Etiquette

Having people help with wedding stuff

tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio
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My FSMIL used to work for a florist and still does wedding flowers every summer for several people. She hasn't come out and said that she wants to do the flowers for our wedding, but we have talked about flowers and she says "we can do this or we can do that". My problem is that I feel bad having her do all the flowers. I want really nice flower centerpieces for the reception plus a few big pieces for the ceremony and all the bridal party flowers. This is so much work and I hate to have her do all that, but I think if I hired a florist to do even part of it that she would be horribly offended. Should I ask her if she's doing the flowers and how much she wants to do?

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Re: Having people help with wedding stuff

  • Has she been saying "we" to indicate that she's going to do the flowers or just as a sort-of "royal we" to talk about what she thinks you should have your florist do? Are you positive that she wants to do the flowers for you? If you are, then I would simply sit her down and ask her how much she's willing to do and if you need to hire a florist to do some other parts of it. For example - if she really wants to do your bouquet but won't have time for all the centerpieces, then you hire someone for that.
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  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio
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    edited July 2013

    I think she's been saying we like she's going to do the flowers. I'm like 95% sure she is planning on doing them and she just assumes that I know that.

    ETA: That's a good idea to see what parts she wants to do and then hire someone for the rest.

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  • flowers are a big job. even if she has good intentions, i'd still want to hire a pro. maybe she could be your "flower advisor". she may be happy offering suggestions for local florists, going with you to meet with them and giving input on the look and style.
  • Ok, well if that's the case, then I would definitely just bring it up casually with her. Perhaps say that you're trying to finalize some of your vendors and you just want to make sure that you two have been on the same page. If for some reason it's the 5% and she's not planning on helping - then apologize for making the assumption and maybe ask her along to meetings with potential florists so you can get her expert opinion :-) Good luck!
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  • edited July 2013

    I think she's been saying we like she's going to do the flowers. I'm like 95% sure she is planning on doing them and she just assumes that I know that.

    ETA: That's a good idea to see what parts she wants to do and then hire someone for the rest.





    I would ask your fiance if he has had any conversations with her to which you are not privy. If he is as confused as you (I would be too), he needs to have a conversation with her. "SM - when you say 'we could do this/that' were you thinking you wanted to help with wedding flowers?"

    If she says "Yes, I assumed I would do flowers for the whole wedding" then you decide if you want to accept her offer. You should offer to pay her. She may decline payment and want to do it as a gift. Decide if you're ok with this. If you do accept her offer, have a conversation with her about what you want and see if what you want is something she can/wants to take on. If it's not, you ask her what she is offering to do and you hire a florist for the rest. Openly communicate that.

    If she says "Oh no, I just get excited about talking flowers since I was in the business" then you hire a florist.

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  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio
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    phira said:
    This is one of those situations where you can still be polite and considerate, but you need to be straightforward, even if it feels awkward.

    "[FSMIL], I know we've talked a bit about flowers, but I just wanted to clarify. Are you interested in doing the flowers for the wedding? We'd be thrilled if you wanted to, and we'd be happy to pay you, since you'd be a vendor. If you were just talking hypotheticals, that's fine as well. We just wanted to ask you instead of assuming you would do them, or going ahead with finding a florist."

    Hinting might feel more polite, but in this case, you just need a solid clarification. You wouldn't be upset either way, it seems, so it's just knowing if she's doing the flowers or not that matters.
    Thank you so much for that advice. You're right it's fine either way with me, I just need to know for sure because it's getting close enough that I need to start locking in my vendors. We're all going out to dinner tonight so I'll try to casually bring up wedding stuff and then have the conversation with her.
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  • phiraphira Bahstin
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    LeSwan85 said:
    phira said:
    This is one of those situations where you can still be polite and considerate, but you need to be straightforward, even if it feels awkward.

    "[FSMIL], I know we've talked a bit about flowers, but I just wanted to clarify. Are you interested in doing the flowers for the wedding? We'd be thrilled if you wanted to, and we'd be happy to pay you, since you'd be a vendor. If you were just talking hypotheticals, that's fine as well. We just wanted to ask you instead of assuming you would do them, or going ahead with finding a florist."

    Hinting might feel more polite, but in this case, you just need a solid clarification. You wouldn't be upset either way, it seems, so it's just knowing if she's doing the flowers or not that matters.
    I think this is perfectly polite AND straightforward. IMHO the only "not polite" way to handle this sort of thing is to assume she'll do the flowers for free and not ask her. She may very well want to help you for a discounted or even free price as a gift to you and your fiance, but I think even the most generous people might balk when it's just assumed they are offering their time and/or talent without being asked.
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  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet
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    I would ask her if she would be in charge of the flowers. She can decide if that means creating giant bouquets or picking the florist and telling them what to do.



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  • Not sure if you're already at dinner, but if you're worried about being polite while asking her about this (which you should), then unless it's just the two of you at dinner, I'd ask her when it's just the two of you so that she doesn't feel put on the spot if you're with other people.  That might put her in an awkward position.

    FTR, I think it's perfectly fine (and recommended) to ask her and let her know that you just want to be clear.  If you read these boards long enough, it seems assumptions never got anyone anywhere fast when they assume that someone is doing something or paying for something wedding-wise!

  • Or you could say your figuring out the flowers and are wondering which florists she recommends.
  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio
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    We had dinner last night and I did wait until it was just me and her talking privately. I just started talking to her about what we've been planning and I told her I was having a hard time coming up with centerpiece ideas. She said we could go to the wholesale flower place and check stuff out. So that opened it up for me to ask her if she could help me make them. She said it needs done the day of or day before and I shouldn't be "working" on stuff by that time so her and FSIL we going to take care of all the flowers for me. Yay! I'm going to scale down what I was planning on doing though so they won't have so much to do.
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  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains
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    Very generous of her! Glad you got it all sorted out.
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