Reflecting on 2021
So many weddings this year, the wedding industry was booming. I had the most weddings to date for me too, and I couldn't have been happier. This is how it was for a lot of professionals in the industry. Photographers, makeup artists, venues, etc. The main reason is because of 2020 wedding reschedules. Although there was plenty of work, I also heard from brides and vendors that the burn out was intense. Booking multiple back to back weddings all summer long, brides contacting vendors to confirm services, and finding out that the venue or vendor was booked. It left brides in a scramble and vendors feeling terrible. Every year I learn new skills, new ideas, and ways to keep the burn out low.
One of the skills that I learned is how to create designs with chicken wire. Although this is NOT a new concept, I didn't jump on the band wagon until recently. Wow, I sure was missing out. If you are are the least bit interested in how I created this arrangement or what I used, I will gladly share, and if you are not interested, I'm sharing anyway! Hopefully helping out anyone who wants to replicate something similar. I hemmed and hawed over how to create pampas grass installations for months. At first I thought I would use giant planters as a base, but worried that I wouldn't be able to camouflage the container. Then I thought about creating a giant tower out of wet floral foam, but the grass stems were so large, I thought the foam would crumble. I then remembered that I had two tall plant stands. If I could wrap and secure them with chicken wire, it just might work, so that's what I did.
This was my last big wedding of the season and I wouldn't normally try something new, but if I wanted the WOW factor I had to get creative and work outside of my comfort zone. I incorporated large pampas grasses throughout, and created two large installations at the altar. Early on in the planning process I was given a picture of what the bride was hoping to achieve. Although it was not exactly like the picture, it was close and I was very proud of how it turned out.
Because I have a few other paying jobs, I'm not a full time florist, so sourcing and finding community is a HUGE deal for me. I'd love to grow enough flowers to use for every wedding, but it's not realistic for me yet, so I work with some wonderful flower farmers that I can't wait to work with next season. My wholesaler is still my go to person, and we've developed such a great relationship I even trust him to sub out something when it doesn't come in. Just like every other transaction that a business dealt with this year, the supply chain left materials on containers, or waiting to be shipped. Don't get me started on oasis floral foam. I had an extremely difficult time finding some of the items that I needed, but the silver lining is that it made me get creative. Community was huge this year too. I feel so blessed to be supported by my neighbors, friends, and other small business owners. With the support of the community I made custom pieces for funerals, and special events. I got to offer wreath and centerpiece making classes, and I am looking forward to teaching one more class after the holidays too, something different and unique.
In case you are wondering about those other jobs, I work for my State Representative three days a week in the office and Mondays and Fridays are in the district if needed. I also do social media for a Bed and Breakfast. I am so lucky to have the flexibility within these jobs because it gives me the ability to create pretty things for weddings, events, and just because! Sometimes in the middle of a chaotic week juggling work, kids, and weddings, I ask myself why I do all of these jobs and not just one. Then I remember that I like them all, I don't want to pick just one, and if I'm lucky enough to get paid doing the things I love, then I'm going to keep right on doing them. So how do I manage burn out? Many ways actually. I sleep in every chance I get. I travel a lot so I can eat at new places and hike new trails. As often as I can, I put my phone down to just be a mom by watching football with my boy, and reading to my girl. The winter season is a gift where I don't take on much floral work and that seems to help a lot with burn out, and then when January and February roll around I'm ready to take on the world again by setting new goals for myself both professionally and personally. This year I set my goals early. I want to have at least one wedding a month starting in April and I want to use less product in my creations. For my personal growth I agreed to hike the Grand Canyon rim to rim in one day. This is probably the goal that will take the most energy for me. But, if I don't try things outside of my comfort zone, how will I grow?
2021 truly was a wonderful year for me and I am so thankful for the friends and family that made it possible. I can't wait to move into 2022 where I will grow and learn even more. Thanks for spending a few minutes reading this. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!