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We are two girls from Brides N Blooms and we are vendors. We admit it freely, and as such, it is our ‘job’ to be there to answer your calls and emails. It is our pleasure to help you decide what is going to work for you in terms of flowers and it is our choice to go that extra mile for you. Now, even though a client may not think of us as such, (especially when they are caught up in their own world of planning or last minute nervousness), we are actually just plain people with our own lives. We have bills, worries, problems, responsibilities, household chores and all the rest that most everyone has.

As things go with both us girls, we basically have simple needs: coffee/tea, a shower, internet service, a car, a phone, a meal now and again and just maybe, some sleep… and we can usually meet most of our own needs. There is one thing though that we would really appreciate from others;

We would like some understanding and common courtesy.

It takes time to work on all the little details you want us to research for you, to get pictures that best describe what we are doing for you, to go back and forth with emails or talk with you either in person or on the phone. It takes time to write up those quotes. No matter whether it is the 1st quote or the 4th, they all take time. And yes, all of this is part of our ‘job’, but it is time that we give and do not get paid for. We understand and accept this part of what we do. There is no question that if we’re asked to help, we will, willingly, genuinely, & whole heartedly do so in any way we can. So, really, we don’t think that we’re asking for a lot in return. Just a simple “Thank-you” can make all the difference in the world. If you choose not to use us as your vendor, that’s really OK, but, If we have spent multiple hours, going over what you might want or need, easing over the worry spots, helping you make decisions that you had no idea you had to make, then creating those quotes, at least, if nothing else, let us know that you’ve decided to not go forward with us. Call or email and tell us “I’m sorry” I’ve decided to go with someone else. We won’t be mad, or upset. If you say “Thank-you” for spending all those hours with me, and I appreciate your time, or I know that your time is valuable, we will be more than okay with that. We’d feel that at least you valued our service and the time devoted to you.

Everyone who is in a job or position to serve the public is also a living, breathing, human being and  it is NOT OK treat them, or anyone for that matter, poorly, or discourteously. In our opinion it is also not kind to ignore people. If something isn’t right, it’s okay to step up and say something, but please, say it with grace, say it with a constructive edge, say it with kindness. It could be simply that the other person just didn’t understand what you really wanted or needed.

And just to be clear about us vendors in general, our time is as valuable as anyone else’s. If you really aren’t sure you are going to use or need our services, let us know that from the outset. We’ll still help you every bit as much as we can. On the other hand, it’s not fair to call at the last minute, beg for help, and then just forget that we jumped through hoops to get you what you wanted. If you’ve changed your mind, that’s okay, but you should know we care about you, we even worry about your issue and it’s important to us that your event is every bit as wonderful as you hope it will be.

So I ask… be courteous and say thank- you, no matter what the outcome or decision. Those two little words go a long way. We believe it is a common courtesy, something that our parents used to teach us was important. (Though what has happened to our society that we have forgotten it, is something I just don’t understand.)

Please, the next time you make that call, remember to be kind. That vendor/service personnel on the other end of the phone is a Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Husband, Wife,  Aunt, Uncle, Grandmother, Grandfather, Friend, Confidant, to someone in this world…A real live human being with value and feelings, who is ready and willing to help you

*now, Thank- you for reading this blog! Go, have yourself a caring, loving, wholesale flower filled day!


….and you know what that means?

CLEANING!

Yup… bet you thought I was going to say flowers.

Well.. they are definitely a part of spring… and they are definitely what we do…. but today, I’m talking about cleaning. Spring Cleaning! We’ve all heard the term, and I’m sure we’ve all been swept up in it (pun!) at some point in our lives. I know every year I am!

But do you know where the term actually comes from?

The reasons behind why we spring clean are rooted in two competing cultures, Jewish and Iranian with a third close behind with the Chinese, who also have a similar custom. All of these traditions extend far­ back into the distant past.

In Iran, the new year arrives on March 21 the spring equinox and the celebration of the new year lasts two weeks.  The customs, rituals and symbolism are rooted in the culture’s ancient pre-Islamic past. The new year is a time of regeneration for Iranians; they use symbols like burning and planting to signify renewal and optimism for a new season. It’s also a time for refreshing and reinvigorating life, and that includes Iranians’ houses.The ritual is called Khaneh Takani (“shaking the house”) and the custom lives up to its name. Iranians traditionally buy new clothes to wear, every bit of a home is scoured and cleaned…. nothing is spared. Rugs, drapes bedding, knick-knacks, floors, ceilings — everything gets a good cleaning. Fresh scented flowers are brought in to renew the house’s vibrancy. Once the house is shaken, the new year  and spring, can arrive.

