I realized that this post has been saved in my drafts for even longer than a year. In honor of their one year anniversary (Congratulations, Katie and Will, who likely do not read this blog), I am posting it now. The heart of this story still applies, and the littlest things are still the biggest things. It is the people who have our backs that make our work great. I can attest to that this year as well. I'm thankful and grateful.
he lucky part, about writing about a wedding a year after it happens, is that I'm fortunate to have some beautiful photos from the big day, courtesy of The Wiebners.
In October I was fortunate to be the lead designer on a wedding that just screamed autumnal happiness. The bride, Katie, was one of the first consultations that I conducted independently, and I enjoyed getting to know her a bit through the months approaching her wedding. I know that my scope of getting to know her was only within the context of her wedding and the flowers, but I still love those little connections that happen sporadically, in seemingly insignificant conversations.
We shared a love for the tiny details that can go into a celebration. She is a pediatrician, and collects vintage medicine bottles. We ended up using those as the main component of her centerpieces. She provided hurricane candles that were used at her sister's wedding just eight weeks before her own. She wore a lace gown and threw on a cardigan at the end of the night, as she made her rounds personally thanking all of the venue staff for their service. Her bridesmaids offered to carry all of the bouquets up 72 stairs to their third floor apartment (I politely declined the offer, but afterwards, almost wished that I had not. That's a lot of steep stairs!).
Apart from using a rich color palette of reds, oranges, yellows, and warm tones, Katie and her fiancé, Will, made no specific requests, save for one: to please include in Will's boutonniere an orange ranunculus. He loves them. Their shape, how cheerful they are, all the layers of petals. And when a groom has a specific request, and they seldom do, I think it's so important to honor it. In any situation, really. If the couple is overall flexible and wonderfully trusting, you want to just blow them away with their flowers.
The time came to order their flowers. I had a lot of fun doing this, with a beautifully organized list, stem counts neatly totaled up, pricing estimated within my spending budget, anticipation building for the time to design it all. It's an interesting method, and everyone is different in this regard.
But none of our wholesalers had orange ranunculus in stock. Nobody. We couldn't even order them in from California. They weren't on any availability lists, but every other color was. Red, yellow, cream, white, the whole Crayola box, was available. But no orange.
I panicked (internally). I called every Whole Foods in Philadelphia and the outlying suburbs. No orange ranunculus. I called florists in the city, and only one of them could maybe get them in for me, at way too much per stem. A day or two went past. And the availability online from our wholesalers hadn't changed. But one of our sources for flowers did have but ONE BUNCH of orange ranunculus. Ten stems only.
The man who saved the day, and my conscience, was Ted of the Cut Flower Exchange in Conshohocken. He's a longtime friend of my boss', and was actually the person who referred me to contact her seeking a job. And he was the one who came through in a big way with ten flowers for my first wedding as a design lead.
The littlest things are sometimes the biggest things.
But more on that in an upcoming blog post.