As a Devon wedding florist there is an FAQ I get asked a lot... Do I need a site visit? Site visits are when we come to your venue to take a look at all the logistics behind your wedding day making sure that we cover off everything to ensure that your day runs as smoothly as possible. There is so much that goes into planning a wedding behind the scenes, and as wedding professionals it is our job to focus on not only the pretty florals, but also the finer details that allow the florals to be created! In this blog post I want to run through some ideas on why you may need. site visit and questions your florist should be thinking about.
I have worked at lots of the most prestigious wedding venues in the South West and so already have experience in working at lots of venues. Some I frequent more than others and so have great working relationships with the staff, know the venues inside out and so can really talk with conviction in our consultations about where you should be having flowers and the onsite logistics of the day. In this instance a site visit to your venue is not necessary as I can safely say I will talk you through the floral elements of your day as if we are there in person! However, if I am working at a new venue or maybe one I have not visited for a while, that may have incurred some recent changes, then it can be very useful indeed.
Logistics of a wedding day:
Our job as wedding florists requires our work to be very last minute, flowers have a shelf life and not everything can be prepared in advance. Yes, we can create lots of the flowers the day before, however lots will need to be created in situ. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the logistics of where we can unload and park. Is there parking outside the venue? Or do we have a walk to unload the van? (you should see our step count on our watch at the end of a wedding day!! We do walk miles sometimes!) This may affect how many staff we bring along to the event, so it really is important to know the behind the scenes set up of your wedding venue.
Taking Any Useful Measurements:
One of the most important elements of a site visit is to record any useful measurements you may need to build any floral installations. For example how high is the doorway you are creating florals around? What about the staircase... do you flower on the inside or outside? Will your structures or props be suitable and fit in the said place you are looking to flower? There is lots to think about so I always come along with my tape measure and phone ready to snap all the places we will be flowering on the wedding day itself. It is an invaluable reference point to have, and one that can serve you well when you are fulfilling your flower order for the event.
Meet The Venue Team:
If I haven't worked at the venue before then it is always lovely to check in with the team that work at the venue and introduce myself. I regularly work with wedding planners and so this is a great opportunity to meet up and discuss the overall styling, florals and logistics of the wedding day on site itself. The planners will be involved in all of the admin and communication with the venue, however all information will get fed back to us and I really do feel that is the most invaluable skill of a wedding planner. Having all of your wedding admin completed by one person, who has a great understanding of your complete wedding day working together as a whole. If you do not have a wedding planner then meeting the venue team is a great way to enquire about venue set up times and clear down times, and ask any other pressing questions we may have. I am currently working with some absolutely fantastic wedding planners, so if you are in need of a recommendation I cannot recommend these wedding planners highly enough. Olivia, Host Weddings Claire, Claire doMonte Weddings Roberta, Roberta Burcheri Events Lauren, Bluebird Creative Phoebe Elizabeth Shell Events,
Is there space to work onsite?
I mentioned before that installations and some wedding work will need to be completed onsite, all our amazing floral archways are created in situ. So again, the logistics behind this need to be considered... how long is the walk from the van? Will we be flowering in a walk way/ in any guests way, so we need to consider any trip hazards via our risk assessment (quite often we are... especially when dressing staircases!) guests do love watching us as we work and always stop for a chat... so it is a great way to share what we do behind the scenes and give the guests a glimpse into how the creations are made! Is there space to ribbon the bouquets etc?
Indoor vs Outdoor Wedding Ceremony:
Living with the great british weather as we do, one of the most talked about aspects of a wedding day is whether the ceremony will be an indoor or outdoor one! Lots of venues have the capacity to both and some couples are desperate to have an outdoor ceremony, however there must always be a plan B if the weather turns. Sometimes we do not make the call until the morning of the wedding, and on occasion we have been known to either move the ceremony florals outside to inside, and vice versa. I have even moved them inside and outside twice before... that is the level of dedication you get from us, and also a sign that we have the most unreliable weather pattern! Obviously I do not want to be pessimistic about the weather, but it is so important to know what are the options on the day, and where do we go to set up.
I also have to consider how the ceremony florals will be repurposed after the ceremony. For example, if we are creating a beautiful meadow aisle for the ceremony then where will we repurpose the flowers afterwards? Will they line the end of the tables, or in front of the cake table? How will we move these over seamlessly and quickly. Quite often the larger full arch structures do remain in situ, however we try our best and I really do encourage my couples to opt for a design that is versatile and multi use. So by using larger various sized pots on plinths, for your ceremony these can create a full floral display similar to an arch, but can be moved a lot easier.
Final thoughts on whether you need a site visit from your wedding florist:
I hope this blog post has been useful in explaining a bit about the wedding flower planning process from our florist point of view, and also the elements we consider when conducting a site visit. By visiting your venue I can really get a feel for the space, ensure the day is run smoothly and pick up on any crucial details regarding logistic. Equally, I want to demonstrate and reassure that if a site visit is not possible or necessary, due to our years of professional experience in delivering wedding flowers, with great communication we can work together to create exceptional flowers for you on your big day! If you are planning a wedding in Devon and looking for wedding flowers then I would love to hear more about what you have planned here. If you also have any queries relating to this blog post, I always love hearing feedback and questions!