Let's get some details!
What's the next step?
1. Initial Estimate: We will create an initial budgetary estimate and then email it to you (we trust that this document is secure in your hands, please do not share with other florists). If you would like to convey your “maximum” budget to us, it may save time during the process and we can create a more realistic estimate. We estimate prices for pieces in the “middle of the road”. Actual prices, defined during consultation, will vary depending on size of the piece as well as the types of flowers and container used.
2. Our 1st Meeting: We will meet for our first consult to discuss your estimate; we are excited to see you! We meet with brides on Tuesday and Wednesday during the wedding season from 9 am to 8 pm. Make your appointment here. We will use your information as a start for talking points- as this information gives us a great idea of "who you are". Our consultation process allows us to create our design based on your passions as well as ours. We love when you bring your family and friends to our meetings! If your venue and date is not finalized, we cannot meet until that is set. PLEASE INVITE US TO YOUR PINTEREST BOARDS BEFORE THE MEETING SO WE CAN SEE WHAT YOUR DREAMS ARE MADE OF! We totally understand why most brides keep their wedding Pinterest Boards a secret - but let us in! Pinterest is such an amazing asset to have for planning, and adding us as collaborators will really help to keep us in the loop with sharing ideas and styles all in one place.
3. Securing The Date: We accept checks, cash or credit cards (clients pay processing fee) for wedding orders. A minimum retainer fee of $1000 (non-refundable) is required to save the date, which may be mailed or done online. This retainer fee is non-refundable and will be applied to the final flower order. Checks made out to A Garden Party LLC and mailed to 295 Shirley Rd Elmer NJ 08318. We must receive the online approval of the contract to secure the date as well.
4. Our Final Meeting: One additional follow up meeting is available about six weeks prior to your wedding, where we can review floral samples, such as your bouquet or centerpiece (at invoiced price), and linens if you choose and refine the order and delivery details. We ask that ALL changes that you would like to make to your order are saved for this meeting; this ensures that every detail is accounted for. Please do not email or call with changes prior to this meeting, we will be happy to discuss them with you in person.
5. Final Payment: Final payment is due no later than 30 days before the event (late payments are subject to a $5/day late fee). We accept cash/checks/credit cards. Or save a stamp: your invoice can be paid online, just click to pay! Checks made out to A Garden Party LLC and mailed to 295 Shirley Rd Elmer NJ 08318. Any funds remaining due to decreases in the order after final payment will be re-allocated to enhance other designs (i.e. you order 15 centerpieces, but end up only needing 14 centerpieces, we will reuse the extra flowers in another place on your order). Please see our contract terms on invoice.
ARE YOU REALLY SISTERS?
Yes we are! About 3 years apart, we are 2 out of 3 of the Colson girls. We have a very "Yin and Yang" type of relationship. Dawn is the organized, practical sister. She will help with budgets, timelines, and logistics for your event. Mary is the creative, inspired sister. She will help you to think outside the box, dream big, and enhance your venue into a fairytale. We try to do as many meetings as we can together, so that Mary can help relay your vision, and Dawn will figure out how to make it happen. We have been working side by side everyday for 10 years, and it has been a dream come true!
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR FLOWERS FROM? DO YOU GROW THEM?
Our expertise, experience, and contacts in the industry ensure that the flowers for your event are the finest and freshest available. We source flowers from around the world and around the corner. Our local flower farmers are heros in our books and we rely on them to supply us with the freshest and most unique blooms, giving your designs that fresh from the garden look. After we receive these flowers, we then grade them ourselves and if they do not meet our standards for quality, color, size, etc. they are returned and replaced. As an added bonus A Garden Party's studio is surrounded by our own lush gardens supplying us almost year-round with something inspiring to cut and use in our designs. We feel that this "extra touch" really makes our arrangements stand out, we hope you can feel the home-grown love in them too.
THIS IS A LOT OF WORK FOR TWO SISTERS, DO YOU HAVE HELP?
Allow me to introduce our team! Mary and Dawn have their hand in every detail of every event, but our support staff here makes the world go round. Torey, Dawn's sister in law and our head designer, is one talented and sweet lady; we have been lucky enough to design next to her since high school! Christine, our shop manager, handles all of inventory and production schedules. Our office assistant and general jill of all trades, Ashley, contributes in all aspects to execute our events. Oh! Don't forget our mom (aka Melanie)! She helps us every Friday and Saturday and we pay her in grandchildren and free flowers in exchange for keeping us organized and well fed!
