Vendor Spotlight - The Stalk Market

For this edition of Vendor Spotlight, we are thrilled to feature The Stalk Market, Grand County’s favorite florist and our’s too! We recommend them to all of our couples getting married in Grand Lake, Granby, Winter Park, Fraser, or Tabernash. We also use them for corporate events, such as Grand Openings and social events including graduation parties!

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How long has The Stalk Market operated in Grand County?

Mindy has owned and operated The Stalk Market since June, 2013 - this year will be our 7th year! 

Where are you originally from?  And how long have you lived in Grand County?

Becky - I'm originally from a little town called Saxonburg that's about 45 min north of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. I moved to Grand County in the fall of 2014, so this year will be 5 years in the county!

Mindy - I was born in California and moved to Denver when I was just a baby.  I moved to Grand Lake in 1996.

How long have you been working as a florist? 

Becky - I started helping out at a high-end florist in Pittsburgh as a part time staff member in 2013. There I did much of the set up on site and prep for the larger pieces. When I moved to Grand County in 2014, looking in at the local florist seemed like a natural transition and here I am 5 years later! 

Mindy - I didn't have any florist experience until we opened our doors.  I remember getting our first order for a corsage and watching videos over and over to learn how to make them.  I was blessed with an amazing mentor (the famous Bob Scott) who came by numerous times to teach me new things!!

How would you describe the importance of your role and why do you feel a couple should hire a professional florist for their wedding or event? 

We strongly feel that a local florist will be able to guide you towards the most cost efficient, longest lasting and size & style appropriate designs for the venues in their area. A local florist will know the availability and the specifics of the flowers in their local climate.   We can help to ensure the flowers you are purchasing not only look great the day of your event, but also in the photos that you will keep for years to come.   **  As a personal recommendation, I would time and time again hire a florist for my wedding. As a bride that created all of her own floral pieces for her wedding, I would have much rather spent that time being with my friends and family that traveled hundreds of miles and spent their precious time and money to attend my wedding. I was so exhausted by the DIY aspect of it by the day of I was too spent to really dive in and enjoy my big day. 

What do you attribute to your success as a florist?  What do you think makes you stand apart from other in your field?

Our team! They are an amazing group of ladies that The Stalk Market is incredibly lucky to have. Our suppliers are pretty great as well. Without them and their constant devotion to ordering fresh flowers weekly and working with our huge orders - we would be lost! Mindy and I make a pretty unique team. Mindy is fabulous with the behind the scenes type of work & is incredibly resourceful. She's someone who I am constantly learning from. I on the other hand excel in organization, design and physically making whatever the challenge is - work. With our talents combined, there is little that we cannot accomplish! 

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At what point in the wedding planning process should clients hire you? 

Clients should consider hiring their florist at least 4 months in advance. However, if you are concerned about dates booking up, I would contact them 6-8 months in advance and book the date quickly. The details can be finalized over the following months. This will allow your florist time to tend to any needs or delays that may arise along the planning process, especially if you are planning via email (destination weddings). 

What is the most important thing that couples should ask someone in your profession before hiring them?  

"Does my desired design match my budget?" This is an extremely important topic that has come up more and more since Pinterest has become a part of the planning process. We like to put together a professional proposal for our clients that lays out the cost of each item designed specifically for them.  If you are able to ask this question first, we may make recommendations that will help to keep your florals in your budget and be able to respect both yours and your florist's time in bidding out or creating these pieces.   

What is the best part of your job?  

Seeing people smile (sometimes even cry (with joy)) when you deliver their flowers to them! Whether it's a birthday arrangement or a bridal bouquet, there's nothing like the joy of someone receiving a floral design that you have created that blows their socks off!

What is your best advice for wedding clients?  

Don't hesitate to ask for help! Coordinators (like TeNeil!!) are a wonderful resource to have that will ensure your big day a success!   Additionally, if you are planning a destination wedding relying on a local vendor to give you recommendations will save you a lot of time and ensure you assemble a great team.

How many people are on your team? 

Becky - Currently Mindy and I are the only full time staff members. During wedding & event prep we may have anywhere from 2 - 6 additional staff members on to help us turn those beautiful blooms into amazing designs! During the summer, in addition to our wedding team/staff - we will have 4 additional staff members to maintain our retail area and take care of our customers.  Our team is incredible with a diverse background that helps us ensure we are able to be the best at taking care of our customers. 

Meet our Team:

The incredible ladies of The Stalk Market!

The incredible ladies of The Stalk Market!

