I felt the first Featured Vendor blog post should be about someone I have worked with closely, can recommend highly, and enjoy chatting with!
I was first introduced to Jeri Solomon Floral Design when I shooting a wedding in July 2017 at the Liberty Hotel in Boston, MA. The Liberty Hotel is located at the foot of the Beacon Hill neighborhood in Boston and was originally a jail house! It is a national historic landmark and architecturally divine. I arrived a couple hours before the start of the ceremony to take the first look photos and detailed shots of the wedding decor. I walked into the Liberty Ballroom for those detail shots and saw Jeri’s beautiful centerpieces for the first time. They were to die for!
I don’t think I actually met Jeri that day, between all the running around and photographing I missed her, but knew right away that I wanted to talk to her about potentially being the florist for my September 2018 wedding. Matt and I went up to Jeri’s Stoneham, MA studio later that summer and knew after a quick conversation that Jeri was the florist we wanted to work with. She is kind, helpful, and a wealth of information for all things weddings (not just florals).
We met with Jeri two times over the course of planning for our big day. We had that first introductory meeting where Matt and I told Jeri about our wedding color palette and the floral décor ideas we had and Jeri showed us pictures of what she thought was feasible for our budget. We left that first meeting knowing exactly what we were going to get for flowers. The second meeting was about a month before the wedding. We finalized numbers (centerpieces needed and ceremony chair décor) and Jeri put together an example centerpiece for us to see. Matt and I had also emailed back and forth with Jeri a couple of times within the year before the wedding as details changed and evolved.
Keep reading for my interview with Jeri!
Tell me a little bit about yourself! Who are you? How did you get into the floral industry? How long have you been in business?
My first job at age 16 was in a flower shop. I didn’t know it, but found my calling early. I got a BA in political science and after graduation went back to working in a flower shop. After a few years, I realized that I wanted to be a business owner. Jeri Solomon Floral Design is celebrating 25 years in 2019!
What services do your offer and where?
We are a full service event floral company. We provide all the flowers a couple needs at their wedding including personal flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages etc.) ceremony flowers (arrangements, archways, chuppahs, aisle decor, pedestals etc) and reception (table centerpieces etc.) We service the Eastern Massachusetts and Southern NH.
What is your favorite part of being a florist/business owner and working with engaged couples?
I love taking the seed of ideas that couples have and finessing them into a full design concept for the florals. It’s a collaborative process. My job is to get a sense of their style and aesthetic and create arrangements that are “so them.” The best feedback I can get is when a client says, “these flowers are more perfect than I could’ve imagined.”
What is a piece of advice for couples who are just beginning to plan their wedding day and worried about floral pieces? At what point of the planning process should couples start to think about their floral décor?
Couples must understand that the size of the wedding impacts what they will spend on flowers. (More bridesmaids mean more bouquets, more guests mean more centerpieces. More florals mean more money spent. From the beginning of their planning, couples should consider how important flowers are for their wedding. If it is a top priority they should budget accordingly. Many of the images couples see on Pinterest etc. can be cost prohibitive. Be flexible. Find a floral company that will guide you and help you decide the best way to allocate your floral budget to get the most “bang for the buck.”
Why do couples choose you over other companies? What sets Jeri Solomon Floral Design apart?
There is so much talent in the Boston area. Couples are so lucky to have so many wonderful choices for vendors. Of course my floral designs are beautiful, but I believe couples choose me over other companies for my customers service, communication and listening skills and transparency of pricing. My motto is: Weddings are stressful. Flowers shouldn’t be.
What questions do you think couples should ask when they’re interviewing a potential florist for their wedding?
There is so much more to wedding flowers than just putting flowers in a vase! Timing, setup, special requests etc. Confirm that the company specializes in weddings. Ask if the person you are meeting with is part of the design process throughout or are they a “sales person”. Above all, trust your gut. Do you have confidence that the company will take care of you and provide excellent service at a price that works for you?
What would you say to couples who are thinking about arranging their own centerpieces, bouquets, and other floral pieces themselves?
Don’t DIY your flowers! Some DIY projects you can do far in advance. And if you make mistakes you have time to fix them or find a professional to do the job for you. Flowers are a perishable product. You can’t do them in advance. You need to know how to prepare the flowers so they last through your wedding day, you need to make sure you have enough product (but not too much) to have flowers everywhere you want them. You need to transport the flowers from the place you put them together to the wedding venue. All of this must be done within the 48 hours prior to your wedding. Trust me. That time should be spent with your friends and family, getting manicures and enjoying the moment. Remember my motto- Weddings are stressful. Flowers shouldn’t be. DIYing flowers is stressful!
What is a question/answer you think is important for couples to note when it comes to their wedding floral arrangements?
Q: Are seasonal flowers less expensive?
A. Not necessarily. Think of flowers as produce. A tomato in August is far superior in taste and a better value than the January tomato. Raspberries are expensive even when in season. Of course you want to use seasonal flowers because they will be at their prettiest for the best price. However some seasonal flowers (peonies, dahlias, ranunculus) are expensive even in season. Let your florist guide you as to the best flowers to use to get the most value for your budget.
Visit Jeri’s website to see more of her work and to learn more about her!