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.