COLOR FIELDS

Color Fields Blog

Color Fields is an organically managed flower farm and floral design studio serving the greater NC triangle area.

5 Critical Questions to ask about your Wedding Flowers
 

 

 

1. Wedding flowers are more expensive that you think.

Like, WAY more expensive. You need to understand that you are paying for someone’s time, talents and customer service. When you get a price, it is for more than just your flowers. It is for all the time it takes communicating with you, working on your proposal, creating the designs and vision for your wedding, the overhead in running a business, insurance, staff, etc. You are buying a custom product.

 

2. Have a budget in mind.

Even though you may not know exactly what your vision will cost, you should know what you can reasonable afford to pay. Every florist is going to ask for your budget so have at least a range in mind.

If you know you are on a tight budget, that is fine, just keep your vision paired down as well. Be realistic. It is easy to get carried away on Pinterest, but see #1 above. Also, decide which flowers are the most important. The bridal bouquet will be the most photographed item you get. It is fine to put more money into the pieces that will have the most impact.

 

3. How flexible are you?

Do you have a very specific vision in mind, like down to the exact bouquet that you want replicated? Being super rigid in your requests can sometimes result in a higher price tag.

Embracing seasonality and going with a color palette instead of exact flowers can free your florist up to make decisions that will allow them to stay within your budget while still delivering a beautiful end result.

 

4. Do you trust your florist?

If you trust your florist then you both will have a much more enjoyable experience. You found this person because you like their style and their work, so allow them to do their job and just relax knowing you are in good hands. If you are worried about whether they can deliver what you want, just save yourself and your florist a lot of stress and choose someone you trust right from the beginning.

 

5. Flowers can be a beautiful way to express your values.

Florists and designers that work with local flowers are supporting local farmers and bringing you a product that is more vibrant, fresh and more environmentally sustainable. Most flowers commercially available are flown in from thousands of miles away and grown with questionable practices (hello harmful chemicals and sub-par labor conditions). There are other options!

Search for farmer florists and designers that use local flowers at Slow Flowers.

Also, ask about their use of floral foam and what happens to the flowers once they pick them up at the end of the night. Are they donated to hospitals or nursing homes? Are the flowers composted?

Floral foam is highly toxic and just sits in landfills for hundreds of years. If you care about your carbon footprint and sustainability, just ask about their practices. If your florist gets defensive or tells you there are no other options, just know that there are ALWAYS other options.

Read more about living your values here.

 

 

Keeping these 5 things in mind will help you navigate finding a florist that totally matches your needs perfectly. This should be a fun and enjoyable process for everyone involved. So work through this list and have a framework for working with your designer.

 
Kelly Morrison
5 Pro Tips for Long Lasting Flowers
 
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The most frequent question I get asked from customers is, “ How do I take care of my flowers once I get them home?” While it is true that some flowers definitely last longer than others, most flowers should give you at least a week in the vase.

Here are my top recommendations for making sure you get the most life out of your flowers once you get them home.

 

1. Thoroughly wash your Vases.

This is super important. The primarily reason flowers die before they should is because bacteria grows in the water and clogs up the stems preventing the flowers from being able to take up water. So make sure to thoroughly wash your vase.

 

2. Fill with clean, cold water.

 

3. Use flower food.

If you frequently purchase cut flowers you may want to purchase some flower food. It is sold at any craft store or through major online retailers. The flower food prevents bacteria growth and supplies sugar for the flowers which will keep them looking fresh for longer.

 

4. No flower food? Make sure to change the water and trim the stems daily.

Again, this is all to keep the flowers supplied with fresh water so they can continue to drink. If your flowers end up getting too short for your vase then split them up and make smaller mini arrangements around your house.

 

5. Place in a cool location out of direct sunlight and enjoy!


It is really that simple! There are numerous documented benefits that result from having fresh flowers in your home, so don’t be shy about allowing yourself to add some daily beauty to your life. If one flower starts to fade, just remove it and keep enjoying your flowers!

 

 
Kelly Morrison
Color Fields Mid-Season Review
 
Mid Season Review

Because I farm year round, January and July are the two big check-in times for my business. Even if you don’t farm year round these are still a good time to reflect on the past six months and make adjustments for the next.

 

My process falls under a few keys areas:

 

Review my original schedules and compare to reality

I don’t know about you, but when I make my planting and greenhouse schedules in the winter it is obviously with the best of intentions. Inevitably, weather happens, life happens and things get off schedule.

I try not to be too phased by this unless there were serious repercussions. More than likely, my schedules were just too ambitious for what I can realistically get done. This is an ongoing challenge that I’m sure you can relate to. Make note for next Spring.

I use templates from the Canadian Organic Growers book, Crop Planning for Vegetable Growers. You can download them for free on their website. I strongly recommend this book for new farmers who are just getting started with crop planning. It is easy to adapt for flower crops.


 

Review my revenue goals and compare to reality

This is usually a mix of happy surprises and harsh realities. Our farmers’ market traffic and sales are down primarily to the fact that our market moved locations, but it still forces me to really think about whether this is the best way for us to spend our time.

On the other hand, we sold more Flower shares and picked up another grocery bouquet account that I wasn’t expecting. Piedmont Wholesale Flowers has also done better than I expected. Weddings are about where I projected.

 

Adjust your numbers for the second half of the year and really think critically of the outlets that take A LOT of time and/or are not producing the revenue you need.

Having standing orders is really nice. Anything predictable is a welcome relief in farming. I just recently re-embraced the age-old cash flow document and it really is a game changer. It has enabled me to take August off from the farmers' market knowing I will have enough money to cover all of my expenses.

 


Review my mental health and life satisfaction metrics

How crazy am I feeling? How much am I fighting with my spouse? When was the last time I hung out with friends?  I know this sounds funny, but it’s for real.

July is a really tough time of year. It is hot, flower sales start to slow down, but you you have to keep going to be ready for fall wedding season.

In the south, it is just miserably hot and humid, the bugs are out of control and nobody is getting married so sales slow down. This year, I planned to not attend our farmers’ market in August so that I would have time to catch up on farm work and have extra time to spend in the greenhouse to get crops seeding for fall and next spring.

We overwinter a significant amount of flowers and unless you have been living under a rock, Cool Flowers, is a super handy little book to make sure you make the most out of your spring season.

June Bouquets from Color Fields

June Bouquets from Color Fields

If I’m feeling particularly burnt out, I try to remind myself of WHY I chose this career and remember this is a choice. I also try to schedule little trips - farm visits, etc. Just to take a little break and clear my head. This year I am making a point to do something fun with friends at least once a week.

This whole process takes me a few hours to complete. I block off the time and just ignore the to do list for an afternoon and go through it all. It helps me feel back in control of my farm and my business at a time that is critical.

If you are brand new to farming, trust me, it does get better, but there are no short cuts. You do have to put in the time, work smart and learn from your mistakes.

 

SIDE NOTE: I can say for sure, that hiring help has decreased my stress and upped my enjoyment of farming tremendously. For three years I told myself I couldn’t afford it, but I realized that unless I wanted to lose my mind and/or quit farming something had to change. CONSIDER HIRING HELP.
 

*Scroll back UP to get your Cash Flow Template*

 
Kelly Morrison