Picking out a florist was difficult at first.  It seemed that I went to all the wrong ones before I finally met the right one! In this post, I'm going to write a review of the five florists I met, and show an example of their work. As you know from this blog post, I had quite the nightmare during my first florist consultation.  At the time I wrote that entry, I didn't say which vendor literally pushed me to tears.  However, nearly a year later, I'm fine with revealing who it was... First appointment: The Garden Gate I heard absolutely wonderful things about "The Garden Gate."  I could not pick up a Dallas wedding magazine, or google "Best Dallas Wedding Florists" without their name popping up.  In fact, one of my good friends used them and couldn't say enough positive things about the company.  I unfortunately did not have that same warm and fuzzy experience. I don't know if the owner was having an off day, but he was falling asleep throughout my entire appointment, and literally ripped my wedding vision to shreds.  Not a good first florist appointment to say the least. I remember standing with my mom in the parking lot afterwards and bawling my eyes out.  I told her "I don't even want to get married anymore!  He thought every idea of mine was complete crap!"  Looking back on it, I was a tad dramatic haha.  But he truly made me feel terrible.  Plus, he started showing us pictures of weddings he had done that were ugly.  He would pull up images of brides with dated dresses, weddings with ugly flower choices made by the bride, weddings with clashing colors that the bride choice, weddings without enough lighting, etc.  The entire time I kept thinking to myself, "I would be MORTIFIED if he used one of my wedding pictures as an example of what not to do!"  My mom even recognized one of the brides in his "bad wedding" pictures...awkward. So with all of that being said, don't let my bad experience deter you.  Like I wrote above, their name is E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E...so enough people must like them!  He may have truly just been having a rough day, and I was unfortunate enough to experience it.
A good thing about Garden Gate: He will truly work with your budget.  If you give him a number, he will stick to it exactly.  However, my original floral budget was pretty low for a wedding of our size.  We said $2,500 maximum, and learned quickly that does not get you much in Dallas.  He pulled up an excel spreadsheet and showed us exactly what he could do with that budget.  It was within our price range, but not at all the look I wanted.  So yes, he stuck to the budget, but my options were limited and very very small.
gardengate
Above is a picture of Garden Gate's work taken by photographer Richard Sturdevant.  As you can see, it's stunning!  But those centerpieces probably cost at least $200 each.
Ok, rant over! Moving on... Second Appointment: Dr. Delphinium Our next florist appointment was with Dr. Delphinium.  We met with a woman named Bryna, and she was wonderful-super friendly and knew a crazy amount of information about flowers.  She took my idea of a "romantic, elegant, soft colored" wedding and ran with it!  The flowers and arrangements she showed me were breathtaking.
Unfortunately, once we received the quote, they were way out of our budget.  I knew I wanted some fairly large centerpieces, and the price Dr. Delphinium gave me for those was just too high.  If you have a pretty substantial floral budget, or want smaller centerpieces, I highly recommend you give them a try!  Again, they were extremely educated in flowers and centerpieces, and very responsive and nice. Here is the quote we received from early 2013: * Bridal Bouquet: $185 * Bridesmaids' Bouquet: $75 * Nosegays: $45 * Boutonnières: $10 * Bridal Portrait Bouquet: $185 * Guest Table Centerpiece: $95 * Cocktail Table Centerpiece: $30 * Flowers for Cake: $75 * Guest book Table Centerpiece: $45
John Christopher
Obviously, from the above picture taken by John Christopher of John Christopher Photographs + Films, Dr. Delphinium does stunning work.  Wish we could have afforded them, but the florist we ended up with was perfect 😉 Third Appointment: Bella Flora of Dallas Ok, so by now I had shaken off the troublesome meeting with The Garden Gate, and felt more confident with my wedding choices after meeting with Dr. Delphinium.  I went into my meeting with Bella Flora with very high hopes.
They too were in every single Dallas bridal magazine I owned.  Their work, just like The Garden Gate and Dr. Delphinium, blew me away.  The cool thing about Bella Flora, is that they also offer many other services for weddings such as coordinating the rental of linens, chairs, lighting, furniture etc.
Unfortunately, I left my consultation with them disappointed yet again.  I don't know if I met with an intern or something, but she knew nothing about flowers.  I would describe the look I wanted, and she couldn't remember very many flowers to fit the description.  She was literally googling everything, and wasn't even sure if the flowers she was showing me would be in season for my wedding.  Not good Bella Flora was also too expensive for our budget-just a tad more expensive than Dr. Delphinium.
Also, as I am sure you are starting to realize from reading this post, if you want a well-known florist in Dallas, and an impressive floral arrangement, it comes with a pretty hefty price tag. Here is the general average pricing from early 2013: * Bridal bouquets > $200.00 & up * Bridesmaids bouquets > $50.00 & up * Corsages > $ 25.00 * Pomander balls > $45.00 & up * Boutonnières > $10.00 & up * Altar arrangements > $225.00 & up * Chuppah > $2,000.00 & up * Aisle runner > $150.00 & up * Low centerpieces > $100.00 & up * Tall centerpieces > $200.00 & up * Head table display > pending on size of table, generally $500.00 & up bellaflora Again, their work is absolutely beautiful.  Bella Flora is expensive, but priced pretty similarly to all of the top florists in Dallas.  However, like I wrote above, one of the benefits of chosing their company, would be the fact that they can offer many other wedding services.  I would imagine hope that I just met their one inexperienced employee at that time.  But, if I had to choose between either Dr. Delphinium or Bella Flora, I would definitely chose Dr. Delphinium.

