At 3:00 am, Joe and I load buckets of flowers into my van and head up the California coast to San Jose. Deliriously tired, but also filled with adrenaline. Thinking morbid thoughts of the van breaking down in the middle of the cow fields of central California, or the air conditioner stopping, killing all the precious flowers. Don’t get me wrong, my van is in excellent condition (I even had enough foresight to get it tuned up beforehand) but when you’re carrying thousands of dollars worth of perishables across the state, your imagination can run wild.
Destination weddings are really difficult for florists, hence I rarely do them. Here’s why:
- There’s the issue of flower transport. I had three options- buy them from the San Fran mart, have them shipped from LA to the Bay Area, or bring them up myself. I chose the latter, mostly because I love and trust my LA vendors and I’ve only been to the San Fran mart once. I figured I could pull off the drive as long as the flowers were carefully cleaned and processed, had plenty of fresh water for the trip, and we left under the cover of darkness before it got too hot.
- You need a place to assemble the flowers, which can be a wild and messy process. Luckily, the bride Kim is one of my good friends, and her parents offered up their garage as a workshop. Otherwise, I would have needed to rent out space from another flower shop so I would have access to buckets, a sink, dumpsters, work tables, and ideally, a cooler.
- What about assistants? We flew two of my assistants up just for the occasion.
- Vases and supplies? We brought them all up with us in the van. Had we chosen to fly up instead of drive, we would have needed to ship them ahead of time, or purchase them there.
As you can see, it’s a complicated process that requires a lot of planning. I’m in awe of florists who regularly do destination weddings. More power to you! What is your secret?
Without further adieu, I present to you Mike and Kim’s gorgeous wedding! All images by the fabulous Cindy and Daniel of Orange Turtle Photography!
Meet Kim, one of my favorite people in the world. A gentle, generous, vivacious, artistic, architect. Quite a catch!
As roommates in college, I told Kim that big, fluffy peonies were my favorite flower. She told me she thought they were a bit “overkill,” and preferred graceful orchids. I’m glad she finally came around! Now she LOVES peonies and specially requested that they be in her bouquet. I also added some delphinium, grape hyacinth, and vibrant derby garden roses. Yum!Mike is a wonderful man, and I’m so glad to he and Kim found one another!
Swags of many colored ribbons draped along the aisle.
The neato hanging contraption on the below is crafted from Kim’s architecture tubes, stuffed with fabric, corks, and flowers. I told you Kim was a genius!Kim’s the kind of girl who will gladly bake cookies, cakes and treats for others but never eat them herself. She does not indulge in sweets very often, preferring fruits and veggies. Mike on the other hand names chocolate and caramel among his favorite foods.
Kim, I love you so much! Your wedding day was totally a reflection of you- detailed, artistic, warm, elegant, and playful. Thank you for your continued friendship and love over the years. May God’s grace shine through in all aspects of your marriage!