When I saw this picture on Instagram, I immediately thought to myself, "Wow, what a great thing for a client to say to you! No budget? The sky is the limit! Now what can I suspend from the ceiling...and how many bunches of sweet peas would be the best."
And then, I noticed the little quips, and silly emoji faces that people had tagged their friends with. I then realized that people were tagging fellow creatives in a tongue-in-cheek manner. They took "no budget" as minuscule budget. Which is more frequently the norm. And kind of a bummer - on the end of the client and the professional.
It's no secret: small budgets for large events with big dreams is not easy. And it's also not really fun to be limited in any way, especially if your client's budget directly affects how much zing and flourish you initially think can go into making their flowers amazing.
Notice that I said initially. Sometimes after meeting with a client, you need to continue to process the information they've given you, and really hunker down to get the right proposal to them. I'm sure there are brides and grooms out there who also need to decompress after their many meetings prior to the wedding day.
If you have an budget with no end, then that's awesome! Email me and we'll knock it out of the park.
But I do have a few suggestions and some intel for folks who may have a smaller budget and want to stretch it as far as possible. I know several flower folk who agree with these ideas, but I'll bet there are even more out there that I don't know, who have great tips as well.
First, understand the limitation of your budget. This is part of being self aware, but also part of being realistic. I am a lot of both of those things. You may not be able to give each of your eight bridesmaids a substantial bouquet. Perhaps they carry smaller posies instead. Giving each groomsmen, father, grandfather, uncle, usher, and chuppah holder a boutonniere could also chip away very slowly and very innocuously into your budget. Maybe only the groom gets a bout. That way, he looks snazzy in pictures and gets a little something, since you still get your bridal bouquet. Maybe you want to allocate more money towards the floral arch that the ceremony and all family photos will be taken in front of, as opposed to a large escort table arrangement. That's fine too. You may only get normal, clear glass container votive candles, as opposed to the more pricy rental mercury glass votives. The candles will still light the table all aglow.
Second, be flexible with your florist. Any florist that I've spoken to out there has tons of tips and tricks for ensuring that you get the overall look that you want, without sacrificing your wallet. Your florist should be happy to edit the proposal as you see fit, but ultimately, they are the expert. Be honest with them and listen to their recommendations.
Last of all, I think a positive attitude can go a really long way. This is a tip for everyone out there. It's about finding the right florist/caterer/planner/whoever to deliver their magic to you on the wedding day. Entering into every meeting with a hopeful outlook will go a far way, along with determining if the professional partnership together is a good idea. For example, I was contacted the other week for a wedding (would have been my first wedding booking ever!) and I had to turn it down. There were lots of reasons, and I may talk about the ideal client some other time on this blog, but I decided that I was not the best person for their needs. I referred them to two other florists that would have been more suitable for their wedding, and gave them some helpful (I hope) advice in finding the right florist. But I still treated them with kindness and heard them out, and hopefully, they don't hate me. Despite turning their business away, I was still positive with them.
Whatever your budget, you can have beautiful flowers at your wedding. It's just a matter of figuring out the best setup and design for the day overall, and working together to refine the proposal.
Any thoughts? Questions? Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
[In other news, I'll be working on my new website for a bit this afternoon! Get ready to see that by the end of May!]