I've seen the TV shows. I know how it's supposed to go. I'm supposed to plan this wedding while the groom sits at home and rolls his eyes at how much I'm spending and how much it's taking over my life. I'll begrudgingly drag him along to try on tuxes, letting him believe he has a choice in the matter, but using my feminine wiles to make him pick the tux I've already chosen. He's just got to show up for the rehearsal dinner and the main event.
I'm supposed to consult with my mom, with my maid of honor and bridesmaids, perhaps with a wedding coordinator, perhaps even with his mom, but in no way is the groom supposed to be involved in the planning. This is MY day that I've dreamed of since I was in the womb, and I've had every detail planned out since I was 10, I've just been looking for the boy to plug into the blank space at the altar.
Tomorrow I forage into the first taste of that experience and I am TERRIFIED. Due to my poorly timed flu our options are to wait until almost April to start looking for a florist, or for me to go out on my own to interview and make the pick. April's not really an option, so I'm going it on my own.
Thankfully, both the groom and I have discussed what we want the wedding to look like (at least to some extent). Thankfully, both the groom and I have decided on a predominant flower we'd LIKE to have. Thankfully, the colors and feel of that flower are distinct, so can perhaps be translated to other flowers or other ideas. But what if one of the florists I meet with is a raving lunatic and I just can't see it.
Part of what scares me is the experience interviewing photographers. Based on experiences on the phone I had preconceived notions about these people, and there was at least one instance where I missed some stuff the groom totally picked up on as we were interviewing them. But, at the end of the day, the photographer we picked was #1 in both of our books without even trying. I hope it turns out the same way with the florists.
Thankfully, I've got a small pool from which to select. The church that we are getting married at has a lot of rules regarding weddings. We're totally fine with that. Better with that than a lot of the photographers we interviewed were. We're also discovering that the church is fairly willing to bend the rules to work with you, as long as you respect the spirit of the law and have a reason for wanting to bend the rule. For example:
The rule: If you want singing at the wedding it must be from our pre-approved list of singers who actually know how to project into such a large space and won't sound like crap.
The bend: We want singers. MINIMUM experience for singers involved will be college choir experience. Yeah, they can project into such a large space and it's not just Aunt Dorothy wanting to serenade the crowd.
So it's no surprise that the church has rules regarding the flowers (where flower arrangements can be for the most part). They also have a list of six recommended florists who have worked in the space before and have the church's seal of approval. So, instantly we have the list narrowed down to six.
Of the six: One is booked for that day. One number was a home-style answering machine and my call was never returned. One was a wrong number. The list is now narrowed down to three.
I'm meeting with two tomorrow and one next Saturday. One of the one's I'm meeting with tomorrow charges $50 to even talk to me. If we book with him we get it credited to the event. When scheduling he originally suggested 11 am. I said I had an appointment at 11 am in a neighborhood that's about 20 minutes away from where he is (florist #2, but I didn't mention that), could we do it ANY other time of the day? He's alone in the shop from 12-4, so it would have to be before that, can I do 10? I ask how long the meeting usually takes. He says an hour. I suggest that if we meet at 10 there is no way I can make my 11 am meeting in a neighborhood 20 minutes away, how about 9:30. He begrudgingly says yes. It may be $50 out of the budget not to book him, but he's got a big X against him at the moment under the "easy to work with" category.
And how stupid is it to have to pay $50 to even talk to the guy? Normally I'd run from that as fast as I could, but three seems to me like the minimum number of people we must interview to do our due diligence. And one of the other florists has basically told me that if we pick someone off the list they know how to bend the rules to keep the church happy, so I REALLY want someone off the list. So I'll go and pay the $50 and see what he has to say.
So soon we may have flowers, and the planning is back on full swing.