Tag Archives: Wedding Industry

Meet Maria

At the beginning of this year’s wedding season I was on the hunt for an outrageously talented as well as super excited new team member to add to the mix.  I was looking for someone passionate and ready to learn everything that there is to learn about this crazy industry.  I wanted someone with their own sense of creativity, someone who would learn from me, but also be able to put their own spin on things.  I found my girl! Maria is her name and Weddings are her game.  Maria is part of the design process as well as the event set-ups here at The Vine’s Leaf, but she will also be a weekly contributor to the newly remodeled blog! She will be posting on whatever it is that is inspiring us over here,  whether it’s a fun Lover.ly Board, a recent wedding that we have done or our most coveted bloom of the moment.  So here she is FOLKS…the amazing Maria Melissa!

Maria Melissa

I remember when I was the one reading blogs like this. The young dreamer at my laptop waiting to see what The Wedding Chicks were going to post next, clicking from vendor to vendor and planning weddings in my head. I was the girl with the parents that had the big expectations of me going to Med School or becoming a Lawyer.  At the time, a free lance creative style job was not in the cards, so I never considered the wedding industry as a career for me.  It was always a big dream, a “What if?” type of thing, until I decided to just go for it, 100% and to never give up or look back.  Which is exactly why you are reading this today :)

As a kid, I was a hopeless romantic. Every two week high school “relationship” excited me at the beginning and broke me when they ended. And with every new boyfriend came a million new weddings planned in my special “Future Weddings” (notice the “s” at the end of wedding) folder on my computer’s desktop. Planning weddings for myself was not only a hobby of mine but a way to bring hope to my kindred spirit after a break up. They included everything: vendors, venues, flowers, accents, accessories and a dress, a Vera Wang that I’m still in love with today. I was such a weird kid! I took a floral design class as a last resort my senior year in high school. I figured it would be easy and that there would be no way to fail it; I was partially right. For me, designing was a piece of cake– others in my class suffered. As big headed as I can be in my mind, I wondered how something so easy for me could be so difficult to others. Either way, from that point on I was smitten…my passion for weddings paired with my new found love of floral design had created a lover of all things beautiful…I fell head over heals in love with the wedding and floral industries, immersing myself into every aspect.

After multiple attempts at pursuing some sort of college education that I was interested in and passionate about, I moved to Texas to attend Wedding Planning classes (and partially to run away but that’s another story). Soon I realized after shadowing my teacher/wedding planner that though wedding planning was amazing, I wasn’t as passionate about it. I knew I wanted to work in the wedding industry but I didn’t know exactly what my role would be.  All the while, I still continued to follow wedding blogs and continued making floral arrangements as a hobby.

As funny and ironic as life is, I found The Vine’s Leaf and Aly when she became a Handpicked Vendor on The Wedding Chicks years ago; I swore to myself that she was the florist to bring life to my many weddings I had planned for myself. After randomly responding to her search for an intern, here I am now, The Vine’s Leaf’s new(ish) intern! Every day of work with Aly is amazing. She’s constantly challenging me and preparing me for nothing less than the best. I’ve learned so much in these short couple of months and can honestly say that I enjoy looking at my work B.A. (before Aly) and finding things I could have improved or done differently. My dreams are coming together piece by piece and way faster than I’d anticipated. And although I’m very much still following wedding blogs and planning a million weddings for myself, it’s such an awarding feeling to know that I’m now also writing behind the blogs I used to follow.

I look forward to chatting with you, entertaining you and hopefully inspiring you along the way!

xo, Maria



{Pinterest + Lover.ly}

Pinterest my current obsession…my reason for insomnia…my place for inspiration.  I love it. I use it to get ideas for the house, baby’s first birthday party, what to wear and of course all things weddings!  I find it to be a fantastic tool when consulting with Brides, as their is always a picture of the very exact thing that I am looking to describe! I find that it really helps the non-visual person in explaining just what it is that they are looking for.  It is also great, because there is SO much beautiful creativity out there that it is constantly inspiring me to get better and think outside of the box in all aspects of my design.  Could it get any better?!

One word…YES!

{Mathew Morgan Photography}

And it just did a few months ago!  This fabulous new site called Lover.ly is like Pinterest but purely for Weddings, whether you are planning your wedding, dreaming about your wedding, you work in the wedding industry or just plain love weddings, it’s the place to be.  All of the fabulous images you see on the wedding blogs are compiled onto this lovely little site with links back to all of their original posts or credits listed for who did the work. You can save all of your most favorite images in “Bundles” and organize them however you wish and you can make it public or private, which is awesome…I have talked to so many brides who wouldn’t pin before Pinterest had the option to make things private because they didn’t want everyone to know what there wedding was going to look like!  Genius! I highly suggest you go check out what they’ve got going on…they add new images daily and they are all AHHH-mazing!

