Step 1: The initial consultation. This can be face-to-face, over the phone, or through a series of emails with pictures and links attached. Or it is a combination of all of the above. (30min -60 min)
Step 2: The break-down. No, not the mental kind ( ha ha). This is where I look over all my notes, my emails and try to mentally build the bouquets and arrangements and estimate the number of stems (approximately), containers, accents like ribbons, brooches, marbles stones, etc. needed. Some sketching /or Microsoft Paint programs are involved because I'm a visual person and need to actually draw it out. (30min -60min)
Step 3: Research. This will include multiple emails/phone calls back and forth with my suppliers, visits to websites of suppliers, to get the costs and availability for all fresh flowers and supplies for the specific time frame of the event. This produces even more emails and phone calls when the event is 6-9 months away and different growing cycles and seasons effect product shipping and availability. Also if I have to special order event vases to rent out to the bride, where and when they would be shipped, quantities needed, etc. (time invested varies greatly, small weddings 30-60 min, larger weddings with rental items, 2 hrs total )
For example; Peonies.
Short seasons, either during winter or mid spring, early June, even locally grown are still really pricey. $15-$20 per stem. (so yes, if you have tons of peony plants in your yard, by all means, DIY your centerpieces)
Creating Proposal: I type pretty darn fast (thank you Typing 101 in high school! Algebra, not so much) So this doesn't take long to actually type everything, provided I don't get interrupted with the daily business of the shop. ...which happens frequently because there is always someone celebrating life in all its stages from birth to death.
Emailing Proposal: Attaching estimate(s), attaching links, pictures of previous weddings, contracts, etc. 5min-15 min.
Have you added up the time invested yet? It's quite a little bit just for the average wedding. Multiply by 2-4 weddings/events per weekend, multiplied by at minimum the wedding season "months" (May-October). And this is all at no charge to you, the bride. All we ask (the floral industry) is that if you must miss your scheduled wedding appointment, please call. Nothing is more irksome than scheduling 4 appointments for a busy Saturday and no one shows or calls to say they're not coming. Saturday appointments are a PREMIUM. Especially in spring with all the other floral holidays and proms going on.
And if you decide to use another florist's services- it's okay to let us know you chose another florist. Really, we won't be mad or scream. It significantly helps to know when we send out 6 proposals for the same wedding date to 6 different brides, who's booking and who's not for scheduling purposes.