Wednesday, September 8, 2010

When a rose smells like a rip off and why I love Emily Thompson

I thought I was a low-key bride. That is until I went to Academy Flowers. After looking through a million bridal magazines at Barnes and Noble, I knew exactly what I didn't want: the same bouquet as everyone else. I found nothing inspiring and couldn't imagine paying $200 for a bouquet I didn't love. While looking through I found what I thought was a perfect compromise: a small nosegay of violets.

On my way home from work that day I stopped by the florist on the same corner as my church and venue. I told them I was getting married in the area and was wondering if they could give me some estimates. I couldn't even get the word violets out before I heard a huge release of air behind me, "Ummm you don't want violets." That's funny, I thought I did. "They are very hard to work with," he added. Okay, well what about gardeni-- "Uuughhh!" exclaimed the saleslady whilst tilting her fact to the heavens. "You do NOT want gardenias. I mean I've never actually worked with them but I've heard they.." "Turn brown when you touch them?" I supplied. "John, how much are the gardenias if you wanted them on a boutinerre? $16?" "Actually $20," Now I knew they were not only trying to crush my dreams, they were trying to upsell me too. "Didn't you bring like a binder or something?" she asked. "Um no."

I couldn't have gotten out of there faster. I also never wanted to talk to anyone about flowers ever again. That was until I met Emily Thompson through a friend of mine. Ms. Thompson owns a shop in DUMBO that doesn't even have any signage, just wild, beautiful plants climbing out her door and down a small staircase. When I walked in she didn't ask for a binder, she asked about my dress, about my fiance, the time of year and the venue. She was able to find a common thematic ground between my 1930s aesthetic and the fried chicken I was serving. She even offered to work well below her normal budget to fit into mine ($800) and told me, "Don't worry, we'll stretch it as far as it can go and whatever I can't do, I will tell you exactly how to do it cheap and easy on your own." I felt like I just got a wedding planner and a flower designer for a rock bottom price. I still don't even refer to her as a florist. I feel that is below her in some way. In November she's even taking me out to the flower district to see which flowers look good on me. I mean really, this is exactly the way every bride wants to be treated.

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