What to include in an email when inquiring with a florist (or any other vendor) for your wedding

You got engaged, congratulations! If you have dipped your toe into the wedding planning pool, you are probably starting to reach out to some vendors.

Now my first piece of advice is actually to hire a wedding planner if your budget permits. I work in the wedding industry and know a lot about the in’s and out’s of planning a wedding, but when I got married last year even I reached out to my favourite wedding planners as I knew they would be invaluable on the big day and the months leading up to it. Depending on what sort of planning package you get, you may be responsible for reaching out to some vendors. Your planners will point you in the direction of some good recommendations. Or if you are going planner free, then this is an extra good guide to help you in your vendor search.

Once you get that list of companies you want to contact, here are some pointers as to what to include in your email when you do. And spoiler alert, the more info you can provide the better. I can’t tell you how many emails I have gotten that just say “Hi I’m looking for a wedding florist, can you send me a quote”. And that’s it. No other information. Like none. What I see when I read those emails is you are just lobbing the ball into my court and want me to do the work of asking you the questions. But if you can provide a little more information, it will go a long way. So let’s dive right in, shall we?

This one is key, lots of florists (and other vendors) only take on one or just a few events a day/weekend so there is no point setting up a consult and getting a quote if the vendor isn’t available. This just saves everyone time and emails, if we know the date right off the bat, that helps to determine our availability.

This is helpful to know as well, not all florists will work outside of the city. If you are contacting florists in Vancouver, but your wedding is in Whistler, or Squamish, or Abbotsford, not all florists will travel to these locations. Also, sometimes florists/other vendors have venues that they love working with, so that can be helpful too. A vendor might jump to reply if they know the event is in a location they love. I for one, love working at Stanley Park Pavillion, Cecil Green, Vandusen Gardens, UBC Boathouse, the Pipeshop, the Wallace and the Polygon Gallery, to name a few.

Are you planning on wedding with 200 guests or maybe more like 50? Are you only looking for bridal party flowers or do you want the whole shebang – wedding party, ceremony, reception, all the florals? Now you don’t necessarily have to know your exact guest count, or exactly how many tables, but just a general idea of size/scale of the event. This also speaks to the availability factor as well. For example, if I have a small wedding already booked for a day and someone else contacts me for that same day, but also has a small-medium sized wedding, I can probably accommodate both. Or, if I have a medium to large wedding booked, but someone contacts me only looking for bridal party flowers, then I can probably accommodate that as well. But I can’t manage 2 full scale 300 person weddings on one day, so once I have one booked for a date, that’s it, I won’t take on anything else.

Colour Scheme/style:
Check out the florist’s portfolio/Instagram/website prior to contacting them. Does their work appeal to you? Does it fit the style of bouquets and arrangements you are envisioning? If you want something that’s more natural looking, lush and garden-like, I wouldn’t reach out to a florist whose work is predominately showing more structural or edgy designs. Kind of like how you wouldn’t order sushi at an Italian restaurant…clearly that’s outside of their wheelhouse.
I feel like this tip can also definitely apply to photographers. They typically have a style they work in, with a certain look to the finished edited images. So if their portfolio has all dark and moody shots, but you want something that’s more natural and light looking, I would look elsewhere.
That being said, we all like to stretch our creative muscles, so if you really love the work that they are showing but maybe have a bit of a twist or different idea, there’s no harm in reaching out to inquire.
This is also where photos can come in handy, if you have collected a few inspirational images that appeal to you, or have started a Pinterest board, send that along too, some visual aids are always helpful.

Ok this one is important, but not the be all and end all in terms of reaching out to a florist or a vendor. Some vendors can’t accommodate all budgets, and some have minimum spends. So yes, in those cases, including this in your email can be helpful because if what you are hoping to spend is way below what they would typically take on then obviously it wouldn’t be a good fit and you can find that out right away. Most people have a budget and in order to find out if a florist or other vendor fits in yours sending all of the above info along with your ballpark number can be a great jumping off point.

Once I have all the info listed above, then I like to move on to setting up a consultation with a couple, that way we can go over all of the details, cause there will be a lot to cover even with all of the above info. I find this easier to do in a conversation than an email, which is why even if you provide me with a detail filled email, I still like to set up a time to chat. We can talk budgets and if what you are hoping for isn’t lining up with the budget you’ve given me, then we can talk through some options that would fit. We talk about colours, one person’s “blush pink” can be another person’s “champagne”. Different options for centrepieces, long tables vs round. Ceremony arrangements, say an Arch vs Alter Arrangements (this is a hot topic I have a whole upcoming post about). These are all things we as the vendors can help advise you on, it is after all our job. I would never expect a couple to know alllll of the things, chances are you haven’t planned a wedding before so I am happy to help guide you and offer the expertise I have gained from doing literally hundreds of weddings in my almost 14 years in the business.

So if you are on the hunt for a wedding florist, and looking to get married in and around Vancouver, be sure to shoot me an email at nicola@nicolaadam.com and using my above tips as a guide!




