Thursday, July 21, 2011

Florist: Craigslist Win!

Of all the weddding blogs I scour each day, there's one that I know I will most directly be able to pull practical tips from: The Budget Savvy Bride. It features a crop of real brides who are trying to plan adorable weddings on a modest budget. They share the ins and outs of their planing process---from venue selection and dress shopping, to making wedding favors and actually saying I Do!

One bride blogged about how she was hard-pressed to find the right venue for her budget, so she turned to Craigslist and discovered a site that doesn't brand itself as a wedding spot, but was perfect for her occasion. Mr. and I had been making good progress on lining up vendors, but at the time of reading this, I was still unsure what to do about a florist. I knew we didn't have a huge budget for it, so a traditional wedding florist was out of the question. DIY seemed intriguing but also a bit daunting.

So I typed searched florist on Craigslists, and landed on an post from Kiwi Cabbage, a small, relatively young florist service run by a married couple. They got into the business when they started doing flowers for their wedding last year and had some adorable examples on the website.

This is where it gets great. Because our floral budget was small, I had given up the dream of pricey flowers like lillies and poked around for inspiration on Pinterest and wedding blogs to find more modest bouquets and arrangements with blooms that would be in season in the fall.

These were some ideas I came across:

I had found so far that most florists more or less sneered at my budget when I inquired about their services, without so much as thinking about what I was actually asking for. I knew it wasn't extravagant, and I had already looked into bulk prices on the stems I wanted, just to get a ballpark.

I wrote Kiwi with an explanation of what I was looking for and my budget, and hours later I heard back. Not with a rejection, or an attempt at convincing me to spend more money. The florist told me the budget would be tight but doable, and that he'd be willing to work with it, especially given the size of arrangements I wanted and the types of flowers, which by the way, were different types of mums, aster, and some dahlias here and there.

We met within a week or so at a Boston coffee shop to discuss more in depth and the next day he had e-mailed me an estimate, which was just over my budget, but only because of tax. I was sold. I'm so excited to work with Kiwi. This was another wedding vendor I came across where I felt like I got star treatment while staying true to a budget. People, it can be done!

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