10 Questions with Sally Sparks

WeddingRule Interviewed one of the most popular and highly sought-after wedding florists & floral designer in California, Sally Sparks of Sally Sparks Flowers & Design. Oakland based Sally is the founder and owner of Sally Sparks Flowers & Design.

Sally Sparks Flowers & Design

Florist - Sally Sparks

10 Questions with Sally Sparks

1. Introduction: What's your story?

Hi I'm Sally Sparks, founder and lead floral designer at Sally Sparks Flowers and Design. I've always had a passion for flowers and entered the industry professionally about ten years ago. Since then, I have worked in retail flower shops, freelanced for many high-end designers, opened my own shop briefly, collaborated with photographers and other vendors in editorial styled shoots, and worked with many happy couples planning their wedding day.

2. What's your experience as a wedding florist business? How many weddings are in there in your portfolio?

After creating the florals for the weddings of several family members, I started working with couples as a business back in 2016. Weddings have taken me from Napa to Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Fairfax, Woodside, and all over the Bay Area. I have a couple dozen weddings in my portfolio and am so grateful for all the clients who have entrusted me to help make their special day even more beautiful.

3. How far in advance do couples need to secure your services?

For full service weddings where I deliver and install all of the floral items, we need at least three months to plan but six to 12 months is best to ensure my availability and to secure a date. For smaller weddings where items are picked up from my West Oakland studio, we require two weeks to one month lead time.

4. How do you price your floral arrangements? What are the different packages that you offer and which one is your most popular package?

Pricing is based on the current price of flowers and other materials plus labor. Our pricing is comparable to many other Bay Area floral designers and we're mindful of our client's budgetary needs when creating our quotes. Currently, we offer three wedding floral packages: Our "Elopement Package" (one custom bridal bouquet and coordinating boutonniere), "Pick Up Florals Package" for couples who only need to pick up flowers for the wedding party and perhaps a few decor items, and "Full Service Package" which includes consultations, personal mood board and design proposal, potential site visit and coordination with your planner and venue, delivery, installation, and tear down on the day of your wedding.

5. How many meetings will you have with the couple, and how will they be involved?

I work best with couples who trust in my experience and craft so they can relax and leave all the planning to me. I encourage new clients to have an initial consultation where we go over all the things they're looking for in their wedding flowers. We go over inspiration images, ask each other questions, and generally get to know each other to see if we're a good fit. After the consultation, the couple will receive a price quote listing all the items and services we went over during out chat and then we go from there! Email communication is always a great option after that but then, about a month before the weeding day, we'll schedule another meeting to finalize logistics, make any changes or edits to the design, and start to get really excited for the big day. Additional consultations are available for site visits, venue or vendor meetings, etc. Generally we communicate via email and the week of the wedding, I'm available on my cell phone for last minute details.

6. Who else is in your team and how many people on your staff will be at the wedding?

I have a team of freelancers who are available to assist on the installation of larger weddings. Depending on the size, that could ranger from 2 to 4 people. For smaller weddings and events, it's often just me!

7. How would you describe your design style? (e.g. traditional, modern, rustic, organic)

If a garden fairy and a rock and roll witch were getting married, that would be my dream come true! My design style is lush, organic, slightly wild, full of variety and texture, using seasonal and locally-grown products. I love interesting color palettes and unusual materials like fruits, herbs, tropicals, succulents, dried botanicals, and more. Incorporating symbolic or significant flowers is also an important part of my design style- I love to use the flowers that mean something to my clients or that have a historical meaning like the "language of flowers". That way, every material is thoughtfully chosen and the whole design is truly bespoke.

8. Who will handle setup and delivery? What other services do you offer?

For elopement or small wedding packages, we offer free pick up at our West Oakland design studio. Everything will be packaged securely and ready to go. For larger events requiring delivery and set-up, my team and I (or just me, depending on the size of the event) will arrive at your venue, working closely with your coordinator/planner, to deliver all the personal florals like bouquets, boutonnieres, etc as well as to install and put together all the decor items like ceremony arch installation, centerpieces, sweetheart table flowers, etc. We also come back at the end of the evening to take all the rental items back to the studio and clear the venue of all florals.

9. What happens to the flowers after the wedding?

If you'd like to keep your flowers after the wedding, we offer to pull them from the arrangements and set them aside for you to have for repurposing (for example a wedding brunch or other event the next day), gifting, or donating. If you would like for us to donate or reuse the flowers, we can happily do that. If you would like to have your bouquet flowers preserved, we can connect you with some great preservation artists. Any other services you're interested in, let us know!

10. What is your cancellation and/or refund policy?

We require a non-refundable retainer payment when booking to hold your date. The retainer is transferrable so if your date has to change, we can apply it to the new date (pending availability). The remaining balance is due one month prior to the wedding. If there's a necessary cancellation, this balance payment can be refunded (minus any incurred expenses) provided that the flowers have not yet been ordered. If the cancellation occurs after flowers have been purchased or fails to meet the requirements set forth in our client services agreement, all payments may be forfeited.

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Awards

WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2020