You may recall that when it was announced that Newcastle was going into a snap lockdown with only six hours notice, we had two weddings on the following day. When this announcement was made, I almost had a heart attack as I had a couple thousand dollars worth of florals & foliages. Following a mini melt down I got in touch with both of my Brides & they announced that they were bringing their ceremonies forward & were going to pull it all off with only three hours. This made me realise that not all couples are willing to do this & some people in this world are unfortunately not as understanding so I decided to bring in a COVID Terms & Conditions document for all my couples to sign.
Why you may ask?
Well, Blooms by Katey is considered a micro business. Any financial losses have a significant impact on my business & it takes even longer to recover. I have spent three years & invested a heck of an amount of personal savings, love, no blood but definitely sweat & a LOT of tears growing my business to get it to where it is today. If both of these couples went "cya Katey, we want our money back" it would take months for me to make that money back as I am only one person & am restricted to the amount of work I can take on. I created this document to not only cover my booty but also my business's booty. After speaking with other florists & wedding vendors, they had mentioned that they too had similar actions in place & agreed that it was important to bring some sort of protection in as COVID does not seem to be going away.
What does the document state?
Our COVID terms & conditions document outlines cancellation & postponed weddings due to COVID with timelines & potential charges that may occur. Disregarding COVID, all couples have up until two weeks prior to their wedding date to make any changes to their order as long as it doesn't go under the minimum spend. Following two weeks, no changes can be made as orders have to be placed with the local wholesaler & when it comes to wedding season, there is no time for last minute changes.
Now bringing COVID into the situation, the document then goes on to explain that all couples have a extremely generous last minute chance to cancel or post pone their wedding due to COVID & have up until three days prior to their wedding date (not including the wedding date) to make this final decision before charges are incurred. Couples who decide to cancel / post pone their wedding date after the three day mark (not including the wedding date) will have to cover the wholesale flower cost & pay a collection fee as their order will have been already delivered to the wholesaler warehouse. The wholesaler have all rights to charge as they are not only servicing Newcastle, they are also servicing the whole Hunter Region, Port Stephens & the Central Coast. The wholesaler tend to place your flower order with their external suppliers 24-48 hours prior to the collection date hence why it states on the terms & condition document"all couples have up until three days prior not including their wedding date to make a final decision". If the wholesaler are generous & decide not to charge me for the flowers before I have picked them up, the couples will not be charged however this can not be guaranteed.
With COVID, I will always touch base with my couples the morning of before I collect the flowers to ensure I get the green light to go ahead. This is extremely generous as most vendors won't do this. If I have been given the go ahead to purchase the florals & foliages & for whatever reason the Government decides to put Newcastle & the Hunter region into a snap lockdown or enforce restrictions after the purchase of the florals, unfortunately this is out of my control & the cost will have to be covered so I am not stranded with flowers or am out of pocket. As you can understand flowers aren't cheap when purchased in bulk quantities for weddings & events & as a small business there is no way that I can take on this cost.
However, if this nightmare was to repeat itself again there are a few solutions that I can offer my couples. If the flowers haven't already been pre arranged for the wedding I can either:
- Only charge at wholesale cost to the couple with a collection fee to cover my time
- Make the florals up into gift bouquets for the couple to sell to their friends & family
- OR we spontaneously bring the ceremony forward & use all the florals to make one AMAZING ceremony
Are there any charges if we post pone our wedding date to another date?
No, there are no charges to any couples wanting to post pone their wedding & change to a later date however there is cancellation fee if the couple cancel their wedding or change their wedding date to a day that I am already booked.
What does the cancellation fee cover?
Just like a hair salon, beauty salon, Doctor or specialist, florist & wedding vendors have cancellation fees.
There is a LOT of work that goes into planning your wedding behind the scenes. The cancellation fee not only covers my admin time replying to emails, chatting over the phone or in person consultations, it also covers my time for breaking down your inspiration images & planning what florals / foliages to use for your wedding. It also covers my time for creating resources & guides for all my couples such as my floral seasonal availability guide, table layout option guide, arbour installation options guide & creating collages / mood boards. There is also a significant amount of time dedicated to breaking down each arrangement & working out the quantities of florals & foliages per arrangement & then working out how many bunches of each flower & foliages is needed to make all the arrangements. I also have to communicate with my wholesaler to order flowers.
I hope this post gives you more insight into behind the scenes of weddings as a florist & how detrimental this pandemic is on small / micro businesses especially in the wedding industry. If you are wanting to book with Blooms by Katey you can access out COVID Terms & Conditions document below.
Stay safe & remember to follow COVID safe procedures so we can get out of this lockdown!