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industry talk
 

wedding demands

Value and service are important to today’s brides. You’ve always given value, but how do you provide the service?

     With the latest research from The Wedding Report, Inc. showing that brides are spending but not splurging while also expecting exceptional value and outstanding service, we wondered how floral departments are faring. So Senior Editor Shelley Urban asked three floral leaders: How do you accommodate the service demands of your wedding clients?


We do the best we can to meet all the demands our guests ask of us for their weddings. When we have busy months, like May 2010 when we did 19 weddings plus all of the other holidays, it gets a little difficult to make sure we are meeting our service goals. We work longer hours; beg, borrow or steal other team members that have some floral experience from other departments to help; communicate with each other and our guests to make sure all the details are covered; and hang on for the ride (sometimes screaming with our eyes closed)!

We also send out surveys to all our past brides thanking them for choosing us as their florist and asking them to give us feedback on service, quality, price and other details of their weddings. We include a self-addressed stamped envelope so it’s easy to send the survey back to us. It’s great to get the surveys with comments on them so we can know we did a good job or know what we need to improve on. If the survey is negative, we contact the bride and discuss her concerns. Out of the hundreds of weddings we’ve done, thank goodness we’ve had only two or three negative responses and were able to rectify the issues.

Sarah Parslow, floral supervisor
Macey’s; Providence, Utah


I’ve done weddings [for years] as a designer, but weddings are a fairly new venture for this store (although they’re really taking off). But [the service requirements] are different in a market. The people who come here looking for wedding florals are less demanding, and most just want pretty flowers. Because we are a high-end market, we carry the same flowers as all the local high-end flower shops, but we have more volume, so we can charge a little less. Therefore, most customers are very pleased with what they’re getting—in terms of the quality of the flowers and the design work—for the price. We also provide everything that any other florist would offer, including rentals, delivery and setup, so we can manage the demands of large-scale weddings also. When customers plan large events, we occasionally have to hire one or two freelancers, but usually our staff can handle large events as well.

Heather Netherwood, floral manager
Palmer’s Market; Darien, Conn.


We have been in the wedding service business for a long time, and it’s all about experience with locations and contact personnel. So one of the first things we do is find out the locations for the ceremony and reception, and then we talk to the coordinators because we want to build relationships with the vendors. We always deliver and pick up on time, and we adhere to the guidelines established by the locations. We respect the churches and how they want us to set up, even if we don’t agree.

Logistics is a big part of the business also, so I do all the delivery schedules. It’s really important to plan ahead so you have enough vehicles and staff; a check-sheet with the loading and drop-off schedule is incredibly important, especially since we average about 10 deliveries every Saturday. And if the client has a special request, we find a way to meet that request. We have a “can do” attitude, and [the results] make clients happy and make our business grow.

Christina Mayo, floral manager and bridal consultant
South Fayette Shop ‘N Save; Bridgeville, Pa.


Reach Senior Editor Shelley Urban at surban@superfloralretailing.com or (800) 355-8086.

 

Super Floral Retailing • Copyright 2010
Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.