Today’s post is dedicated to the hardworking florists and decorators. Today, I want to salute you, your talent and your dedication. Today I want to applause your hard work and praise your commitment to the art of creating beauty.
I know what it is like to style a wedding, pack the decor, arrange the flowers, have bleeding hands and aching back. I know that drive to the flower market at the crack of dawn, stomach in a knot wondering if I will be able to get the perfect flowers for my clients. I know that sense of relief when you see beautiful blooms that will work perfectly with your vision, and I know that feeling of dread when looking around the flower market and there is nothing exciting or remotely workable available. I know what it is like to arrange flowers for 24 hours straight, and set up an intricate wedding only to go back and break it all down ten hours later.
When I started 8 years ago I created pretty weddings, I learnt and grew with each wedding. This was just before the blogging revolution and long before Pinterest and Instagram. I loved flowers, I loved creating beautiful set ups and I found myself living and breathing weddings, flowers, concepts and design I researched by studying books on floristry I found at second hand book stores, I sketched, tried out different combinations. I worked with the available budget and always managed to arrange flowers in a way that pleased my clients. I was able to generate a healthy income which allowed me to grow the company, buy new stock and continue creating. I was always blessed with incredible clients who believed in me, my talent, my vision and trusted me to create beauty for them.
Fast forward to 2015 and we are living in the age Pinterest and everything changed. And yes it was exciting and new, and incredible. New possibilities mean growth – I am all for it. Investing into new stock, manufacture new props, pushing the design and adding new mediums to my repertoire became the norm, and it put pressure on the profit margins. And then I started noticing that potential clients were coming in with images of even bigger designs, bigger arrangements (read Karen Tran). I do not blame Pinterest, I LOVE Pinterest (PS my Pinterest profile is SplendidEvie). Never before 21st century the masses ‘saw’ what/how the wealthy were dinning, decorating and celebrating until Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. And now people are seeing high design, custom made installations, exquisite floral work, they want it! They want those massive floral chandeliers, cascading arrangements and breathtaking flower walls.
Even the print media makes things more confusing by showcasing the high end design features on their glossy pages (often sponsored by floral companies) but then advise the ‘poor’ bride to save on her decor and maybe consider a single stem in a vase as her table decorations or have her friends help out with arrangements. The image bellow is taken from the page of one of the local wedding magazines (out on the shelves now), stating that enormous floral centrepiece are a total waste of money and usually block guests from seeing each other – thanks for that, not only the florists/decorators income was slashed with this sentence but also their floral expertise insulted. I am yet to see a Vogue or any other fashion magazine encourage readers to sew their own dresses or make their own make up.
What else happened in the past few years? The prices of flowers, and everything else, skyrocketed. To create mass arrangements, statement masterpieces and floral walls we require tons and tons of flowers, plus materials and skilled florists to put it all together. We can do it, we would all LOVE to do it all the time, but with what? How many people can afford a flower bill worth hundreds of thousands to buy them blooms, PLUS pay for everything else, AND people it takes to create such materpieces? There is a reason why high profile international floral companies charge millions, because the costs do add up and people deserve to get paid. I often hear how my company is ‘so expensive’, but I charge industry relevant rates for flowers and decor, what makes me different is I will not longer discount the labour charges, or remove the design fee from my invoices. Rather we loose a job than to work for nothing.
Florists and decorators deserve respect. Their knowledge and skills are invaluable in making a wedding/event beautiful. Let’s remember that they are the real people behind that pretty picture you see on blogs, Pinterest and Instagram and they went through serious physical and mental torture to prepare a beautiful wedding for their clients, or a beautiful styled shoot for magazines and blogs. The reason why you don’t see them is because they are too exhausted, sweaty and probably bleeding to look fabulous in photos (and they are dreading the cleaning up after everyone is gone).
Florists and decorators are super stars! They rock! Let’s give them a round of applause and encourage clients, printed media and social media to treat them with love, respect and most importantly willingness to pay for their skill and talent. The only way they can produce beautiful events is by being given adequate floral budget and get paid for their designs and services – those two are mutually exclusive! And yes, we do need florists and decorators – they create beauty!