Friday, April 9, 2010

No 'Zillas Need Apply! Or Being Reasonable with Your Floral Designer for Changes Beyond Their Control

I recently commiserated with a very talented floral artist.  It seems that she had designed a wedding bouquet for a bride, and the bride wanted her money back a few weeks later, saying that the tulips in the bouquet were not "purple enough!"  She attached a picture showing, um-mm, purple tulips, not the pink she claimed they were.  My friend , who is a very ethical and dedicated professional, was of course unhappy that the bride was unhappy.  She had even upgraded the field tulips, which hadn't arrived at the wholesaler, with much more costly parrot tulips, at the designer's expense, not at the bride's expense.  Can you say, 'Zilla???

Contrast that with my lovely bride Becki, who didn't even know that there was a burgundy asiatic lily drama going on in the background when I picked up her flowers from the wholesaler; they were a terra cotta color!  I subbed deep burgundy oriental lilies at double the price, didn't charge her any additional money, and she had no idea that I upgraded her or that there was any problems.  Thank you Becki; I loved designing your wedding and working with you.  I give YOU five stars for being a GREAT bride!

Please understand that your floral designer cannot control nature, variations of colors in nature, and transportation issues from the farm to the wholesaler; sometimes the flowers come in and when we go to pick them up they are of poor quality and we cannot in good faith accept them and provide you with wilted or decayed flowers,so we reject them and have to substitute.  Sometimes, the flowers did not make their flight!  Sometimes, the colors are not EXACTLY what you imagined; for instance, I told my wholesaler bright pink garden roses, and they came in as dark hot pink garden roses; the bride downgraded a website rating on me because of it.  I was sorry, of course - I want my wedding couples to be happy. But - depending on weather, nutrients in the soil, etc., flower crops can vary in color.  We do the best we can to get you exactly what you want, but sometimes things just happen.  Your floral designer wants to make you happy and to decorate your wedding the way you've envisioned; but sometimes things are beyond our control.  If I have to substitute, I will substitute with flowers of a similar quality in price and aesthetic; I won't substitute carnations for orchids, for example.   And I will keep the overall look within the color range you specified.

I do have my couples initial their contract regarding the above, because I need my couples to understand that I am NOT Mother Nature, nor do I want a 'Zilla confrontation. Frankly, I won't work with 'Zillas - 'Zillas being unreasonable people.  'Zillas need not contact me for an estimate!!!

I must say, my favorite  weddings are when the wedding couple tells me their colors and style, and allow me to design with seasonal flowers, designers choice, although I do have them tell me what they love and what they dislike.  It is less expensive for them, and gives me more options in choosing the best quality and freshest blooms at the market that week - and interesting blooms.  Check out those very cool green and black kangaroo paws above.  The wholesaler does not always carry them...sometimes, they are just there!  If I were designing a wedding that was eco, organic, edgy, black.....wouldn't you WANT me to have the choice of picking those up for your wedding, rather than you trying to control every single flower in every bouquet? 

Why would YOU ruin your wedding day because the flowers (the food, the venue, the dj, etc.) had some small variations that you weren't expecting?  I'm not talking about major variations - someone didn't show up, or poor quality service, etc. - I'm talking about small details.  I would say 98% of your PROFESSIONAL wedding vendors have their act together and provide excellent service, and do their best to provide you with exactly what you contracted for.  But sometimes, things happen outside of their control.  Uncle Ted didn't get into the wedding photos?  It happens.  DJ forgot to bring only one song?  Why get bent out of shape?  Enjoy your day, appreciate being surrounded by your loved ones.  And know that your wedding vendors have your back....because you are NOT a 'Zilla!

1 comment:

  1. This is an excellent post. While I'm sure there are sloppy wedding vendors out there (hint: if you don't look for them on Craig's List, you're already ahead of the game!) the majority of professional wedding vendors really aim to offer superlative work and keep their brides happy--if for no other reason than bad word of mouth can kill a wedding biz faster than you can say, "I don't."

    I've been fortunate to have dealt with very few bridezillas in my 10-year officiating career (maybe they morph into zillas at the reception after I've left?) but I agree--being a zilla spoils the day for no one more than for the bride herself.