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Florist freak-out - is it ok to change my order?

Discussion in 'Bride World Wide & Grooms Grooves' started by LilyKat, Feb 19, 2010.

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  1. LilyKat
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    by LilyKat » Feb 19, 2010
    We went to see our venue's recommended florist last week. He was really nice and spent over an hour with us discussing possible options. I made the fundamental mistake of not telling him my budget (which was £1000 - about $1600) from the outset, and he didn't ask. The first inkling I got of the price was when he wrote everything down formally on headed paper - and it was £1900 (about $3000 - ie almost double our budget). We said it was fine (I don't know why - put on the spot, and he'd spent so much time and effort on us?), and paid a £1000 deposit, the remainder to be paid a month before. No contracts.

    We got home and I then slightly freaked out about going so much over budget (even though we can technically afford it - I just don't feel comfortable with the cost). I called him up the next day and asked if we could leave out a few things, to bring the cost down to £1500. He didn't sound thrilled, but said it was ok.

    Well, on further reflection, £1500 is still a lot more than we wanted to spend. We've now decided we would like to keep to our original £1000 budget, and can leave off certain things (such as the £200-apiece pedestals) to get there. We're not asking him to go down on his price for anything - we're just leaving certain things out. I'm not asking for any money back, as the deposit will cover the full cost. My wedding date is off-season (so it's not like we're stopping him from getting a bigger order).

    My question is - is it wrong to do this? Are vendors used to this or is it considered bad form to change a (tentative) verbal agreement? I just feel bad that we're messing him around - although it's all been within a week, and we're still giving him £1000 worth of business...

    (Oh, and public service announcement for any brides meeting with vendors - TALK MONEY FROM THE START!!!)
     
    


    


  2. Prana
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    by Prana » Feb 19, 2010
    Oi! I think that the worse and most stressful part of wedding planning is dealing with the florist. I feel like I don''t want to spend a lot of money because they are flowers that are going to die, but then when I meet with my florist, I feel like I''m guilted into things.

    I understand that you feel guilty about changing things around, but you are paying for what you want, and you should be able to get what you want. Also, you said that there was no contract, which means that you are able to change your mind. Of course your florist is going to sound upset, he''s losing money! But what it comes down to is getting what you want, and spending what you are comfortable spending. I''ve changed my minds loads of times regarding our flowers, and each change constitues more $$$ lost for the florist.
     
  3. meresal
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    by meresal » Feb 19, 2010
    Lily- My florist didn't put in the floral order for my wedding until a week and a half before the wedding day.

    I don't see a problem. Just tell him you were going over your budget, and need to make some things stretch a bit more. I would think he should be willing to work with you and have some great ideas.

    ETA: Just re-read your post and picked up on the just taking things off. I think that getting rid of $400 pedastals is perfectly fine. That's crazy.
     
  4. laughwithme
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    by laughwithme » Feb 19, 2010
    Our budget was $1000. Our original estimate came in at $1,060. Though I was happy with that, I decided I was going to try to negotiate just for the fun of it and asked to make all bouquets slightly smaller, knock off one reception arrangement, and could we get the Junior Bridesmaids bouquets about ten bucks lower? Our florist (happily) said no problem, and re-sent our quote with a new total of about $890. Since this was below budget, I was thrilled.

    I think you should get the bill down to your budget and if he is very unhappy or upset, you may want to take your business elsewhere. I would apologize to him that you weren''t more upfront with him since you essentially led him in the wrong direction, and as a vendor, that would tick me off (esp. because you put down a deposit which is now equal to the total you want to spend.) But, if you can''t work it out with him and you fear it will reflect on the quality of service he provides, I would say its time to find a new guy. (unless of course that $1,000 isn''t refundable??)
     
    


    


  5. LilyKat
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    by LilyKat » Feb 19, 2010
    Girlface - that''s it exactly, it''s the guilt! I''m glad I''m not the only one who found this stressful. Thanks for your post, it''s made me feel better.

    Meresal - thanks, glad I''m not the only one a bit shocked by the almost $400 pedestals! We are still 7-8 months out from the wedding.

    Laughwithme - thanks for your post - we are really happy with him on the whole and don''t want to change vendors (unless he says he can''t go with the lower figure and gives us the deposit back, which I very much doubt he''ll do). He does great work and is a nice guy, so I really doubt he''ll give us worse quality because of the changes. It was more the guilty feeling that I''m doing something wrong. I will definitely apologise to him for not telling him our budget upfront (though, he could have asked! or mentioned price points during the discussion... but in retrospect I guess the onus was on me to bring it up).
     
  6. charbie
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    by charbie » Feb 19, 2010
    it''s totally appropriate.

    my mom picked my florist (he was a colleague of hers) and i waivered back and forth about costs of things. he keps saying, "well, i think you''ll have to do this..." and it wasn''t what was budgeted or what i exactly wanted. i was PISSED, and come the day of the wedding things were still wrong. i had the worst melt-down EVER when i got to the church and saw the flowers- i mean i was BAWLING like no one''s business.

    don''t let anyone sucker you into anything is my bottom line.
     
