Recently I sent out a twitter request & email to our mailing list, asking for input on seven different questions. Thank you to everyone who sent in their replies!!
Tell us about your Tales from the Trenches. We’ve all experienced crazy situations, and we all love a good laugh. Tell us your crazy stories. Tell us what you did to solve an unexpected situation.
Well, I don’t think I can resist answering question #5. I bet every wedding floral designer has a good crazy story! Mine begins with a gorgeous wedding in the mountains of North Carolina. It was a very curvy route to get to the venue (which I was already a bit nervous about). We made it safely with all the arrangements intact, set everything up, and left feeling very happy! It was a gorgeous wedding!
After about 20 minutes driving back down the mountain I received a phone call from the wedding planner asking where the baby’s breath halos were for the two flower girls. “What halos?” was what I wanted to say. Instead I found a place to pull over and review the order. To make a long story short…it was my fault. The order was revised several times and for some reason the flower halos were left off the final version. Ugh!
I explained the situation to the planner and told her I would be back very soon with some halos. The only way to make it back in time was to quickly locate some baby’s breath (I did not have any white flowers left in my buckets – grrrrrr). We went to three different grocery stores, but no luck. There was not a florist close by…we were in the middle of nowhere…so, we got creative.
I pulled out my clippers and cut off a few branches from a white blooming Crape Myrtle tree in a Food Lion grocery store parking lot – yes, I was desperate and I hate to disappoint! While my assistant drove the van I made two precious halos out of those Crape Myrtle blooms while we headed back up the mountain.
The next curveball was that I got carsick. I turned completely green while making those halos! I very uncomfortably managed to make the halos and we made it back to the venue. I sat in the parking lot with my head between my knees trying to control the nausea while my assistant ran the halos inside. We made it in time for the pictures and the clients never knew there was an issue!
To my delight, one of those sweet little heads wearing a halo constructed with blooms from the Food Lion Crape Myrtle tree was on Style me Pretty – no joke!
My motto…always go the extra mile (even if it makes you sick).
~Amy, Amy Lynne Originals, North Carolina
We once had a wedding where the couple provided an (inexpensive) arch at an outdoor park. It was uneven ground, which was also rock hard and made it difficult to secure and stabilize the structure. We managed to position it, fully decorate it, and then when we turned our back, a soft wind blew through off the water, and the arch fell face first on the ground, completely shattering and scattering the flowers. One of us looked at the other in a panic saying, “What do we do!!??!?” The other responded, “Okay, so we take the arch away, scatter the flowers in a path and in a circle for ceremony. We need to tell the bride/groom what we’re doing and assure them of a refund. Then we run.” The couple was very laid back and exceptionally accommodating. As guests were arriving, they commented on how beautiful and unique the set up was! We laughed the rest of the day at the picture perfect arch falling over. This was very early on, and we have learned many lessons here since.
Gerry & Rebecca, Petal’s Edge Floral Design, Washington DC & Alexandria, Virginia
The day after having a meeting with a Bride’s Mom, the Bride was in England, I had my first small accident in my car. Ever! When we were swapping insurance papers and I looked down I thought no way… it was the Brides Father! The crazy thing is I still got the business!!!
anonymous, British Columbia, Canada
Just for a laugh – I rarely remember to put my decals on the van, so one day I was so proud of myself I remembered. Driving home from deliveries I had someone dangerously tailgate me, it was a highway and they were less than 10″ from my rear. When they finally went by I fingered them. About 5 minutes later I started to laugh remembering the decals – I haven’t put the decals on since! Good thing I own the company.
anonymous, British Columbia, Canada
One of our craziest event situations was years ago when our staff team went to prominent hotel for a wedding setup and one of team members accidentally hit the fire alarm inside the elevator. An immediate evacuation was triggered almost causing the wedding ceremony to be delayed. Instead, this mishap allowed more time for our staff to setup and everything ended up starting on time and looking beautiful!
Jennifer, Mancuso’s Florist, Michigan