Economy Impacts Couples and Florists, Too – NBC Connecticut

It’s a tough time to track down a florist.

NBC Connecticut called a bunch, and they are bustling prepping for weddings and other events now that the weather is warmer and COVID-19 cases are down.

“This summer is busy,” said Deborah Trout-Kolb, owner of Tulips Floral Design Studio in Westbrook.

“We had 84 weddings last year which is insane for us, but very grateful and definitely blessed,” said Trout-Kolb, who was one of ten floral designers chosen to decorate for the First Lady’s Luncheon last year.

“It was an amazing opportunity and it was an amazing experience.” she said.

While a pandemic put a pause on many events that she and other florists design for, weddings are back blooming better than ever.

We followed Trout-Kolb on a Friday. She and her colleague were delivering flowers for a beach wedding and another at Water’s Edge Resort that was rescheduled after last year’s hurricane.

Trout-Kolb said while costs for almost everything grow, she’s seeing couples look for ways to save a couple of bucks.

“Let’s say you have a big bridal bouquet that is more costly than expected. We can make it smaller and just as attractive and for less cost,” Trout-Kolb said.

Take a rose stem – it used to cost her company about 99 cents wholesale. Now, she said she’s paying 40 to 70 cents more, and that adds up.

The Wedding Report, which researches the booming industry, believes couples will be looking for ways save. They tell CNBC that wedding expenses are projected to be a lot higher this year as food, labor and transportation costs creep up, like gas prices.

“We have weddings coming up that we’re driving like an hour and a half to two hours, so yeah, that’ll be an issue, but I already wrote those contracts so it’s difficult to go back and say, ‘Oh, now I need to add a gas something,’” she explained.

Trout-Kolb said as staffing shortages have grounded flights, flowers get stranded, too.

“We had huge flower shortages last year. This year it’s really difficult to get some flowers,” she said.

And because of this, Trout-Kolb said she orders more than she needs, just to make sure she has everything she needs.

“And of course, that eats a little bit into the net profit, but you want a really good product. Your reputation is really important. You want the wedding couples to get what they want,” Trout-Kolb said.

She considers life like her Westbrook company’s namesake.

“A tulip is one of the flowers that when you cut it, it continues to stretch and grow, so it’s kind of a metaphor for life,” Trout-Kolb said.

So, like a tulip, her team at Tulips is making the most of marriage ceremonies this summer, evolving with whatever comes their way.

“So much fun. I love what I do,” she said.

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