An Interview with a Florist: Mayuri Parikh

Flowers and decorating are such a huge part of every wedding, it’s important to understand your style, but also the style of the florist who will bring your vision to life. This week, we’re having a conversation with florist Mayuri Parikh, the owner of Mayuri’s Floral Design in Nyack, NY to learn more about her passion for flowers and for bringing glamour and splendor to your day.

What made you want to become a florist and event designer?

Honestly, I didn’t set out to be an event designer. My background is actually in accounting! However, I really loved working with plants and nature, in any form (cut or planted). When I was at Rutgers-Newark, I wanted to take a botany class but found the Latin difficult while learning English. My husband had his residency near the Bronx Botanical Gardens and they had given us a pass to gardens. I use to take a lot of strolls through the garden and I stumbled upon the intensive crash course in designing.  I was also the one who always organized and designed the events for family and friends. As my kids got older, I decided to restart my business focusing on wedding and events only.

How long have you been in business?

I officially formed the business in 2010, but I didn’t really do much with it until the end of 2011. Prior to running my own business, I worked for Creative Flowers in White Plains, and the owner there really took me under her wing and taught me the ropes of the business. I also learned a lot at my aunt’s factory about quality, inventing a new product, customer service, and generally running a business.

I started my business out of my basement, and each year I worked diligently at it with growing rewards. My husband and my son built my workbench for me, and I always had my dad for support for any project or props I created. But the business really took over my life and my home. I ended up getting a retail shop in Pomona, but I was running out of space there too. I have 2 cars to support all of our deliveries (a minivan and a 14-passenger cargo van), and finally opening up the location in Nyack. Now we’re a team of 8-12 mostly part-time people. From those small beginnings, now we can handle over 80 weddings a year.

What services do you provide?

We focus on luxury weddings. We can provide glamorous backdrops, and complete décor and design services. I’ve handled large weddings (up to 700 people), and am well versed in supporting cultural weddings. We’ve done Jewish weddings as well as Indian weddings. We’re also experienced with locations in Westchester and Rockland county along with Hudson valley: from Hunter Mountains to the Bronx Zoo, to more traditional reception locations such as The View on Hudson, Nyack Seaport, DoubleTree Hilton in Tarrytown, and not to mention your historic venues such as Whiteby castle, Monteverde at Old Stone, The Boscobel House and Garden, Locust Grove and the Botanical Gardens.

What’s the most interesting wedding you’ve done?

The wedding at Hunter Mountain really stands out. We provided the wedding planning and wedding décor for the 3-day event. The groom and groomsmen came up on the ski lift along with the bridal party and guests. We had Barrat on top of the mountain with fireworks. The ceremony took place at the summit. They had musicians flown in from India for their traditional Indian wedding.

What’s your favorite style for receptions?

I love a good rustic wedding in the Hudson Valley!

What’s your least favorite style and why?

A cookie-cutter wedding. I like to include the bride and groom and their unique style in the wedding. When they trust us with design and creative work, it gives us the freedom to provide them something original and I am able to provide a truly extraordinary experience.

How do you provide education to your couple’s during the planning process?

I ask them the list of their favorite flowers and colors. When clients are not familiar with flower names, seasons, or colors, I ask them to show me their favorite pictures from Pinterest and I am able to recognize their style along with flowers that they like even if they don’t know it themselves. A lot of times they’re really just looking to meet the budget. I always tell them that bouquets and boutonnieres are the one place that the bride and groom should never compromise as they will show up in tons of wedding pictures!

Do you have a favorite flower?

I have a couple of favorites, but the anemone definitely stands out (that’s why I chose it as my logo). It’s so delicate! It’s known as the windflower and it’s believed to bring you luck and protection. I also love gardenias, freesia, and garden roses, Ranunculus and stock.

When it comes to the planning process, what do you need to make an event come to life? For planning, I work with the bride and groom to understand what their needs are by meeting with them and discussing what type of wedding they would like to have. I consider the other vendors as a part of my team. I work very closely with them to have everything go smoothly on the day of the wedding. We anticipate the Bride and Groom’s needs and are there for them. I coordinate every single detail that is important to the bride and groom to make their day special. We jump through hoops to make things happen and make the day feel seamless and worry-free.

Give us a time where you think you really surprised and delighted a bride.

I would have to pick a wedding I did at the Senate Garage in Kingston. I met with the bride and her parents and we did the sample for their table centerpiece and discussed all different moving part of the wedding.  They hired us and realized that we would add a lot of value and peace of mind to their daughter’s day.  This venue is unique in the sense that you basically just have four walls to start with. They had to have tables, chairs, linens, cutlery and more items brought in for the wedding.  Bride’s parents wanted to see their daughter’s reaction so they brought her in with her eyes closed and when the bride saw the room, she started crying with the joy of tears and happiness. That really made my day.