A place for help, advice, and ideas

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Guest Post- Family & Vendors

This post comes from one of my very best friends. Carroll Anne and I have been friends since we were clad in braces with frizzy hair (trust me we have come along way). She got married right before I did in 2009 and thankfully provided me with so much advice, inspiration, and sanity in the months and weeks before my wedding. Carroll Anne offered the following advice about using family members as vendors.

If you're lucky enough to have a family member in the wedding planning business or even one who has always dreamed of being in the business, my bridal advice to you would be to...LET THEM HELP!

Planning a wedding is an enormous task, and having someone whom you know and trust guide the way during any aspect of your planning is a huge asset! In getting ready for my March, 2009 wedding, I was fortunate that my uncle is a florist. He's worked for a bunch of different companies and currently works for 1-800 FLOWERS. He is a natural at designing arrangements and has done so for practically his whole career. While using him to design my centerpieces and bouquets was a no-brainer, I did have some questions and/or hesitations when it came down to meeting with him "formally" for the first time.
1.) Will he understand what I want?
2.) Will his style clash with mine?
3.) How much do I pay him?
4.) What if I don't end up liking his work?
While these questions brought me a bit of anxiety, the first meeting with him went well and I was feeling relatively calm until the day he brought over a sample of the initial arrangements for the centerpieces. Unfortunately..I HATED THEM! The vision I had in my head was NOT displayed in the sample he presented to me. I felt awful, but I had to tell him I wasn't happy. He was initially a bit hurt (as I imagined he might be), but I simply told him that "this was not what I was picturing." He ended up re-vamping the design and worked tirelessly for two full days before my wedding re-constructing the twenty centerpieces that I needed for the dinner tables (don't think my neighborhood florist would have taken that time or effort to make sure everything turned out the way I wanted it to).
On my wedding day, the centerpieces turned out looking gorgeous! The bouquets were equally as beautiful--my uncle was proud, and I was a thrilled bride! To this day, my uncle and I are closer than we've ever been because of our "business arrangement" regarding my wedding flowers. And of course...my flowers were a fraction of the cost, had my uncle not taken care of them.

Word to the wise: Definitely let the family help out if they are willing to do so! In the end, you'll be happy you did. Good luck!

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