WILL YOU BE THE ONE DESIGNING MY ARRANGEMENTS AND DELIVERING ON MY WEDDING DAY?
As you can see, we are a very tight knit team. Dawn and Mary write all of the recipes and do all of the ordering, to best translate your design vision. If you stop by on a Thursday or Friday, you will see Dawn, Mary & Torey lined up on the design bench creating floral magic and discussing This is Us! We each have valuable contributions to make sure that every wedding is delivered smoothly and executed beautifully. We guarantee you that at least one of these core designers will be setting up your event, along with a trained assistant. One delivery team is assigned to each wedding and will be devoted to you and your needs as long as you require us.
THERE ARE A LOT OF FLORISTS OUT THERE, WHAT MAKES A Garden Party DIFFERENT?
You are right, there are a lot of talented florists around, many of them are our friends and neighbors. We love anyone that loves flowers! Feedback from our clients gives us a good reflection of what we are doing right and why clients enjoyed working with us.
WHAT OTHER SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE?
A Garden Party extends its services beyond floral arrangements to Full Event Design. We boast an extensive list of rental items, draping, lighting, vintage decor and lounge furniture. We enjoy being able to bring an entire vision to life and would be happy to assist you in staging.
A Garden Party also designs everyday, special occasion and sympathy arrangements for our local community. This allows us to have ongoing relationships with clients, and we are open for deliveries and pick-ups from 9am-5pm Tuesday-Friday.
I WAS THINKING OF MAKING MY OWN WEDDING FLOWERS AND HAVE HEARD ABOUT YOUR DO-IT-YOURSELF FLORAL DESIGN WORKSHOPS....HOW DOES THAT WORK?
DIY workshops are hosted at our sister company A MIlkhouse Party, located just around the corner from our design studio. You can create your own floral designs there with your friends/family - we love seeing your hands filled with flowers! For an extra fee, we can store your arrangements and deliver them on your special day, saving you that worry. Please visit our website www.amilkhouseparty.com for more information. If you are a Do-It-Yourself kinda gal, this will be a perfect option for you.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE LABOR AND DELIVERY CHARGES? THAT REALLY ADDS UP!
We believe in treating our clients with transparency, that means every line item on the contract is clear and detailed. Our line item pricing is marked up according to the standards of the industry. We have organized our contract so that the labor fee of 25% (based on the subtotal of the line items) is removed from the line item pricing and is done as one sum at the bottom of your invoice. This is done for a reason.....LABOR IS A NON TAXABLE ITEM so since we are required by law to tax our floral resale items (bouquets, bouts, etc) we do not have to tax the labor charges. Organizing our invoice this way SAVES YOU MONEY! Our staff dedicates a lot of time and energy into creating a flawless event with artistic design. We firmly believe that this fee is respectable and helps maintain the level of service we wish to provide.
Delivery fees are detailed on the invoice at $1.50 per mile, plus tolls and parking. Clean up charges are included in the labor fee, unless we have to come back that night to clean up after the event ends, an extra $200 fee will be applied. Standard delivery fees may be increased if the client needs deliveries that originate at different times throughout the day, multiple deliveries, or require multiple vehicles.
I'M NERVOUS ABOUT WHAT MY BOUQUET WILL LOOK LIKE, CAN I SEE A SAMPLE?
We would love to make a bouquet (or centerpiece!) sample for you! This is a perfect chance for us to give you a tease of the big day. We can bring in linens and set up as many details as possible for you to see it all come together. Samples are done at the invoiced price and can go home with you to enjoy!
I HAVE HEARD HORROR STORIES ABOUT FLORAL SUBSTITUTIONS....IS THIS GOING TO HAPPEN TO ME?
Colors in flowers vary, and they may come in different one week to the next. Heat waves, floods, cold spells, or broken down trucks coming from the grower sometimes change a floral order last minute. In situations like this, we have no choice but to make substitutions. A flower that has a similar aesthetic will be used in your arrangement. Signing the order contract states that you acknowledge the possibility of a substitution, and you trust your florist to make the right substitution choice in this event.