The Jewish holiday of Passover (Pesach) is a time of house cleaning as well. The very solemn holiday marks the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. After the 10 plagues were brought upon the Egyptian king by Moses the Jews were finally released from slavery and ordered to leave the land. There was very little time to get ready so the breads they were baking to bring on their journey only were able to be cooked for 18 minutes. That became what is known as Matzah and during Passover, keeping leavened bread (chametz) which is any item made with yeast or a grain that can rise, is forbidden.

Since making sure that no leavened bread remains in the home during Passover is so important, even overlooked crumbs count. To this end, Jews scour their homes from top to bottom before Passover to ensure they don’t miss a crum. No corner is to be left untouched and all chametz is either given away or sold so as not to ‘own’ it during Passover. For those 8 days different dishes, silverware, cookware are used and only foods without any leavening are eaten.  Since Passover comes around April, many people consider this custom as the origin of spring cleaning.

The Chinese, also have of a spring cleaning ritual.  They clean their homes in anticipation of the new year by sweeping their floors and cleaning their homes to be rid of bad luck and misfortune that may have accumulated during the previous year. Once the house is clean, the Chinese then welcome good fortune in by observing a prohibition against sweeping for the few days following the new year in order to prevent sweeping away any good fortune that came with the turn of the year.

After all that cleaning I think we should head for the garden to do some spring planting.  Wanna join me?

Now go out and have yourself a wholesale, flower-filled, spring day!

 

 


We two girls from Brides N Blooms, Wholesale & Designs are all about what’s new! Who isn’t? New styles, new looks, newest color trends! But sometimes ‘new’ isn’t all about the next best thing…. sometime’s it’s all about what has been out there all along. It’s just new to YOU!

Brides N Blooms, Designs - My Shaidi Bridal Show - event vendor showcases - traditional wedding dressOur latest adventure has been learning and working within the Indian Culture! I’ve always loved Indian cusine… Give me anything with curry in it and I’m a happy camper! I adore the Bollywood style dancing and all the color and clamor of the country itself.  So, when we sat down with a lovely Hindu bride to discuss her flowers, we were ecstatic! In the past, we have delivered boxes and boxes of flowers to others who were doing weddings, and did some traditional bouquets  for  blended weddings…but having our own client is a dream come true!

Curiosity and knowledge are always helpful when going forward in a different and new arena, so we read up on traditions and asked lots of questions. We studied the different flower garlands and Rituals that are traditionally used in a Hindu ceremony and all the different facets that go into this style wedding. We decided that the best way to actually ‘see’ everything that goes into an Indian affair would be to do the next best thing other than attend a wedding. We became a vendor at a local wedding show that caters to this clientele. The ‘My Shadi Bridal Show” in Tampa was beyond any expectation we could have had. Stunning showcases of what any bride, much less a traditional Indian girl could want!!

These were some of the showcases set up by event companies who cater to this culture on a regular basis:

Traditional Indian Dinner

Gorgeous Mandap and table setting

Beautiful Wedding Ceremony Area

It was a great experience for us. We met lots of lovely vendors and guests, and it seems what we had to show they liked too!  I hope our introduction into this different and vibrant culture  is the beginning of a long and exciting relationship. Namaste!

Some of our designs:

Brides N Blooms, Designs - My Shaidi Bridal Show

Lovely Centerpiece Design for Traditional Hindu Wedding

Tall & Elegant Centerpiece on Candelabra with hanging crystals

Brides N Blooms, Designs - My Shaidi Bridal Show 17

Now go out and have yourself a colorful, curry-style, wholesale flower-filled day!


Big Events are a lot of work. It doesn’t matter if you are the host or the vendor. Each one plays a part to create it! Big or small, outdoor or indoor, intimate settings or big halls. Everybody needs to be on board with the vision and realities of the event. Both vendor and client have expectations which sometimes simple and effective communication can make easier on everyone.

1. Getting the question “How much does it cost? This is a difficult question for most vendors to give you during an initial consultation. There are so many factors that go into pricing an event. Aside from the actual price of the items, there is experience, time and artistry, and most importantly service. Trying to be competitive is always a tightrope walked. A client has no clue how much time is spent in the inital phases of the job. Consultations, working out a quote, emails, ordering  processing and bookkeeping. That doesn’t include the actual preparing,  set up & day of event.