{Comparing Vendors in the Wedding World}

So today I came across a phenomenal article that I have actually been meaning to write myself for some time now.  The article came from one of my daily blogs that I follow and has worded everything so perfectly that I HAD to repost it!  I always tell my Brides that when choosing a florist, or any vendor for that matter, it really should be about the work that they do, the quality that they offer and also the connection that you have with them.  The process of planning a wedding is a long one and should most definitely be an enjoyable one!  When you are working with the right vendors, the experience becomes fun and much less daunting.  For my business, prices can always be moved around in proposals, and with flowers, you definitely get what you pay for.  The most popular blooms are always some of the most of expensive and can be used in ways that accommodate a lower budget or they can be incorporated in ways that will be super expensive, but worth every single pretty little penny that you spend on them.  As Lauren says below, “You get what you pay for!”…so when you are searching for a fabulous wedding vendor to add to your list for the big day, keep in mind that the Wedding Industry is full of super hard working artists and they all have their very own art form that they are selling.  Of course, Budgets are totally necessary and very important, but if your are strictly comparing dollar amounts you could possibly find yourself in a sticky situation come wedding day! Now onto some *Fantastic* insight from the lovely Lauren over at Every Last Detail!

Ashley Daniell Photography

{Thursday Tips} Comparing Vendors: Apples To Oranges

So here’s how it goes. You usually meet with a few potential vendors in each “vendor category”, so naturally, you need something to help you make your decision. This is where we often turn to comparison, which is a total and complete disservice to yourself and your potential vendors. Take it from someone who DID compare vendors to each other and ended up with the short end of the stick.  You just can’t do it.  As the saying goes, it’s like comparing an apple to an orange. Sure, you can find a common thread, but overall, comparing the two is just not something you can do.

Why can’t you compare vendors to each other? Well let’s think of a few “real life” examples… can you compare McDonald’s to Maggiano’s? Sure, they both serve food. But one you have to sit down to eat, and the other you can get your food in 3 minutes. Or what about a dress from Target and a dress from Nordstrom. They could look similar, but what you’re saving on one dress, you’ll probably (hopefully) make for in quality with the other. With both cases, they’re SO different… you just can’t fairly compare them to each other!

In the wedding world, every vendor offers different things. Everyone has their own way of doing things. Some include special perks with their pricing, some charge extra for those same things. Some people just give you a flat price, some do pricing by the hour or item. Everyone has a different process, different costs, different services. It’s because every vendor is unique and different- you wouldn’t be having to choose if they were all the same!

I know when I was researching and meeting with photographers, I found myself comparing “packages” to each other. But what I also wasn’t considering was experience. Quality. What I was getting for the price. Thinking about it now, going for a bigger, more inclusive package with a lesser-quality photographer wasn’t the way to go- because even though I thought I was getting more bang for my buck, I definitely sacrificed in quality.

So for last week’s Thursday Tips, we talked about how to FIND OUT pricing from vendors. Because let’s face it- in today’s world, with communication at our fingertips, there should never be unanswered questions. In some of the comments on the post last week, people pointed out that sure, you can get pricing from people, but you just can’t compare pricing. Which of course I totally agree with. And it got me thinking about how I didn’t even *think* of that when I was researching and meeting with vendors. So today, guess what we’re talking about?!

When finding out pricing, the next step in your research would be to meet with your potential vendors. Well, I’ve found that when you’re researching and meeting with vendors, it’s really easy to want to compare them to each other. I mean, it’s what seems like the right thing to do, right? Well, unfortunately, it’s not!

Either way, you have to make a decision and you have to compare potential vendors in some way. So instead of directly comparing vendors, here are a few suggestions for the things you should look for:

*Experience* I don’t care what type of vendor we’re talking about- experience is HUGE! It’s the difference between something going horribly wrong on your wedding and something being swiftly taken care of. Even though you do pay more for those who are more experienced, think of the magic words: you get what you pay for.

*Quality* It’s crazy the difference of quality that I see in people’s work. To me, quality is not only the outcome, but also customer service. So it’s really based on your own perception of “quality”- which is great, because everyone views things differently. :) Again, you get what you pay for.

*What’s included* This is a huge thing for everyone, right? It’s essentially most of what determines what you’re paying. While we’re trying to avoid strictly comparing vendors based on pricing, it’s still important to know what you’re getting. Florals- is setup and delivery included? Photography- are you getting an album for that package price? Catering- are rentals included? So yes, it’s important to know what’s included. It has a direct outcome on the price- but don’t let it dictate the outcome of your decision. 

And then of course price just goes without saying, right? What I’m trying to convey is to not just make your decisions solely based on prices, and don’t try to compare vendors directly to each other. Just keep in mind what they offer and how they offer it. And most of all, don’t forget that you want vendors who you LIKE- you’re going to be spending lots of time with them! :)

I could go on and on and on with examples of how comparing wedding vendors is like comparing “apples to oranges”. But I don’t want to bore you all- I prefer to keep things short and sweet as much as possible.  I know some of you have had to decide on your vendors already. What helped you make your decisions? Did you look solely at price, or did you keep several factors in mind? Share with all of us- you all can learn from each other! :)