Posts Tagged “destination weddings”
Destination weddings can be totally intimidating. As if designing and installing a full wedding in the comfort of your own studio and city weren’t stressful enough, doing everything in a new place adds another whole slew of things to think about! Where are you going to work? Where are you going to get your flowers? The list goes on, but if you get it down to a science, destination weddings can help bring your business to another level, and hello, more exciting travel experiences for you!
To help get you started, we asked our Floral Forum when they started including destination wedding services and what things to take into consideration. Read on for some helpful advice:
I’ve been including destination wedding services from the very beginning which I think has been VERY helpful 🙂 Lotsa hard lessons there!
Things to take into consideration when offering this service include: travel, accommodations, freelancers, shipping flowers, local flowers available, buckets, vessels, etc.
You have to consider all the things you’ll need to pull off a wedding in another city or state. It’s a good idea to reach out to local florists and see if they’re available to help, borrow buckets from, borrow oasis from, etc. It requires a GOOD amount of planning ahead and logistics. Especially if you’re flying!
I typically rent an Airbnb and look for a garage or outdoor space. And I ALWAYS ask the ‘bnb host about air conditioning 🙂 That’s pretty key!
Rachael flowering on-the-go! This & top photo: @sirenfloralco
I love doing destination weddings though. There’s so much local goodness you can pull from and be inspired from and you get to meet and work with new florists!
I started doing destination events many years ago. The demand was very grass roots. My local clients had daughters that moved away and got married far from home. Since I already had relationships with them, it was convenient and comforting to them that they knew I could be trusted.
I’ve done weddings from coast to coast. I’ve never tried to grow or promote this segment of my business, it just happens naturally.
Things to consider:
- Your relationship with local wholesalers. Reach out to them, find out what they have. Whatever you have shipped in might need supplemented. Sometimes they will be willing to receive freight in the form of hardgoods & props especially if you are giving them a nice order.
- A dedicated “backstage” place to process and design. Without a doubt, do the designing out of the sight of the client. A glimpse behind the scenes make some people nervous. And some things should remain a secret. Most restaurants don’t let customers in the kitchen, so keep the magic backstage. Depending on the venue, there may be space to design on site, just make sure you respect the facility and understand the constraints of the space. The more of the process you can keep hidden behind the scenes, the more professional you will look.
- Logistics is a huge skill set; just because you are a good designer does not mean you have a grasp on what it takes to execute an event far from home. You’ll need buckets, water, a way to protect the floor, refrigeration, trash cans, a way to dispose of the huge amount of trash, and the list goes on….and that’s before you design the first bouquet!
- Extra hands to help design. Of course you have made recipes and prototypes and know how long its going to take to put this event together. Now make sure you have plenty of skilled stable hands to make it happen. You might bring your posse with you, or fly folks in, or find out who is local and skilled. You can even check AIFD’s website. Don’t forget to feed and house your designers. Take good care of them. Don’t feed them junk food and processed garbage. Don’t expect them to work 18-20 hour days.
- AirBnB or VBRO might be a good option for design, as well as accommodations. Many times its better than a hotel…it just depends. When it comes accommodations, I try not to stay close to the client. They don’t need to know when you go to bed and get up!
- You can always stay over and play a bit after all your hard work if you are fortunate enough to be designing somewhere fabulous.
- If you feel you are in over your head, do not be afraid to hire outside freelance & management help. Destination designing requires much more than good design skills. A practical grasp of logistics is essential to success. If you don’t have that skill set, there are companies that do, such as Schaffer Designs. Bill Schaffer, AIFD & Kristine Kratt, AIFD are brilliant designers who also understand the practical side. Their success doing destination events for clients from coast to coast and internationally speaks to the fact that they are more than talented floral designers.
About 5 years ago, when there was all the rumble about destination wedding we took a look at what was happening. I believe this is very regional , however certain things are universal.
Much like many aspects of our business, it is mind over matter.
After reviewing and discussing, we came to realize we do destination weddings, however, kind of in reverse! Many of our young people get degrees and relocate for employment, and when it is time to plan the big day, often they want to come home to family and friends, however, having been gone, it is like planning a destination wedding. We offer and full service coordination and decor. This has provided us a whole new avenue of clients without ever having to leave home…. Sometimes it is just about rethinking who you are and what you can really do!
We will travel, and have if needed for a client. The entire event is the same just in a different setting. Many local wholesale providers will work with you as well as most venues are accommodating, it is really about good communication and not assuming!
And while we’re on the subject, if you weren’t already aware, many of our Mayesh branches offer Destination Event services as well that you can utilize to rent out design space! Connect with your sales rep to learn more, and if you don’t already have a Mayesh rep, get started here.
For those of you who weren’t aware, Mayesh offers Destination Event services! Many of our branches have space available for you to rent as a workspace. Whether you’re in from out of town, or just need more space for a big wedding, we’re here to help!
Now that our Houston branch is up and running, we just wanted to give a little PSA that they, too, have space available to rent! Customers are already taking advantage of this awesome service – here are a few designers that used our Houston work space a couple of weeks ago!
