Not all florists like weddings, surprising as that may be. I have had teachers who prided themselves on not doing any wedding business. They earned their living primarily on corporate events and weekly deliveries to corporate accounts or to very wealthy clients. One teacher I had delivered over $800 in flowers to a nearby mansion every week! That's a LOT of flowers.
Every florist's nightmare of course is bridezilla or momzilla, but fortunately these are rare indeed. Don't believe everything you see on TV. When I press my teachers and mentors on how many they have actually encountered over decades long careers, most can only name one or two, but there are definitely horror stories out there. No one ever talks about groomzilla. I wonder why...actually, no, I don't, but that's another story.
All of this is to say that the idea of doing weddings terrified me. What if I can't get that exact shade the bride or groom shared on Pinterest? What if the client wants me to replicate exactly what is in the Pinterest pictures? I refuse to copy someone else's design. I might use it as an inspiration or to understand what the client likes (shape, size, color, feeling, etc.), but I won't duplicate someone else's work. What if a hurricane comes and flowers can't be delivered? This was a very real scenario for couples and florists in Texas and Florida this year. It may seem light in comparison to the overall destruction of the storms, but we are talking about a couple's once in a life time (hopefully) special day and the livelihood of actual people (florists).
So it was time to put on my big girl panties and just deal. Since when is being afraid a good reason not to do something? I believe in courage. That doesn't mean I am not afraid! It means I press on in spite of being afraid. It means jumping in when I am anxious. I refuse to be cowed by fear. And so should you!
Anyway, two of my friends, a couple of lovely ladies, were marrying and I heard they were going to DIY the flowers. Trust me, no one really wants to DIY their wedding flowers. It might seem less expensive but beautiful, effortless looking flowers take a lot of mental and physical work. Who wants to do that the day before and the morning of their wedding? I offered my services to my friends, and I am grateful that they put their trust in me for my first wedding. More on that another time.
Was I nervous? Yes of course. I told my long-suffering husband too many times how I really hoped the bridal bouquets didn't look like a 5 year old did them. They didn't.
Here were my "What ifs" and what happened:
What if the flowers aren't the right colors? Those white calla lilies in one of the bridal bouquets are supposed to be pale pink. The wholesaler didn't get in pale pink. One of my lovely brides adores callas. Leaving them out wasn't an option. I made them work by placing them next to strong colors for contrast. The white gave lightness to the bouquet.
What if I forget something? I forgot one corsage. Don't ask me how. It was on the paper which I went over about 30 times. Only a person not wearing glasses in the dark would miss it. I calmly used my bucket of extras and my magic tool box to make a corsage on site 30 minutes before the wedding party showed up.
What if making all of these arrangements takes longer than I think? The centerpieces definitely did. I stayed up late. It didn't kill me. I was tired. That didn't kill me either.
What if the garden roses and ranunculus start to wilt? They did. They are notorious. I cut their stems, dipped them in some magic sauce, and put them outside of the cool back porch. They "hardened up," as we say in the industry, and were totally fine.
What if I don't know what I'm doing? This is a big one for me. The imposter syndrome. Of course I didn't know what I was doing. I'd never done flowers for a wedding! I fell back on my training , drew on my innate practicality, leaned heavily on my spouse, and learned voraciously from my mentor Alison when I was with her the week before. My biggest concern were the floral/greenery chandeliers. I had seen them done but hadn't actually done myself. The biggest concern in my head was not falling off the ladder but rather, "These cannot fall off on to someone's dinner plate." I zipped tied the heck out of everything. It worked. I might use fewer zip ties next time. I was very happy when I arrived at the venue the next day and the chandeliers still held. One of the great triumphs for me was when one of the bride's friends said to me, "This is your first wedding? Holy $*&%! You seemed like an experienced pro hanging that greenery on those chandeliers."
None of the flowers fell out on to anyone's plate either.
Go boldly, my friends.