Last week was a busy week at Victoriana! We had 3 weddings and one fairly detailed event. Now normally 3 weddings in one week is not an issue however when tasked with dressing 'Montalto Carriage Rooms' one of the UK's most sought after wedding venues, in between two other fabulous weddings, well, it was never going to be a quick job.
Working from home
I decided that the only way to get peace and quiet needed for all the preparation was to work from home. We set up my lounge (an old converted cow barn) as a temporary work station and got stuck in.
The craic was great- fuelled by Meta's neverending cups of tea which kept us all going late into the night. It's funny how even in a small team- people seem to find their natural place, Meta is the natural motherer of us all, always making sure we are fed and watered, Jane is the one who makes the rest of us laugh (boats from Coleraine), Fi was a great hep with her knowledge and ideas on everything we were working on. Jill remained quite calm and laid back while I ran round making sure everyone knew exactly what they were doing, discussing options for buttonholes, bouquets etc etc. Amanda just retreats to her own little world and gets busy. Meanwhile back at Victoriana HQ little Olivia was keeping a tight eye on things and making sure the shop was running smoothly.
What I did realise was sleep depravation is horrendous (especially for me who really needs at least 7 hours just to semi-function). We were working to tight deadlines and the flowers didn't know that. We couldn't get them too early as they needed to look their freshest at the weddings, we had to get the timings just right to make sure the peonies in particular were open enough but not 'blown'.
The weather was against us (beautiful by Northern Ireland standards, in and around 20 degrees, but not conducive to keeping fresh flowers).
Butterflies in my stomach
I delivered the first lot of flowers on Wednesday night to my first Bride. This is the bit that even after all the weddings I have done I still worry about. Have I got it right? Is it what they expected? Are the colours right? Do they match/contrast with the Bridesmaids colours? Have I forgotten anyone? Do I have the right number of buttonholes? Is the style right for the venue? All these questions make my stomach leap as I approach the Brides house.... Luckily for me the Bride loved them and I left with a huge smile on my face!
The second wedding was a huge challenge logistically. One transit and two 7 seaters minus their seats left my house at 4.30 am to make our way to Ballynahinch. Once there it took four of us six hours to set up a mammoth twenty four foot top table arrangement, an arch, six urns, twelve teacup arrangements, eighteen table centres, twelve pressed glass arrangements, two vases, pewends, buttonholes bouquets.......
Six hours later we were done, the venue looked amazing (even though I say so myself).
The end is in sight...
The final wedding of the week was a sugar sweet couple in pink, again another home delivery, church set up, removal and reset up at venue and then back to collect final Golf club arrangements for local Captains night.
A long, tough, challenging week, the success of which was only made possible by having a dedicated team of individuals who all care as much as I do about the Brides happiness, the quality of what we produce and the attention to detail.
More to come
We are now working on this weeks 2 weddings and last weeks Brides are almost a distant memory! Hopefully the sights and smells of the bouquets and floral arrangements we created for them will stay with them for a lifetime-that as a florist is all I could wish for!