For that one day of bliss, you’re going to spend a pretty penny to achieve your dream wedding, but Diane O’Brien of Ribbons & Roses in Brentwood is offering brides an alternative that can reduce the floral cost of your big day.
“When the economy took a dive three years ago, the wedding industry took a 30-percent hit,” O’Brien explained. “While the number of weddings (each year) hasn’t changed, the size of the wedding has been reduced to accommodate restricted budgets, and a lot of brides have turned to a do-it-yourself (DIY) mentality to help cut costs.”
In response to this growing phenomenon, O’Brien created DIY Bridal Parties to help guide brides through the DIY floral experience. As part of her service, O’Brien helps design a concept and determines the flowers needed to achieve a bride’s desired wedding theme. Once the details are set, O’Brien goes to the flower market to handpick the flowers, and then hosts a bridal party where the bride, along with her closest friends, learns how to build the bouquets and other floral elements. Brides are invited to bring food and drinks and make a full girls-night-out of the experience.
“I know the DIYers are my competition, but I’ve decided to take lemons and make lemonade and tap into that market because I can offer a better product, better price and a greater selection than what’s available online,” O’Brien said. “Tell me what you want, and I’ll find the flowers and teach you how to achieve your vision. The rest is up to you.”
To help brides achieve their perfect wedding, O’Brien sells DIY kits that include a starter vase, clippers, stem strippers, flower food and finishing spray. The kits also include an instruction guide with tips that most florists won’t share.
As part of offering her experience to brides who want to do the flowers themselves, O’Brien is candid about the effort and time it takes to assemble floral arrangements. She understands that brides want to save as much money as possible, but cutting corners on the flowers might not be the best route to go, especially if you’re planning a large wedding. O’Brien always informs the bride that she may switch to a full-service contract if she becomes overwhelmed by the DIY process.
“When I suggest full service in a DIY consultation, the bride automatically thinks that I’m trying to berate them, suggesting that they aren’t capable and that I’m trying to swindle them out of money, but that is absolutely not true,” O’Brien said. “As a seasoned florist, I know how long it takes me to assemble the bouquets, and whatever other collateral (floral elements) is involved; plus I have a staff to assist me, so I want brides to know what they are getting into up front.
“It won’t be easy and it’s going to take time and effort. Even if you enlist your friends to help you – it’s not their big day, so they might not put in the effort and attention to detail to make it perfect. When I take on a wedding, I eat, drink and sleep that day so that I can create a setup that’s perfect for that couple. The bride should feel like queen for a day, and I do what I can to make sure the flowers are just right to help make that day special – because it’s her day and she deserves it.”
Ribbons & Roses is located at 151 Chestnut St. in Brentwood. To schedule a consultation appointment, call 925-634-3832.