We love doing weddings. Mostly.
In the last few years we've worked on a lot of weddings and we're always pleased we did them afterwards. But plenty of florists reading this will recognise that during the actual event it isn't always the peaceful and enjoyable environment we'd like it to be. Weddings are obviously a swirl of emotion, not helped by the fact that a pair of people who don't normally work in events are suddenly required to organise one on a commercial scale. It's a whole lot of work, and for the majority who can't afford to pay someone to do it for them it can take its toll. Every aspect of the wedding is pushing and pulling for time, attention and funds. From the perspective of the florist we consistently find that people are surprised by how expensive flowers are (but they grow in the ground?!) and how much work they are to arrange, so it's always a balance of how much of their dream designs can actually be fulfilled when they still need money to spend on furniture, uplighters, candles and chinese lanterns.
Bearing this in mind one might think that the more money a couple have to spend, the more you'd be able to enjoy the work as a florist because of the removal of constraints on scale. From our experience this doesn't actually make much difference. Financial limitations are pretty much universal and there will always be a more expensive thing, so it's rare that people have all of the money for all of the things they'd possibly want at their wedding. Well planned and organised weddings might also sound like they'd be more enjoyable, but actually we've often found that this level of organisation actually leads to micro-management. And we all know how we feel about that...
If there's one reliable predictor of a great wedding to work on it's the concession of creative control. A couple who hire us because they like what we do and want us to do it for them. Most of all a couple who let us get on with it.
Everyone from marketers to musicians to milliners will recognise this dilemma. You're trained in your field. You're a specialist. You've been chosen to do a job by someone. Then they tell you how to do it.
We don't mean to sound like we're ungrateful for this type of work. We love event floristry. It allows you to work on such a much bigger scale than we do on a day to day basis and it is a real privilege to be invited in to such a significant day. Though it's something we'll do many times in a year we have to respect the fact that for most people it's something they'll only have once in their life. It's like getting a tattoo: A huge deal for the person getting it. Another working day for the person drawing it. And we totally get where these couples are coming from - the pressure to make the day the best you possibly can, plus the stress of getting everything ready in time, the last minute doubts about your choices and the difficult imagining the finished product that we all suffer from all lead to any rational person struggling to give up control.
But once you've chosen someone whose work you love and whose expertise you respect, surely the answer is to give up that control - no matter how nerve-wracking - if you want the results you first dreamt of?
The difficulty of taking that plunge makes it all the sweeter when this does happen. Last weekend we had the pleasure of working for Alice and Murad at their wedding at The Old Dairy in Hackney. Our brief started and finished along the lines of: "Here's what we have to spend. We love these colours. We need flowers on that wall, that wall and that roof. Do your thing". The atmosphere was joyous throughout. The whole event had their personality stamped all over it. Florence describes Alice's bouquet as one of the best she has made, and their reaction to the installation in the main hall was priceless. So a massive thank you to the Kathoke's for their bravery. We wish you a life time of happiness!