Farmer’s Market Fresh Photoshoot

A little while back I had the pleasure of working with an absolutely stellar team of ladies on a styled photoshoot. The lovely Briar of Epic Events asked me to come on board to provide the florals for the shoot, and when I saw the mood boards she had put together with the team from Culinary Capers (the fantastic caterers that provided the location and the delicious food for the shoot) I couldn’t refuse. The vibe was fresh, garden-like, elegant yet relaxed. Basically all of my favourite things. The colour palette was simply whites and greens, which is always nice to work with, but otherwise I had quite a lot of creative freedom to create whatever I thought would work and compliment the rest of the decor. I must say it was refreshing to have that creative freedom, I have brides give me quite a bit as well from time to time, but I still always feel a bit of pressure, I mean it’s someone’s big day and I would never want them to be disappointed. Now of course I didn’t want to let this team down either, but just knowing that I was allowed to totally do my thing was magical, I really think it lead to great results! The bridal bouquet might be one of my favourites I’ve made to date! It looks lovely with the gorgeous dresses that were provided by Everly Fine Bridal, and the delicate jewelry by Keltie Leanne Designs. Some of the other vendors included vintage decor from Bespoke Decor and rentals from Pedersens, a beautiful stationary suite from Violet Grey Creative, and the team behind beautifying our model/bride was Save the Date Beauty. As I mentioned Culinary Capers provided a delectable spread included the cakes, and we shot at Waterview Special Event Space, which has amazing views of False Creek. And last but certainly not least, our wonderful photographer for the day was Jen Giles of Blush Sky Photography! She is one talented lady, the photos below speak for themselves!
I am also happy to say all our hard work paid off, this shoot was featured on the Real Wedding blog!
So without further ado, see the photos below!

Opening a Shop

Well I’ve done it. I have taken the leap and finally moved from working in a studio/warehouse space to an ACTUAL store front. It was quite the process. Finding a spot was half the battle but I managed to find a tiny little spot in the lovely neighbourhood of Kerrisdale that fit the bill but was in need of some serious TLC.
Now I have watched A LOT of home reno shows on tv, so I should have known that there were going to be some road blocks/hiccups/minor disasters when fixing up an old space. And I certainly had a few of those, but with the help and support of AMAZING family and friends and actual blood, sweat and tears (lots of tears) we managed to pull it together.
I had a vision of what I wanted the finished product to be, and I think I came pretty close to what I hoped for. With a limited budget and the constrains of the building it was a bit tricky, but I wanted charming, I wanted character, I wanted cozy, and I wanted it to feel like a place the neighbourhood would embrace. Somewhere I could fill with fresh flowers and feel inspired to keep creating. A place people could pop into an pick up blooms, and a place for brides to come and have a cup of tea and chat about their vision for their wedding florals. With the changing landscape of the city, and the move towards tearing down old buildings in favour of shiny new ones, it was difficult to find something that would be embedded in a neighbourhood and be a place that could fulfil that wish list of mine. However I think I managed to check all those boxes with my little shop around the corner.
I officially opened September 15, 2016 so come on by to pick up fresh blooms, or call in to place a special order, or just stop by to say hello! The address is 2018 West 45th Ave, I hope to see you soon!


Wreath Workshop Round Up

One of my favourite things about the holiday season is making wreaths. I really love to make them any time of year actually, there are so many variations using seasonal materials that they don’t just have to be for Christmas.

That being said, there is nothing like the smell of freshly cut evergreen branches to get you into the Christmas spirit! This year I taught a few different workshops and thought I would share a few photos from each one. Please excuse the image quality as they were all snapped with my iphone which is in serious need of an upgrade! Hmmm actually maybe that’s what I should have asked Santa for….

The first one this year was extra special as it was for a few of my very dear friends and their mamas. My mom joined in as well so it was a real mother-daughter kick off to the holiday season this year.

wreath workshop friends
They all were great students and we had a fantastic time. A big thanks to Daphne for hosting the event at her lovely home. And here are some of the finished products.

friends 2


Next up was a series I did with the gang at Old Faithful, if you haven’t visited their shop in Gastown you must! Or pop by their website as they have everything online as well. I teamed up with them last year to host this event and it was a great success so we did it again this year for 2 nights. The wreaths we did at these workshops were succulent based and are constructed a little differently than the more traditional evergreen wreaths.

old faithful wws 1

There seems to be a running mother-daughter theme here, as we had moms and their daughters both nights!

The girls that run the super cute blog Treasures & Travels attended one of the workshops at Old Faithful and they did a great post on it here. Their photos are MUCH better than mine, so you might want to check it out.

old faithful wws 2



And last but not least yet another mother-daughter team! The lovely Jen from Dames and Dolls Makeup wanted to surprise her mom with a workshop for her birthday. So I headed out to Maple Ridge to Jen’s adorable abode to teach another group of ladies how to make wreaths.

dames and dolls


So there you have it, time to put the evergreen aside and relax for a few days. I hope you all have a very Happy Holiday season! I’ll leave you with one last photo. See you in 2015!!!

happy holidays wreat