Photo by @kychellephoto
We’re super excited for this interview (for many reasons), but mainly because we have admired this designer’s work and influence on the flower industry for the past few years. It has been so fun to follow her journey, from a small, young florist to hitting it big and becoming one of the most sought after wedding floral designers out there. You have most likely heard of Sarah Winward of Honey of a Thousand Flowers in Salt Lake City, UT, and we were able to catch up with her and find out what’s been going on since our last interview in 2011!
So it’s been four years since Sabrina interviewed you, and in that time, a lot has changed for you! Can you tell us a little bit about how your business has grown since then?
Everything has changed! When Sabrina interviewed me I was in my first real year of business and I was still finding my style, my clients, and getting used to the wild floral and event world.
Since then I think I have narrowed in on who I am, what my style is, and I have found “my client”. I made my way through a few years of just making lots of beautiful flowers and sending them off to events that weren’t really that interesting to me. Since then, I’ve worked to find clients that are hiring me to make flowers for their events that also match the aesthetic of my flowers. I feel so grateful to finally have clients who are hiring me for my look, and trusting me to do what I think is best. It feels so wonderful. I actually cried four years ago (around the time of my last interview) while I was sitting in a meeting with a future client ( I played it off like I had something in my eye) when she was telling me how she wanted her flowers to look. I was so overwhelmed with joy that this bride was verbalizing to me how she wanted her wedding to look and feel, and trusting me to interpret and execute that, rather than sending me a Pinterest board and asking me to copy it. I cried with joy because I felt like I had finally been hired by someone who was hiring me to be creative, and that is why I was attracted to working in flowers in the first place.
I travel for most of my events now, and I love that. I love working in different environments and with different materials as I travel.
Photo by @heathernan
Photo by @kateosborne
Photo by @heathernan
Going off the last question, how has your design style evolved over the years?
I think my style is constantly evolving, and that is what keeps this job alive to me. I love that the seasons change and bring with them new flowers, textures, and color combinations. I take most of my inspiration from the individual blooms that are in season, and the environment that will be their final destination. Since I have been traveling for most of my work I think my style has picked up pieces from everywhere I’ve been. I have always loved greenery, and seem to always be incorporating more of it and smaller more textural flowers into my work.
Being a destination-wedding florist, you must have traveled to some pretty incredible places! What have been your favorite wedding destinations?
Before I worked in flowers I made traveling a priority in my life, and I spent all the time I could out exploring the world. I am so happy that my job has brought me to a point where I can combine two of these things that I love so much. Ireland and Thailand are probably tied for my favorites so far. Ireland was incredible because I was there in the fall and we caught all of the foliage in its most colorful stage. It was my personal heaven to be able to use so much colorful foliage!
Thailand was incredible too! Though most of my flowers were imported, I used all local and mostly foraged foliage from the small isolated peninsula in the South of Thailand that I was working on. It was incredible to watch ordinary roses and tulips take on a jungle look by mixing in the local foliage.
And of course, working in California is always amazing because there are so many wonderful resources for flowers, and I don’t have to have them shipped!
Photo by @kellylenard
You have recently added workshops to the mix! Tell us a little bit about those, and why you decided to expand to the educational side of things.
Teaching gives me new life, and makes me see things in that simple, beautiful way that I did when I first started working with flowers. I love the energy in the room when students are really loving their work. I feel like I am at a point where I do have a lot of knowledge I can share, and I love sharing it. I love keeping in touch with students and seeing what they do with their style and business after we meet. In general, I feel like teaching flowers spreads happiness, and I love that. It is a nice contrast to the quick paced and stressful event world.
Photos by @kychellephoto
So I won’t ask what your favorite flower is since we already know it is the Indian paint brush (unless that has changed?) Instead, what flowers are your favorites to work with and why?
I do love indian paint brush! (Of course I love a flower that doesn’t last well as a cut and isn’t cultivated in the floral world!) I love spring blooms Foxglove, Hellebore, Fritillaria, Allium Sicilum, etc. I love the small, intricate bell shaped blooms. I love the texture that they give to arrangements. A garden rose is nice and luscious, but I love indulging in all the small stuff and experimenting with mixing them together and still making strong focal points.
Photo by @kateosborne
What trends do you see surfacing in wedding flowers right now?
Wild and natural looking is definitely front stage right now. People are wanting more moody color palettes instead of the really soft, subdued stuff everyone was into for a while. And last but not least, installations! People want stuff hanging everywhere.
Photo by @jon_upchurch
I loved your story about the bees! With your busy floral life, are you still tending to your backyard beehive and making wild honey?
Yes! It doesn’t take that long to “keep” bees. They pretty much take care of themselves, but I check on them every week or so and then harvesting takes some time. In the late summer we harvest honey if we are lucky. It is such a wonderful thing! The honey tastes like all of the flora that was blooming with the pollen and nectar were collected and I love being able to taste my surroundings. It is a whole different way to experience flowers.
