Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wedding Florist MA: Rennie’s Flower Shoppe, North Andover

Today I had an appointment with the florist at Rennie’s Flower Shoppe in North Andover.  And although I liked both places, and found both wedding florists ma de good first impressions by being eager to please yet realistic, and have good design ideas about floral arrangements for weddings, this was a very different experience than my one at Evan’s.

I met with the manager, who started out by taking down a lot of information, and continued to work on that form once I showed her the bouquet I wanted.  She had a designer come join us to determine the types and costs of the flowers involved before moving on to come up with ideas for all the other floral arrangements was going to need.

As we worked, her priority seemed to be to get me the best possible price on my flowers.  The only exception was the bridal bouquet.  She said that should be my priority, and she did not try to talk me out of any part of it.  But after that, she kept to a fairly narrow range of options.  Since the red cymbidium orchids featured in my bridal bouquet are really pricy, there would be no more orchids in any of the other flower arrangements or bouquets.  But I wasn’t too bothered with that since the cream colored roses and red berries would be a consistent theme throughout.

The floral designer who she brought in seemed to be more on the same wavelength as me in terms of color (sticking with mostly white with touches of red, but no other arrangements would need peach) as well as in texture (hydrangeas would be a good texture to introduce into the table arrangements, and stick with cedar as opposed to introducing other greens).  The wedding florist ma de me feel at ease; I feel confident in his eye for design.

As the designer and I hashed out the flowers and colors, the manager wrote furiously on what was probably a 10 page document, and once we’d finished she tallied everything for me (although once again I had my spreadsheet open and entered in all totals as we talked).  It was clear the manager was a businesswoman first, but had a good floral designer on staff for the artistic part.  I liked that about this place.  Both aspects are important when planning a wedding, and one person is not usually good at both.

So when it came to the very bottom line, the difference in price for my wedding flowers (including tax and delivery) between Rennie’s Flower Shoppe and Evans Flowers was just over $100.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.  I’m going to have to look at some reviews online for Rennie’s (Evan’s has won awards from The Knot so I’m sure they’re a safe bet) before I let price dictate.  But I was satisfied with the planning process, and of course $100 is a decent savings.

Oh, and not only did the flowers and prices talk go well; she also said chocolate brown would be a great choice for my maid of honor’s dress.  Better than black, anyway.  YES.

I still plan to look at two more wedding florists.  Unfortunately Rennie’s is a little bit farther away than I’d have liked (so it’s weird that their delivery charge is less than someone a couple miles away).  And like I said, the floral design process is FUN.  I got two very different takes on altar flower arrangements from each florist I visited.  I’d love to get two more florists’ opinions.  But I have a pretty good feeling at this point that Rennie’s might be my florist for my wedding.

The cost is still more than I was hoping, though I now know it’s fair.  I mean, after getting rough estimates of 6 different florists in Massachusetts that had some arrangements with prices posted online, they had the lowest prices, just like Marcia claimed.  So my plan is once I see what the others have to say, I’ll go back to Rennie’s, book her, and see if I can’t get that bottom line just a little bit lower.  I looked online for winter wedding flowers so I know what’s seasonal (and hopefully cheaper) so I have some ideas in mind already for floral substitutions that might bring down the price.  Hopefully within the next week or two I’ll have selected the best wedding florist in MA for my needs.

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