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Working Designer Wednesday: A Question And An Amazing Email

May 23, 2012

I received a couple of emails this week that really spoke to me and I want to share them with you. First, I received this one…and I could totally identify with it. I had no idea anyone else felt this way…

 “I just did a bridal bouquet for a high school friend today and I felt a bit guilty as I don’t really like it. I have felt scared a few times doing bouquets for actual brides as I think it’s still sometimes a hit or miss for me. I always try to go to the market to pick the flowers myself, but sometimes because the client has specified certain flowers they like and don’t like…as soon as I feel ‘restricted’, I am unable to create a bouquet I love. I know the most important thing is the client being happy.. but I want to be able to create bridal bouquets that the client loves and I can feel proud of at the same time. Am I thinking too much? Looking back, the best bouquets I have done really are those that I created without any inhibitions… but I know I can’t expect everyone to like the same flowers/colors/style as I do. Would love to hear your thoughts…”

So…anyone else identify with this email? Would love to hear your thoughts…

I also received this email from Kelly at Botanique…and it made me squeal…

“I just wanted to share this photo with you: this is my good friend Katie who got married last weekend in Big Sur, holding her bouquet. I wanted to share it with you because this was my very first wedding, and I truly feel that you and Botanical Brouhaha have played a crucial role in my development as a floral designer, helping me get to the point where I can do a wedding like this! I want to THANK YOU for providing so much wonderful inspiration and information every day of the week! It is truly a gift you are giving to so many floral designers, and I just can’t thank you enough!!!!”

Congratulations Kelly AND Katie!


I need to add a note to what Kelly said in her email…this blog is only helpful because I am able to share the work, ideas and expertise of some very generous and talented designers. So, if your work has ever been featured on Botanical Brouhaha, please enjoy Kelly’s thank you email with me! I appreciate you all so much.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!




  1. Mimi says:

    The first 2 weddings I did were those of friends. One of them selected a few flowers for the bridesmaid bouquets which I knew didn’t work, but said nothing. The day before the wedding I called the bride (my friend) and told her I didn’t like it and would like to change it a bit. She said she trusted me and she ended up loving them. Early on I wouldn’t have done that if the bride wasn’t a friend. I then went through a period where all of my brides were asking me for bouquets I didn’t like which I felt didn’t represent Fly Me To The Moon Florists “look.” After the last one I decided to start praying for God to send us customers who wanted our style. Everything changed after that. I think there’s a difference between “just not liking a bouquet” and feeling like it doesn’t represent your brand well though. After nearly 5 years of doing this work, however, I now have the confidence to make recommendations when I feel something suggested won’t look right. As floral designers brides are coming to us for our expertise. We need to be willing to speak the truth in love when needed.

  2. I am constantly struggling with the above question and I think Mimi made a good point above, some clients say they don’t like roses, but I found only cuz they have never seen garden roses before. So we should suggest and tell clients what works and what doesn’t…

  3. The problem for me when I’ve had the occasional client whose style doesn’t totally jive with mine is that I just lose my bearings about whether I think *they* will like something and spend the whole night before their wedding nervous. When I know that a client and I have the same style, if I love their bouquet, I feel totally confident that they will. When I make a bouquet that I don’t totally love, even if it’s exactly what someone asked for, it’s hard for me to feel confident that they will love it. They usually do love it – I’m very careful to listen to what they’re after and try to understand the nuances of exactly what would be too funky/offbeat for them or too girly/prissy for them or too saturated for them or whatever- but if I don’t love it personally, I’m just nervous instead of at ease while I’m designing and when I go to deliver to them!

    And I have talked to lots of florist friends about this – why do brides hire florists who have a style different than their own, anyhow? If brides want something super traditional, like 50 red roses tied in ivory satin ribbon w pearl pin accents, there are tons of florists who do that all day long and would be totally comfortable doing it for them. So why do they call me?!

    I haven’t had a client quite like this, but I have definitely tried to nudge several clients to consider some more interesting elements they might not have otherwise – if someone asked me for 50 red roses, I’d ask them if they’d considered mixing in some red garden roses, or if they were open to some dusty/silvered colored accents like brunia or dusty miller to contrast with the rich red – they might be very open to that and really appreciate the suggestion! I forget that not everyone is a flower geek like me and a first inspiration photo provided by a bride might be somewhat arbitrary – not what they absolutely have their heart set on.

    I think you can usually meet clients in the middle – turn them on to some good ideas they hadn’t considered, but keep in mind their vision and try not to force your own style on them.

    But it’s hard! Sometimes I have to literally refer back to a proposal every 2 seconds while I’m designing, just to make sure I’m not taking too much leeway – a way less fun way to design, but only fair since it’s their wedding and their money. I can play with flowers exactly the way I want to on my own dime, I guess ; )

  4. I have run into this issue many times. I like to be somewhat versatile, but definetly have a “signature” look. Recently during a consultaion, the bride was envisioning blue LED lights and rainbow carnations. After listening to her and reviewing my portfolio, I had to make a refferral to another designer that would be happy doing this type of work and does it well – a better fit. A old designer friend of mine once said, “You don’t go to Monet and ask for a Picasso”.


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