A LOT of our clients come in for their consultation and say "can I look around and see what you guys are doing back here?" Of course the answer is always yes! We love that people are so curious about what it is that we do. It is an exciting process, one that is intriguing because of how unique it is! Our clients only have to worry about showing up for their consultation, singing the contract, and making two payments, the rest is all taken care of by our amazingly talented team.
Today, we would like to take you along as we complete an order, to give you all a little behind the scenes of how your wedding flower dreams become a reality.
We do 99% of all of our communication via email, so when a couple is interested in our services, they usually reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. When a new inquiry arrives in our inbox we respond within 24 hours or less and send them all the information we possible can. In that response email is a link to set up a video consultation, our price list, the link to our Frequently Asked Questions, as well as a concise flow-chart explaining the means to our end (a gorgeous and eco - friendly wedding!)
Once the couple schedules their consultation around their schedule using our super simple online scheduling platform, they can just sit back and relax until their Zoom consult. When it's time for the call we will have our camera on, so we can show our potential clients some sample flowers and vases but they don't have to have their camera on if they don't want to. We will spend the first part going over when their wedding is, where it's taking place, and all the fun design details they're looking for. Next we dive into which arrangements they're interested in renting from us. As we talk, we at Compass Rose go through and build them a custom proposal based on their interests. We don't have any packages they have to select from, nor do we have any minimums. We just want to help you have the wedding of your dreams on a budget that feels comfortable to you. Sometimes we already know what the couple is interested in, in that case we just spend the call making sure all the info is correct, answering general questions, and laughing about how crazy weddings can be.
The next step in this cost effective process is setting up either a Zoom design consult (thanks, COVID) or an in - person meeting. Before we meet to create some amazing mockups, it's vital that the couple sends is inspiration photos. This is where all that "hard" Pintrest work pays off. We love seeing the couple's floral vision and brainstorming ways that we can make that a reality for them. We have a mockup ready when the consultation starts, because we're just amazing like that :-) This consult is really about making sure the design of their flowers is exactly the way they want it. Our designers will help guide them with their floral experience to ensure their bouquet, centerpieces, arch swags, and whatever other elements they choose are pulled together beautifully! We take a TON of photos because when it is time to create the actual arrangements we go directly off of the photos from your consult. Barring any gigantic catastrophes such as all of a particular flower being destroyed and then discontinued forever (it hasn't happened yet, knock on wood!) we will create your arrangements exactly how they are made in your consult photos. If we aren't able to build them exactly like the photo, we will contact you to make sure you see the alternatives we think would look great!
Once you're ready, after the consult (or before if they just absolutely love us from our Instagram alone!) the couple puts down a 50% deposit to secure their date and that Compass Rose will be creating the works of art needed for their wedding.
After that, the couple sits back, relaxes, and does not stress about their wedding at all... Well at least not about their flowers! We also relax here in the studio, because we have got this DOWN. Depending on the amount of time between the couple's consultation and their wedding, we could work on several other orders or very few. We do make sure about 3 months in advance that we will have enough flowers, vases, greenery, etc. for every order. This takes a lot of planning and having multiple tabs open as we go over the orders that are around the same time, checking how many small gold vases this order has or how many pink cabbage roses that order has. We have boxes coming in almost every day with vases, eucalyptus, and snacks for our hard working crew (our recycling bin fills up pretty quick!)
The couple has up until 2 months before their wedding to make any and all changes. If they find out their mom's cousin's husband will feel really left out if everyone has a boutonniere and he doesn't, they can add one! If the bride has a falling out with a bridesmaid and no loner needs 6 bouquets and only needs 5, we can do that too! Another big change we have been flexible with, any and all COVID changes and there have been a LOT. As we approach that 2 month mark we will send the couple a final confirmation reminder and ask them to remember every single date for every single vendor (but good on them if they can!) It is also at this time that we ask the couple to schedule their pickup or drop-off times or if they are having us deliver, we ask them to fill out an easy questionnaire so we know where to drop everything off, who will be our contact on the wedding day, and when we should come back to collect the arrangements.
Alright, here we go. On the first of every month we update all of our white boards with everything going on that month. We have 2, yes TWO, white board calendars that have every pick up, drop off, and consultation written down on them. In addition to those two white boards, we have another that has every order going out that month with columns to check off each step. These steps include:
- Order Recipe'd: Once we have a confirmation that everything looks great on the proposal, our design team goes through and counts how many of each flower will be needed for each arrangement in each wedding that month. Turns out you will use math in the real world! ;)
- Flowers Ordered: Sometimes we don't have enough of a certain flower, especially if it's really popular! We go through the recipes and count how many ranunculus, peonies, and smilax we have to see if it's enough to build all the orders that will overlap at any given time. A wedding might not be until Saturday, but the couple is picking it up on Wednesday and dropping it off the following Tuesday, so those flowers will be with them for 6 says!
- Stems Pulled: Our exuberant floral design assistant goes around our studio and pulls the exact number of each flower that is needed for the bouquets, boutonnieres. corsages, centerpieces, all of it!
- Design! Our white board does have the exclamation point on it because this is our favorite part! This is why our floral designers became designers! It is so much fun to work with your hands and build stunning bouquets that you know you won't have to re-do because the flowers won't die or begin to wilt. Probably 5-6 times a day you hear a "OOOOHHHH look at how pretty that is!" At which point everyone in the studio rushes to see the newest great design someone has made. This is followed by a very sincere "oh my goodness! Great job that looks awesome!" It's hard to not love your job when every day has its moments like that.
- Order Complete: We think you guys can figure this one out :-)
- Double Checked: We will go over it once, go over it twice, check to see if it's been naughty or nice... just kidding! We do double check every item on the order to make sure we don't miss anything.
The second to last item that the couple needs to worry about is making the final payment 30 days before their wedding. However, they can set this to auto-pay so they don't have to worry about it at all!
At this point the order is put on a shelf or stored in the front of our studio for the couple to pick it up or for our delivery driver to take it to the ceremony space. For our hypothetical couple right now we will say that they are picking up and returning their flowers. They have within 3 business days before their wedding to pick up their order or have a friend/family member pick it up. They use the same scheduling site that they used for their consultation to inform us when they will be arriving to pick it up. When they arrive our team goes through the order item by item with the couple to show that it is all there and exactly what they're looking for. We provide everything needed to hang up, set up, or install the arrangements and anything breakable is wrapped in bubblewrap so it's ready to travel!
Our flowers have traveled to Mexico, South Dakota, and all over our beautiful state of Colorado to add beauty to so many weddings. Oh, the stories they could tell! After all the excitement has died down, our couple has 3 business days to return their order back to our studio.
We trust that our couples won't forget or damage any flowers but in case they do, we will charge them the purchase price of those items. Let's not worry about that now, we're having fun here!
Now, back to that final column on the white board.
- Breakdown on Return: The flowers are now broken down, returning to the other flowers of their type, and get ready to go out to make someone else's dream come true!