Congratulations Caitlin and Mike!
For me, wedding floristry is a huge honor and with that rides a lot of weight on your shoulders. I want to ensure that everyone LOVES their flowers; not just the bride, not just the mother of the bride, or event planner - everyone! So I painstakingly think of every detail I can to ensure that no matter who is taking in the beauty in their midst they can consciously, or more often than not unconsciously, enjoy the experience that flowers have to offer. This is something I have grown to understand about myself as a florist, and looking back on this wedding, I can remember how this virtue and approach has been true for me all along.
This wedding was an extra special occasion as it was the first wedding I ever did solo AND it was for my dear sister and brother-in-law. As a florist there is no joy greater than getting to design for your family and friends and even better, to design WITH your family and friends!
I laugh when I think about all I/we went through to pull off the florals for this wedding, that I was in, never you mind! The days leading up to the event included:
1. Harvesting from my farm (at the time Chica Bloom Farm) and sourcing flowers from growers throughout Sonoma County. Us growers and designers in the North Bay now have our local sourcing systems a lot more streamlined - thankfully! However, four short years ago things were not so smooth and ordering and picking up flowers from others was a lot more cumbersome and time consuming - but always a highlight and a lot of fun to see what others are growing and up to on their farms.
2. Renting a massive SUV to load up and haul all of the flowers in a chilled "truck" from Sonoma County to Monterey (about a 3.5 hour drive) on one of the hottest days of summer that year! My husband (and all star trooper/farm and business partner) Jeremy and I were bundled up in winter snow gear as we passed people driving with their windows down and tank tops and summer dresses on. As we shivered through the Bay Area traffic, we just laughed as we thought about what other drivers must have been thinking about the freaky couple in the large SUV in winter parkas!!!!
We arrived in Monterey in the evening, just in time to unload all the flowers into the reception hall's large kitchen walk-in cooler (what would we have done if the facility didn't have one of these?), have dinner with the family and friends who were starting to arrive (the wedding was in just two days!) and then try my darndest to get a good night sleep. I recall laying in bed thinking about what flower varieties were in each bucket, doubting I had enough to supply the designs we were going to be making the next day, worrying that I had forgotten some minor detail, etc. Little did I know how many pre-wedding sleepless nights would lay ahead!
The next morning, the day before the wedding, I remember waking up bright and early to head to the hall and start prepping my "work/design zone" for the family and friends who were coming to help. None of us knew what we were getting into and I remember feeling so bad for everyone who signed up to help me as we worked for hours (in the direct sun, mind you), putting our bouquets and arrangements together. Thankfully my family is made of all-star helpers and my cousins, sisters, aunties, mom and friends were champs and we finished most of the hard work late that afternoon, just in time to get ready for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Phew!
The next morning, again bright and early and after a night of so-so sleep, I awoke to:
1. Get ready with my sisters as a member of the bridal party...
2. And finish all the final floral details. So after my hair and make-up were done, and before I put on my dress, I was toasting to my sister finding the love of her life and sipping champagne, while wrapping the bridal party bouquets and running around double-checking all of the arrangements for final, last minute details. LOL - what a sight I must have been!
And the wildest part, even after all the sleepless nights and hustle that led up to this moment - I was loving it and knew I had found a passion and a profession that I had many years still to come before I was considered any kind of master. That thought thrilled me - I was hooked!
In the end, everything came out beautifully. Caitlin was a gorgeous Bride, Mike a handsome groom. I love looking back through the images that Michelle Magdalena took from their wedding day - a perfect mix of elegance, class and fun.
Here's to you, Cait and Mike - I love you two to the moon and back and I so look forward to the many years of beauty you all will create together in your shared life to come! <3