Jeff Leatham Design--Photo Courtesy of MarthaStewart.com
Wednesday evening I was thrilled to tune into new reality show Flowers Uncut airing on The Learning Channel. Main designer Jeff Leatham spent the expanse of the show delighting the senses with his widely recognized style and impeccable taste. And while his work was inspiring to me as a fellow florist and his designs visually stimulating, I did want to pass on a few nuggets that I learned while watching one segment of the show dealing with the bridal bouquet.
1. Paying more isn't a guarantee. One of Jeff's clients (who remained anonymous) had a $1.5 million budget for her wedding. But despite essentially having fiscal free-reign, she didn't like her bouquet! And not only did she dislike her bouquet, it was the day of the wedding and there was nothing they could do about it! Jeff had his assistant return to the bride and basically tell her there wasn't anything they could do about it. With as large and expensive of a budget as this bride had, she was still disappointed in what was being shown to her just hours before the ceremony. Don't be fooled into thinking that just because a florist wants 60% of your wedding budget you are going to get the perfect flowers -- consider all options and all price ranges.
2. Make sure the designer you talk to is actually going to be creating your flowers. Even a world-renowned florist couldn't handle the stress and had to hire out for the bouquets. The more people that get between you and your original design plan, the greater the risk that the end product doesn't match the blueprints you laid out in the beginning. Now let's give Jeff some credit, his timeline was cut short and he was working on 4 different event locations on 3 different floors. But if you were paying big bucks for a custom designer wedding dress, wouldn't you be a little miffed to find out the designer hired someone else to design it?
3. A day-of reveal may not be all it's cracked up to be. While it sounds romantic to have those ceremony doors whoosh open for your first glimpse of your altar dripping with flowers by your gaping groom, there is also a risk that what you see makes you hesitate. No, not because of second-thoughts about your groom, but because those tea roses weren't quite what you had in mind and there's a wee bit, ok a wee lot of baby's breath in there that you really didn't order. If making sure your flowers are picture-perfect ahead of time sounds like a good idea, silk flowers may be the way to go. But if you are willing to take a risk on delivered fresh flowers, be prepared to leave your design plans completely in someone else's hands.
Now if you've got the fundage to hire Jeff Leatham, by all means take that opportunity! If you are on a smaller budget, perhaps one less in the rockstar/celebrity realm, but still want perfect flowers, check me out! (Here's where my shameless plug comes in.) Real touch silk flowers are not only more budget friendly, they also offer you the opportunity to participate in the design process and to see your beautiful flowers ahead of time . And if it comes down to it and your bridal bouquet isn't quite what you had in mind, there will be no mad dashes to change it up the day of your wedding. Designs evolve as the creative process progresses, and there's nothing wrong with that! But if your florist isn't going to be creating your flowers until the night before or morning of, you will be committing your budget and dreams to whatever they show up with.
Will I be tuning in next week for another fast-paced look into the world of floristry? Absolutely! Do I still appreciate Jeff's style and flair for flowers? Heck yes! But next week, I think I'm going to be rooting for Jeff to get it right every time -- something I strive for with each job.