Wedding Season 2k18
This was the craziest wedding season of my life.
We have so many happy clients. Overjoyed clients. Amazing couples. Incredible families. So many photos being turned into holiday cards, framed, printed to wrap in special paper and surprise Mom with.
So many good stories, the maid of honor’s speech, your uncle gifting you your late aunt’s necklace, the rainbow that appeared moments before the ceremony.
Too many incredible design moments to name, any single time ever we hang something from the ceiling, bridal bouquets that made me weak in the knees, arbors that that all important first married kiss happened underneath.
My math indicates, around 1,575 centerpieces, 72 bridal bouquets, 567 boutonnieres, 3 of grandma’s rosaries attached to bouquets, 24 crowns, 360 bridesmaid bouquets….
More than 25 full truck deliveries on Wednesday, more than 30 FedEx deliveries, more than 150 bags of smilax, a couple van fulls of dahlias, approximately 16 broken vases, two disgustingly dirty minivans & one really freaking fulfilled and overwhelmed and tired blonde chick with a side braid who runs it all.
The other night at dinner I told Matt I’m ready for 2018 to end. I welcome 2019 like a much needed rain in a garden after the drought. But he reminded me, “but the business did so well.”
And it did. And when I focus solely on the flower work, completely on the clients, absolutely positively blinders on, head down, and look at what we turned out of a three car garage in Petoskey, Michigan - it is pretty incredible.
It would not have happened without our team this year. Emma, Sam, Erin, busted their asses when we needed it the most. I’ve watched each of them grow so much, Sam & Erin your design skills have grown by leaps and bounds and you both are really really incredible floral designers- I’m proud to know that you honed your skills here. I couldn’t have done this without you. The flower world will be better with you two in it. Emma, being a fresh High School graduate in a garage full of “old” married ladies can’t be easy, but I hope we made it fun(ny.) You work SO incredibly hard, and helped this ship run efficiently and productively. I can’t wait to watch you grow into a new role next year.
Lily, the oil that keeps our engine running, this woman has been with this company since literally day 1. Lil’ you are the greatest. Every single one of our couples sees the final product, but without you my friend, none of it would happen. Thank you for literally trouble shooting every single ordering and shipping issue and being the calm in our storm.
A funny thing happens when you build something, its you its you its you and then its your team and you’re chained to a laptop all day sweating in your house. (anyone else?) This was really the year of the ‘turning point’ in our business. When I released my white knuckle grip on control of every single thing happening in the studio and spent the bulk of my weeks doing administrative, client, ordering and general business life work in the house.
I still would design bridals to start the day, but so often I would leave the bulk of our design work to the team.
The season started the earliest it ever has, in mid May, with what was one of the biggest events of my career. Starting with the ‘big one’ as we called it - helped me realize we could tackle anything this season, and we did.
It wouldn’t be a full recap if I didn’t spit some truth about how while I was designing the best work of my career I was the most challenged emotionally I’ve ever been. Dealing with health stuff, struggling to find balance, being sad, being grumpy, hormonal roller coasters I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, the farm not getting the attention and love it deserves.
Each year I look back at wedding season as this giant challenge, and an enormous learning lesson. This year is no different. 2018 taught me that behind every creative outlet is something deep within a creative person that requires the work in order to survive.
You know by now I firmly believe we are all creative. It manifests itself differently in everyone. Creative to you might be making origami, creative to him might be routing for a sold out concert tour. Creative is creative.
The first few years of wedding season what drove me was learning more about design, challenging myself, leaning to balance client relationships with keeping the florals looking on point.
2018 is a wedding season where the flowers saved me. Truly. I was so sad some days, from a roller coaster and truly heartbreaking fertility journey that the only thing that would pull me from my bed was knowing that the flowers needed to be designed and that every time I create something, I feel better.
If you’ve ever been in a seemingly unending cycle of grief, you know that its pretty insane how you can present totally normal to people on the outside, while barely standing on the inside. You know how you can host a flower workshop and smile and make it magical, and then go in your house and be paralyzed by anxiety and completely 100% unmotivated.
These highs and lows defined 2018.
If you’re reading this and thinking that I faked it through all of wedding season this year, you’re missing the entire point of this. I love the work I do. And honestly, without wedding season I don’t think I would be healing. Because flowers make everything better, growing them, designing them, delivering them, there’s something about them. You know the feeling.
There are so many little moments of this year that I never want to forget. Most of them always happen when I see our brides and their tribes getting ready on the big day.
I don’t want to forget Lauren and her entire crew wearing tshirts that said “after this we’re getting queso”, or Mary-Kate’s niece giving herself the worlds shortest bangs just a few weeks before the wedding so all of us gathering around and presenting her with a ‘special crown’ that we pinned on to cover her pixie bangs. I don’t want to forget Hannah & her Mom gifting me the sweetest creation for the tiny house, or on Jacquelyn’s big day being able to hangout with so many old friends and laughing about stuff that was funny in high school. I don’t want to forget Riley’s dad coming outside while I unloaded the van to holler “coffee clinks!”. I don’t want to forget getting ready all day with Josh & Armand, and us drinking champagne on a rooftop in Detroit before I pinned his boutonniere on him, remembering how we were 18 when we met and confused and weird and that was so long ago.
I could keep this going for hours. You understand it. The people. It’s always going to come back to the people.
That’s life. No matter if you design wedding flowers or wait tables or prepare tax audits. It’s people. Not flowers or food or numbers.
So yeah, could we market ourselves at wedding shows and could I pay for glossy ads in wedding magazine and could we work on our SEO when people are looking up ‘Petoskey Wedding Flowers’ ? Sure. But that’s not what I’m here for.
I’ve learned if you serve your clients well and love on them like you’re own family, they send other amazing people your way.
Our clients make this company worth the crazy 6 months a year.
Our couples inspire me to love harder and also remind me how happily married I am.
The families we work with remind me every single Saturday morning what matters most in life.
And that’s what kept me going this summer. And will next year.
To all our 2018 couples, congrats again. I cannot thank you enough for trusting my creative work.
2018 Wedding Season. We out.