Goodness; it would appear after last week's blog entry, I have a lot to live up to - no pressure, or anything. The shop's never had such a good response to a single entry before; ever. Shared 48 times from the blog itself, it was viewed by 17757 people in 32 hours - that number is still rising. Thank you to every single person who shared it (I saw it shared on facebook, twitter and google+; we even had a couple of shares on tumblr - phenomenal) the only place it wasn't shared from was Instagram :) Thank you to all of you who took the time to contact the shop (and me personally) regarding it. It's always a worry when I sit down to write something that the wording is going to come out wrong. It's so easy to think about what you wish to say, yet when it comes to the written word things can very easily be taken out of context, or read in a way that was not intended. As all the feedback received has been positive I'm taking that as a good thing - I have no doubt if someone took issue with it they would have contacted me without hesitation. If you didn't get around to reading it or have just stumbled across this blog by accident, you can find it by Clicking Here.
Today's entry is about a wedding; "it's the time of year for them", or so they say (who the 'they' are I don't know). Maybe back-in-the-day the summer was the 'time-of-year' but not these days. We have weddings practically every single weekend. 52/53 weekends each year. Having weddings throughout the year definitely helps us, that's for sure. My rule is to never take on more than 3 wedding bookings on any one day - sometimes if the 2 already booked are large ones (church, reception, lots of bridesmaids etc) I will not add a 3rd to the mix, not just because of the work and time involved, but also because it's not fair on our brides. They need to know they are important to us; taking on more work for the sake of a few extra pounds in the till is not taking their big day seriously. Having said that, I have in the past taken on 8 weddings in one day - only 1 of them was big, the rest just a couple of bridesmaids, some church pews/pedestals and a few reception flowers. 3 of them were getting married at the same church so I only had to make one lot of church arrangements that they happily shared between them, which was lovely. Would I ever take on so many again? Not a chance; I learned a lesson that day, hence why a maximum of 3 now. I do feel bad turning brides away (sometimes!! :) ) It's never nice to turn down business, however I am sure the brides I do have to refuse understand; I'm sorry if you are a bride I've said no to.
I actually only had 1 wedding this passed weekend - a very unusual occurrence, with a bride who wanted mixed summer flowers; mixed not just in variety, in colour also. There was everything from pink to cream, purple to orange. My stress levels rose a little bit with the weather being as hot as it was, due to the fact some of the flowers do not usually react well to high temperatures (crazy really when you think all flowers are grown in hot greenhouses). I'm hoping everything held up ok for the day; they all looked good, perky and ready to tackle the heat when they left the shop.I did have a mad panic moment when I answered the phone shortly after the bride had received her flowers. I knew as soon as she spoke it was my bride; my heart stopped, I felt sick to my stomach, waiting for her to say she didn't like it, or I had got something wrong. The sigh of relief when she told me she had to phone to say "thank you" because I'd got everything "perfect" could probably have been heard over on the Island.
A while back I was asked if there is a particular way I work when I'm making up wedding flowers. A good question. One I can answer too :) If the bride is having a tied bouquet then I always begin with her bouquet, before moving on any bridesmaids. I then make the buttonholes, followed by the corsages. If the bride is carrying a shower bouquet I start with the bridesmaids, following the same order from them as with the tieds, making the bridal bouquet last. The reason for this is because a shower bouquet is pretty much out of water so needs to be made as close to the wedding time as is possible. They are made in holders these days filled with foam but the water drains from those fairly quickly and no amount of spraying the flowers will make much different - especially at this time of year. I then make the table decorations for guest tables. If I am decorating the church those flowers will be made next (often these are taken the reception after so serve 2 purposes) before moving on to any other flowers at the reception (window sills, bars, pedestals). Then the top table gets made. The reason for leaving this until last is so that I can add to it any extra flowers I have left over from the rest of the church/reception flowers to save them going to waste - they will, after all, be the most photographed flowers on the day after the immediate bridal party. The 'thank you' bouquets are the last items I make. Once they are complete I know the wedding is 'good-to-go'. A few last minute checks before the drivers head off and then the panic sets in. Right up until the very moment I know the wedding is taking place I worry each time the phone rings that something may not be right.
The first time I made the hanging flower balls we set up in marquees I panicked all weekend; I even checked the local news sites for I was terrified the ropes the marquee people supply to keep them in place weren't going to be strong enough, and one of the balls was positioned directly above the bride. I know they say any publicity is good publicity, but a flower ball crashing down on a bride at her reception is not really the kind of publicity any florist needs.