How Brides N Blooms, Wholesale & Designs likes to handle this situation is by flipping it around to the client and asking “What is your budget?” Or, “If I tell you your flowers will cost ‘this much’, how would you feel about that?” That helps a client figure out their comfort level and helps you, the vendor, figure out what you are able to do to match the client’s wants and what you are able to provide.

2. Constant Emails and changes…
It is the nature of this business to do a lot of cross communicating with email. However, if a client is continually changing their mind, or over obsessing with details, it becomes difficult for a vendor to be effective at their job. Too many changes, too many requests about minute details and freak outs can sometimes create problems in the final product. The client will not necessarily remember everything that was said or changed and if what is remembered is different than what the client thought, there will be disappointment all around. A vendor wants as much as the client does for everything to be right!

A good idea is to be clear in your consultations that ALL emails will be answered within a certain time frame. As the vendor, you can make sure your reply is clear and itemized with a subject line that is labeled for that particular issue/question. For the client, ask lots of questions, be very detailed in what you want and trust that the vendor you are choosing is a qualified, capable professional.

3. Don’t Assume Anything
This works both ways… Vendors and Clients. Communication just as in any relationship, is ultimately the key to making sure you get what you pay for and the vendor knows exactly what you want. As a vendor we hear many times a client say “Whatever you think is best! You are the professional”. Those are dangerous words for a vendor to take literally. What visions a client may have in their head many times will not be quite the same as what the vendor is envisioning.

As a vendor, have pictures or literature explaining your work. As a client, have pictures and a prepared list of what you want. Everyone may not be literal…but we all are visual in this industry. A picture is worth a thousand words… and a list is both a vendor and client’s best friend.

Make sure no matter which end of the spectrum you sit, vendor or host, you are honest, communicative and realistic. That way we all can work together to make your event a great one!

Now go out and have yourself a wholesale, fresh flower, communicative day!


Maybe you’ve heard us talk about the Party It Forward Event show and wondered… Just what IS that anyway?

Basically… its an event show with a heart.

To understand how the whole thing came about, let’s go back in time to about 3 years ago… to a discussion we two girls from Brides N Blooms, Wholesale & Designs were having about bridal shows in general. We both decided that as much as the big shows are fun, and you get to meet ALOT of potential clients, its really hard to make a connection to anyone who stops to chat. Too much noise and too many people make it really difficult to do that.

With all the high end items and necessary vendors needed when hosting a wedding or party, we wondered if there was a way to make it just a little easier on the pocketbook. If we could connect upcoming hosts of weddings, parties, etc with the items that they will certainly need for their events, and not  just  the vendors they’ll need, but the little things that cost money. Those things that until you start planning, you might not realize you need! Especially for the DIY girls that put everything together and are very hands on.

The last and most important component we wondered about is how to find a way that people can reuse, recycle and give upcoming event hosts and brides who are spending so much money a break. We thought the best way to do that was to get up and coming hosts together with past hosts of celebrations who have beautiful items that they no longer have a use for. The things they no longer need that could become a new host or brides treasure trove.

That is how we came up with our Party It Forward event show concept!!

Now, you may ask… how do we do accomplish that?

We invite girls who have already had their wedding or party and are trying to sell their event items, and we ask our past clients and their friends to sell any of their event items too. They get to make some money back and the new hosts are getting beautiful almost new items that they need for less money.

And just to make it more interesting, we like looking for the smaller or lesser known venues that  people may not know exist in and around the Tampa Bay Area to co host with us! It is just as fun for us to come upon a hidden treasure of a venue as it is for them to co-host what sometimes is their first bridal/event show! Last, but not least, we thought that no event show is complete without vendors. Since we wanted a boutique style show we decided to only allow one vendor of each category and we only ask vendors that we trust to do a good job, and are customer service friendly, to participate in our vendor area. We like to have the traditional vendors, but we also like to have some that are not so traditional as well!

A concept that helps both the brides and hosts of upcoming events and of past events save money. A show that introduces unique and service oriented vendors. A location that may be a hidden jewel in the Tampa Bay Area.

That is how we “Party It Forward“!

Pictures from our 2/23/14 Party It Forward Event – held at 1930 Grande Room, Ybor City. Photo’s provided by Classic Concepts Photo & Film & Brides N Blooms Wholesale & Designs

We hope you enjoyed the show…Now, go out and have yourself a sustainable, wholesale fresh flower day!


Flowers are making a real comeback for 2014 Weddings.

