It's been a while since I have updated the blog so I thought I'd share some behind the scenes spring musings from a Devon florist! As a wedding florist whose work tends to be seasonal, I secretly enjoy the beginning of the year and the slower pace the winter brings. After a usually hectic Christmas season, January is the time to rest and reset! Time to hunker down, escape the cold and work on all those elements that running a successful floristry business requires. Ones that tend to get overlooked throughout the year, when we are knee deep in flowers!
Our job really is all consuming when it’s wedding season, the early starts, late nights, the constant van packing... and unpacking. The long drives to venue set ups and then clear downs the next day mean we are on the road a lot, so I relish the quiet months where I can stay at home and enjoy my local surroundings! The slower winter months provide that little bit of comfort, rest, (although I have a baby, but you get the gist… we rest and reset so we can come back raring to go full of energy before the season kicks off again. I most definitely do not feel guilty when doing my emails by the fire with a brew. It is those moments that make me grateful to be working for myself!
I also love the beginning of the year because they are prime wedding planning months. Whether you got engaged at Christmas or the new year has encouraged you to make headway on your wedding planning. Enquiries come in thick and fast so it’s a case of booking in consultations with excited couples and sending out proposals. I do not like to book weddings too far in advance and tend to just book the following year, so the new year brought lots of fab flower chats for couples getting married in 2023 and also 2024. I am looking forward to visiting some brand new venues and revisiting my old favourites.
I love the excited stage couples are in when booking initial planning meetings with suppliers. I never want to be a pushy supplier, but i advise you to book in meetings with suppliers you are super keen to work with as we do get booked up in advance and can only be in one place at a time! If you’re wondering how to book I recommend sending through some inspiration images of things you have seen that you love and will help me get a feel for the look you are going for on your wedding day. This doesn’t necessarily have to be floral pictures, just inspiration that shows elements of your big day may look. I also like to know your requirements in terms of bouquets , buttonholes, ceremony decorations and venue decorations.
I discuss budget too at the initial planning stage. I completely understand that for most couples this is the first time they have offered flowers in such a scale and so most people say 'oh I have no idea?!' In order for you to get the most out of our planning, do try to have a think and come up with a number if possible. For me it is useful if you can have a vague figure in mind before hand as I can offer suggestions that will best fit your budget. Offer a range of this is easier? When it comes to floral designs, the sky's the limit! By knowing your budget range I can be sure to quote designs with optimal visual impact, while also being highly compatible with the practical side of things. Once an initial proposal has been sent we can then progress onto a meeting or consultation on the phone, or in person/ site visit if required. I love email and we couldn’t live without them, but I do like to speak in person at some point. Your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life so I'd like to get to know you a bit more than just on email and picture the real person I am making your bouquet for on your big day!
As wedding florists we fill the beginning of the year with lots of planning: securing any new props we need, finalising the first spring weddings of the year. I have been spending lots of time on my new flower space too. Last year I had rented a unit but I’m pleased to say I will be back working from home in my brand new flower studio. It’s been a long time coming, but we’ve sanded the old Victorian floorboards, put some beautiful paint on the walls, bought some shiny new tables and chairs which are destined to have lots of great meetings around and about to reinstall my trusted sink and workbench. It is very nearly ready for the 2023 wedding season which begins in April! I am so excited the king of all the beautiful flowers I will create in my new workspace, the light is stunning and the coffee machine is only next door!
It’s not all been admin, and computer days, hoorah! I’ve had some gorgeous spring event flowers this year, some branding photoshoot work and also Valentine's Day sending out beautiful bouquets for loved ones. I think this was the first Mother’s Day in forever I’ve not worked! From the early days as a Saturday girl conditioning and progressing up to making the big cello flat pack bouquets, remember those?! To working in busy shops as an adult before starting my own business, where weddings would often fall on Mother’s Day! Even in the last few crazy years of covid, Mother’s Day was full on flower filled as we went into lockdown a couple days after and subsequently the year after everyone sent flowers as we were still in lockdown?! Phewwww it’s always been such a busy period so it was a complete change to have a really quiet, kinda average day with my baby girl.
I’ve enjoyed planning out my cutting garden, I am an absolute sucker for a seed catalogue and may have gone a little crazy. They know how to tempt a florist with the beautiful imagery of the flowers when they are fully grown! I’m hoping mine will be a tiny bit as lovely as the photos! My sweet peas from Crocus, have been sown and are germinating nicely. I am just waiting for some warmer weather to begin to sow the rest of my seeds. I have bought lots of zinnias, phlox, cosmos, n corals , pinks, soft peach and sweet peas in every colour. I have lots of dahlias too, which will flower later on in the season, along with the Rudbeckia moving into the deeper orange, rust burgundy for autumn. I’m so excited about spending time in the garden and really hoping for a good crop that I can use within my weddings this year!
I’m writing this at the spring equinox and I’ve been so very patiently waiting for spring. It’s been so glum cold and grey here in North Devon, some daffodils are out (not in my garden!) and I’ve seen touches of hawthorn flowering or is it blackthorn that flowers first? There’s an amazing magnolia tree that I walk past every day when I walk Betsy so I am thoroughly enjoying watch this develop! Inspiration is everywhere for a wedding florist, all I can picture when I walk past is how beautiful a giant, sculptural installation of all magnolia would look. I also think how can I befriend this person enough to let them, let me chop down their tree to make said installation! There is also an odd flowering current at the end of the wood I walk through, which has started to show colour this week and will soon be flowering. I adore watching the branches change, how quickly nature can spring into life at this time of year and how important these daily walks, quiet times being immersed in nature are good for me, and of course Betsy gets some cracking walks and Nell and I get fresh air! Roll on the warmer weather the blossom coming into life and all the tulips!
Speaking of tulips we are off to Holland on Sunday! To see the tulips and I literally cannot wait! I’ve been before with my Mum and we had the best time, seeing those fields just full of tulips as far as the eye can see, really is a magical experience. The sea of colour really is out of this world. We’ve a trip to Keukenhof planned and I’m lucky enough to be taken out by one of my suppliers to a tulip farm and an orchid farm, a dream come true. I will of course take you along with me behind the scenes on Instagram. It is so important to take time out to gather inspiration, you may say it’s a busman’s holiday, but I really can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather go at the end of March. Ok maybe the Caribbean, but a relaxing, hot beach holiday is out of the question right now so sight seeing in Amsterdam it is! I’d love to hear any recommendations you may have?!