As soon as I had the ring on my finger, I knew exactly who I wanted to do my wedding flowers. Mr. Orchard and I are BIG fans of using local businesses, and it’s an added bonus if the business is run by people we know! When I first moved to West Virginia I was in the midst of my junior year of high school. I didn’t know a single soul as I’d just moved across the country from my home state. In Grandview, my graduating class was 181. In Morgantown, it was more like 350. I was so overwhelmed and so stressed out and then out of nowhere, after a few days of glumly attending my new school, these two angels from my AP English class invited me out to lunch with them after school. It was the first invitation I’d had to do ANYTHING since I’d moved, and I was so thrilled and happy to feel like someone liked me enough to want to hang out that I actually went home and cried tears of relief. It was the first time that I felt like I would be OK here, that maybe someday Morgantown could become my home, and I owe that feeling entirely to the kindness of those girls. That was 11 years ago (oh my God, when did I get so OLD?!), and I still remember it like it was yesterday. One of those girls was Shannon of SD Florals.
Shannon is such a sweet, lovely girl, and she has AMAZING fashion sense. (Even with two kids, I have never seen her look anything less than totally put together and adorable.) As soon as I emailed her she replied and set up a face-to-face meeting at a cute little coffee shop. I took my matron of honor Michelle with me, and we sat for almost two hours discussing flowers and various options. Michelle had even taken the time to print all of the floral inspiration photos from my wedding Pinterest board so we could give a copy to Shannon to keep for reference. (Seriously, what would I do without this girl?!)
My favorite flowers are dahlias, so I knew I really wanted them for my wedding day. I was especially excited to hear that they are a fall flower. I also knew that I wanted to incorporate lots of baby’s breath for three reasons: 1.) it fit the theme, 2.) it’s affordable, and 3.) it looks so pretty. We discussed options for bridal party bouquets, I explained what I wanted for the tables as well, and I thought we were done. WRONG! Ladies, you’re probably all smarter than me, but remember that you need a LOT of flowers. Flowers for groomsmen, flowers for the ceremony, flowers for honor attendees (mothers, grandmothers, ushers, etc.). Fortunately, Shannon had a great sheet that broke everything down, and we quickly decided on arrangements. I left the meeting feeling so positive about what my wedding-day flowers would look like, and knowing that Shannon would work hard to ensure we would have beautiful flowers and that it wouldn’t break the bank. She even offered to let me borrow a beautiful wooden arch that her husband had built for their wedding. Like I said, she’s amazing.
Which is why, when a few weeks later I realized Shannon had never emailed me a copy of the contract nor had she provided me with a cost estimate, I knew that wasn’t like her. I sent her an email to see if everything was OK (hoping it wouldn’t seem pushy!). She quickly replied and explained that she had been busy contacting SEVERAL suppliers including those beyond her normal contacts and she was getting the same answer from everyone. November 9th was at the end of dahlia season, and even if she could get the flowers, they would be four dollars A STEM and there would be no color guarantee. I actually think she may have been more upset by this than me, and she was incredibly apologetic. At our meeting, we looked at several photos of big, beautiful roses in the perfect blush shades, and I had no problem subbing those in place for my beloved dahlias.
However, what I failed to realize is that flowers are just expensive. Even doing them virtually AT COST, I still was going to be paying a lot more than what I had budgeted for flowers. I had my very first bridal freak-out moment the day the flower contract came. Not because Shannon’s prices weren’t totally reasonable but most likely because my expectations hadn’t been! After calling all of my bridesmaids and my mama to discuss options we eventually decided on ordering all of our bouquets and boutonnieres from Shannon and handling the rest ourselves. My mama and aunt graciously stepped up to the plate to come up with arrangements for the ceremony that could then be moved to the reception space, my bridesmaids and I decided we could handle plunking flowers into bud vases on our own the morning of, and everything else Shannon would do beautifully. We decided to skip aisle arrangements for the most part because, as Mr. Orchard pointed out, they may not even work on the type of chairs we have on our venue, and that will save a lot because those puppies were 18 bucks a pop (which was great deal but just not in our budget).
Anyone else out there experience floral blunders?