The Parsonage (long, sorry)!!

Are any of you ladies using or have met with 'The Parsonage' for flowers and linens for your wedding? If so, how has your experience been so far?

A very good friend of mine refered them to me (the same girl who refered 'Church Street Studios' - who we LOVE) and I've been having a lot of communication issues with them thus far. 

When I initially called to make an appointment I was told that they were "very busy" and couldn't meet with me any evenings so I should consider setting up a meeting around thanksgiving/christmas since my wedding was so far away. I was annoyed at being blown off but figured maybe I caught them at a bad time and would try another day once my availability opened up more. 

I gave them another shot, because of all the good reviews I've read about them and I was able to make an appointment. My Mom and I went in and met with a wonderful lady who walked us through thier proccess. She said she would be in contact in a few days with a quote so we could move forward if we wanted. Two weeks later I received a quote that was completely open ended. It was like - here are some ideas I have for flowers but we will have to get together to decide what we want to do/how much it will cost. Uhmm...I just moved out of state, that's why I made the appointment before I moved.

I e-mailed her back and let her know that I will be back in Michigan in August and wanted to set up a meeting to discuss pricing more in depth. She said sure that was excellent and that she would check her appointment book and let me know the next day if she was available so we can set it up for when I'm home <--- that was 5 days ago. 

This is frustrating. My wedding is more than a year out, but since I'm living out of state I just want to get these things BOOKED and off my mind. It's not the fact that I'm waiting right now for quotes/feedback/etc it's that I'm worried this is what I'll be dealing with from here on out with them.

HELP!!! I don't want to pass up a good thing but I don't want to make a mistake that will cost me a lot of stress/frustration in the future. Any and all advice is welcomed - thank you in advance!!
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Re: The Parsonage (long, sorry)!!

  • edited December 2011
    I haven't dealt with the Parsonage, but have seen the same great reviews you have.   I would find the treatment you are receiving frustrating.

    That said, 14 months out is really, really early to book a florist.  I understand why you want to, but they are in the middle of wedding season, dealing with brides who need work done now.  If they otherwise have great reviews, I'm inclined to think they are generally responsible, but that they are having to prioritize right now.

    I know it doesn't seem like it, since you are out of state, but the holidays this years is actually plenty of time (I did my florist meetings in December for an August wedding).  Remember that most florists can do multiple weddings in one day, so its not nearly as competitive/time critical as things like a DJ or photographer.  I'm not trying to minimize your concerns about your treatment, because frankly, it sounds weird that they didn't get you a real quote the first time.  But you to have plenty of time.
  • edited December 2011
    Meg - I totally understand what you mean. It is very early to book, but I just have so many friends who waited till the last minute to book things for thier weddings and have had nothing but regrets once it was all said and done. I'm not really angry at all, just concerned. 

    My BIGGEST questions to anyone who worked with them would be - were they reasonable priced/was the work good/were they dependable?

    I can deal with waiting for a response now as it is such a busy time of the year for them - I just need to know that I will be a priority when it's MY wedding they're working on. If it's early for me to be booking or not, I'm still a potentional client. If you take an appointment with me, then I should be able to expect a decent turn around on pricing. 

    I just turned down Emerald City Designs (who gave me a quote the day of my original appointment and followed up 3 times while I've been waiting). 

    Ughhh I knew things were going too smoothly lol. 
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  • crhein26crhein26 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Mish, I went to meet with the Parsonage about 2 months ago.  I had almost exactly the same experience as you.  I made an appointment (they didn't give me a hard time but my wedding is in November) and met with a lady who was wonderful.  We went over everything, she asked me a ton of questions and said I would have a quote in 2 days.  A week later...nothing.  So I email asking about it....still nothing.  Then I call...oh our system went down, I will have it for you tomorrow.  2 days later I finally get said quote and even though I have heard they were reasonably priced, I went into SHOCK!  Now granted, I want all roses and hydrangeas and I do have approximately 30 centerpieces, but I couldn't believe the amount they quoted me.  So after all of my frustration with them, I still ended up going somewhere else.  I am using Michelle Nonis, who many past Knotties recommended.  She even recommended me to another vendor for linens who is also great to work with.  While Michelle isn't great with the computer and rarely answers emails, if you call her, she will call you back usually that day.  And she is very flexible.  She does flowers out of her house so she doesn't have tons of overhead costs.  I will be sure to post pictures after my wedding if you are even remotely interested.  I know she works with lots of out of state brides (she mentioned this during our conversation).  Oh and she's been in business for over 30 years, so she knows a lot about flowers.  GL and I hope that if you decide to stick with the Parsonage, that their communication gets better.

