Ask for large blooming champagne, peach, and creme roses. They fill in the spaces nicely. The curly willow sticks add a nice touch too. The florist can spray paint them any color you like to match the flowers. One thing you don’t want to do is place the centerpieces right on the table. If they are big, your guests cannot see each other across the table, and shorter guests can’t see the activities. We had our flowers elevated atop vases so the guests are looking UNDER the centerpieces. Each vase was filled with water and a lovely orchid with ivy draped vertically down inside the water. The flowers then rested atop the vases. This looked classy, as the photos above show. This is a typical floral arrangement and you should not pay more than $100 for this. You can also light the vase with a light base that adds about $50 to the cost. We could not justify the extra cost and why so much for something the florist already owns? Some people like the candelabrum, which usually have candles hanging off them. These usually cost over $200 a piece. I still can’t figure why, because the florist owns the candelabrum, so why charge over $100 more for the same floral arrangement. It’s just another way they suck money out of you. For the groom, I recommend the Stephanotis flower. It is a little pricier than the others, but it is simple yet elegant, adding a touch of class to an already classy guy. For the bride, get the biggest, best statement-making bouquet you can afford and make sure it’s in all your pictures. Make sure they don’t use some cheap plastic. Better florists will wrap it in a nice foil or green fabric. Have the florist make a $25 throw away bouquet for the bride to toss. And remember folks, pay with your credit card so if the florist rips you off, you can dispute the charge.

A lot of vendors get upset when they see our comments. Yes there are many florists who are truly honest and are great artists. But guess what folks, sometimes the greedy will feed off the euphoria of the bride. And while vendors get upset by my comments, there’s a lot of brides who get upset because they were overcharged or did not get what was verbally promised to them. Bottom line: We have no problem paying you what you are worth as long as you are honest, show up on time, fulfill your contract and leave the bride smiling. And brides will reward you by recommending you to future brides.

This should get you going. Remember, do what YOU want to do, not what other people expect of you, and and stay sharp. The only one looking out for you is YOU. The wedding industry can be an expensive, nickel-and-dime-you-to-death industry. There’s enough hidden charges and weasel clauses out there to confuse a used car salesman. They make you feel sub-human for not buying this or that, but armed with the knowledge I’ve given you here, you are now fearless wedding warriors in my image (yuk, what a thought) ready to deal with the best of them. And remember, if they don’t put it in writing, it means they won’t do it!

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