Did you know I design for weddings? So much goes on behind the scenes! It takes me on average between 6-20 hours to create the design work for a wedding; not counting prep work for consultations, ordering, etc! Many of you showed interest in reading about the behind the scenes when prepping for an upcoming wedding so I thought I would hop on here and give you an inside peak! This post is also helpful to those who are planning an upcoming wedding and are curious about how the process works!
I took my first floral arranging class at ISU as an optional elective within my Agriculture Communications degree. At this point in the class, I was contemplating growing my first cut flower garden the following summer. Tyler had purchased me my first floral business book and I was researching which flowers would be good to grow for beginners. I remember stating out loud, "maybe one day I will design for weddings... but that is so far out of reach and it will be years before that happens." At the time it seemed like a goal for someone else, almost unattainable. Saying it out loud made me feel embarrassed, like who am I? I don't have any formal education in floral design. My major was communications and not in plant sciences. I didn't even know the name of flowers (which I am not afraid to admit I am still learning haha). But for some reason I decided to share the goals out loud to my friends in the class.
The girl with big dreams, but not knowing where to start, would be so proud of the girl sitting at this computer today. It did take years, 5 years today to be exact, and that is okay! I still have room to grow. Slow and steady wins the race; that is what I keep telling myself. God has a plan way better than my own. He knows when we are ready to take on more.
Okay now that you know how it started, let's dive in!
I have been listening to all the entrepreneur podcasts and many experts keep saying the word workflow. I knew I should develop systems to have in place for if and when an inquiry ever popped into my inbox but I didn't know what that process would look like. My first few weddings I was just flying by the seat of my pants haha. Creating guides, questionnaires, contracts etc. but the documents weren't user friendly and it didn't cover all the bases. We learn as we go so I soon realized I needed to develop this workflow system that everyone kept talking about. I sat down with a pen and paper and thought about what I want the process to look like. First I send the couple an email welcoming them to FarmHouse Flowers and I thank them for their interest in working together. I have them fill out a Google Form. This helps me to create a proposal with a price estimate. It also helps me start to see what it is they are envisioning for their big day.
Once they agree to the price estimate, we will both sign a contract. I have recently started asking for a deposit which helps me when completing the order. I am currently designing weddings with mostly wholesale flowers but I hope to one day do more designing of weddings with my farm grown flowers.
Farming is so risky, my sunflowers were literally 1 week from blooming when I designed for this July wedding! I just can't take that risk right now with so many unknowns like weather, delays, bug pressure, etc. but one day haha!
Next, I place the order through two different wholesalers. Flowers have increased in price just like the price surges we have seen at the stores. Inflation, weather, shipping delays, etc. are effecting so many industries, including floral. Shipping cost is probably one of the things that hurts me the most. For an order of 500+ dollars, shipping can be 200.00! Just Crazy!
Flowers arrive Tuesday or Wednesday before a weekend wedding. This gives the flowers time to hydrate. Depending on the size of the wedding, I will begin design work on Thursday or Friday. It takes me about 30 minutes to design a bouquet and about 15 min to do one corsage (I am getting quicker but floral design is an art, it takes time to create the vision you are after, I want it to be just right).
I use different mechanics to hold the stems together. Wire, tape and glue are my best friends! It was funny, I was at a shower the other day and the mother of the groom was wearing a corsage, I asked her if I could see it so I could study the mechanics of the design haha.
Then we have delivery! I always hold my breath as I am driving to the wedding, for two reasons, 1) because I am praying the flowers don't tip over haha and 2) I want the couple to LOVE the flowers! I always follow up with a thank you card an an email for preserving the flowers.
Well that about covers it! I hope you enjoyed learning about my process!
***I am loving this classic and rustic vibe of the sunflowers! Simple but elegant!