Receiving and conditioning wedding flowers

A corner of the church must be earmarked for the wedding flower pool. Polythene sheeting should be laid down, on which will be put endless buckets, baby baths and other large utensils filled with water. You will need twice as many containers as you think! Not all churches have a water supply laid on. Where a church has no water it is essential to have a hosepipe to bring water into the building from a source nearby.

As the material is brought into the church there should be at least two people on duty to receive it, condition it, and plunge it into water. Remember that some material will need boiling water treatment, so have an electric kettle handy.

It saves time if the material is sorted into colours at an early stage. Any flowers which have been specially ordered should be put into buckets and labelled and kept separately.

A flower arrangements at Harrogate Flower Show...

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Throughout the staging period there must always be someone on duty at the flower pool, partly to make sure that all the best stuff does not go all at once to one person — I am sorry to say that florists are very greedy when confronted with buckets of ‘goodies’ — and partly because as flower arrangers finish their work they usually give their spare material to the pool and it must be put into water immediately. It is horrifying to see dying material laying about the church-yard simply because there have been no buckets available. If the festival takes place at a hot time of the year, the organizers of the flower pool should expect to supply from the leftovers replenishments to be carefully tended and kept in a cool place.

Filling and spraying wedding flowers

When the flower arrangements are complete all the vases must, throughout the festival, be topped up at least once a day and every arrangement must be sprayed with an atomizer. The material will last provided that it is properly conditioned and cared for in this way. I have worked at several festivals in high summer where no replenishments have been needed. Tall men are excellent for topping up and spraying. If a pedestal has a number of cones care must be taken that none are missed. Garlands, pillar arrangements and flower balls in particular need good spraying.

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