Chicago’s Informed Bride: Chic, Trendy and SAVVY!

Posted by Virginia Wolff Inc. on July 22, 2015  |   Comments Off on Chicago’s Informed Bride: Chic, Trendy and SAVVY!

“Educating the innocent” – “Pitfalls for the unwary” or “How to avoid unnecessary fees and expenditures” It’s best to be upfront with your budget if your vendor seems unwilling to accommodate you – look elsewhere. The best vendors will be happy to work with you – it’s an educational process and an interesting one as well. As an event florist I can give you some examples: Your flower choices affect my pricing – for instance one peony costs the same as three roses. One hydrangea equals two roses but is three times the size – more greens and a loose style will save you money(a paveed or tightly packed arrangement of all flowers is much more costly than a loose one with some greens) -. A Tall arrangement on a stand or high glass vase or riser is almost twice the cost of a low arrangement in a good-looking vase or dish. Having half high and half low arrangements is easier on the budget and gives a pleasing undulating effect to the room. Be sure to caution your florist to keep the low arrangement below eye level. I once had a client tell me “We want to be able to see each other’s jewelry!” Alternatively the tall arrangement needs to be tall enough to see under, and the “riser” narrow enough so that you can see around it easily. Test this at your sample showing. Be Aware That: Some venues charge extra for tables and chairs .Some include these as well as linen, chargers, votive candles, table numbers etc. Be sure to ask. Some venues in residential areas must end your celebration at 11 PM.

  • Some routinely push for special and often unnecessary lighting effects.
  • Ask how many tables will be served by one waiter.
  • Don’t allow being charged tax on vendor labor.
  • Ask for an itemized proposal, rather than one which has only been “bottom-lined”.
  • Ask to see a free sample floral centerpiece or to have a free “tasting” – this should be routine.

A Few More Tips Here are some other things you should know: Some Hotels will book a luncheon meeting ahead of your wedding. This could mean that your room won’t be available till 3 or 4 O’clock. The less time your florist has, the more people they will have to bring. And that means your cost will escalate. The same holds true if you are planning a wedding in a different city from the one in which your caterer, florist, or band is located. These vendors will need to charge you for extra travel time.   How to Judge a Vendor When interviewing your vendor s take note of what I call the “Enthusiasm quotient”. When you tell them your vision, do they enter right in with ideas and suggestions to complement yours? Are they excited to help you bring your dream to reality? If you sense a “we don’t do that” reaction or “I don’t think that will work”, or any other negativism right off the bat——be forewarned – this relationship probably isn’t headed in the right direction. Don’t waste your time trying to get it on track! You’re looking for an enthusiastic partner – someone who will help you all along the way. (“Have your back” so to speak) and become a friend with whom you can exchange ideas in a harmonious and trusting relationship. In some cases you might want to ask to speak to some recent clients so you can ask them your vital questions and make your own assessments. You can also ask “How much actual experience have you had?” Do you sense that this person feels a passion for what he (she) does? If this is only a business transaction -keep looking! Another very important question is, “Will you be there?” Often the person you talk to is only a salesperson. You want to talk to the creative person who will actually design your flowers and be there on your wedding day. On your first visit did you bring pictures of flowers you liked? Bouquets, centerpieces, etc.? Caution; Pinterest, magazines, etc., seldom mention the cost associated with the flowers shown. What you love may be sky high in price, or off crop for your wedding date, but a good florist will know all this and can tell you right away, to avoid disappointment (or shock) when you receive your proposal. Now you really are an “informed bride” – you’re started down the right path and the rest should be fun.


If you’ve got more questions, just give us a call.

Virginia Wolff Inc Team 312- 226-1777

flowers@virginiawolff.com