    I've learned 1 thing the last year of wedding planning, most vendors suck at communication, so if you can find one that does know how to communicate, stick with them!
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    Brian and Cori 11-19-11
  • edited December 2011
    I'm sorry you had this experience. I'm using them and have never had an email go unanswered for more than 1/2 a day. I was just emailing with Susan yesterday. They aren't doing appointments thurs - sat because of weddings and they generally don't stay open past 6-7pm.
  • Meegles4Meegles4 member
    Combo Breaker First Comment First Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    I'd agree with Cori. I didn't call The Parsonage, but I was just looking through the vendor stickies and thought they seemed a bit pricier. I know you can't really go off of that because every wedding/flower need is different, but it did make me shy away from them.

    We met with Michele Nonis this week and will likely book with her. She seems to know her stuff, and while it is frustrating that she's not so good with e-mail, her prices were really reasonable -- and that's coming from someone who went into the meeting thinking I was only doing bouquets and left the meeting with a plan to have flowers in the reception as well.

    I also agree that it's probably too soon to book, but I totally understand you wanting to have things taken care of. They shouldn't have blown you off, regardless of how busy they are.

    Good luck!
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  • Sue-n-KevinSue-n-Kevin member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer First Comment
    edited December 2011

    I am not using them, but I'll pass along my advice on vendors and timing..........

    I booked excellent vendors, all of them highly rated by the ladies here (and I also checked their websites). I am getting married 6 weeks from tomorrow. I booked many of them early, maybe several months ago. Sent my deposits or met with them.

    The busiest season for weddings in Michigan is from May through September. For busy vendors, it's like a tarmac at the airport, where jets are waiting to take off, each close to their "departure" times. Your wedding is not even on their RADAR yet, as they are busy helping actual brides who are getting married this weekend, and the next, and the next........you get my drift.

    Great, highly recommended vendors do not get their reputation by accident. They deliver when the time is near. You are not always going to hear from them for months once you've booked them. I booked Simplicity DOC for my "day of" wedding coordinators. I think I've received one email since booking them. They provided a day-of-wedding-timeline that I've been filling in religiously as things fall into place. I expect them to do a great job, as they have for others.......... I have NEVER seen a bad review. Same thing with my caterer.......during the process of determining their pricing, and our selections, they were attentive. I have sent follow up emails that I sometimes wait a few days on. But I have faith because I also know they are in a business to make people HAPPY and word of mouth is crucial.

    I have faith in all my vendors, who have never let anyone else down. I also sort of understand the overwhelming busy-ness of their jobs. I don't fault them for lack of correspondence because I also know many of them have OTHER jobs in addition to these.

    YOU have to decide whether you want the "best", well earned reputable company, or someone who doesn't do a lot of weddings and can sit at their computer and answer all your inquiries. I"m not being snotty here, I'm trying to help you understand their workload and that while correspondence is important, you are not in their immediate "radar" because you are trying to secure info from them right now, several months before your wedding.

    I also know it's hard to do from far away. But if I were you, I'd send them an email stating how much I have to spend, the flowers I want, and is it doable? Their response to that should give you the answer you seek.

    Good luck.

  • lndskellylndskelly member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    The florist was the most difficult vendor for me to book for reasons like this - bad communication and them not getting back in touch with me. I met with The Parsonage first because of their reviews and lovely photos I had seen of their work. The meeting I had with them was not helpful though and it didn't seem to go anywhere or give me new ideas or a vision of what my flowers with them would look like. Plus they are WAYYYY overpriced IMO. It was pretty disappointing becayse I had cut a cottage weekend short to get their very early on a Sunday morning. 

