Vendor Preview: Kate Baker Florals

Since my last few posts have been on flowers, I thought I'd shine a little spotlight on the fabulous Kate Baker, who will be taking my inarticulate ideas about floral design and making them a beautiful reality.  On an icky Boston day like this one (we had our first snow today -- blech), just seeing pictures of Kate's arrangements makes me smile.
[Photo by Ira Lippke]

I met Kate through planner extraordinaire and Weddingbee Pro Angel Swanson.  Kate has a home studio in L.A., which means that she not only provides a comfy environment for her clients, but also keeps her overhead costs low.  The instant I sat down with her, I knew I was in capable hands.  She both understood my anxiety about staying within budget and totally got my "vision" for the decor.  (As an aside, let me say that I never had any "visions" up until I started wedding planning, and now, much to Mr. HC's chagrin, I wield that term like I'm Miss Cleo.)

[Photo by Kate Baker]
[Photo by David Michael]

My intuitions were confirmed when I got Kate's estimate.  She took detailed notes on our meeting and translated it all into fluent "floral speak."  Here's an example:
Romantic , “vintage Asian” design scheme, focusing on soft palette of dusky mauve, amethyst (gray-ish subdued purple), aubergine, and with accents of silver. Bride prefers a romantic, vintage-inspired style in arrangements and bouquets – with a slight mix of textures and delicate mixed foliages/herbs, and the use of flowering and other seasonal branches (such as cherry blossoms, willow, birch, etc). Bride shows particular preference for: ranunclus, peonies, garden or cabbage Roses (ruffly/fully open…NO hothouse roses), dahlias, cherry blossoms and other flowering branches, orchids, anemones, calla lilies, hibiscus, gladiolus, dusty miller. Also may utilize to a lesser extent, other seasonal flowers such as: lisianthus, hydrangea, lilacs, mums, etc.
From my vague mutterings -- replete with exceedingly helpful directions like "no heinous arrangements" -- Kate somehow got exactly what I was looking for.  What I appreciated most about Kate's estimate, though, was that she gave us lots of options and ways to keep the budget under control.  For instance, in her estimate for tall manzanita centerpieces, she provided the following choices, each with a different price point:
  • Trees’ branches decorated with individual and/or petite clusters of pink Cymbidium orchids, ranunclus, spray roses, stock, etc.
  • Trees’ branches decorated with flowering Branches (cherry, dogwood, etc.)
  • Tree’s branches draped with several strands of strung dendrobium Orchids
She also gave some "add-on" options:
  • Clear or soft pink crystal strands, to hang from branches (5-9 per tree)
  • Glass Votives with tealight candles, hung from tree branches (3-5 per) 
With a veritable buffet of options, we could make a considered judgment about which elements we really wanted and how much we were willing to spend on them.  And what's not to love about buffets?

[Photo by Christine Marie Photography]
[Photo by Kate Baker]

I can't wait to share with you what Kate puts together for our shindig; I know it's going to be lovely.  In the meantime, if you're searching for non-heinous arrangements in the L.A. area, check out Kate.

How did you know that your vendors were "right" for you?  And how good have your vendors been in translating ordinary language into wedding decor reality?

Jessebel  – (December 17, 2008 at 12:04 PM)  

Le sigh about Kate Baker.

She was the second florist I contacted but the first one we met. Just loved her descriptions and ideas but the man had an issue that I won't go into detail about. Needless to say, we didn't go with her but goodness, what could have been.

Can't wait to see what she comes with for your wedding.

Krista  – (December 19, 2008 at 6:14 PM)  

Wow those floral arrangements are just divine.

As a bride-to-be ever since my fiance proposed to me with a gorgeous diamond engagement ring from www.idonowidont.com we have been looking at different florists to choose from but Kate Baker is clearly a genius!

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