Thursday, December 10, 2009

Behind The Scenes: The Flora

In almost every interview, speech or talk I give I always get the same question: Can you tell us about your design process? How does an event go from a dream to reality?  Well, here’s one answer to the question: It ain’t easy. Okay, to be more serious, there’s a lot of thought, discussion and many many hours put in with my amazing team—a combo of designers, production people and countless others. So today, instead of talking about the final result of the event, let’s take a peek behind the curtain and see one aspect of what’s going on behind the scenes.

This week, we’ve been hard at work for a wedding taking place on Saturday. We're working with the most delicious bride and the wonderful part about her is that she was very open to surprise and inspiration during the design process, even though she already had a very specific direction she wanted for her wedding. It’s been a great experience working with her.

For a wedding, we have to bring in an army of freelancers. New York city is known for its diversity and that shows through in the talent we hire. Some are actors, writers or musicians, but one thing they have in common is that they are all artists. All you folks in the event industry understand the work needed to get a super production together. We have been working on this wedding all month. However, the flowers are perishable, so there’s a more delicate timeline associated with these beauties.

Usually, the flowers arrive in our studio 10 days before the event. We then have to treat them delicately like a growing child or precious stone. Every day, we clean and water them to ensure the bulbs open slowly. The actual process of creating the arrangements, archway decorations and any other number of sculptural or artistic form you see usually only happens one to two days prior to the event. We keep all the flowers chilled and in water to ensure freshness and beauty on their big day.


  1. Roses and orchids are my number one favorite flowers, with peonies and lilies coming in at number two. In all honesty, I love all the beautiful flowers in the world. When I was in Panama I would drive and hope to see the beautiful orchids and Birds of Paradise that dotted the Atlantic coast on my way to Portobelo. I was terrible because if there was a seed or a cutting to be had, it was mine and I'd be holding my breath at customs and praying they did not find it. Today, I'm a flower hustler because I drive around with pruning shears and a shovel in my car. If I see something that I like and it's in the open of course, I dig it up or take a cutting. I'm planning a birthday celebration for myself and I want to bring 50 in with a bang! Got any free suggestions??? LOL!

  2. I love the "behind the scenes" look at a flower shop. I own a shop in Los Angeles and i don't think most people understand the amount of time and energy is involved with the pre-production process of flowers! Preston - they need to do a TV show with you....the REALITY of floral design! It takes and army...and many days to make an unbelievable event!

  3. I would watch that show. (In all honesty, I would dance with glee if that were a show.) I'm so glad you post more often now than you used to--I love your blog, and it's just amazing to see what you do.

  4. Preston, I had no idea that you could manage to keep the flowers alive, well, and looking so magical for 10 days!! You're indeed a master.


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