I got the call from Amanda, the lovely woman behind Oak & Cypress, last February...and what I mean by "the call" is I received the opportunity to do the largest job FOREST & FIELD had taken on thus far. It was a job that has amped up my confidence and my future vision for the business beyond what I could have imagined on my own. Sometimes we need to be handed a difficult task, overcome our fear, kick ass and then rise to higher and higher heights. I am forever grateful to Amanda for trusting me with this wedding.
Upon answering the phone, Amanda asks if I have any events booked for July 1st, which is 6 months away. I tell her that I actually have 2 events booked that day. She continues by saying she has a wedding that day she wants me to do florals for. Then she drops the bomb; it's Ryan Lewis's wedding.
For those of you who don't know who Ryan Lewis is check out his music here: Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis
My reaction was a mixture of shock, excitement and fear. Not only would this be the largest job I had taken on, but it would be just one of three weddings that weekend.
The prospect of pulling this off was daunting, but I couldn’t give up this opportunity.
After 8 years in business I was ready to leave behind my small scale operation and move on to larger things that might actually pay the bills! Not only that, but larger jobs mean I can design spaces that truly invigorate and inspire, which has always been my goal with floral design.
So, I needed to assemble a team.
I immediately call upon Metal+Moss, a floral design team that kicks ass, and ask if they want to jump on this train with me. They are down!
Over the next few months I meet with them many times to describe my vision for the weddings; we look at photos, go to the venues and talk about spatial design and setup, make spreadsheets and documents with inspiration, and so on. Meanwhile, I’m chatting with Amanda and planning a trip to see Ryan’s venue, which is hours away, and organizing all the details of traveling with flowers and hiring another team of florists nearby for that wedding.
Meanwhile I am also planning other weddings before and after this particular weekend. There were definitely moments of panic and stress, but for the most part...I felt good about how things were moving along.
Finally, the week came. And here is how it went down...
Monday I get my studio ready, I fill all my buckets with water and then drive out to our property to forage for the hardy greens that last all week.
Tuesday Britlyn and Tanzie, from Metal+Moss meet up with me in the morning for another all day foraging adventure. We gather more greens and bring them back to the studio to prepare. I wish I would have gotten a photo of the forest that was erected in my space.
Wednesday Britlyn and Tanzie meet me at the flower market to buy all the flowers for the 3 events. My whole, massive truck bed was filled with boxes of flowers as well as Britlyn’s car. We head back to my studio where we meet my friend Bethany who’s helping us prep all the flowers. We carry box after box down the stairs, unpack them, strip their leaves, cut their stems and get them into water. It took us all day long! That evening we went over the designs for all the weddings and any last minute information Britlyn and Tanzie needed for the weekend.
Thursday at 7am Johnny and I head to the rental car company to get our huge box truck. Then we drive to the studio and load up all of Ryan's flowers, greens, hand built boxes and pedestals and all the other materials we needed. Then Johnny and I head off on a multiple hour trip to the venue. We arrive in the afternoon to unload and set up my work area. In the evening we head to the vendor Airbnb.
Friday we’re up bright and early to start working. The floral team I hired from the area meets me on location and I give them a mock-up of the centerpieces to start busting out while I work on bouquets. By the end of this day we have all the centerpieces done, all the personal flowers and any other vase arrangements. We spend the lateevening back at the Airbnb with all the lovely vendors including Oak & Cypress and Sean & Melanie Flanigan.
Saturday we’re up bright and early again and ready to start all the installation pieces. Meanwhile I am in contact with Britlyn and Tanzie about how the other two weddings are shaping up. They’ve hired an additional 7 people to pull of the set up back in Portland! Which turned out amazing, by the way! At Ryan’s wedding we have a large aisle installation including two riser boxes, 8 aisle boxes and an arbor. We also had a huge DJ backdrop installation. The centerpieces also needed to be placed right before the ceremony started so they didn't sit in the sun. Everything went off without a hitch and we were able to stick around for the whole evening and enjoy what we had created.
Sunday we woke up and came back to the venue to tear down and load up our truck. My body was jello at this point, but we got great feedback about how much they loved everything, which gave me a jolt of energy when I really needed it. After loading up we made the long drive home (made a quick stop to do some cold water therapy in the river of course!) and then had to unload everything back into my studio so we could take the rental truck back early the next morning.
Monday we took the rental truck back, loaded up all the greens and flowers in our truck and went to the dump. Then we cleaned my studio and FINALLY laid down to rest.
When you pull off something of this magnitude, it moves you. What you once thought wasn't possible has been done...and you see yourself in a whole new way. I earned a new level of respect for my self. It also solidified my desire to do larger scale events where I'm creating more "art" rather than typical wedding designs. It reminded me of what my vision for this has always been yet I've been scared to carry it out. Well, maybe it's perfect timing to post this on the first day of 2018. Time to implement those visions.
HUGE THANKS TO MY HUSBAND JOHNNY FOR BEING MY PARTNER IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE OVER THAT WEEK.
Bailey Patrice & Jonathan David