Conducting consultations with prospective wedding clients is one of the things I love most about my job. Sometimes our meeting occurs more than a year before the wedding, and other times we're on a three month countdown. No matter the amount of contact, or depth, I become attached to our clients, for one reason or another. I think it has to do with the notion of celebrating a huge life moment with them, in honor of them. And it has to do with bringing beauty for their loved ones to enjoy. Being part of someone's wedding, even in a small way, makes my heart happy because it gives them the time and freedom to focus their energy on the things that really matter as they're on the verge of a significant life event. Taking care of clients, making their hearts happy, is a unique experience and I relish sharing it each time it happens.
The story here has been playing over and over in my head since it happened, because despite the simple, elegant beauty of the notion, my boss, Peicha, told me something important. It's hard for me to mention it without crying, only because I historically am a happy crier.
As Peicha knew that I felt a special link to the couple, I was given the pleasure of making the bride's bouquet. They were my first solo consultation, and we had a lot of mutual feelings about weddings, parties, and dahlias. To create a bridal bouquet requires a certain amount of trust between many different people, and a level of skill that I'm still developing. I don't take that opportunity lightly, as it's typically the piece that is most built up in a bride's head, and also because it is usually the most photographed floral item of the day. It's in my classic Type A brain to be obsessed about it, but I do believe that love is truly in the details.
Peicha helped me pull flowers for Jen, adding to the beautiful special dahlias that we had already set aside. Special dahlias, because they were the most beautiful of all the dahlias that we received. Astilbe, sedum, zinnias, and others were laid on the table, and succulents and air plants were wired and ready to be used. Bright juicy colors with those dusty, muted greens.
I started Jen's bouquet, and added more and more of the beautiful blooms in my lineup. And I was pumped to add some tiny succulents - there was one in particular with a "bifurcated apical maristem." This is the way that my biologist husband says the succulent had two heads. As in, two little succulent faces on one succulent. Try and picture it. It was adorable and I knew Jen would love it, and it needed to be front and center of that bridal bouquet, darn it! But it just wasn't working there. Neither was a particularly luscious orange ranunculus. And I kept trying to force them in, but nope, it just wasn't happening. And Peicha noticed, asked about it, and I explained that I was running into some issues with getting the most beautiful, special little bits into place for optimal viewing.
"Give it to the bride."
And, for a moment, I had no idea what she meant.
What she meant was to put those special little details, that may be just as beautiful as the big beautiful details, where they can really be appreciated. After all, it's not as though Jen would be holding her bouquet backwards. She needed something on the back of it too.
I read a book once when I was a teenager about a girl who hand made quilts covered in embroidery, and her mother always told her that it was the mark of a skilled artist to be unable to tell where you started on the quilt from where you ended, months and months later. The same can be said for a bouquet, and lots of other things in life.
To give something special to the bride, to any client, is important. The details and nuances are where you see the heart of creation. Let's not forget it.
All photo credit goes to the always-spectacular Love Me Do Photography ladies.