how we picked our florist

Flowers in the Plaza's G.B. (Grand Ballroom, obv) Photo: Billy Farrell

You guys: I am less than six months away from le mariage. Yesterday, Sunday, January 13th marked the exact six month mark. Ridiculous.

So where did I and my mostly-lovely fiance celebrate? Well, he's in Miami wearing a YOLO tee-shirt and eating all the lobster truffle mac at Prime 112. I am here in the cold. Alone. In the rain. I mean, whatever, it's OK.

In all seriousness, Mike is down in Florida for a work conference, which means I'm a single lady for the next three days. What do single ladies do when left to their own devices? Live tweet the Golden Globes, Google pictures of Ragdoll kittens and listen to the Rent soundtrack really loud. And of course,  I'm also slowly working my way through my massive to-do list for the wedding.

This weekend's theme was flowers, which I actually haven't blogged much about yet. I have to admit, as much as I love all things bridal, I'm not a huge flower girl. I have some friends whose make-or-break element to their nuptials were gargantuan displays of orchids: chuppahs draped with them, bouquets filled with them and parents despising them (that shizz ain't cheap).

Since I didn't feel strongly about orchidaceae or any other weirdly rare flower -- much to the relief of Mike -- I did what all brides do to figure out their floral arrangements: I combed through hundreds of pages of Style Me Pretty. Aside from making me feel guilty that my guests won't each have his or her own customized drink straw with a twee little flag on it, Style Me Pretty is one of the best resources for inspiration on everything from table decor to hairstyles to how to take pictures in a cornfield while looking simultaneously sexy yet virginal.

Flowers in the Terrace Room. Photo via Style Me Pretty.

While I'll dedicate a whole post to my own floral inspiration (there's obviously a Pinterest board), the first hurdle to leap over was definitely finding a florist. This industry seems to be more word-of-mouth-based than almost any other vendor connected to the bridal machine. Partially I think this is because flowers tend to be a very personal thing; each bride has her own color palette, design preferences, affinity for $10,000 orchids, etc. Therefore, peeping at a florist's website generally doesn't tell you much, unless the styles included are exactly what you were looking for. So when a friend tells you that a florist created her exact vision, that's a huge vote of confidence.

But there are other routes as well. If you're a New York bride and getting married in a venue that has a planning team, they will certainly have preferred floral vendors. There are many bonuses to going with the company that the in-house team recommends: they've worked there dozens, if not hundreds, of times, the florists and planners know each other well and they know what looks best in the space. Sometimes, however, these florists, while they may be lovely, can be a little expensive, especially for a gal who isn't super passionate about flowers to begin with. I went to quite a few appointments with some of the big dogs in the Manhattan florals scene and while I'd love a giant hot-air balloon made entirely out of orchids hand-dyed by capuchin monkeys, I just couldn't justify the expense. But look, if you're a flower child, New York City can most assuredly offer you some of the most fantastic floral vendors in the country.

So you have your two main sources: your venue or your friends. But sometimes, an auspicious -- and serendipitous! -- turn of events will link you with your vendor and all will be right in the world. This is how I found my florist:

In my former incarnation as a gossip reporter at Life & Style, I occasionally rode the bus out to Jersey with the lovely ladies of In Touch. Eventually, one such lady and I discovered that we actually lived across the street from each other in the East Village. Meredith, along with her sister, Emily, who was a publicist I worked with as well, are stylish, fun and super-organized. And one day on Facebook, I discovered both of them had left their jobs to work with their mom at the family floral business. [Note: Some of you more astute readers may remember that Mike and I also reconnected on Zuckerberg's invention, so I am forever indebted to him.] I contacted them immediately and about a week later, we were all sitting in my kitchen pouring over photos of the Plaza's Grand Ballroom and chatting about peonies.

This past weekend, we met up again, along with Plaza-planner extraordinaire Emily, at the Plaza to walk through both the Terrace Rooms (where the ceremony will be) and the Grand Ballroom (dinner and dancing!). I have to admit, it still feels like I'm playing dress up when I'm wandering through these giant spaces. I think it probably won't kick in until closer to the date that I'm planning for an event that will actually take place on a fixed date, not just in my mind. But the fact that it's now less than six months away is pretty exhilarating.

Being in the spaces was very helpful for blocking out specific floral arrangements. If you have the ability to do this with your venue, I definitely recommend. At least for me, I found that the ceilings were way higher than I remembered, which means our (non-denominational) chuppah can probably be 8 or 9 feet. This is obviously necessary for someone as tall as I am. Ha.

Choosing preliminary floral arrangements and meeting with my florists is a big item I can now cross off my to do list. To celebrate, I will continue my single-lady-ness tonight with Bunheads (please tell me someone else watches) and perhaps Hot Pockets.

To check out Bloomers, please click here. Tell them I sent you!

how we picked our videographer

what's in a word? or: how we're phrasing our wedding invites