  7. Inanna
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    by Inanna » Feb 19, 2010
    LilyKat, since there wasn't a contract I think you need to contact this florist and get his terms/policy, in writing if possible.

    Our florist's policy allowed us to modify or drop anything from the initial order up to 3 weeks before the wedding. Given that you are a whole 7 months away from your wedding, I see absolutely NOTHING wrong with changing your order.
     
  8. tlh
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    by tlh » Feb 19, 2010
    Appropriate... until you''ve signed a contract locking you in... then you might have some issues.
     
  9. CasaBlanca
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    by CasaBlanca » Feb 19, 2010
    Yes darlin, you are ok. Your wedding. Your budget.

    Remember...everything is WHAT YOU WANT...he is to accomodate that and showcase it with his talent and experience. If a certain flower isn''t obtainable in your budget, it is his place to suggest alternatives that will express the same or BETTER display.

    If I were you, I would go see him...take him a special bakery cupcake...sit down...explain what happened...just as you did us. Tell him you got caught up with all the beautiful details he was so vividly describing. You got so involved that you realized you hadn''t set a budget...and when the charges were expressed you had already accepted the idea. Tell him you felt awkward after he spent so much time developing such a pretty presentation...but when you got home...reality set in and you have to be honest and wrachet down the budget. Please forgive me I would say, I realize you are just so talented, and I really hope you can do my wedding, I am sure he will recognize your sincerity and honesty and he will accept your apology and start on a new plan.

    You have to handle this situation now...so you can go forth unstressed...and untethered to this "albatross". Ok that was a tad too severe...but don''t allow this vendor or ANY other to make you do anything or spend any more than what YOU are comfortable with. This is your wedding. There is far too many other details that need your stressing over...handle this one now.

    Lesson learned: set a ballpark figure on everything to come. Upfront. If you need to adjust you can do so then.

    Really, it is ok.
     
  10. LilyKat
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    by LilyKat » Feb 20, 2010
    Charbie, Inanna and tlh - thank you all for your input. That really makes me feel better.

    CasaBlanca - thank you so much for that. I've written a note paraphrasing what you said along with a fresh list of the things we do want (we don't live near enough to do it in person - and I think it will come across better if I've taken the time to write out an explanation than on the phone). I basically said that his work is beautiful and while we would really love to have everything we quoted, we're on a tight budget and just can't afford it. I apologised for not making my budget clear from the start and said I hoped it was still ok with him, and to drop me a line to let me know.

    Oy, what dramz. This is the last vendor we booked and all the others were incredibly easy and straightforward! Life lesson definitely learned though.
     
    


    


  11. Gypsy
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    by Gypsy » Feb 20, 2010
    The only issue with it might be that the florist has a minimal order requirement. If they do, they may as you to meet that.

    Tips for avoiding situations like this.

    Set a reasonable budget depending on what you want. Hoe to do this: Figure out what you want by finding pics, and call up florists and getting esimates. Once you have an idea of what is reasonable for your budget, in terms of expecations, then do consultations with a clear understanding between you and the florist of what the budget is, and what you want for it.

    What you are describing is walking into a jewelery store, knowing you want something lovely, then having the jeweler run about giving you things blidly, then agreeing to buy something, then calling back and saying... no we''d rather not can we change this. But still not telling the jeweler what the real issue or budget is. On the flip side of that you get the guys in RT who come in and want an ideal cut G VS 1 carat for 1K. Both are no wins for you and for the vendor.

    If the vendor is annoyed its because you gave every impression of having an unlimited budget, took up his time with fairy tale imaginines you had no intention of going through with, and are still playing with him. Time to put your big girl pants on. Call him, like the adult you are and say, "I apologize for the miscommunications to date. This is our firm budget. What can we get for this budget. We really loved everything you showed us, but understand that we need to sacrifice a few pieces so that we stay on target"... and that''s the way I''d handle it.

    Clear communication is veyr important in life. Good luck.
     
  12. LilyKat
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    by LilyKat » Feb 22, 2010
    Gypsy, I completely see what you''re saying, but I''d better clarify. We didn''t waltz in pretending to have unlimited funds and purposefully hide our budget. We went in telling him what we wanted and simply asked for a quote. He said he would need to find out exactly what we wanted before he could give us said quote. This process of "finding out" took 1hr 15mins and included him persuading us we needed a whole lot of things not on our list "so the room won''t look bare".

    In hindsight, we agreed because he had successfully convinced us the room wouldn''t look good without the whole package, and because we did feel obligated to him after he had spent so much time on us.

    As much as I like the florist, he is clearly a very skilled salesperson, and I strongly suspect his avoidance of mentioning costs during the discussion was deliberate. And heck, as it sales tactic, it obviously worked on us suckers [​IMG]

    We have booked all our other vendors (venue, band, cake, decorations, photographer) without any problem like this at all - because THEY were upfront with us about their prices from the start. Clear communication is obviously important but it should be a two-way street.

    But I do appreciate your suggestions as to handle things now. Hopefully this will help other brides avoid making the same mistake as me!
     
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