Royal Wedding Hysteria
So it is April 2017 and I am working on weddings for the summer, going through flower availability and designs until I get a phone call.
After chatting about birds and bees the question drops; 'Any chance you are available to help dressing St. George's Chapel for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan'?
I had to pinch myself for a moment and realized that this wasn't an April fools joke but an actual inquiry, how excited and thrilled I was!
The British Florist Association says there are an estimated 15,000 florists in the UK, when you take freelancers and smaller individuals into consideration this number will rocked up even more so. So think about it, when you are part of a team boasting only 20 florists there's something to cheer and be proud about!
Imagine telling a child that on his or her's birthday they will get presents, they will be too excited to wait for their actual birthday so better holding off the good news until nearer to the time. As we got asked not very long before the wedding we thankfully didn't have to wait too long so the whole thing came around quickly.
Earlier that week the appointed florist had started to make the preparations so when we joined the conditioning of all the flowers started, I have never seen so much foliage, trees and flowers for a wedding. Truck loads were coming in from the Windsor Great Parks with the most fresh and lovely greens.
We started filling all the metal structures with bucket loads of water, after doing this all of them got filled with different foliage's and also entire Birch trees! Once that got done we had to trim everything into shape and make sure every stem used was attached so it wouldn't fall out, can you imagine.
After a day and a half of leaves and trees the flowers were inserted. The challenging thing about this was the fact that the courtyard was very HOT, the temperatures were on the high end of the thermometer. Obviously this was thought about hence the extra few thousand stems of flowers.
There was a huge variety of flowers used. From what I remember there were Astilbe, Foxgloves, Stocks, about 12,000 scented David Austin Roses, Peonies, Astrantia, Delphinium, spray Roses, Scabious, Lily of the Valley and Forget-Me-Not's. The smell in the Chapel and the surrounding areas were mind blowing!
The question I get quite often is; 'what were you doing on the day itself'? Well the answer is that from the day before until 4am the morning of the wedding I stood on a ladder filling in extra flowers and making final touches to the middle of the 5 arches inside St George's Chapel where cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason was playing underneath and where the couple and the rest of the Royal Family walked through to get to the choir area to sit down. Then I went to bed, slept for a few hours and cried my eyes out during the ceremony for many different reasons (one being that I would have loved to sleep longer before waking up to see it all on TV)! The other thing I was doing was listening to the sound checks of the Kingdom Choir whilst arranging flowers. #spoilt