There’s been a slow move away from the garden/mason jar look to an elegant rustic look for the less formal wedding.  Lots of bottles, candles/candelabra’s and lace in the table designs while using a neutral and muted palette, like whites, ivories and metallic golds while adding  a bold color like red, tangerine or indigo blue. Lush, soft and romantic flowers like Peony, Garden Roses,  Hydrangeas, as well as succulents & ivy.  This style wedding also has included in it, elements of wine barrels, custom wine as a signature drink, vines, foliage, and looser garden style designs. The look is simple yet graceful.

The 1920′s Gatsby elegance is still very popular. Blush pink, cream, and gold with a pop of a single color such as bright or hot pink, dark apricot or plum.  All white weddings in this style are popular, with lots of lace, pearls and crystal accents. A new request in Vintage style has been RED, and lots of it!

Other popular requests this year are flowers in  pastel colors such as peach/coral, blush pink, butter yellow and purple /lavender color palettes.

Lastly, hair embellishments using fresh flowers are everywhere. Hair Crowns, halos, and flower accents are all on trend.

  

From the  ceremony to the wedding reception, flowers are going to be a huge part of  this year’s weddings.

Now go and have yourself an elegant, wholesale  fresh flower filled day!

 

 


So! Its Valentine’s Day. I’ve been researching a few things about Valentines day and I came across a few surprising factoids!  (not that much of anything about love surprises me anymore.. but some of these facts made me chuckle nonetheless)

1.  Many think proposing on Valentine’s Day is cliche.  Apparently there are about 40% of the female population that thinks this is so. Well, in my opinion, if you’re thinking ‘how cliche” while being asked, then maybe you don’t deserve the guy who’s asking you. I would say who cares what the date is! If the man of my dreams asks me to marry him on Valentines day, then I’d be daft to think anything but YES!!  (Maybe the girls who think its cliche just haven’t been asked yet or if they were they’re quietly wishing their guy had thought of it)

Proposing Marriage

 

2. About 62% of men expect not only that they will have sex on that night, but it will be amazingly better than usual.   (Really??) Well guys.. keep your britches on.. because approximately 50% of women think not. And just because you give us gifts of wine, roses & chocolate doesn’t mean we’re gonna change our minds. Deal with it!

 

3. Men typically outspend women on Valentines day.   Well, now I feel guilty for just getting my special guy a card, some chocolate and funny boxer shorts with hearts on it. Do I need to go and buy an expensive watch too? Or an xbox maybe? You know, personally… I feel a little gyped on Valentine’s day. My birthday is only a few days later, so my frantic hubby has to come up with two special gifts all in the same week. I think it’s gotten a little old for him because now he just asks me “what do you want?”. (Quite the way to put me on the spot! Lately my answer has been anything diamond and please take me to Italy)

 

4. Men are needier creatures than women. Somehow I don’t think this comes as a shock to any of us in long term relationships, but yes, it seems that 45% of men are likelier to stay in a bad or loveless relationship.  Rather than letting go and looking for something better, they’ll hold onto whatever they have  so as not to be alone. That’s really sad. As a matter of fact, that is so sad, I think maybe the next time I meet an unhappy man in a bad relationship, I just might have to give him some fresh flowers… just to cheer him up.

 

5. More than half of the U.S. population celebrates Valentine’s. Day.  It’s a real money maker. Total holiday spending is expected in the 15 billion range. I say, save a little money and wait. Candy is so much cheaper the next day, Jewelry will be on sale, Flowers will be less money. If you’re having a sad, lonely or not quite up to expectations Valentine’s day, don’t despair; The day after go out and buy yourself a bunch of half-priced chocolate filled, heart shaped boxes of candy, some bling and fresh flowers and have yourself a spectacular February 15th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now go out and have yourself a wholesale fresh flower filled, Valentine’s Day!.


We’re always looking for ways to create an ‘out of the box’ idea. Making a statement or something memorably different.

Here are 5 wedding ideas that we think are fun, memorable and certainly out of the box!

1.  A wedding invite with song requests:  Instead of you wracking your brain to give your DJ a list of songs that you hope your guests won’t hate, give your guests the opportunity to participate and give a song selection of their own! Everyone can get their own little tune in there, from the kids to the grandparents!

Wedding Guest Song Selections

2. Team bride or team groom badges: This is a fun way to help your guests get to know each other! Give them “bride” or “groom” badges as they enter. Guests can wear the badge so that they can easily tell if someone is an acquaintance of the bride or groom – it’s an automatic icebreaker, and makes for a great conversation starter too!

