Ryan O’Neil of Curate returns with another addition to his blog series – read on for his best advice on keeping all those wedding details organized!
Lauren and Rachel at Sweet Root Village were up to their ears in wedding folders. Each time a client wanted to make the smallest of changes, they had to pull out the giant folder, scribble in the changes, and then close them up again until the client would reach out to ask for more changes… five minutes later (at least, that’s how it seemed).
Sound familiar? Most of the wedding and event florists the Curate team talks to every day can relate to Lauren and Rachel’s story. And many of them share how they’ve found the most random of notes in their folders–including their team’s lunch order.
Simply put, wedding folders tend to get messy VERY quick. But a simple checklist can make a world of difference in organizing your wedding folders. Here’s what we’ve found to work well:
- Wedding Folder Cover Sheet: This should include an image of the happy couple, the date of the wedding, and a checklist-style table of contents for the rest of the folder.
We’re giving away our wedding folder cover sheet template! Click the button below to download it now.
- Timeline:Weddings are complex events with a million parts that need to be curated. Right after your cover sheet, your floral wedding folder needs to include a timeline of every important event leading up to and on the day of the event. Do you need to do a mockup for the client at your final consultation? Do special flowers need to be ordered in advance? Are you setting up for the ceremony before the break of dawn? Include all of those details in the timeline to keep yourself on track.
- Inquiry and Consultation Forms: You’ll want to have all the information the client’s given you easily accessible towards the front of the folder so you can easily reference it and update it as needed.
- Consultation Notes:When you met with the client, did they add anything that wasn’t covered in one of your forms? Maybe they’re splitting the cost with their parents or have a mother-in-law whom they would prefer to keep out of the wedding details for as long as possible. Whatever the case may be, you’ll want a designated place to keep track of it all.
- Contract and Receipts: Your contract is one of the most important pieces of your floral wedding folder. It’s not only the thing that will protect you from any crazy lawsuit from a bridezilla who didn’t like the exact shade of peonies that were ordered, but it is what outlines the terms the client has to meet to work with you. Keeping this important document in your wedding folder, along with a copy of the client’s receipts, is critical to making sure that you have it easily accessible.
Note: As a safety measure, you should make sure to leave out any sensitive payment info and keep it in a secure place. Stripe, or other PCI compliant tools, are great for keeping cards on file securely so you don’t leave yourself or your clients vulnerable. In some states, it’s illegal to record a card number on a digital device.
- The Proposal: Your client will likely make a dozen changes from the time of their initial consultation to final so keeping track of every version within your wedding folder is critical. Depending on the verbiage of your contract, including a copy with their initial/signature to serve as an addendum to the initial contract is also a good idea.
- Associated Vendors:Having a list of other vendors you’re working can be incredibly helpful in preparing for the event. With the list of vendors, you’ll want to have contacts and any important files they may provide. For example, if you’re dropping of personal flowers at the ceremony site and then setting up the reception at a different venue, you may need to reach someone at either venue for specific delivery instructions that the client may be unable to provide.
- Floral Recipe Sheet:Whether you count your stems while creating a proposal for the most accurate cost out or start with a price and work backwards to create a design that works for you, you’ll want to have all of your recipes easily accessible within your wedding folder. This way, when your client says “Let’s make the centerpiece bigger and add a second accent flower,” you’ll be able to make that adjustment quickly. It also makes it easier to assign recipes to each of your team members. You’ll also want your recipe sheet to include any inspiration images from your proposal to make sure your designers match what was promised to the client.
- Shopping List: Once you’ve created your final recipes, you’ll want to be sure to have a clean shopping list that you’ll send to your wholesaler or personally pick up at your local grower. When your order arrives, you’ll be able to use this shopping list to check that the order is complete and begin processing your flowers.
- Rental Pull List: If your client is renting any of your items, you’ll want to keep a separate pull list so you can make sure you get all of the right items pulled from your shelves and returned in proper order.
If you’ve gone the digital route with all your documents, make a template folder titled “Wedding Folder” on your desktop with subfolders for each of the things above. Every time you have a new event, just duplicate the template folder and start adding in all the details. And, of course, if you use Curate (or another wedding floral software), you can find all of these things simply by clicking into the event file and printing all the documents for the hard copy of your floral wedding folder.
Ready to start organizing your wedding folders better?
Ryan O’Neil founded Curate when his wonderfully-creative wife, Rachael, was consistently spending all hours of the night managing her events with all of her floral wedding folders thrown across the kitchen table and hacked together Excel sheets. Curate has since grown into a full platform with various products to help florists create beautiful proposals, manage costs, track expenses, order from their wholesalers, and stop overbooking rental items.