Isn't it much more interesting when things don't all perfectly match? I believe this to be true in vessels, floral arrangements, candles, bouquets, and boutonnières. I remember the first time I told a mother of the bride that the boutonnières wouldn’t all be the same, but yet a collection of different flowers that complimented each other.
This is our exact planning client contract for 2018. I ask myself after every wedding we do, “What did I like and what didn’t I like?” For example, you can now see that we have a section in our contract with the heading “vendor communication.” We added this section so that we could be the sole people to talk to our client’s vendors
It was 2014, I was working sixteen hour days, I had a sweet baby girl who barely recognized me, and my dream of owning my own business was quickly turning into a nightmare.
When I acquired an event rental business that sometimes did florals, I was thrilled to finally own my own business. It was a dream come true. In my mind, owning my own business gave me the freedom I wanted to make my own schedule, be a present parent, and have something that was all my own.
It there anything more frustrating than when dreams don’t match up with reality?
One of my favorite things about floral design is that every designer has a signature style. When a bride sends me an inspiration image, I can usually immediately guess who designed the arrangement.
While I think it’s so important to stay true to your individual aesthetic, it’s also so essential to learn from industry experts! You don’t want to imitate their style, but you might learn some tips and tricks that you can add to your designer toolbox and help you hone in on your own signature style.
This beautiful Southern spring wedding was featured on Magnolia Rouge with all of the inspiration and details involved! One of the most unique things about this wedding was the incorporation of their sweet puppies. Read more about this feature and see more pictures here!
If you are a wedding planner or a floral designer and you aren't yet on my newsletter list, here's what I want you to know: I don't just send stuff out for the heck of it. I don't look at it as a "list". I know behind every email address is a real person. I know you are working your tail off trying to grow your business while simultaneously struggling to have any kind of personal life. I know behind that email address is a wife at home in her bed with her lap top ignoring her spouse because she needs to get "just a little more work done".
This is going to be a long answer. It will most likely be a very unpopular answer and many of you will completely disagree with me, but here goes:
I never liked school. I wasn’t built to learn in a classroom. It took me seven years to graduate college because I was so bored with school that I skipped a lot of my classes. I finally graduated with a communication degree because after five years I went to the school counselor and said, “What major will get me out of here the fastest?” And communication was the answer. From the day I graduated, I have never had a traditional or corporate job. I always wanted to learn how people run their own businesses. I wanted to get as much experience as I could so I could one day run my own business. I used to have my diploma hanging in my office, but I took it down a few years ago because every time I looked at it I thought to myself, “If I could have started teaching myself through experience at the age of 18 instead of 25, I would be so much further along in my business.” For my own personal experience, college slowed me down.
I LOVE getting feedback from all of you on what you’re wanting to learn. The other day, I popped a question sticker in my instagram stories and was so thankful for all the responses I got. There were so many, that I couldn’t get to them all! There were also some questions that I wanted to give a little more time to than just a quick story response.
Keep reading to find out some of my most asked questions and my responses!
In February, I got to take part in the Fleursociety Online Summit. I’m so thankful for any chance to share my story! As I often say, I made so many mistakes early on in my business journey. Whenever I share my story and what I’ve learned since starting my business, my deepest hope is that I’m saving others from making those same mistakes!
In the online Summit, I shared my story and talked about how systems and efficiency can lead to business growth.
A few weeks ago, I shared how long-term planning can lead to a stress-free wedding week. If you haven’t read that post yet, go check it out before reading on! The truth is, without effective long-term planning, any tips I share today about shorter-term, wedding week preparation won’t be very helpful.
As designers, we put so much thought and energy into designing beautiful weddings and florals for our clients, that sometimes we can run out of steam by the time the wedding rolls around. We start to dread wedding weeks, especially if we know they’re going to be filled with late nights, little sleep, shirking all other responsibilities and being strangers to our families. Maybe you’ve been stuck in that rut for years. But let me tell you something: it doesn’t have to be this way. And the trick to turning it all around? It’s simple.Planning.
This beautiful Southern spring wedding was featured in Arkansas Bride Spring/Summer 2019 Magazine!
“From day one, Bailey envisioned her wedding day as a modern, Southern affair with lots of white and greenery. She decided on light blue for her bridesmaids, which was a perfect complement to the neutral color scheme.
