In the wedding design business, you’re always three steps ahead.
That’s why at Petals to Platinum, Raridon’s new wedding rental showroom in the Haymarket, you won’t find the centerpieces you saw at your cousin’s wedding...and your friend’s...and your friend’s friend’s.
“We source our inventory from everywhere,” Raridon said. “I look at trends, and I also look at what brides are asking for. But you have to be careful, because it takes six months to a year for a wedding to be planned. By the time brides are coming to you with what is all over Pinterest, that’s already been out for a year. I try to go after what I really love.”
Before the showroom, Petals to Platinum had operated out of a private studio in Lincoln for five years as an appointment-only floral design service. Throughout those years, the business began to curate an inventory of vases, flatware, centerpieces, and other hard goods to have on hand for their full-service weddings—that is, weddings where Raridon and her small team planned and executed every design detail.
Petals to Platinum established themselves as a unique wedding design company for brides looking for an eclectic mix of modern and vintage pieces.
“We kind of curated that to be our look, but also our bride's look,” Raridon said. “So we've compiled that inventory, and up until now it's only been for our Petals to Platinum brides, which is kind of special. Our brides feel like they have an inventory to choose from that not all their friends are using, and it coordinates perfectly with our floral design.”
Last fall, Raridon and her husband realized they were storing a lot of inventory—and because the business was taking on bigger weddings in lesser quantities, a lot of it was sitting, unused, most of the year. It was time to launch a second company for rentals.
Petals to Platinum Rentals launched in January 2019 only online and through Instagram.
“But then we kind of found out that people really wanted to go somewhere to see and touch the rentals,” Raridon said. “So we realized quickly that we needed a showroom.”
A space in the Haymarket Sawmill Building at 440 N 8th Street opened up, and in two weeks Raridon decided it was the spot.
No appointment is necessary to peruse the event rentals at the Petals to Platinum showroom. You’ll find shelves of flatware and vases, fabric swatches, and even a whole section dedicated to putting together the perfect gift basket for bridesmaids, groomsmen, or your guests.
“I understand not everybody has the budget to spend on a full-service wedding with us,” Raridon said. “I still want everyone who rents from us to have a beautiful wedding. So the rental side gives us the opportunity to help people find their perfect centerpieces, or ceremony bouquets, or other a la carte rentals without having the full-service wedding. I really try to have a lot of packages so that brides can really figure out something that works for them.”
The showroom has also provided rentals for other events, too, like corporate get togethers, baby showers, birthday parties, and even Thanksgiving dinners.
Raridon has been in the floral business for 20 years, since she began working in a floral shop in high school. From there, she slowly found herself in the wedding business.
“I love people, I love brides,” she said. “I love planning—I know this is going to sound cheesy—but it's the biggest day of their lives. It's just so fun to be a part of such a big day for so many people.”
Raridon had her own wedding over ten years ago, before she had her business.
“Now I appreciate all that wedding planners do,” she said. “It's completely different on this side.”
Although, as a planner, she said it helps that she knows exactly what the bride feels like.
“I know how special every little meeting is,” she said. “I always tell my designers here, when we're getting ready for a bride to come in, that this bride is coming in for one of maybe three planning meetings for her wedding day. I know we have a hundred of these every year, but this is her one floral meeting for her wedding day. You have to make this the most special experience for her. So that's what we try to do.”
Raridon says the best part of the job is seeing the reaction of a bride when her wedding finally comes together.
“You never want a bride to cry after she has her makeup on, but that's the best feeling in the world,” she said. “It's funny, because it's always in my head—I always know the final vision, but it's more important for me to see the client see it come together. It's my job to visualize it, but for them to see it, that's the best day for us.”