Wedding Wisdom

Flowers by Ken Miesner's from the October 2012 wedding of Ryan and Megan Maher

Photo by Josephine Havlak

I truly love weddings. We did another beautiful wedding this past weekend. The blushing bride, the handsome groom and the prospect of a lifetime of happiness renews my soul every time I service a wedding, from the simplest to the most elaborate. But all weddings—even the laid-back ones—take a certain amount of preparation.

Weddings are many things: a solemn ceremony during which profound promises are made, an incredible celebration of love, a fabulous party to end all parties, and a personal expression of the taste, passions and creativity of the bride, groom and their parents.

There are so many choices to make—the dress, the location, the flowers, the cake, the table settings and so on; and it takes a lot of effort and energy to pull everything into a harmonious whole. It is the opportunity of a lifetime, so why take chances with a well-meaning friend who makes cakes at home or does flowers out of her garage? Planning what you want shouldn’t be put in the hands of well-intentioned friends or relatives, or based on someone whose work is ‘cheaper’ or from some information you’ve gotten over the Internet.

Planning such a momentous occasion and getting everything just right should be put into the hands of a professional. We are on a very tight budget, or We are doing this ourselves and really can’t afford to spend too much are all valid and very true concerns. But did you realize that doing it yourself, or with somebody’s cousin who has done a wedding or two, could actually cost you more? Most professionals are willing to work with any budget; and if they are tried-and-true, they must love their jobs—therefore, they will do their best to accommodate your situation.

Some vendors are known taste-makers. Their joy and pride comes from helping you plan a wedding that’s entirely personal and unique. You want people whose goal is to provide you with their all, and are as excited as you to give you their very best.

There is only a slight variation in prices from an amateur to the most seasoned purveyor. I know from my experience in the floral business that almost all florists mark up their products in the same way. Experienced florists (as experienced bakers, photographers, caterers and quality vendors of wedding dresses) all usually use the best product that money can buy. There is your difference. Anyone can see an arrangement priced at $150 and say, “I can do that cheaper.” But can they? Can they provide that quality Oriental lily with every bud open for your special day, or do they fill in with mums or carnations, saying, “No one will know the difference.”

But you will know the difference. As a professional of more than 30 years and some 1,200 weddings, I urge you to always, always trust professionals who love their jobs and want only the best for you.

John Sullivan has a fine arts degree from Kansas City Art Institute. He has partnered with Ken Miesner for more than 25 years at Ken Miesner's Flowers at Plaza Frontenac, where they have done flowers for upwards of 1,000 weddings!

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