10 Questions with Melissa Kuzma

WeddingRule Interviewed one of the most experienced and highly sought-after wedding florists & floral designer in Illinois, Melissa Kuzma of MKuzma Designs. Chicago based Melissa is the founder and owner of MKuzma Designs.

MKuzma Designs

Florist - Melissa Kuzma

10 Questions with Melissa Kuzma

1. Introduction: What's your story?

My name is Melissa Kuzma and I am the owner and floral artist of MKuzma Designs. From a young age I had a desire to create, so it was natural to be drawn to the texture and artistic expression of flowers. It was my mother who introduced me to the magical world of flowers. She would garden and teach me about the flowers we would find. She would quiz me to see if I remembered their names and, to this day, I smile every time I see forsythia.

I began my floral journey working part time as an associate for a local floral company while completing my associates in art. It was during my time there that I was able to learn about the fundamentals of floral design, how to condition, and how to care for cut flowers. From there I moved on to a boutique floral shop as an official designer where I continued my training and gained more hands on experience. After completing my BFA in 2012 I had begun to book more and more event side work. That was when I started to believe I could pursue floral as a career. With the support of my husband, family, and friends I officially started my business in 2015 and haven't looked back. My love of floral, passion for artistry, and dedication to quality and integrity have been the core values since starting this journey. I continue to learn and grow with my clients and am honored with every event I am entrusted with. I couldn't imagine doing anything else with my life and I share in the joy of every client I work with.

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

I primary focus on weddings. Although I started working in a traditional shop and have worked on other events, my heart remains dedicated to weddings. There is something so thrilling about being able to realize a couples vision and, more often than not, I get to flex my creative muscle. I started working on weddings in 2006, when I started working for a local family owned shop. My current portfolio displays the work from 13 different wedding events.

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

As far as booking, the sooner is always the better. It is important that my client's wedding be the sole focus and receive the attention that it deserves. For that reason we only book one event on any given day, so dates are first come first served. Typically, I see couples start to reach out about 8 months to 1 year prior to their event.

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 will always vary. We don't have a "one size fits all" philosophy and believe our clients should be expressed in everything we create. All our events are customized by style, flower selection, season, and quantity. Our event minimum is $3,000.

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

I offer an initial complimentary consultation to learn more about thr couple and what florals they are looking for. After our conversation I'll put together a personalized proposal with an inspirational mood board to make sure I'm fully understanding their vision. Since my team and I are the pros, most of our couples allow us take the reins creatively, but we make sure to keep an open line of communication from the time of booking so they remain comfortable asking questions, coordinating plans, or making adjustments. I try to keep the entire planning process very simple. Our couples have enough to worry about and florals shouldn't be one of them.

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

Brittany is my core assistant and the person clients will typically see at their event. Most of my events will only require one assistant but larger events require additional hands to make sure delivery and set-up go ssmoothy. While putting together a proposal I will assess how many assistants I will be need in order to handle the event.

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

I personally love creating organic and rich texturally driven florals but the reality of working events is that we have to compliment the client's vision. The challenge is to make sure their aesthetic shines through in florals we create.

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

I am personally involved from start to finish. I often like to hand deliver the personal florals, such as bouquets or boutonnières, to clients. Afterwards, I join my team to complete delivery and set-up. Together we make sure all elements are perfectly in place. We also offer ceremony transition and evening tear down if it is something the event requires.

9. What happens to the flowers after the wedding?

Clients like to offer smaller arrangements to their guests to take home. Any larger pieces that can be salvaged we try to donate to local nursing homes, hospitals, etc.

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

We understand cancellations/rescheduling happens. For cancellations made more than 30 days prior to an event we will refund anything they've paid minus the non refundable deposit amount. If a client cancels less than 30 days prior to an event there is no refund. All cancellations must be submit writing.

If a client needs to reschedule we will work with them to choose another date at no additional cost. All monies will be transferred to the new date and a new contract signed. If for some reason we are unavailable we will refund all monies paid less the non refundable deposit. If rescheduling occurs less than two weeks from an event we will reschedule but the client will be responsible for covering any labor or ordered product. All remaining funds will be transferred to the new date.

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Awards

WeddingRule Editor’s Choice 2021