Fourth Appointment: Branching Out The fourth consultation was with Debbie of Branching Out.  She was hilarious.  Super bubbly personality and very knowledgable.  Her work is also in every DFW bridal magazine, and you guessed it-stunning.

Here are the prices we received from early 2013: * Bridal Bouquet: $175 * Bridesmaids' Bouquet: $75 * Petite Bouquet for Mothers/Grandmothers: $35 * Cocktail Table Centerpieces: $35 * Flower for Cake: $80 * Guest Table Centerpieces: Ranged from $70 to $200 each

branchingout

Again, awesome.  I loved her, her work, and what she had to offer.  Her prices were the exact same or just below the other florists we visited.  I was just about to go with her, but decided to give the florists that my DJ, Adam Wilmore of LeForce Entertainment, recommended.  It turned out the our fifth and final consultation was my favorite.  However, if you give our florist a try, and it's just not your cup of tea, my second choice would most definitely be Debbie of Branching Out!

Now FINALLY, the florist we chose... DRUMROLL PLEASE!

Haute Floral - Kristen Wolchick 2431 Shorecrest Drive Dallas, TX 75235

First I'll overload you with all of my favorite pictures from our wedding that illustrate Kristen's talent!

*All pictures below are taken by the amazing and gifted Apryl Ann of Apryl Ann Photography.*hautefloral2 hautefloral3 hautefloral4 hautefloral5 hautefloral6 hautefloral7 hautefloral8hautefloral

Throughout the seven or more months of working with her, I unfortunately changed my mind a lot.  But Kristen totally rolled with it, and was very understanding.  When I added a flower girl and bridesmaid, she was quick to update our quote and prices, and sent the new information promptly to me.  When I started second guessing our centerpieces, she offered other suggestions.  She was also available via text-which is such a relief when you are a stressed out bride!  If I saw a centerpiece somewhere else that I liked, whether it be in a magazine, online, or at another friend's wedding, I could text her the image, and within 12 hours, she would respond with prices and names of the flowers used.

She is truly understanding of budgets, and does her absolute best to work with the number you give her.  Kristen and her staff made the "day of" preparations a breeze.  Everyone was on time, and set everything up beautifully.  I am thrilled and so pleased that we went with her!  I cannot stress enough how much I loved her work!  In fact, we loved her work so much, that my mom even ordered a surprise bouquet from her to be delivered to my office for me on my birthday!  If you need flowers for any occasion, she is your girl!  Give her a call, and tell her Cait sent you 😉

Here are some examples of her work at other events and weddings: hautefloral hautefloral2 hautefloral3 hautefloral4

Your turn: -Have you had any bad consultations with florists? -What florist did you use in the DFW area? -Have you used any of the florists that I reviewed?

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