  • Becky has a background in film production as a coordinator - supplemented by her desire to create things with her hands & an affinity for nature; she was naturally drawn towards floral work and directing teams to get the job done.

  • Mindy has a background in finance - she saw a need for a floral shop in Grand Lake and made it happen with the guidance of another floral designer. While she leaves most of the designing up to Becky now, she is pivotal in the behind the scenes and always makes sure The Stalk Market is at the top of their game.

  • Our part time staff:

    • Jodie - She's one of our core wedding team members and is hands down one the most creative people we know. She helps us on her days off from her full time job as an emergency dispatcher and we rely on her for innovative designs and solutions to new design challenges. 

    • Dee - another one of our core wedding team members - Dee was the floral manager for King Soopers for 15 years and has a college degree in ornamental horticulture.  She works as the elementary librarian in Granby.  Lucky for us she has summers off!!  She is a guiding light to all of us as we have learned more and more about floristry over the years. She is incredibly talented and a go getter that makes sure everyone is up and at em'!

    • Alli W. - Core wedding team member - She has a background as a designer at a florist in Vail. She works with us in the mornings during the summer & on holidays and helps to prepare for the day ahead. She has been a great asset in new-to-us designs that she brings to the table from her past floral experience.  

    • Allie M. - She grew up in the county and will be our Saturday delivery person this year! She is new to the team but we are thankful and excited to have her. 

What is your favorite thing about Grand County?  

The constant - breathtaking view - of the mountains. Sunsets, wildlife & a bit of a slower pace than the city. I can't tell you how many times that my husband and are just in disbelief that we get to live in such an amazing place - and we've been here for 5 years! It never gets old!

What is your favorite thing to do in Grand County?  

Gosh - I personally love getting to sit back and take it all in - whether I'm on a boat, sitting on a rock during a hike or just hanging out on my deck - I love just sitting back, taking a moment, breathing deep and relaxing.  Grand County is an amazing place.  

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Vendor Spotlight - Weddings with Clinton

Choosing vendors you can trust to make your wedding or special event everything you dreamt of can be a challenge! One of the most common questions we get is “who do you recommend for . . . . ?” While we are planners and can book all your vendors for you, which ensures you always get the best of the best, we also love to offer our recommendations. We work with so many incredible people and we are looking forward to sharing them with you in our blog posts. This week we spoke with Clinton Andersen, Owner of Weddings with Clinton and officiant extraordinaire!

Where are you originally from? 

My dad was in the military and I was born in Japan when he was stationed there. I subsequently spent about 6 years there, moved to the states for 6 years, and then back to Japan until I graduated High School. Colorado has been the longest I've ever lived in one place, so I consider Colorado my home, although I'll always hold a special place in my heart for Japan. 

How long has your business operated in Colorado?

My business has been operating for about two years now, all in beautiful Colorado! 

How long have you been working as a professional officiant?

I've been working as an Officiant for just as long. It all kind of started at the same time and has been growing ever since! 

How did you end up as an officiant?

In one year I went to four friends weddings and honestly, I cant remember the officiant being that great. I was like everybody else, looking at my watch wondering when the drinks and party was going to start. So I joked around with my friends and said I would become an officiant! Now, during the day I work as an Emergency Manager for a hospital - essentially I'm always planning for people's worst day. So eventually the thoughts collided and I had my Yin & Yang. On one hand I am always planning for people's worst day, to improve outcomes, but with officiating I was planning for one of people's best days, and it truly is the perfect combination. The interesting part about it is that here in Colorado you have to be an ordained member of a religion or a judicial member to sign the marriage license (although, oddly enough, you can get married at the DMV.... yeahhhh....) but most of my couple aren't religious, they're spiritual, and truly what does a judge know about love - they are enveloped in hatred on a daily basis. So I found the American Marriage Ministries and became an ordained minister and BAM, I started down the wedding path.

How would you describe the importance of your role and why do you feel a couple should hire a professional officiant for their wedding or event?

