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Flower consultations

So I have narrowed down the list of florists I would like to visit. I have two questions. The first is that I would like to have a consultation with is Whimsical Welcomes. but I read on her site that its a $25 consultation fee. Is this normal? I have a small flower budget and I know she will work with it so I still want to meet with her, but maybe do her last in case I find someone else I love first then the 25 bucks isnt wasted?

The other question I have is that I really dont know what I want for flowers. I have a general idea, but nothing too specific nor do I have bridesmaid dresses picked out yet (and I dont plan to do that until my MOH comes down to look this summer). Is that really going to affect any quote the florists will give me? Should I figure out more concretely what I want?
Thanks for the help ladies!
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Re: Flower consultations

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    edited December 2011
    I'm going with Maria from Mums the Word and had no consultation fee. I'm not sure if that's normal or not. Seems weird to me.
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    edited December 2011
    I didn't really click with them but you can save her for last and go to other florists. I don't think you need to really look for a florist just yet though. I would get a better idea for what you want first. 
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    Bean32Bean32 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Whimsical Welcomes was the only florist I met that had a consultation fee. I didn't end up going with Leslie, but the "work" she asked me to do prior to the meeting really, really helped me figure out what I wanted. If you are unsure, then I think spending $25, doing her spreadsheets, and talking to her is well worth it - even if you end up with someone else. She's creative, honest, and helpful.
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    edited December 2011

    Leslie was my florist and she did an amazing job.  If you bring a donation for the SPCA, her fee is then only $15.00.  But also for that fee, she has spent hours finding photos for you to look at, making simple sketches of at least 4 kinds of bouquets, centerpieces, placecard arrangemtns, etc..  She also sets up ideas in her workshop for you to look at and can pull all kinds of things off her shelves to make adjustments.  She sets up a couple of mock-ups and then gave me the flowers to take home.  $25.00 is nothing when you see all the preparation she does and how she comes up with ideas just for you.  I'd pay more than that becasue she she was so focused on my wedding and made everything come together for me. And my meeting was more than three hours long!  We got a lot done and she was so great to work with throughout the whole process.  No other florist that I met with set up a presentation even close to what she did.  I highly recommend Whimsical Welcomes.   www.whimsicalwelcomes.com

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    edited December 2011
    DISCLAIMER: Leslie was my florist, and I didn't particularly have any emotional attachment to my flower. She showed me some work I liked and was willing to work within my budget, so I went with her and never met with anyone else.  So keep in mind that I am speaking only from my experience of working with Leslie and have no true comparison, only hersay from other brides.

    Yes, as far as I know the consultation fee is a bit unusual.  However, Leslie as a florist is also a bit unusual in that she works from her home and being a florist is her second career (she is a retired teacher).  She justifies her fee by assuring you that she put in a number of hours of work towards your meeting (and she truly does) getting to know you, your personal style, the kind of flowers you like, and how to make your budget work.  She also shows up with sketches, samples, and multiple different ideas at your meeting, and she gives you a small floral arrangement to take home as a thank-you for spending time with her.  I again have no real idea based on other experiences, but I can only assume that this is a lot more work than a typical florist will do towards an initial consultation.  Additionally, Leslie does not have a shop to manage, and the consultation fee does go towards your deposit should you decide to go with her, so all in all you are likely still saving money. 

    I do know people who have been turned off by the fee she charges, and I can understand why as it doesn't seem to be the industry standard.  Hopefully this info helps, though.  I was extremely happy with her work and her professionalism in doing the flowers for my own wedding.
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    cfblechmancfblechman member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thanks for the advice ladies! I am still in the looking phase, but i will probably going to see them in the next couple of months! I feel better about the fee now that I know how much time she spends in advance on you.
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    edited December 2011
    I scheduled an appt with her last (because her house was way out of the way for me).  I really liked another florist and decided to go with them.  I notified her 2-3 days in advance that I had to cancel our appt because I decided to go with another vendor and her response was less than professional and riddled with attitude.  Just my experience.
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    edited December 2011

    I would be shocked if Leslie were anything less than professional.  Perhaps this is just your interpretation for some reason.  And because she plans so far ahead and does do so much prep work, she'd probably already spent hours on your wedding sketching, finding ideas, buying flowers, and working with you by email.  If a vendor had cancelled with you 2-3 days ahead of a meeting you were counting on,  how would you feel?

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    edited December 2011
    I would feel like they found another vendor.  I'm pretty sure wedding vendors know that it's competitive.  It's called business.  When I cancelled appointments with Carl Alan and a dress shop they handled it just fine.  The feeling I got from Leslie was that she was frustrated which is understandable, but not all that professional IMO.  I'm glad you had a wonderful experience with her.
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    edited December 2011
    I told her over email that I was not going to use her and booked someone else, and thanked her for everything she did for me... and got no response back....
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