Vendor Love: Tyler and Lauren of Green Bay Floral
It is a privilege and honor to be able to work with the incredible wedding vendors of Wisconsin as often as I do. I see so many people going above and beyond, serving their clients so that the bride and groom barely have to lift a finger on their wedding day. That is the beauty of investing in trusted, experienced vendors: you get to have a relaxed and blissful wedding journey that is more beautiful than you ever expected. When it comes to your wedding day florals, you want to rest assured knowing you picked a company that is going to deliver everything they said and more. When you see your bouquet for the first time and smell those sweet flowers you hold in your hands, a warm feeling will wash over you knowing your florist took your dreams and brought them to life.
Today, I'd like to introduce you to Tyler and Lauren Arkens, owners of Green Bay Floral & Greenhouse Inc. They provide private consultations to brides and grooms looking to build a custom floral design for their wedding. Their ultimate goal is to service the couple from the very beginning of planning and to create and foster a collaborative relationship that will grow far beyond just the wedding day. Their offerings include bridal bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, altar and center pieces, archways and chuppahs, floral hair pieces, and so many other custom requests. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Tyler and Lauren a few weeks ago and really digging into the ins and outs of their business to further show wedding planning couples how amazing it is to choose Green Bay Floral and Greenhouse for their wedding florals:
What areas do you consider yourself most successful in helping your wedding clients?
Keeping them calm and organized and really delivering on the big day! We pride ourselves in being more than just your florist. We really get to know the couples in the months to come before the ceremony and find ourselves invited to give suggestions and input on more than just the flowers. We are full-service. If you come to us and need direction on other areas of wedding planing, we make an effort to become connected in our community so we can provide you with confident recommendations and point you in the right direction. Our goal is to take the stress out of your planning and aid you in any way we can to make this the joyous and blissful experience it should be.
If you could give any advice to wedding planning couples, what would it be?
Start early and meet your vendors in person. The earlier you start planning the better the overall outcome. We work with many partners on the floral side and the earlier we can submit requests for particular kinds of flowers and shades, the better the chance we can find them. Unfortunately, although all the pictures on Pinterest are beautiful, a lot of them are done with fake flowers that can be mass produced in any shape, size and color. Natural flowers have to be hand selected and there is no guarantee they will turn out exactly like a picture found on another website. This is not to discourage you, though. These pictures are great for inspiration, and the natural flowers we select are always premium, so the end result is much more stunning than any picture you'll be able to find. This can happen when you get to know your vendors, ask questions and start early. Flowers can often be a last minute thought but we encourage you to make that a priority just like you would the dress or the tux, the venue and your photographer. So, yes, please look for examples and bring in pictures and color swatches. We want this experience to be exactly like the image you are imagining and the more information you can give us, the better the results. Don't be shy if you don't know the name of the flower (or really anything about flowers); we are here to help. And do meet your florist and other vendors in person before making a decision. Just like you spent time finding the love of your life, selecting the right vendor for you is important. You have to trust the person and feel like you are making a real connection. You are literally handing over a piece of your day to them, so you have to feel like it's right!
What makes your location/service unique?
We come to you! While we would love to have you come meet us at the shop and hope that you will, we also understand our clients have busy lives that can make it difficult to come in during business hours to do a consult. If you can't make it in, we would love to meet you out for coffee to get the ball rolling. We want this to be a relaxed experience so we will always do our best to accommodate. If you aren't from the area and are planning a destination wedding here in Green Bay, that is no problem. We often work with remote couples and thanks to technology, we are still able to get that face-to-face meeting in via Facetime, Skype or other chat methods. We want to get to know you and provide you with the floral experience you have been dreaming of. We walk the walk. If we say we can deliver something, we stick to our word.
How many people are on your team?
We are a small, but mighty, group of eight highly-dedicated professionals who love what we do and are so thankful we get to create and work with beauty on a regular basis.
How many years have you been providing services to wedding clients?
