there are many people who would go to that length to ensure their clients were 1000% happy, but I would, and Katie obviously would, since she did. So… we get each other.

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Annmarie Swift Photography

Tell me a little bit about yourself and about Sweet Annie Floral Design?

My name is Katie, and I am the owner of Sweet Annie Floral Design. I live on the seacoast of Massachusetts with my sweet family. I am married to an amazing guy, Erik, and he is definitely Sweet Annie’s biggest cheerleader! I also have two awesome kiddos, a daughter and son who are 4 and 2. Like all moms, I work really hard at both being a business owner and being a mom of young kids. In a lot ways, the two are similar…both need A LOT of attention.  Sweet Annie is what I like to call a “boutique floral design business.” I want my clients to feel they had an overall wonderful experience working with me and to know just how much I care about this piece of their wedding day!

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Hello Love Photography

What made you want to become a floral designer?

I have always had a creative side, and like so many others, I sort of silenced that creativity when deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t think any kind of creative job would make a good living, so I moved forward with my other strength, science. I worked for many years in the orthopedic world, and after having my first child, I realized I was just plain old unhappy. I wasn’t being fulfilled by my work, and I really wanted to spend more time with my family. I started playing with flowers, and soon fell in love with them and the idea of designing a life where I could be creative and be more of a hands on mom. Quickly, I saw how much happiness I could bring to someone by making their floral vision come to life, and from there, Sweet Annie grew so naturally!

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Fat Orange Cat Studio

What types of weddings do you love to design for/what types of clients do you love to work with?

I love all kinds of weddings! Just this week, I spoke with four different couples having completely different types of weddings {venues, aesthetics, color palettes}, and I love that. Variety is exciting and opens up different opportunities for things to create. My clients are awesome. I’ve been so lucky to get to work with so many amazing people. It’s really important to me that my clients know and value how much time, effort, and love I put into their weddings. Part of why I started Sweet Annie is the idea of creating something truly memorable for people. When a client has the same appreciation for the details and floral design coming together to work with their overall aesthetic, it’s a great match. So many of my clients have become friends-people I talk with regularly, and I can’t ask for much more than that!

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Ruth Eileen Photography

What’s your favorite flower?

Oh, such a hard question! I’m such a floozy when it comes to committing to a favorite. I love fluffy flowers, so peonies, ranunculus, and dahlias are probably my top three favorite.

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Lindsey Ocker Photography

Take me through a typical in-season wedding weekend for Sweet Annie Floral Design.

Wedding weekends start bright and early on Wednesday mornings when I head to the Boston Flower Exchange to pick the flowers I have ordered (plus some other amazing ones that I can’t help to buy, usually). We then spend a good portion of the day processing the flowers, which means stripping them of their bottom leaves, trimming, and settling into water. Typically, I start designing on Thursday afternoon and night and spend all day Friday doing the same. On Saturday morning, I’m putting the final touches on things and getting everything packed up for delivery. We then deliver and set up all the flowers needed throughout the wedding. Delivery includes getting all the personal flowers to the bride and groom and their attendees, then going to the ceremony and reception sites to make sure all is set up perfectly.

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Lindsey Ocker Photography

Take me through everything that goes into delivering beautiful florals for a wedding, from the moment the client inquires until the wedding is over?

A lot! Once a client inquires, I send them a quick questionnaire, which gives me a sense of their style, wedding aesthetic, and budget. Typically {if the client is local}, we will then meet to go over their vision in further detail. At this meeting, I try to ensure that I understand the look they’re hoping to create, and I really enjoy this part, as it allows me to start to get to know them. I take all my notes and then create a custom proposal for the client. I’ll then send the proposal along and often include some images or a Pinterest board for some inspiration. I’ve learned that a lot of people have a hard time envisioning what I am talking about or recommending, so this is helpful. If the client accepts the proposal {yay!}, I send them a contract and a timeline of what to expect when working with me. I always tell my clients that I want to stay in touch, so email, call, text me with any ideas or thoughts. Several months prior to the wedding, I start to source their vessels, create a floral menu, reach out to the coordinator if need be, create the timeline for the day, and place all orders for the flowers, all while staying in close contact with the client. Just before the wedding, I confirm with them all the delivery times and details. Then, it’s go time!

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Sarah Jayne Photography

I always tell my clients to select two or three main priorities for their wedding and focus their resources on those items. How much should a couple who is prioritizing floral design expect to invest?

If florals are really important, a couple should set aside about 15% of their total budget for floral design. For some, it fluctuates above or below that, based on how much they love flowers.

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Rebecca Arthurs Photography

What are some ways couples who are on a strict budget still incorporate beautiful floral design into their wedding day?

I love greenery…it’s typically reasonably priced and you can create really cool things, like garlands or installations with it. Also, asking your floral designer to source as many flowers locally as possible is a great idea. They’re usually lower in price, and it’s more likely that you are supporting a local, small business, which I am always in favor of!

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Ruth Eileen Photography

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