    I ended up booking Viviano who is a large company with excellent communcation and really beautiful arrangements. Good luck - it's very frustrating when all you want to do is give them your money :)
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_michigan-detroit_parsonage-long-sorry?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:88Discussion:80662a42-a69e-4749-bb48-1e480f2aee94Post:e382e5c6-0b58-4b6e-b5f2-bac61b4f291d">Re: The Parsonage (long, sorry)!!</a>:
    [QUOTE] But if I were you, I'd send them an email stating how much I have to spend, the flowers I want, and is it doable? Their response to that should give you the answer you seek. Good luck.
    Posted by Sue-n-Kevin[/QUOTE]

    <div>This is EXACTLY what I'm going to do. </div><div>
    </div><div>I just feel like if I don't book a florist NOW  someone else is going to snag up all the goed ones - this who proccess is turning me into a major obsessive compulsive control freak!!</div><div>
    </div><div>Thank you ladies so much for the good advice! I think I may be stressing too hard over this. Every vendor we booked so far has been quick and easy - good reviews, reasonable priced, had our date open - done. I just need to relax!!</div><div>
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  • larzhopelarzhope member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    Mish, not sure your budget, but I am using April Oboza of April Irelynn Designs and she was 1/3 of the price of the other people I met.  Very responsive on email, sent me lots of pictures - I've been impressed (I recommended her to Stencel and she is using her for her wedding next month).... and I still haven't met her in person but I fully believe she will deliver based on her responsiveness.

    PM me or facebook me if you have any questions :)

  • edited December 2011
    Okay first of all people who are saying that florists are busy helping "actual brides" sounds ridiculous. It sounds like you are saying she isn't an actual bride...she deserves an email back just as much as everyone else does.

    That said, I had similar issues with certain vendors and that alone just drove me away. I was supposed to be getting married next may however due to us having a baby we pushed it back until october 2012 but i have all my vendors picked out and have quotes from all of them. My venue is booked already as well because I am not about to lose out on my day because I waited too long.

    I attempted to meet with a few people who were either horrible at responding or were rude. Right off the bat that eliminated a few vendors and I ended up meeting with some great ones. Dynamic Flowers is where I am going for my flowers, they are wonderful! I met with Adrienne and she made things so easy to understand and gave me the quote right then and there. They are located on 13 mile and main in royal oak. They don't do linens but they gave me a list of "vendors they love" which had a linen company on there. I am getting all my linens with my catering company otherwise i probably would of went through whoever they recommended if they were reasonable.
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  • dljackmadljackma member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I had similar communication issues with the Parsonage. I also didn't really enjoy the first meeting. They flat out tole me that you can't have hydrangeas for an outdoor wedding in June, I had my heart set on natural blue hydrangeas for the centerpieces and electric blue hydrangeas for my bouquet. They told me that they will wilt and were not a good choice. I was very disappointed and dismayed after this. I also got a quote from them for $900 for my flowers. I met with multiple  florists after that. I found Linnaea Floral Designs on here and they quoted me $600 for the same flowers. They also told me that I could have hydrangeas if they used Oasis vases. I highly recommend them!
  • edited December 2011
    I had the exact same experience with the Parsonage!!!! I didn't check around for prices at very many places, but I did look into the Westborne Market and the Parsonage was a lot cheaper!!!  The woman who I met with also seemed to understand my "vision" and I liked her a lot, but she is absolutely terrible with communication. I know she only works part time, but two weeks is a little long. I am hoping and praying she is just super busy and will come through the day of my wedding with her beautiful artistic style. I will check back and let you know.
  • edited December 2011
    I do have an update about my experience with 'The Parsonage'.

    A few days after I wrote this, I did get a very helpful reply from the woman I was working with. I sent her information about my budget and some pictures of what I was interested in. She was very prompt with her response and we are still planning to meet in early August when I'm in Michigan. 

    I am keeping the appointment as they are planning to put together some sample centerpieces for me to help me make a decision. I'll let you know how it works out!! I've heard such good things about them and they said they can definetly work within my budget, so here's to hoping!!!

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