While we just acquired the business in January of 2017 officially, Green Bay Floral has been providing services and creating lasting impression in the Green Bay area for the last 85 years. We're the second-oldest flower shop in the region!
How many wedding clients do you take on each year? Do you take on other clients as well?
Currently, we are averaging about 20 wedding couples per year, and we are available year-round for weddings in Green Bay and the surrounding areas. While we are looking grow the number of people we interact with, we only book one couple per date. Wedding design is a very personal and intimate experience that requires great attention to detail and our goal is to give undivided attention to the couple on their wedding day. We do service other clients with daily floral requests and deliveries, as well as other special events, but have a dedicated consultant just for our wedding services.
What type of wedding client will be happiest at your location/with the services you provide?
Clients who enjoy our services most are those looking for a custom experience. We are all about customer service and delivering a very personalized experience. While our shop has a very mom-and-pop origin, our seasoned staff has a keen eye for design. We strive to be very in-the-moment with our designs and showcase the natural beauty flowers have to offer. If you are a couple looking for professionalism, personalization, creativity and what we like to think of as spark, you'll love our services.
What are some of the policies/rules of your services/venue that you think researching couples should know right away?
We only book one couple per date. Once a bride or groom has booked with us by submitting a nonrefundable deposit of $50 to hold their date, we do turn away other wedding opportunities on that date. Attention to detail is key, so we don't book more than one wedding on a date to keep the focus all on that one couple's dreams. The $50 deposit goes towards the flower budget and you have up to thirty days before the wedding to make changes and final payment. Besides those policies, this is all a collaborative process. The design you start with on day one will more than likely change and evolve as we get closer to the date. You bring the dream and we will make it happen.
What are some of your favorite wedding details to work with? What are some of your favorite, unique items/ideas you've seen couples bring into their wedding day/wedding planning?
We love when couples are connected to their history and families. We have had couples bring in pieces from a mother's wedding dress to use as a wrap for their bouquet, or heirloom pictures they would like incorporated into the design of a bouquet as a charm. These small details make each piece very personal and unique.
What is the price range of your services?
We make magic with all sorts of budgets!
How far in advance do you recommend couples book your services? Are you available on short notice?
We recommend at a minimum a six-month notice and love when couples reach out to us a year in advance. We can turn things around for shorter timelines, but the sooner we can start planning, the better.
What do you think is most important for wedding planning couples to consider when they are researching vendors in your field of services?
All the floral providers in our area are fantastic. We have a lot of worthy competitors and feel very honored if a couple is considering us on their list. We suggest meeting vendors in person to make sure it's going to be a good fit. We may not beat some of our competitors on price but we will bring our "A" game when it comes to delivering custom design and personalized experiences.
What do you think is potentially the most stressful part of wedding planning? Do you have any tips on how to avoid this or get through this easily?
The most stressful part is trying to please everyone else. There is always going to be someone in your family or wedding party that will be very outspoken about some part of your wedding day, it's mostly just human nature. Remember this is YOUR day! Do things in a way you will look back on and be proud and happy with your decisions. You don't get redo's on this day, so buy the dress you love, eat the cake and love the experience you have created. It isn't easy putting yourself first sometimes, but a wedding is literally a party to celebrate you and one other person, so just be honest and true to yourselves!
Are there other area professionals in the wedding industry that you've been really impressed with (besides KLEM Studios ;) )?
Gather on Broadway!
When you're not working, what are some of your favorite hobbies or past-times?
We are pretty diverse people. While we have many outside interests, a primary focus is running a charitable foundation we created called Breath of Life Foundation. The foundation was created to help families in the state of Wisconsin affected by Cystic Fibrosis. The foundation provides support on co-pays, medical bills, hospital bills, and so many other expenses that come with CF. Lauren has Cystic Fibrosis and was given a second chance at Life receiving a double lung transplant on Dec 24th, 2015. We were inspired to give back and help other families. We're also passionate about Organ Donation and The American Heart Association. When we aren't working, we are busy with their daughter, enjoying life, and doing things that were impossible before Lauren's transplant.
What is your contact information?