I remember when I first started my business and all these big dreams I had of my work being featured. My focus was more on the potential press than it was on the work. Looking back, it's so obvious why none of my early work was featured - it's not that the work wasn't good, it's just that my focus wasn't where it needed to be. It was only when I shifted my energy and started focusing more on my clients and their dreams for their day that things began to happen. Press features are no longer a top priority for me. More often than not, I'll receive an email from a publication or a text from a friend letting me know of a feature they saw of one of my weddings.
I’ll never forget that sick-to-my-stomach feeling. It was the week of a big wedding and as I went to prep some floral foam, I realized we were totally out. I did the only thing I could do, and I scavenged any store in our small town and all the neighboring towns that might have some foam. No luck.
I ended up having to rig together a solution, wasting mental energy and time worrying and problem-solving. While I ended up delivering on the end result and gave the couple exactly what I promised, I knew I never wanted to feel like that again. Frustrated, out of control, and behind.
Ever since that wedding, long-term planning remains one of the most important components to our wedding day success and client satisfaction. It’s funny-- one on the best ways I can serve my clients is by perfecting a process they never see, and should never know about.
Let’s talk about why your team should start preparing for a wedding the day the contract is signed, and why this long-range preparation will completely transform your wedding experience, putting the fun back into the wedding week.
I try to look at a popular venue where hundreds of weddings have been designed with the exact same layout as a challenge. The very first thing I do is ask myself, "How can I lay this out how it's never been done before?"
I’ve been feeling a tug at my heart for a while now. Something inside me is saying it’s time for a change, it’s time to pivot, to try something new. I’ve had a very specific dream for the past 18 years. That dream has evolved over time, but it’s still there. On Mother’s Day, Brian gave me the best gift in the world, rest. He took the kids for the day and I caught up on some much needed rest. Those days of being all by myself all day long are so incredibly rare, but it’s those days when I get my best ideas. I’m writing this post for one reason, because I want to remember this moment. I want to remember this day as the day I finally stopped allowing this dream to be just a dream.
When I'm first hired to design an event, the very first thing I do is make a site visit. I can't do anything until I've seen the space with my own two eyes. So much depends on the space! For this wedding, when I saw the farmland and particularly this garden with it's wide walkways, I knew we had to set up long tables in the walkways and serve dinner family style. The wooden posts in the garden were begging to be strung with cafe lights.
“During a trip to Paris, you can’t help but get swept away by the rich romance of the city. For this editorial, we found our inspiration in the ever-present vibe of desire that surrounded us. The backdrop of the city created its own sense of imagination with lavish structures possessing both traditional and innovative features, so we sought to capture images that expressed an equally classical and contemporary beauty. We chose to let this shoot bring the bride into focus and explore all the places her mind would be on her wedding day….”
When I share with creative entrepreneurs in webinars, through my course, or in individual or small group mentoring calls, we inevitably talk about building your business team. This is the one thing that most entrepreneurs fail to prioritize and it’s the one thing that I think is absolutely essential to make your business grow.
Until you make your first effective hire, you are limiting the profit potential of your business. I 100% guarantee it.
A few weeks ago, I got to speak at Florabundance Design Days in California and share the podium with some of the most respected designers in the industry.
Speaking at the conference marked a huge full-circle moment for me.
Four years ago, I signed up to attend the Florabundance Design Days conference. This was right after I decided to rebrand, changing my focus from event rentals under the name A Southern Tradition and instead focus solely on flowers, under my own name, Zimmerman Events. I had never been more excited about my business, and I could not wait to learn from the speakers who were going to be there.
If you’ve read my posts this past month, you know that we’ve been talking about creating community in our local wedding industries. It’s something we all crave, but seems so dang hard to actually put into practice.
In my latest Instagram Live I shared what I struggle with most around the holidays. Watch the video below to see how practicing a bit of minimalism has truly benefited both my personal life AND my business.
A couple of weeks ago, I shared my thoughts on why building community in the wedding industry feels really hard. (If you haven’t read that post yet, head here before reading any further. And if you never want to miss a post or update again, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter!)
My #1 priority and goal is that our clients LOVE their wedding celebration. If they are thrilled, then I’ve done my job. With that said, it’s always nice when a highly respected publication in the industry takes notice of your work.
In this Team Flower Podcast, I talk about where I started my business and how I got to where I am today. How I process set-up and delivery, how much time I allot for projects, how I have learned from mistrials from past weddings, what tools I use for stressful situations, what I discuss with clients, and so many more important topics are discussed!