This is a great question! Oh, man. Where do I start. Okay. The role of an officiant. SO... weddings are comprised of two parts - the ceremony and the reception, right? Now, be that as it may, the ceremony is really the reason we are there. Yeah, the reception is usually the most anticipated part BUT you could throw one heck of a party for significantly less if all you wanted to do was celebrate the fact that you got married, ya know? So that's where an officiant comes in. In my opinion the role of an officiant is two-fold - to celebrate the couple and to remind them of why they are standing there. Depending on your viewpoints, religious or non, this will look differently and traditionally has really only been about reminding the couple why they are there and not necessarily celebrating the couple themselves. So this is where the importance of a professional officiant can make a difference. The processional officiant knows how to draw out the elements of a couples story that should be shared, that should be celebrated. In addition, they get to know the couple in such a way that they are able to both effectively celebrate their story and at the same time drive home a message revolving around themes of love and commitment that are meaningful to that particular couple. Now, I definitely have had couples end up wanting a certain family member to officiate and usually that's because they're just trying to save a buck more than it is because their family member is a magnificent orator. I'm not going to caution anybody about this. That's like me being a salesman and telling you if you leave the offer is off the table. That being said, I would just make sure that you are going to be 100% happy with the result. Too often I have found couples wishing they would've gone with a professional officiant after the fact. Either they adlibbed, or weren't as great of an orator as they thought they were, or it was short, or it was one-sided, you name it. Plus, if you look at how much an officiant costs, we are one of the least expensive investments in a wedding - yet are one of the most important. 

What do you attribute to your success as an officiant and what do you think makes you stand apart from other in your field?

Okay, so first what do I attribute to my success? Two things. First, my failed experiences. I was married, once. I had the opportunity to make it great but was an idiot on many different levels. Thus, my words come from experience. Second, me. I think my personality, my humor, and who I am bring success to me being an officiant. I'm not a dud. I want a great wedding full of emotion, that is wicked awesome, and that will be memorable. I want perfection for couples. I think those two things I attribute to my success. Along those same lines, I think that's what makes me stand apart from others in my field. I want people to think we've been best friends when I'm up there. I do this through a process I've refined, over the past couple of years, that couples appreciate. It's straight-forward, makes sense, and allows us to get to the crux of components that we can meld together in order to create the best ceremony possible.  

At what point in the wedding planning process should clients hire you?

As soon as they hire anybody else. Our schedules fill up just as quick as everybody else and there are fewer of us out there then there are, say, photographers. It's May of 2019 and I'm already booking into the end of 2020. The good news is that, unlike photographers, we can generally do more than one wedding in a day. 

What is the most important thing that couples should ask someone in your profession before hiring them?

I think what you previously asked - what makes you stand apart? As I mentioned, you can get anybody up there reading something they pulled of the web. Easy. Done. But is that what you want? A couple needs to define their expectations for the ceremony, first. I'm not talking "Oh, we want a prayer / unity ceremony / this grandparent to do this / this sibling to read that", no. Do you want humor? Do you want tradition? Do you want religion? I think you can probably gain a lot of that knowledge by simply asking, "what makes you stand apart"

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What is the best part of your job?

READING THE COUPLES STORY! As part of my process I have the couples fill out a questionnaire, independently, that has a bunch of questions related to their story, questions I find are helpful in building their ceremony. I have them fill out their own because if done together it generally is a lot more censored and stiff. But when you get them to fill it out independent of each other you really get a good feel of who these two are to each other, and what they really mean. I have found myself laughing out loud, I have found myself crying, I just absolutely love it. A great couple can really have a better story then any RomCom I have ever seen. Seriously, they give me continued hope for love in the world.

What is your best advice for wedding clients?

Well, I'm going to sneak in two. First, the wedding is one day. It is most certainly a good challenge for the couple but it is one day - so enjoy the process, work together to tackle the challenges, and hire someone (like TeNeil) to help you manage the day - because just like Disneyland, it will be here and gone before you know it. Second, as an EMT and someone who works in a hospital I can tell you that every kiss you two share should be like it was the first (good) time you kissed. When you're running out the door because you're late, run to your partner, stop, pull them in close, kiss them slowly, make sure they know you absolutely love them with all of your heart, and then you can take off running out the door again. It literally takes 10 seconds. And if for some reason you never make it back home, those 10 seconds will make a world of difference. 

What is your favorite thing about Colorado?

The fact that there is something to do no matter the season. Activities, food, drinks, friends... there is always something going on!

What is your favorite thing to do in Colorado?

Getting outside. There is something soul refreshing about that perfect, Colorado day. If you're a hiker, my favorite feeling is starting a hike to the top of a 14er at like 3 in the morning. I KNOW! Crazy. Hear me out. On a cloudless night, with no one else around, you start hiking through the trees. It takes effort. But after the trees start to thin and the sky opens up it feels like you can practically see every star in the Universe. Eventually, over the horizon, the sky starts to get lighter and lighter. Then, you'll eventually find yourself on top of the mountain for sunrise. Even though it may be 6am you accomplished a difficult task, you saw brilliant skies, and now you're on top of the world with the view of the sun illuminating the rest of the world. All before most peoples alarm clocks have gone off. How amazing is that?!  

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