Photo credit: J Lucas Reyes
Q: When's the best time to request for a quotation?
A: As early as possible. One year should be a good time since it's easy to predict flower prices within that period. A lot of imported flowers, for example, do not change prices as much as the local ones. This is because they are available all year round (i.e. Ecuadorian roses, Cymbidium orchids).
Q: Do you have packages?
A: No, we don't. Unlike other florists, we do not have ready-to-send packages. Everything we do is customized. The filled-up form that is returned to us will be the basis of the costing.
However, our rates for entourage flowers (from the bridal bouquet to the flower girls) start at P20,000. The final cost, however, will be determined by your actual requirements.
Q: How do we go about asking for a customized quotation?
A: Just email us a request. Brides are often made to fill up a form which contains all the details we need to come up with a customized quotation.
Q: If we decide to request for a customized costing, how long will this take? How many revisions are we allowed to make before we book you?
A:We normally send back the costing one (1) month from the day we receive the properly filled-up form.
Once you get the costing, we allow only up to one (1) major overhaul / change prior to finalization. You have to book us first before we allow more changes to your costing. This is to ensure that we do not spend too much time working on just one costing, and to give other inquirers their chance, too.
Q: Are your services expensive?
A: Most brides say our arrangements look expensive. We actually take that as a compliment. Of course this goes without saying that what drives the cost of entourage flowers higher is your choice of flowers (imported versus local), the kind of arrangement to be made (bouquets, for example, use more flowers than, say, a chest corsage), the season of your wedding (see 7th Question in this list), and the number of people in your entourage. Remember, the more people there are in the entourage, the more flower arrangements are needed. Rates for entourage flowers begin at P20,000.
Q: Can we expect a discount after we receive the quotation?
A: Our costing plan is easy: we charge you all materials at cost, then we just add the labor cost. This means, the costing we give you is already the lowest we can possibly offer based on your color scheme, flowers / arrangements chosen, theme (if you have one), and the month of your wedding.
Q: Do you work around a budget?
A: No, we don't. We sincerely think a budget restricts creativity. What we do is to give you our best costing, and then we can probably work from there.
Q: Are themed weddings more expensive?
A: That's a leading question but yes, themed weddings are more expensive than the regular ones. This is because everything - and we mean EVERYTHING - has to follow the set theme for your event to have a unified and pulled-together look.
Q: Are locally-sourced flowers cheaper?
A: Not all the time. The locally-sourced flowers are the most susceptible to extreme price changes. The most expensive months to get married are in January, early February, May, late November and in December, which is the wedding month in the Philippines. Locally-sourced flowers during these months go as high as 200% more compared to their usual cost during the rest of the year.
Q: Are non-floral items cheaper?
A: No, they're not. That's because every item is hand-crafted and customized according to your wedding's overall look.
Q: How do I book?
A: If all the details of your costing are already acceptable to both of us, we send you a Service Contract to sign. Non-refundable down-payment (D/P) is 30% of the total cost upon signing of the Service Contract. Balance is payable a month before the event date.
Q: Do you join bridal fairs?
A: Right now we don't yet see the need to do that.
Q: Can we still back out of the contract?
A: Yes, you can as long as we haven't made advanced orders on your behalf. There are stipulated time limits as to when one can still back out. The Service Contract has all the details of how much can be refunded depending on how far from the event date you are cancelling the service. Of course we'd be very sad if you'd do that. :-(
Q: Do you do mock bouquets?
A: No. Mock bouquets add to the overall cost. A little surprise adds excitement to the wedding day. Relax. Leave it to us. No worries; we are not fond of nasty surprises either.
Q: What do you mean by being "Fully Booked"?
A: This means that we have reached our maximum monthly limit of 20 (20)events per month. We do a maximum of two (2) events per day if only for entourage flowers, but one (1) event per day only if we have to work on the reception / garden ceremony as well.
Q: Do you charge for out-of-town events?
A: Yes, rates vary although we try our very best not to if we can find a way for me not to have to travel just to deliver. We do what we call Delivery-For-Pick Up (i.e. we deliver to an appointed meeting spot and transfer the goods to a group from your side who will complete the journey to your venue or preps place). This is usually done for events in Tagaytay or Boracay. It'd save you a lot of money, that's for sure.
