Someone recently made this statement to me.
It made me pause & ask WHY? I mean, yes, flowers are definitely a sensory experience. The textures, the scents, the beauty…these all lend themselves to meeting in person and experiencing the flowers.
But what if you’re planning an event several months ahead of time? What if I don’t have the flowers you want because they are out of season or are you want a flower that I only order by special request? Is it really necessary to meet in person to discuss ideas & concepts of something that won’t come to fruition for several months?
Couples planning a wedding are a special subset of clients. :D :D In general, my clients come to me knowing they want big & beautiful or simple or classic & elegant but they don't have any idea how much flowers cost. Most of the time, they don’t even have an idea of what the starting point is. My clients know what they like when they see it but have trouble talking about it because they don't have the knowledge to describe it.
Most (many? I'm not really sure of the breakdown here) florists are right-brain artistic types...creative but not always all that organized. So when you put these 2 types together, you can get a lot of stress and confusion. How do you know if the artistic design I come up with is similar to the one that other florist comes up with when you are starting from scratch and don’t have much knowledge about the field? (Hmmm….I see another blog post that needs writing!)
I'm pretty much a 50/50 split on the right-brain/left-brain thing. I'm artistic & creative AND I like spreadsheets, budgets and technology. In college I passed Spanish by making and memorizing charts. Non-symmetrical decor was an extremely difficult skill to learn. I can spend hours tweaking a spreadsheet and feel completely satisfied with my time. BUT I'm also freakin' awesome at storage-tetris and packing a car for a long trip. AND I can 'see' how floral elements will go together (or not) in my head. In fact, most of my design process actually happens months before I order or receive flowers.
Because of this 50/50 split, I personally use digital tools for almost everything except the actual floral design work. I completely geek out when talking about budgets, spreadsheets & new systems and I’ll keep myself awake trying to design the perfect floral installation. I can talk for hours about how to get flowers to do what you want them to do (Did you know that you use boiling water to extend Dahlia life?) or sit at my computer all day balancing the books down to the penny.
So virtual consultations work for me. Because I can visualize the floral details before designing and because I'm comfortable with technology, I can meet virtually, create a proposal, & make it all come together all without you needing to hold the flowers in your hands.
To answer the question, no, you don’t have to meet your florist in person...But only if the florist can answer your questions, synthesize your ideas, and convey the plan in a way that makes you comfortable. AND only if the florist has examples (photos) of past work that you like and has the experience to make it happen.
After all, it’s not really about how the rose smells today. It’s about finding someone that you can trust to make planning Your Day effortless and who can make Your Day beautiful, fragrant, and most of all YOU!