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  • The Art of Writing a Wedding Order

    Flowers and Profits®

    The key to preparing for success in handling any wedding is a concise method of transcribing to paper all pertinent details discussed during the bridal consultation.

    The benefits of writing a precise wedding order start the moment you begin to take notes during the wedding consultation. Your attention to detail won't go unnoticed by the bride or her mother. Once the order is written, the bride can review the order to see that she agrees with the descriptions, prices, and other wedding details.

    A descriptive, thorough list:

    1. Wins the confidence and trust of the bride.
    2. Eliminates confusion and heads off wedding day problems.
    3. Enables the design staff to produce the wedding without error and minimizes any time required for explanations.
    4. Minimizes time in planning for staffing, delivery, and securing rental items.
    5. Increases overall profits and efficiency.

    The Proper Form

    Standard order forms can be purchased from Teleflora or floral supply companies or you can create your own on a computer.

    Plan to use the original form throughout and make amendments to it. Retyping or rewriting the form may result in missing an item or word that can be the difference between perfection and disappointment.

    Gathering Information

    The consultant can never be too careful about gathering information. Details about the bride and groom are helpful when you need to contact them if any questions arise.

    Proper spelling of names and addresses shows the bride that you're interested in getting details correct. Ask for all contact numbers - home and work phone, cell phone, fax, e-mail, and the phone number of the location where the wedding will take place.

    Dates and times are essential. List all expected times of arrival - delivery to the home, church or ceremony site, reception site, or even to the photography studios if the bride wants her bouquet delivered there.

    Locations and addresses for the ceremony and reception should include full names of the sites, as well as complete addresses (including Zip codes). Full names of contacts at each site and phone numbers are helpful if you need directions or set-up instructions. (All of the information listed in this section is on the Teleflora Consultation form.)

    Sign on the Dotted Line

    When you have received the deposit, give the couple their copy of the wedding form, which includes the payment plan. Be sure the agreement is signed and dated by the bride, or whoever has the financial obligation. This is your contractual agreement with her to provide the services as indicated.

    As the wedding day nears, there may be more corsages, more arrangements, and some details might change here and there. Verify all changes and costs in writing before the wedding (e-mail is an easy and convenient way to do this). Last minute changes can be billed after the wedding.

    Any special instructions should be written on the order. This would include any details about where the bouquets should be placed at the ceremony site so that the bridal party can find them easily, or any special procedures that may need to be followed.

    Churches have certain rules and traditions that can affect decoration placement. For instance, in some churches flowers aren't permitted around the pulpit area. Many Lutheran churches have wedding assistants or guild members who must be consulted before decorations can be installed. For more information about church guidelines and fire or building codes, always check the facilities involved.

    Personal Flowers

    When discussing bouquets, ask for the bride's and her attendants' heights to help you determine the relative size of bouquets. The color and style of dresses for the bride and all of her attendants, including the flower girl, should be written on the order. Information about any headpieces, dress ornamentation or features, as well as any influencing accents such as jewelry, gloves, or shoes, also needs to be written on the order form.

    Fabric and color swatches, photos, and pictures from magazines that may influence the flowers should be requested and safely attached to the form. If these are not available, make rough sketches of anything pertinent.

    Write down the bouquet style, content, and special construction techniques that are required. For example, "the stems should be finished with braided ribbon in white and ivory tones."

    If you don't have any pictures for reference, use design terms that everyone will understand, such as "loose and airy," "round," or "hand-tied." If you told the bride you would use any specific color or variety of flowers (Osiana roses, Stargazer lilies), write them on the form. If flowers and greenery are chosen, list them in the bouquet description. Also attach samples of any specific ribbons to the form.

    If the bride expresses a dislike for certain flowers or color combinations, be sure to note these, as well.

    Include all information about toss bouquets, presentations for the mothers or the Virgin Mary, or any floral bouquets for dedication.

    Ceremony and Reception

    Details of the ceremony and reception flowers can be described by location, such as the main altar, pew decorations, aisle decoration, entry, guest tables, cake table, and head table.

    Rental items (kneelers, arches, columns, candelabras, plants, aisle carpets) need to be listed along with descriptions of any floral decoration required for them. If candelabras are used, list not only the number, but also the style and color of candles to be inserted in them. If plants are rented, list the type, size, and what kind of container they should be placed in.

    The wedding cake decoration description may require a special list of instructions, such as whether a design staff member will place the flowers around the cake before it's delivered or at the reception site.

    Don't forget to include descriptions of any specialty items ordered for the event or any other add-on items.

    No matter how small or inconsequential, list all details on the order form. One omission could change the look of a floral design. Not jotting down the time or place of a certain function could be disastrous.

    With a clearly written, comprehensive wedding order your brides will be more confident that their special day will hold only pleasant surprises.

     

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