Thursday, 19 December 2013

Flowers, and all the trimmings


 I have recently been doing some work experience, some days in a shop, some days delivering corporate vases, and some days setting up weddings. Amazing! 

On one Monday morning corporate delivery run I actually walked into Gayle Kelly's office to place a couple of vases of hydrangeas on her desk. Her desk! Amazing!

One Saturday morning I squelched through some serious mud in my wellies to deliver flowers to a tent at a polo match. Slightly pretentious, but amazing!

The places that floristry might take you are seemingly endless.

One thing I have discovered about floristry that I hadn't anticipated was the extent to which florists are actually stylists. Wedding work is a perfect example of this. A florist's job doesn't end when the bouquets and buttonholes are made, that's exactly when the real detailed work begins. Florists are generally required to 'bump in'. This involves taking the flowers to the venue. The church, reception, or both. Then they style the set up. It seems to me that the decor the bride and groom have asked for is realised by the florist, not the venue. So table cloths are smoothed, table runners rolled out, centrepieces arranged, vases put in place. Then attention turns to the ceiling. Yes, the ceiling. So far I have been involved in hanging hessian drapes, paper lanterns, glass baubles, tea light candles, and trees! Well, branches to be exact.

That's right. I climbed inside a scissor lift and attached branches to a venue ceiling. Let me tell you, styling is labour intensive. It takes hours to attach things to a ceiling. The flowers are all arranged and made ahead of time, they are the thing that requires the least attention on the day. It is really very surprising how much of the budget goes to flowers and how much is directed to the sourcing + labour involved with the decor. The flowers are not the costly element when you (the bride) want your reception to involve trees on the ceiling above your merry guests.

When we're done, we snap a few quick photos on our phones and high-tail it out of the venue. Sometimes there is a wait time applied to the proceedings, meaning the florist needs to return to the church to remove the flowers from there once the ceremony is complete. And of course the next day brings with it the 'bump out'. The florist will return to undo all of the hard styling work from the previous day. All of this adds up. Like I said, it's labour intensive, and accounts for some of the reason why the wedding industry is a lucrative one.

The talented team behind the above weddings push creativity and hard work out of the stratosphere! They are Pod Floral Design. I'm feeling very grateful and brimming with inspiration from my time learning from them. Here's to many more weddings in 2014.

K xx