Last weekend I staged with a florist on a three day wedding. They flat wore me out. Now I have been in the wedding industry for 20 years and I had no idea how hard these pros work. Let me give you a little run down on what goes into pulling together the floral for your big event.
Your flowers hit the wholesaler on Thursday. Nothing can be done on the floral work until then except logistics and some basic mechanicals. Once the flowers are in house they must be unpacked and conditioned over night. Friday the real work begins. Each bouquet, coursage and centerpiece is created. The large display pieces for the altar and the buffet table weigh a ton once they are finished. Some really large arrangements are done in parts. The most delicate flowers won’t be added until the the arrangements are in place at your wedding. Now you have to find places in the cooler for all the bouquets and arrangement so they are fresh for the big day. Don’t forget to pick up the rentals like candleabrums and a van if needed.
Saturday is one very long day. First thing in the morning things get organized and ready for load out. Hard goods first, then cut flowers and finally the arrangement for the reception. Drop that off and back to the shop to pick up the flowers for the church. The church has to be set up several hours before the ceremony for pictures. So you scoot out of there about the time the photographer arrives and head on out to the reception site. You have four to five hours at most to set the site. Hope like hell that the catering staff has done their job and the tables are set up and the linen thrown. Get all the centerpieces on the tables and out of your way. Next are the candles. Unpack the candle holders and put them in place. This part is fun…the candles rarely fit right in the holders, so you either shave part off or wrap them with tape. Yeah, good times. Time for the finishing touches. Tweak out the arrangements with the cut flowers, behead several hundred roses to artistically scatter their petals and you are ready to move on. Load out your tools and boxes and all the buckets from the cut flowers back into the van.
Back to the church. Break down all your hard work and load it back in the van. On to the shop to unload and store away what you don’t need for later. Now you get to take a break, grab a bite and down some coffee. There is still a ton left to do. Wait for the reception to end so you can start breaking it down. First blow out the candles so the wax has time to harden. Pack up the flowers for transport and be careful, the MOB wants to use them tomorrow for the brunch. Grab the stupid candles and clean up the rose petals and any candle wax.. Pack up the candle holders and the containers from the arrangements and load the van. Do a final run through to make sure you haven’t left anything behind then it’s on to the shop to close it all down. Unload the van, put it all away and make a few trips to the dumpster and your done. But don’t forget to deliver those arrangement tomorrow morning for the brunch.
And this is when everything goes perfectly.
When you look at the bid sheet for your flowers, remember that there is a whole lot more then just pretty posies behind that bid.