Q: If you do not come along with the flowers, how do we know how to care for them?
A: In the past, we have always attached Care Instruction Cards to the boxes carrying our flowers. We continue to do that. They're very helpful and easy to follow. Also, all the arrangements will be properly tagged.
Q: Can you coordinate an event, too?
A: We have been very fortunate to have worked with a lot of really good event coordinators. We can refer you to them.
Q: Why are you so bloody particular with who we get as photographer / videographer?
A: Because we care for you and your event. Because you deserve to be covered properly and because our flowers deserve it, too. As much as possible, we suggest that we be allowed to work with the photographers & videographers that are in our Birds of the Same Feather list. :-)
Q: Do you accept reception / church styling?
A: We used to. Now we do it on a very, very, very limited basis. Reception styling is mostly limited to our home base which is The Mango Farm. Our partner in reception & church styling is SPRUCE Floral Designs. Please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org! We love their work to bits!
Q: Do you prefer to work with a specific caterer?
A: Not really, but it helps a lot to know who your caterer is so we can match the ceremony flowers with the look of the reception. We also make sure that we do not use the same flowers in the entourage flowers as those found in your reception.
Q: Who are your design influences?
A: Our influences are not limited to florists. We are also a huge fan of architecture, photography, literature, travel (I used to run a travel blog), films (I used to review them), food (we wrote about it for a living), product, graphic, & interior design.
We also visit museums a lot. For designers, I look up to Eddie Ross, Karen Tran & Paula Pryke. I know for a fact that a lot of Manila florists look up to Preston Bailey, but his style is just not me. Locally, we admire the work of at least five Manila-based florists.
Q: Why do you deliver flowers so early in the morning?
A: We'd rather be early than late. We deliver at 8AM at all times if the wedding is in the afternoon; earlier if you can wake up for us (yey!). Also, delivering flowers at the sun's peak hastens blooming and thereby advancing the deterioration of your flower arrangements. We want to deliver while the weather is cool so we can arrange the flowers at your preps place, too, for the photo shoot that will happen later in the day. For Boracay weddings, we prefer that the flowers are flown to the island on the same day of the wedding or the evening before. For Tagaytay weddings, we prefer that the flowers travel in the morning.
Q: Do you deliver the flowers personally?
A: In most cases, yes. For Tagaytay weddings, we transfer that responsibility to either assigned family members or your event coordinator. Sometimes we end up consigning the flowers to the hotel's Front Desk during cases where we arrive early and we'd rather not disturb the bride from her beauty sleep, but we try our very best to meet all our brides. :-)
For Boracay weddings, we ship flowers via Seair. For other locations in the Philippines, we ship via Philippine Airlines.
Q: Where do you source your flowers?
A: Both here and abroad. With our recent adoption of the Green Weddings Initiative, we now source more of our floral requirements locally if they are available. Otherwise, we import flowers via our importer-partners from such countries as the Netherlands, Latin America, New Zealand, Thailand and other countries. Do you know that Kenya supplies 20% of the flower requirements of Europe? It is not surprising if some flowers from there find their way here in Manila via Amsterdam, which is our only direct link to the European flower market.
We are conscious about our sources of imported flowers. We require that our flowers carry the Flower Label Program (FLP) tag. Established in 1998, the objective of the FLP is to improve labor, social, health and safety standards for farm workers; improve the use of chemicals and pesticides used on the flowers; and to follow stringent standards to protect the environment. We want to contribute to making the conditions in countries which employ mainly women whose working conditions are often not "rosy" become better. Unsafe working environment is the cause of accidents, insufficient working contracts and working time regulations create social problems, the lack of environmental protection threatens the surrounding countryside. We need to help reverse these conditions.
Locally, we try our very best to source from those who own farms, and not from middlemen.
Q: Who sources your flowers?
A: That we do personally. Every flower that goes into your arrangement has been chosen and bought by us. We can reject bad or defective deliveries on the spot and choose better alternatives. For imported flowers, we rely on at least three (3) shops in Manila to do the ordering for us, but we still choose from among the deliveries when they arrive.
For other questions not discussed in this page, please do not hesitate to let me know the soonest. Thank you for your time and welcome to Vatel Manila! :-)
Dylan Yap Gozum
Mobile: + 63.915.383.8803