I am getting married this fall and recently paid a visit to the most famous floral and event designer in my area. Because of his incredible reputation as an artist, I confess, I was intimidated. Initially, he made me feel comfortable and even relaxed, but once I started to share my vision for my fall wedding, things took a terrible turn. You see, I am not a fan of fall colors and expressed this to him. His response was harsh, to say the least. “That is absurd! Then why are you getting married in the fall?” He asked. I was so shaken by his reaction that I agreed to use colors I don’t like for my wedding. I left his office and cried the whole way home. Preston, I am very upset and don’t know how to handle this situation. Can you please help me?
It’s not clear in your letter if you’ve made any financial commitments, but if I were you, I would fire his ass. The way he treated you was unacceptable and really offensive, not only to you, but to all of those who value our clients. Having worked for so many years in this business, I have concluded that florists artists/event designers fall into one of two categories:
Those who think they know it all and those who are true artists. The first group tends to be full of themselves. They think they are “the best” and often carry around an invisible book of laws that declare what is “right” and “wrong”. They also approach clients with an air of superiority and the delusion that they are doing their clients a favor by working with them.
Then, of course, there are the true artists. These are the folks who love what they do and love making their clients happy, not only with quality designs, but with good service. What is good service? Giving clients what they want without any showcase of disapproval. True artists understand that the event belongs to the client, and most importantly, they would never make a client feel the way you are feeling.
FF, I am often asked how I react to requests from clients that I do not like. Would I do a design for an event if I did not like it? My answer is an emphatic yes. This is why I offer my clients 2 or 3 design choices in my presentations. I want to show them what they want and some other choices that perhaps they didn’t think of, but always while honoring their request.
In closing, I want to let you know that I think it is very cool to follow your own path and create your own trend and deviate from colors that are traditionally tied to the season. This is unexpected and fresh, so do it! Regardless of where you live, I assure you there are a lot of talented floral designers out there. Do yourself a favor and work with someone who is going to honor your wishes because you deserve that.
Readers: What advice do you have for FF? Also, what are your thoughts on the designer’s statement that using colors that aren’t traditionally associated with fall is “absurd”? Would you deviate or stick with what’s expected?
(Photo Courtesy of AMC)