Team Bride & Team Groom Badges

3. Wedding photos with messages to loved ones: Have a relative who can’t make it? Create unique signage for your wedding photos so you can send them a special, heartfelt message from your special day. Even if they couldn’t attend, they’ll feel like they were still a special part of your day, and they’ll have a meaningful keepsake that will last forever.

Greetings to guests that couldn't make it to your wedding

4. Karaoke with your guests: Lots of people like to show off their hidden talents and lots of people who shouldn’t sing, do… that’s the fun of karaoke! You never know what is coming next. Have your DJ intersperse the dance music with some karaoke numbers. Encourage your guests to get up and sing… and dance along!

Wedding Party Karaoke

5. Pamplets making fun of your own wedding: Instead of the ordinary wedding programs that list everyone’s name and the order of the service, add some humor to your handouts. Have one with a funny description of the event’s proceedings, or a word search game with a small pencil to go along with it.

So... You're Going To Sit Through A Wedding.....

Whatever you choose to do, be it unusual or traditional, making your event one to remember not just for you, but for your guests, is one of the joys of hosting a big event, and seeing your guests look of surprise or delight is an added bonus!

Now go out and have a fun filled, completely different and memorable, wholesale  flower-filled day!

 


We all have heard the adage you get what you pay for.  Have you thought about what it is you really want to pay for?

I would venture to say that in any given situation when purchasing an item, most of us base our decision on price. We can live without great service if it’s something we really want, though truthfully we really remember and enjoy the buying experience more when the service is above average.

When planning a wedding, where everything you purchase is so emotionally significant, I really believe that price should be secondary to service. You can search by price for a vendor’s services, but if they don’t show up on time, or the quality is less than you expect, that’s what you will always remember.

I believe there are three key things to remember about picking a vendor for your wedding or party:

1. Make sure your vendor really understands your vision and needs. It’s okay to have a budget, but be realistic about what your budget will get you and really trust that your vendor is committed to giving you the best services, and items your budget will afford you.

2. Get it in writing. A contract, though scary to some, is both your best friend and protection. It is a written understanding of everything your vendor will do for you, that they guarantee they will deliver the items agreed upon and you agree to the terms of the contract. No matter how many times you may need to change something, make sure it all ends up on the contract, and is noted by both you and the vendor.

3. If it seems like a deal too good to be true, it probably IS. There are unscrupulous vendors that could take your money and not deliver, or promise much bigger than what they deliver. The best ‘deal’ is a vendor with positive reviews to their credit or were referred and not necessarily the lowest cost option.

Remember that price is only part of your package. Quality and service is the one part of your package that you will remember.

Now go and have yourself a Quality wholesale fresh flower day!!!


…Do onto others, play nice, respect people, never call someone an ugly name and treat people with common courtesy. Doesn’t seem too difficult does it? Why then does it seem we are accosted by a barrage of people treating others poorly? On any number of given days in the last few years I heard someone somewhere saying something offensive or behaving badly.

When did we become so rude?

As  business professionals we work to make sure that we treat our clients with the respect they deserve and the care that is due them. After all, they called us to provide a service!  And we are grateful for their trust. I wish that I could say that is the case with every service personnel I have come across, or with every client for that matter. Usually if someone does something rude or says something hurtful, I have to tell myself  not to get upset. Maybe that person is having a bad day? Maybe they’re not in a good place internally and that will reflect in their attitude and manner. Though I think that could be the case some of the time…. I have come to the conclusion it is not the majority of the time. Our society in general seems to have become just a little less thoughtful and a lot more impolite.

There has been a number of times either at work or during  leisure time (whatever small amount of it we might have!!), that someone was exceptionally uncivil and for no apparent reason except that it seems there is no ‘common courtesy” filter anymore.

Why do drivers never  let you in to change lanes anymore? Why when you are in a fast food place, or a store checking out, some service personnel behave like they are put out to even be talking to you, much less helping you! When did we become the society that  doesn’t hold the door for the next person? (and I’m not talking about chivalry, which I think died a violent death a while ago), I’m speaking of the simple act of caring that someone is coming in behind you, so don’t let the door close in their face!

When did we forget how to say please and thank you?

You know.. I really believe that we should re-learn how to Just Play Nice! Exactly the way our parents and teachers told us to on the playground. I think a little more courtesy and politeness would make our everyday interactions a lot more pleasant!

Children playing together in a playground,

Thank you and go out and have yourself a polite & respectful, flower-filled day!