Etiquette and Credit

Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and a slew of other social media sites have the ability to show off a vendor’s work, ideas and designs. Most companies post different status updates concerning work they’re doing or recently have finished. The wedding industry is very big on this strategy because it gives event vendors the opportunity to show what we can do to a large audience. The positives are getting your company’s name out and giving people who might not have otherwise even known that  your company exists, a chance to see what you can do. It connects you with past, current, and future clients,  as well as, giving you, the vendor, the opportunity to toot your own horn a bit.

But… what to do if pictures or intellectual property that are yours are not being credited to you?  Or are posted to a different vendor’s page? It is not just social media etiquette that suggests one ALWAYS credit work to its proper source, it is a workplace ethic that has been around for a long time.  Forbe’s magazine noted in one of its blogs ( ) that “one of the most important things you can do to protect your career and career advancement is to stand up for yourself when someone takes credit for your ideas or your work”.  I would say this does extend to social media as well.  If, a wedding photographer, or a floral and/or decor designer’s work is being shown on a venue’s facebook page there should always be, at the very least, a mention or link to whatever business supplied the items being shown.  If a client or user comments on that picture, it would only be fair to acknowledge the vendor whose work is being showcased.  A thank you is nice and polite, but does not give the vendor the credit that is due them.

Putting it simply, particularly on social media sites, if you are a venue or vendor, showcasing a photo of an event,  and that photo  includes another vendor’s work and not your own, let people know.

Taking credit for someone else’s work is tantamount to theft!

One  way we have found to remedy that situation is to include a logo on pictures that Brides N Blooms Designs  may post on either Facebook or Pinterest.  Understandably, sometimes that is not possible, especially  if a client or friend posted the picture that has your work in it.  I personally see nothing wrong as the vendor, going into the comment section and thanking that person for their review/comment. Keep this in mind as well, No photos should ever be posted of an impending event, prior to the hosts’ arrival! You may be REALLY excited about your work, but, hold off on posting it for everyone to see until the most important people see it live! It’s all about the drama of the moment, especially for the Bride and Groom, why spoil that for them. Why should “Mary in Portland” get to see the beautiful room before the actual bride in Florida? Joseph Grenny, said in a post on,  “ Manners will catch up with technology when the silent learn to speak”.  While it would be nice if people always did the right thing, a gentle reminder now and again isn’t a bad thing either. Now go and have yourself a polite wholesale fresh flower day!

Last Minute Headaches

We two girls at Brides N Blooms like reading blogs. We like to find out how other vendors handle issues, and hear about some of the weddings they’ve done.  We also like to read blogs from ‘real’ people who are honest about  how their weddings or events turned out . We like reading how to do what we do better or see how others how averted a disaster.  As any florist, or vendor for that matter, will tell you….we all have our fair share of those situations.

I recently read a blog on the The Stir, where they were discussing the unexpected problems that crop up last minute at weddings or events and I got to thinking about that. This particular writer was talking about issues from the client’s perspective…but what about the vendors point of view? What did the vendor have to deal with in those situations? One unexpected issue mentioned went like this; “The florist’s (or another vendor’s) bill suddenly doubling overnight. Unexpected changes have caused brides to contend with last minute charges that came out of the blue. Talk about an instant headache!”

We would agree that is a headache…but having been on the other side of this coin, changes and extra charges do not “come out of the blue”.  They happen because there was a lack of communication and rechecking of one’s contract to make sure what you ordered is, in fact, what you actually expect to get and, then notifying whatever vendor this will affect. What I see happen often is our services are ordered months in advance of the event date. As time goes on, and different items are planned with other vendors, or the venue, counts change, items should be added. Without being vigilant about previously ordered items, and having a checklist, small details like counts and amounts get forgotten. Case in point, we recently had 2 different weddings that added last minute tables to their counts, after they’d contracted and paid for our services. Neither bride or their families relayed those changes to us at all.

For wedding #1 we ordered the contracted amount of items needed and prepared her designs.  When we showed up and counted the tables we noticed there was an extra one. Luckily for the bride it was only a small centerpiece that was unaccounted for.  After a quick discussion on whether to leave the table empty or not, we decided not to. So we ended up scrambling at the venue to find an extra vase and then creating a design for it on the fly. It didn’t really resemble the other centerpieces at all, but it was pretty and the table wasn’t bare. However, we were in touch with the bride 2 weeks prior and she never mentioned the extra table.

Suffice it to say, our motto is to never say no, so if it’s at all humanly possible we will make things as perfect as we can. We could have charged for that extra time and piece, but we didn’t.

Wedding #2, was a different case. We had a 2 day notice on that one. However, it was not because we were notified of any change.  The bride was supplying us the containers to use. Later, while unpacking all her items, we noticed a lot more containers than what we were contracted to make. We called and the bride told us the amount of tables she wanted us to do was 5 more than she had contracted for and they added those 2 weeks ago. The bill was paid in full, and it was too late to order more of the specialty items she wanted to fill those extra containers with in the way she had envisioned. We explained that we would use what we had,  just a little more sparingly but we would have to charge her for the extra work.  Again, we had been in contact with this bride within 2 weeks prior to her event. I can only assume it just didn’t cross her mind to check her contract to make sure she’d paid for the design work needed  for the tables she had and notify us of the additions. Also, when we met with her to pick up the items she had a small mishap and dropped one of her ceremony pots. She was in a panic, so calmly we suggested we go together to a local store where she could replace them with something else. That was time we were not paid for.  This bride also on the day of her wedding, out of the blue, asked for the petals for her flower girl, of  which there was no note for in her contract. Petals aren’t such a big deal really and we don’t charge for them when roses are already part of an order, but when there are little or no roses, then we have to go and get some! Which is time, last minute stress and expense we didn’t plan or charge for. In the end, her family let us know that her wedding was wonderful and thanked us for making everything so beautiful. Which is our ultimate goal!

