Sassy Diva Designs and Events presents Floral Artists of the Bay Area (FAB)

For the past 2 years, I served as the President for the SAIFD (Student American Institute of Floral Designers) Alexander Graham chapter at CSM, before we were unwillingly kicked out of the college and told we were just "hobbyists" (but thats another story).  The board unanimously decided to continue the educational programs that were held monthly at CSM and over the past year we have tried to figure out the best way to continue offering these amazing programs.  Over the week, it was decided that my company, Sassy Diva Designs and Events, would serve as the official head of the organization.  

Our group meets every quarter in different locations throughout the Bay Area in order to encompass both North Bay and South Bay designers.  We look for top quality designers to demonstrate the latest trends and techniques in the floral world as well as promote events that are happening all over the Bay Area.

We still have lots to figure out, but we had our first meeting under the new management last night and it was quite the show!

Our designers for the evening were former CSM instructor, Dianna Vigil, AIFD, and Irasema Carranza of Ralston Florist who put together seven gorgeous arrangements that could be used for Spring weddings or parties.  Thanks to a generous donations from California Flower Shippers in Mountain View, they were able to use whatever was in the warehouse to create these magnificent floral designs.  Here are a few pictures of what they came up with!

Dianna and Irasema  
Design #1: Perfect for an office or for someone who wants a big arrangement, but doesn't want to spend a lot.  Orange Gerbera Daisies, flax and the leaves make up this asymmetrical design.

Design #2: Pave centerpiece in bright spring colors.  A great way to add some pop to a table.

Design #3:  Tall centerpiece with manzanita, gerbera daisies, roses, orchids,  and amaranthus.   

Design #4: spring bridal bouquet with coral peonies, yellow freesias, manzanita branches, purple orchids and more.

A new trend that I am getting a lot of requests for is to use the bridal bouquet and attendants bouquet as decor for the reception.  A great way to do this is to have a decorative vase.  You can leave it empty or fill it with rocks or other materials and it makes a great centerpiece!

Design #5:  Tall birdcage with gardenias, roses, stephanotis vine and bear grass.  Very fragrant design that would look nice near the guest table or sign in table.

Design #6: This was one of my favorites.  They took a tall fluted vase (typically a rental item) and placed a wire wreath holder on top.  Asparagus vine was wound around the wreath wire and white phalaenopsis orchids were wired into the center of the vase.  They then used gardenias, roses, calla lilies  and stephanotis vine to complete the look.

When the event is over, your guests can take the top of the design home, and the designer can take the vase back.  

Design #7:  The final design of the night got a lot of "oohs" and "aahs".  A breathtaking cascade bouquet using stephanotis vine, gardenias, phalaenopsis orchids and roses.

The design was held in a bouquet holder that was covered up with white satin ribbon and an Oasis wire collar for extra support.

Over all, the designs were absolutely amazing.  Special thanks to Dianna Vigil, AIFD, and Irasema Carranza for their beautiful work, and to California Flower Shippers for the donation of all the flowers you see in these pictures as well as rental chairs for our group!  

The next event will be held this summer in San Mateo.  Keep an eye out for more details!


Don't take "No" for an answer

Since the beginning of the year, I have talked to at least two brides who were not satisfied with their florist.  In both instances, the brides were told that certain things they wanted were not available or very expensive.  One bride wanted purple calla lillies in her bouquet and was quoted over $200.  She also wanted a gardenia in her hair and was told that they weren’t in season, so it was impossible.  Another bride really wanted submerged centerpieces, but was told they were too difficult.

As a designer, I was shocked.  A bouquet with roses and calla lilies should not cost over $200 (I charged her a whopping $85), gardenias are available year around, and submerged centerpieces are easy and very affordable.  I quickly alleviated their questions and made them feel like I was listening to them to give them everything they dreamed of.

While you are searching for your florist or floral designer (whether its me or one of the many others out there) you should feel as if they are listening to you.  If you hear the words “can’t”, “impossible”, “too hard”, “you should want this”, walk away quickly.  A florist, and any other vendor for that matter, should do everything in their power to make you feel as if they are listening and want to make your wedding the day you’ve dreamed of.  It is your day after all!

Its true that at some points in the year, certain flowers are not available, but the florist should be able to give you alternates that are similar in look and cost instead of flat out saying “no”.  Here is a good resource for when certain flowers are in season.  

Don't be afraid to ask the designer questions, or to take your time in choosing who you go with.  That being said, leave yourself plenty of time to book your florist!  You may think its one of the easiest things to do, but with all the choices out there, it can get complicated quickly  (As a side note, if you book with me early enough and are still questioning flower choices, I will take you to the flower mart as a special trip to look at the different flowers).

A few more tips for looking for a florist:

-Have a budget to work with before your initial consultation.  It helps the florist know which flowers are in your budget as well as sizes of centerpieces, bouquets etc.

-Bring pictures with you of flower choices, colors, layouts, etc.

-Know all the "extras" you want like aisle pieces, rose petals, arches, ceremony decor, cake flowers etc.  Having this list will help your florist come up with an accurate quote.

-Decide if you want to go to your local florist shop or search for a independent floral designers (see this blog post for the differences)

-Ask your friends who they have used, or ask the florist if you can talk to former clients for reviews.

Floral Designer vs. Florist

While writing a blog post on how to look for your florist, I started thinking about the difference between what people call "florists" and what I am, a floral designer.  So we are going to start with this post first...

The first question that pops up, is one more experienced then the other?  Absolutely not.  Both florists and designers are trained to do everything that comes with floral design.  The difference lies in where they work.  Florists will typically have a shop and while working on weddings and events, they will also be taking orders for birthdays and other day to day events while managing the shop.  A designer typically focuses on one event at a time and will work out of their home or a smaller workshop, but won't have product on hand for day to day orders.

Another difference is cost.  Florist shops will usually charge an overhead, but because they always have flowers on hand and usually have someone deliver the product, they aren't as expensive as a floral designer.  Most designers will charge more because of the added time and gas it takes to pick up the flowers and supplies they need.  If the wedding is big enough, they also may need to rent a space to work and store the pieces.

It also depends on what you want your flowers to look like.  Designers will typically have more time to create an overall look to fit your theme, whereas florists in a shop will only be able to create the centerpieces and other floral pieces for the wedding.  Both will create beautiful pieces, so it depends on what you want the flowers to say about your wedding.

Hope this helps while you are deciding on florals for your wedding!  Next week, check in and read some tips on how to talk to your florist or designer at the initial consultation!