In this series, I've already told you how to research florists abroad and how to use key Spanish florist vocabulary to communicate your needs to your supplier. Now, we are ready to move forward to the most time-sensitive and important steps. You are now going to need to draw on the very best of your patience, confidence, organization, and determination to pull this off.
1) Get Help from the Concierge or Hotel Manger
Your plane has landed, you need to get to a concierge at your hotel to call the florist on your behalf, and confirm everything. It will be helpful to print out any final e-mails sent to you from the floral supplier that confirm the product and time you will receive it. If you can't speak in the local language or your language is poor, communicate this to the concierge so that they won't hand you the phone. When they have confirmed all the flowers and delivery time, and make sure to tip the concierge. Write down the name of your concierge. If everything goes well, at the end you are going to want to seek this person out and tip them again. This person is your lifeline and the key to everything working out smoothly. Don't forget that!
2) Rendezvous with your Supplier
Bring the full amount in cash in an envelope for your supplier, and extra in your pocket for tip if everything is what you asked for. Also bring a checklist for your meeting and carefully inspect all the flowers they've brought to you. Oh yes, and one more thing, bring a couple of strong friends with you to help carry the product and make you feel more confident during your meeting. This was very helpful for me! Sometimes we forget just how much we ordered.
Make sure you're getting everything you asked for in the quantities that you need and that everything is in good condition. Don't feel bad making the delivery person wait while you do this. This will be your only chance to adjust the price if something is not satisfactory, and you may never see this person again. Don't hand them any money until you have fully inspected everything and it's to your order. If something isn't right, only take what's right and adjust the price. Use your checklist to show the delivery person what you won't accept and the new total.
3) Thank and Pay
If they've done everything to your specifications, thank them and pay them! Pull out those extra dollars and leave a tip too. Don't forget to tip your concierge again for a great job at communicating and ironing out the last details. Part of the "Thanks" could be leaving a good review for this florist in English on a wedding website for other brides having a destination wedding at the same location. They will be happy to know that they could save money and have a good experience. Oh yes, and don't forget to send them a link to this blog series if it's helped you.
4) Arrange! Arrange! Arrange!
You have your flowers, and now it's time to put them to use. If it's the day before, go ahead and make corsages and boutineers ahead of time, these can be refrigerated and will hold up well overnight. Use photos to help you along, and make sure this isn't your first time arranging flowers. You need some background to be able to do this as some parts are technical. At least make a few before your actual trip using store bought flowers.
If it is the day of the wedding and you're pressed for time as I was, I highly suggest beginning with the Bride's bouquet and Groom's boutineer. They are going to be the first ones getting photos taken. After this is done, begin with your Bridesmaids Bouquets, and follow with Groomsmen's boutonnieers. Don't forget extras for corsages and boutonnieres for other honored guests such as parents and grandparents.
5) You're done!
Now that your work is done, enjoy the day. Unwind with a well earned glass of champagne and help Groomsmen put on their boutonnieers the right way! They are going to need your help! Then, relax- and enjoy the pictures afterward. You are going to love the way those goldenrod in the Bridesmaids bouquets blow in the beach breeze. You are going to love the big hug you get from the Bride after giving her wedding such a devoted and special touch. These are the memories that make all the work worthwhile.
This blog entry is part of my series called "Destination Wedding Flowers". To read other posts in this topic and gain more valuable insight into DIY wedding flowers, see the series here: DIY Your Destination Wedding Flowers
NEW Get your free printable - the DIY wedding flowers checklist! I made it just for you so you don't forget anything important! Get it here!