We believe customer service is paramount and we want our clients to be happy and satisfied with our service. We always want them to know that we’ll go the extra mile for them. So when this blogger mentions the headache for the client, we’re thinking, it is just as much headache for the vendor.

I came across another blogger from the Bridal Guide who mentioned it being the bride’s responsibility to avert last minute problems by checking everything they’ve ordered against what they actually will need. This blogger suggested that the bride or event planner should follow this checklist concerning flowers:

“Timing. What time will your photographer arrive to take photos?  You’ll want to make sure your florist is aware of this timeline if you want photos with your flowers prior to your ceremony.

Location. Where do you want your bouquets & boutonnieres delivered?  Should they be brought to you at the chapel or spa?  Will all the men be getting ready at the same location or should the father of the bride’s boutonniere be delivered with bouquets?

Numbers. Are there any changes to the number of bouquets or centerpieces you’ll need?  If you don’t have an exact table count, then err on the side of too many pieces rather than too few.  They can always be repurposed elsewhere.

Extras. Does your caterer want flowers for garnishes or food stations?  These need to be ordered if you expect to have extra flowers!

Preceding. Do you need flowers for your rehearsal dinner?  If you haven’t arranged this yet your wedding florist may be the best person to assist with this since she/he already has a sense of your style.

If you have questions about how the flow of the day should go ask your florist to clarify delivery or design details.”

So, if something like a last minute charge happens, know it was not something a vendor will do out of the blue. It is something a vendor will do because they have to cover the cost of any unforeseen extras the client forgot to communicate about. As much as it is our responsibility as vendors to make sure we cover all the bases, communication and checking your contracts will prevent last minute headaches.

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



Guess What Your Guest Is Spending?!

Events are expensive.  Wedding costs in particular have risen dramatically in the past few years. What we don’t usually think about though is, what your guest is paying to BE a guest at your wedding?

So this is personal now.  I am attending my nephew’s wedding next year. He and his lovely fiance live up north. That means plane fare for both my hubby and me. We’ll more than likely need to rent a car and definitely need stay in a hotel a minimum of two nights. I need a new dress because goodness knows I have nothing nice enough to wear in the cold November weather and I am hoping that the suit from the last wedding we attended last year will still fit Hubby next year. (I recently lucked out for a friend’s daughter’s wedding by getting a perfectly good, fitting perfectly, Ann Klein dress at a consignment shop! Go ME!!)

Now, according to a survey from American Express, wedding guests are spending an average 75% more than 2 years ago. Though its true that the average wedding (according the The Knot) is costing close to $30,000,  a guest is spending close to $600 to be there too. That, by the way, according to the survey, does not include the gift. The number reflects what the average wedding guest spends for all those items I mentioned earlier.  So if I look at that number,  that is about what we will be spending to go to this big family event.

It is true that on average what a guest is ‘getting’ for their money is probably more lavish than in the past, such as a lovely destination spot, or a top notch meal and location, but it can be daunting even on the most treasured friendship or family member.

Also, keep in mind when we’re talking about spending money to go to a wedding, the gift expected these days, should be no less than $75.00. That’s a lot to ask of the people you love, much less those you feel you ‘have’ to invite!

So? What to do? Here are a few tips that we’ve heard from a few different sources:

  • Get the name of the gift registry and then sign up for their weekly notices and/or flyers. That way you get their sales and could use it towards a registry item.  Or share with another guest in order to get something a little bigger/better but still use what you have budgeted for a gift.
  • Sign up for some of the travel sites that send out email specials and see if your location pops up. Don’t wait too long though. Book as early as possible for the best airfares and hotel rates.
  • If you have vacation time you need to use and you are going to a destination wedding… then by all means, extend your trip! Stay a few days either before or after the event and enjoy!
  • Start looking for your attire during sales times. If you know there’s a wedding coming up in the next 6 months, hit all the end of season sales. Dress wear does not really seem to be all that seasonal in color, so something sold in December more than likely can also be worn in May. Or like I did, go to a higher end consignment shop and see what’s there. Sometimes you luck out!
  • If you have to rent a car, see if you can team up with another guest to share the cost. That makes for a lot less stress than waiting for a pick up or local services.

I love my nephew, no doubt, but it would not be my first choice to go up north in the winter. However, Hubby and I do have family and friends living up there, so we shall take some extra time and do the visiting junket. Not the cruise we were hoping for, but it’s a decent enough trade off.

Whatever the cost to attend an event may be, know that those guests who you’ve so carefully chosen to be asked to attend, will also choose carefully whether they can afford to RSVP a yes.

Now get planning and go out and have yourself a wholesale, Flower-Filled Day!