When you’re sitting down at a table, eating the beautiful three course dinner in a stunning venue festooned with flowers, staring at a floral centre piece picked by the bride and groom, has it ever crossed your mind how the flowers get to be where they are? What the process is from first consultation with the florist to the big day? Well get comfy as Kelly from Dutch Nurseries takes you through the process.
Your first point of call with your florist for your wedding day is always the initial consultation. We hold ours in our retail shop so we can offer the bride all our marketing materials, silk flowers and real flowers to look at and create colour combinations with. During this consultation, our florist captures the couple’s ideas and personalities, culminating in a detailed and accurate quote (we must admit it looks all scribbles at first but the faithful computer sorts that bit out). And for the couples during this consultation it is a great chance to build up that initial trust within a successful working relationship and to see glimpses of their ideas come to life.
From there it’s all about the quotation and confirmation (BIG WORDS we know). Upon confirming the bride and groom would like to use our services as florists for the day we mark them on the calendar and their quote goes into the working file, and then of course as always, we do our little happy dance – this is really where the fun begins.
Every couple is different and we like to work alongside each couple to suit their wedding style and wedding personality: some couples will want to pop in each month to have a little tete a tete regarding the flowers and other couples are happy to pop in a month before to confirm everything. Throughout this time, we like to build up a strong working relationship so that the trust is evident for the big day. As we know you get to see everything else such as the dress, sample the cake (hmmm cake), the rings and the venue before the big day but with flowers it’s all about that trust!
Blooms from Around the World
So now it’s time for the real deal to begin – 2 weeks before the big day we order the flowers for arrival at just the right time for them to be in full bloom but enough to go over (oh yes folks its more than just snipping away at some roses). We use different suppliers from all over the world to buy in all the varieties of flowers our lovely brides and grooms require. Roses from Ecuador, Lilies from America and tulips from good ole Amsterdam!! -If you listen closely enough in the shops our dear Sylvia knows a famous tune about tulips from Amsterdam.
The morning the flowers arrive in store has got to be one of our favourites. Although we always know what the flowers are meant to look like – we are always beautifully reminded on mornings like this how lucky we are to work with such beautiful and natural creations.
Now it’s time to get our hands on them – after drinking for a good 6+ hours (unlike us florists in store they are still standing after this miraculous feat!). Now we all work differently in store, Sylvia likes to start at the top and just work on through, Jaki will always start with the bridal bouquet and Kelly likes to start with the table centrepieces, leaving wired work to the end to enable the flowers that sit out water do that for the least amount of time.
Fast forward a few hours … or a day or a night and the voila!! A wedding is ready – well getting there anyway. When the flowers are ready for ribboning we start the process of finishing touches. Taking off any guard petals, cleaning off the stems and re cutting the bouquet to the right size in relation to the bride. Boxes at the ready. We use a specially designed handmade box with inserts cut into the box to hold the bouquets in place upon transit- fancy we know. So off they go into their new little box home and off we go to the bride’s house, the hotel, the grooms house (normally a pub) and the venue ready to hopefully wow our couple.
I must say I think this next bit is the best bit of the whole process. Seeing the bride and grooms face upon delivery of their flowers is always a treat. I always say to our lovely couples that initially it’s like us florists speak a load of gibberish with Latin names and floral combinations and so they must put all their trust in us, so when they see that trust come to life and gibberish become reality it’s a really rewarding feeling. We sometimes like to think of ourselves as little wedding flower fairies. We know how twee!!
We don’t like to hang around for too long as we normally always arrive upon the bride getting her hair done and make up sorted and we know we wouldn’t want to be interrupted with that either. I think one of my favourite times delivering flowers to a lovely bride was when I walked in halfway through her having precise winged eyeliner applied, after putting the flowers down and standing a little awkwardly in the corner to wait till the makeup artist had finished I then proceeded to trip up over the dog on my way out and stub my toe on her couch – graceful Kelly as always of course.
Next its normally onto the venue and church to add some floral highlights. Garlands, martini vases, pedestals, candelabras, cubes and fish bowls (without the fish) are just the tip of the iceberg for venue decorations that we can provide. We also can provide our flowers in the bride’s choice of glassware for their special day. Again, at a venue we normally arrive just when the caterers arrive so it’s best to make sure you have eaten your brekky before arriving otherwise your tummy starts rumbling believe me. We love seeing a venue all decorated and we have a few regulars in York that each wedding we do looks different which is just another reason why our job is every changing and no two days are ever alike
From Floristry Fairies to Floristry Ninjas
Now I know what you’re thinking JOB DONE – well that is where you would be wrong. If a couple have decided to use our bespoke service of florist for the day, there is sometimes a lot of waiting around like floristry ninjas (yep you heard it right folks first floristry fairies – now floristry ninjas). Moving church flowers to the venue with careful precision without letting any of the guests see you and arriving before they do is most certainly tricky business. One funny story that we always laugh about in the shop is when Sarah and Sylvia where having to scale some wales with pedestals on a boiling hot day in the summer (you may think it doesn’t sound funny but you need to come and ask them all about it).
Collection of any hired items the next day from venues is also a service we are proud to offer and is incorporated into the quotation at the start of the process.
So really a wedding isn’t just one day but a collection of months or even years in the planning and execution process. We love to stay in touch with our brides and grooms and often get very excited when we hear the pitter patter of tiny feet are on the way – we love baby cuddles. It makes us very proud to have captured so many memories from special days and makes us uber happy to know that we have not only created a working relationship but a friendship with our couples too. (We think the grooms appreciate this too as we always give them a gentle nudge upon anniversaries !! but shhhhh don’t tell their wives).
So, that’s it folks – you have heard it first hand from a head florist right through from start to finish. So, if you are ever popping by the shop and wonder why Kelly is hiding behind a candelabra or Jaki and Sylvia have their fairy wings on and Sarah is dressed like a ninja – you know why!!!