(You can read that in either Britney or Jesse Pinkman tone.)
After tons of research on various floral/event designers, I decided on my “Top 3” and made appointments with each company.
My first meeting was with Petit Fleur in Ferndale. Her preferred method of communication is email, which is also my preferred method of communication, so I figured we’d get along famously. She sent me a sheet to fill out, which I thought was to give her an idea of what I wanted before I went in so we could go over my vision together. Instead, when I got there, she rattled off information in the worst attitude I have ever seen in the wedding industry. She had already made my proposal before ever speaking with me. In the hour that Joey and I were there, she did not ask us ONE question about what we wanted our wedding to look like. I made mention of a photo on the wall of her work that I liked and she said “I had a feeling you were going to say that, and those are over $400 each.” Ummm okay? Did I even get to tell you the point where maybe I just wanted them for the head table? Do I give you the impression that I’m unable to afford them? If I want something enough, I’m going to get it, but she couldn’t be bothered to talk to me about how we could disperse my budget to create something I loved. She doesn’t even know what I love because she didn’t ask!! She also didn’t ask me anything about what I DON’T like. How do I hire you to design my wedding when I have no idea if our design tastes are polar opposite? I couldn’t tell from her shitty blurry pictures on her ipad what her work even looks like. Toward the end of our “meeting” if you can even call it that, she started talking badly about other companies. It was a seriously embarrassing moment because she looked so jealous and incompetent. One of the companies she made mention of was Emerald City Designs, which was the location of our next meeting. She told me they charge a $5,000 minimum (not true, the minimum is $3,000) and also said you never meet with an actual floral designer, which is also not true, as outlined in the timeline that Emerald City gave me. Sorry chick, but it looks like we just don’t mesh well together.
I was seriously stressed after meeting with Petit Fleur. Joey said that he got the impression that she didn’t want to even do our wedding. I thought we had a healthy budget but apparently not. I thought that meeting with an event designer would be the beginning of the actual fun of planning a wedding, and in reality it made me depressed and angry.
Our next meeting was with Emerald City Designs in Farmington Hills, and boy what a difference in demeanor. We met with the head of sales and she had LOTS of questions about what I envisioned and had tons of books for me to look through for floral design and rentals. She had a great attitude and seemed to really enjoy her job and when I got her proposal, she had put things in it that really encapsulated exactly what I was looking for. When I got to the last page, the page with the final numbers, my heart sunk. I knew that this was a larger company and figured that she would go over my budget, but I was not expecting $3500 over. That’s when I REALLY started to get depressed. I figured I would have to find some low budget, unreliable floral company and the way I want my wedding to look just wasn’t going to happen. The pity party I was throwing myself kicked in to full gear.
And then there was Bill. Joey and I met with Bill Hamilton of Bill Hamilton Designs at a Starbucks where we chatted like buddies. I can tell how relaxed I am with someone when I think about how much I give of a stoic professional and how much I give of “myself” during a meeting. With Bill I was myself the whole time. It felt very easy, the way it felt when we booked our photographer Jeffery Lewis Bennett. His personality is outgoing and super sweet, and he really listened to everything that we told him. Looking through his photos, I saw that he has an amazing range in talent and can really take your dream wedding and bring it to life. He told us that he works within the budget we give him, and if he feels like we would greatly benefit from something that we haven’t budgeted for, he would talk to us about it and we would make a final decision.
It’s so important to have vendors that you completely trust to listen to your needs so that they can ultimately do an amazing job for you. Now that we have booked Bill, I feel no stress or worry about our event looking as glamorous as we envisioned, and you can’t put a price on that.