Company Name: Petals Ink
Phone: (512) 203-0508
About: The first wedding flowers I designed were our own. A bright, happy, unforgettable mix of gardener favorites like Sweet Peas, Zinnias, and Salpiglossis grown on a small Vermont farm I helped tend. The year was 2003, and I was always busy creating something–hand bound journals with stitched seams or fresh soaps and lotions wrapped in handmade paper labels. I knit scarves and rolled from-scratch dough for pot luck pies, and loved nothing more than making bouquets of farm grown flowers for market. What I didn’t know then, was that all the seeds for a creative career were being planted. In the years that followed we ‘d pack up our belongings and drive cross-country to this little city called Austin. We’d buy a fixer-upper, get a dog, start a family, get another dog. And while I’ve always done meaningful work throughout my life, from the non-profit sector to education, there was always this insatiable itch to create.
People often say, “Do what you love.” I took that sentiment and made a business & a lifestyle out of it. Petals, ink. launched in 2009 as a way to incorporate all my passions– flowers and plants, design, photography, and writing. It has since grown and evolved over the past seven years into a bustling, artistic enterprise recognized in the wedding industry as a provider of fabulously unique florals, and dreamy customer service. In recent years we’ve been carving out a name for ourselves as dynamic flower growers, offering sustainably grown and unusual flower varieties to our lucky clients. In June of 2015 our dream of expanding that endeavor serendipitously came about with the purchase of a 7 acre parcel of Texas Backland Prairie. (Stay tuned for the Grassdale website, and loads more snippets of flower farm life!)
All in all, we are a quaint, family & friends business. My husband Ben built our amazing studio space and takes the lead on custom construction of ceremony arches and chuppahs, and most recently– the first greenhouse at Grassdale! His ten years as Director of Construction at Austin Habitat for Humanity provided an invaluable skill set to both build and lead crews. (He makes a nice boutineer too!).
Contact Petals, Ink. Floral
Questions to ask your Austin Florist
-provided by The Knot
The Question: Have you done many weddings?
Why You Want to Know: This is really code for: Do you know what you’re doing? Experience is usually a good indicator of expertise, and that’s important since it will mean she’ll be able to guide you through the process easily—even if you throw in some curveballs, like asking her how to create less expensive alternatives or which flowers are in season or grown in the region.
The Question: Can I see photographs or live examples of your work?
Why You Want to Know: Be wary if the answer is no. Pictures of past bouquets will help give you a sense if you and the florist have the same taste, and if she’s the best person to execute your vision. If her flowers reflect a wild and natural feel and you were looking for a minimalist vibe, you may want to look further. Seeing photos of her work will let you know exactly what she’s capable of and how it compares with your inspiration bouquets. The trick here though is having her tell you if the photo was something she considers her style or if it was the couple’s vision. Neither answer is bad—if you love the look, you know she’s capable of making it again; if you hate it, ask to see something she thinks is reflective of her own style.
The Question: Have you done weddings at our ceremony or reception site before?
Why You Want to Know: If so, she’ll be knowledgeable about what sizes, shapes and colors work in the venue. It’s also a great way to see how other couples transformed the space. If not, ask if she’d be willing to do a site visit to scope it out and takes note of any limitations (her answer should be yes!).
The Question: How many weddings are you handling on the same day or weekend as mine? Will you simply be dropping off flowers, or will you be helping set up too?
Why You Want to Know: If your florist is handling multiple clients, you’ll want to ensure she has enough staff (and time) to go around. Make sure the person you discuss your vision with is also the person who will be working on your wedding. If she has assistants, include them in your initial meetings. You’ll pay more for a full-service florist who makes sure everything is in order the day of, but it’s often worth the peace of mind.
The Question: Are you willing to work within my budget?
Why You Want to Know: This seems obvious, but it’s not just about making sure the florist will take the job. If your budget is low, talk openly and honestly about how much you can spend. Sometimes hearing “no” is a good thing, because then you can figure out how to compromise early on. It doesn’t mean they wont work within your budget, but maybe it’s impossible for anyone to accomplish what you want within that price range (read: you want a lush flower wall on a shoestring budget). Most florists can work with you no matter how much you have to spend, but it’s important to start the conversation early—and to be open to new ideas and alternatives.
The Question: Will you be responsible for working with my venue to find out about any restrictions they may have in terms of décor?
Why You Want to Know: You don’t want to be the middleman—florists have a better idea of what’s needed to carry out your vision, be it indoor topiaries or a 10-foot-tall floral huppah. Ideally, they’ll communicate with your venue directly to be sure your plans don’t interfere with their policies.
The Question: What other services do you offer?
Why You Want to Know: Most florists are actually more like event designers. You may be able to get extras, like fabric draping, lanterns, chairs, candelabras and lounge furniture, from them. And this could be a really good thing—dealing with one wedding pro rather than four or five can simplify the process and alleviate stress (sometimes you can save on delivery charges too!).
The Question: Who will handle setup and delivery? What about breakdown? How long will you need for both, and what are the fees?
Why You Want to Know: These are the sneaky line items on a proposal that can add up. Oftentimes, a florist assesses your budget for flowers and labor only, so ask about these “extras” that you can’t really avoid. Also, make sure pick up arrangements have been made for any rented items, like vases and arches.