And last but not least, knowing what you know today, what would you tell your younger self, as you were just starting out and beginning your floral adventure?
I have really enjoyed my flower journey, and am really grateful for how smooth it has been. From the beginning of it until now has been a very organic process. It felt a lot like a tornado that I was sort of thrown into, not knowing what I was doing, but it was a beautiful tornado!
I do wish I would have photographed more of my work. Sometimes I send a really beautiful piece away, and never get photos of it. That hurts! I wish I had just made the time to photograph them so that they could live on forever.
I would have also been more selective about the work I took in the first few years. In the beginning you have to take work because it is work, and not necessarily because you love it. But, I found that work I did not love drained me of my creative spirit, and being able to use that creative spirit is the whole reason I got into this. The second I started being more picky about the work I was taking, was when my business took off in the direction I wanted it to. If I had valued my own time a bit sooner I think I would have saved myself many exhausting jobs that did nothing for my love of flowers or bettering my business.
We hope you enjoyed our follow-up interview with Sarah, and that you followed along with her Instagram takeover on our page!
Is it me or are we hearing more and more about destination weddings? At the 2013 Catersource & Event Solutions show, I attended “The Destination Wedding Hot List” session to see what information Kevin Covey, Owner, Kevin’s Parties, Co-Owner Destination Wedding Gurus; Laurie Davies, Owner, Five Star Weddings & Events, Co-Owner Destination Wedding Gurus; and Natalie Vishny, Owner, Swellegant, Co-Owner Destination Wedding Gurus had to share on this trending topic.
P.S. don’t forget that we offer Mayesh Destination Events so that you can have beautiful Mayesh wholesale flowers pretty much anywhere in the world you may have a wedding or event! Pretty cool!
Here are some highlights from this great session:
- Top locations for destination weddings are Las Vegas, Hawaii, U.S. Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Bahamas, Mexico, and Florida.
- Common misconceptions:
- Destination events are uncommon – actually, you are probably planning destination weddings more than you think.
- You mind set had to be different and your clients are paying for your expertise.
- Do you research to find local vendors to save money because this route is much cheaper than flying in a vendor.
- Destination clients spend more money per guest but you typically get more bang for your buck.
- Capture the market – make your location wish list and become an expert in those areas. Don’t limit yourself.
- Creating a luxury destination wedding ….
- Offering services like babysitting and shuttle service
- No cookie cutter formality – couples are looking for adventure and spend time with their guests like cooking classes or salsa dancing.
- Say goodbye to banquet and hello to action stations.
- strolling carts throughout the event with guacologists and mixologists.
- Serve signature and retro cocktails inspired by Great Gatsby and Mad Men. And don’t rule out unique soda pops.
- Pre-ceremony cocktail are quite popular.
- Use interesting and elegant furniture to set the scene.
- Time to accept your applause:
- Blog about your hits – blogging is a great way to create great content, attract new customers, and to post on your social media outlets.
- Create a promotional video – 1 video is worth 1.8 million words; people share videos and recall value to much higher than just words
- Your website should be current and show your best work
- Be sure where your business is located and what other areas and/or destination cities you service are clearly listed. This is a pet peeve for me. I often visit websites and cannot easily tell where the business is at.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews and referrals. Let your clients speak about your best work for you.
Are you already involved in destination weddings? What are your tips and/or ideas?
Destination weddings and events are hot, hot, hot! Did you know that 24% of all weddings are destination weddings? Mayesh Wholesale Florist participates in many destination events throughout the year, so much so that we have a program called, Mayesh Destination Events. Be sure to check it out if you are or will be involved with such events, we would love to be your floral partner!
At The Special Event earlier this year in Chicago, I sat in a session all about destination wedding trends given by Jo Anne V. Brown of a Celebrations, a destination management company. Here are some highlights from the program . . .
Top Locations for all types of events:
The Caribbean is ranked the number one destination wedding location.
- You are often planning destination weddings probably more than you think
- Your mind set has to be slightly different from planning a local wedding and your clients are paying for your expertise
- Do your research to find local vendors to save money as this is much cheaper than flying in talent
- Destination clients typically spend more money per guest but you need to get more bang for the buck
If you want to break into the destination market, then create a location wish list and work on becoming the expert in those areas.
Destination weddings and events really focus on all of the details – big & small – to make the whole trip an experience for your clients and their guests. Details that you may want to think about:
- find out the couples favorite drink and have it waiting for them upon arrival
- shuttle service
- scheduled adventures – cooking classes, salsa dancing, tours
- Use interesting and elegant furniture that enhances the event’s look
- No banquet style receptions – think signature cocktails & appetizers, unique soda pops, stations, pre-ceremony cocktails, guacologists, mixologists, retro cocktails, breakfast foods in the evening, etc
- be a trendsetter, don’t be afraid to stand out ,and don’t be afraid to push your clients to have their own unique wedding and to not just copy what they are seeing
Connect with Celebrations:
So now you may know a bit more about destination wedding and events. If you aren’t already, will you be marketing your company to grab this piece of the pie?