Entertaining

How & Why I Picked My Wedding Florist

These photos are by the amazing Ashley of Artistrie Co. She joined us for the recent Galentine’s Day event Life in Bloom hosted for my girlfriends. Ashely captured the entire evening. She is such a talented wedding photographer!

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I haven’t shared much about our wedding because I want most of the details to be a surprise. However, engagement season is in full swing so I thought it would be a good time to start sharing a little bit about the planning process and what I’ve learned.

I’m really excited to tell you about one of our incredible vendors today, Life in Bloom! The name probably gives it away but they are the floral and décor company we are using for our big day. I wanted to share a little bit about the process I went through to find a florist/decor company and why I ultimately picked Life in Bloom as our florist. Before I get started, I want to mention that this post is in no way sponsored!

Floral and décor was probably the one piece of the planning process that I was most nervous about. We are getting married in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago and the space has incredibly high ceilings, lots of white walls and natural light. It’s absolutely beautiful but I quickly realized that it’s going to take some work and a lot of flowers to fill the place and bring some life to it so I wanted to make sure I picked a team that was creative, chic and cost effective. Here are the steps I took for find exactly what I was looking for:

STEP 1: REVIEW YOUR OPTIONS

Our incredible wedding planner, Mallory Powell of Chi Chic Events suggested we start the conversation with florists about 9-10 months in advance. Mallory provided us with a list of about 5-7 florists and event decor companies to review.

  • Since our space is such a blank slate, I already knew that I wanted to work with a company who specializes in overall event décor (not just floral) so they could help me create a cohesive aesthetic throughout the entire day.
  • While this part of the decision does depend a little bit on the kind of space you are getting married in, it also has a lot to do with budget as well as the design style. At this stage be sure to also take a look at each vendors portfolio of work and make sure you like their style. While most florists and decor companies can create arrangements that suit any style, it’s usually pretty clear what style they excel at most (ie. Boho, glam, rustic, etc.)
  • This process helped me to narrow down my list to a about three different vendors.

STEP 2: NARROW IT DOWN

Mallory suggested that I select two companies to have conversations with and get proposals from so I can compare apples to apples.

  • The two companies I selected to meet with were Life in Bloom (obviously!) and a similar decor company that’s a much larger.
  • I selected Life in Bloom because all of the work they had done for previous weddings was very much in line with the vision I had for our wedding.
  • The other company I chose to meet with was one that I had used for many work events in the past, so I felt confident knowing how well they execute their events.

STEP 3: SHARE YOUR INSPIRATION 

To give both companies an idea of the look I was going for, I invited them to my Pinterest board with all my wedding inspiration so they could have something to start with.

STEP 4: CONSULTATION MEETINGS

I met with both companies to walk through my inspiration and talk in greater detail about my vision.

  • Life in Bloom was our first meeting and I was immediately charmed by Rachel and Tim, the couple who owns/runs Life in Bloom. They are two of the sweetest people and are both so incredibly talented!
  • After a few quick intros, we got started. Rachel and Tim, walked me through folders and folders of photos they had pulled based off my inspiration.
    • We talked through everything I liked and didn’t like about each photo. We covered everything from vases and votives to flower varietals and greenery to lighting and napkin colors.
      • They were so incredibly patient as my mom and I asked thousands of questions about every flower and sprig of greenery in each photo.
      • They took careful note of the flowers I liked and I didn’t like, how much greenery I liked, how wild vs groomed I like the arrangements, how much texture I liked, what floral to greenery ratio I liked…you name it they covered it.
    • It was about a 2 ½ hour meeting and while it might sound overwhelming it was the farthest thing from it. Rachel and Tim carefully walked me through each photo explained the differences between arrangements, florals and greenery. By the end of the meeting I felt like my vision was 100x more clear.
  • The icing on the cake was that as we were leaving, Rachel handed me a beautiful little vase with the prettiest floral arrangement. I had been having a really rough day/week and it was truly the sweetest thing that brightened up my week.
  • After my meeting with Rachel and Tim at Life in Bloom I didn’t even want to go to my other meeting! I could tell how much Rachel and Tim pay attention to detail and felt like they understood my vision even better than I did.
  • I did still go to my other meeting but my decision to work with Life in Bloom was quickly validated when the meeting at the other company felt a little rushed and impersonal. Despite the fact that I knew the team in the meetings I felt like they just didn’t really get my vision the way Rachel and Tim did.

STEP 5: REVIEW PROPOSALS

After the meetings both teams took about 2 weeks to put together some ideas and a proposal based on our budget. While I was pretty set on moving forward with Life in Bloom I still wanted to see both proposals.

  • Once again, I was completely blown away by Life in Bloom. Their proposal was so well thought out and detailed down to each and every flower and type of greenery that would be featured in each arrangement.
  • In addition to the proposal they provided a full custom rendering of our event space and how it would look with the ideas they were proposing.
  • They also included photos of all the vases, votives, and other decor items that we were considering so I could envision absolutely everything.
  • The proposal from the other company didn’t even come close to what Life in Bloom proposed on all levels so the decision to pick Life in Bloom couldn’t have been any easier at that point.
STEP 6: MAKE IT OFFICIAL
After a few rounds of tweaks to the contract, we made it official! I had the next couple months to continue to think about my vision and what Life in Bloom had proposed.
STEP 7: DESIGN SAMPLE MEETING
The design sample meeting is the next step in the process. We haven’t gotten to this yet but have it scheduled for the end of this month and I can’t wait!
  • On top of that amazing rendering they provide, Life in Bloom also creates a sample of one of your floral arrangements that you review with them in person next to all of the other decor pieces you selected. This gives you a chance to see everything together and really get down to the details so you know exactly how everything will look on the big day which is a dream for a type A anxious person like myself.
  • Another great thing about Life in Bloom is that they allow you to make changes up to 3 weeks before the big day so even after this meeting I can go home and think about any little last tweaks I want to make to the decor. However, knowing how well Life in Bloom understands my vision I don’t think that will be the case.

I honestly can’t put into words how excited I am that Life in Bloom is designing our Wedding. Their personalized and thoughtful approach, attention to detail and incredible talent for executing stunning arrangements continues to blow me away every time we have a meeting with them and every time I see one of their Instagram posts it makes me SO excited for our big day. They have truly made the process of filling such a large space feel so much less daunting. While I am not going to share any of my wedding inspiration photos right now, you should definitely go give Life in Bloom a follow on Instagram right now. It might give you an idea of the direction I’m going 😉

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