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Each month, we cov­er a cur­rent event in the flo­ral trade, flo­rals from real wed­dings, our lat­est flower adven­tures and endeav­ors, design tips, cur­rent flo­ral trends, flo­ral design class­es and work­shops, book rec­om­men­da­tions and flo­ral tool tips.

Since 2010, we’ve cre­at­ed a hot list of what’s on for flo­ral design in and beyond South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. As guest speak­ers inside and out­side of Cal­i­for­nia, we know what clients need in the wed­ding and event indus­try. We are your trust­ed resource for flo­ral design tips and tech­niques for all lev­els of the flower enthusiast.

We are Kit Wertz and Casey Schwartz, the sis­ter design team of Flower Duet. We are com­mit­ted to edu­cat­ing our stu­dents and fans since we start­ed our flo­ral design busi­ness in 1999.

We don’t share our email list with any­one! So, you can rest assured, your email is safe with us.

Florist Best Practices for Wedding Flower Set Up

by Kit Wertz

Wedding Flower Set Up Checklist

As we men­tioned last month, late sum­mer and ear­ly fall are busy sea­sons for wed­dings in Los Ange­les and we thought it would be good to go over the best prac­tices for set­ting up for a wedding.

Read on for more details on a typ­i­cal wed­ding like the one we did last month at the Palos Verdes Golf Club (all pic­tures here are from one wed­ding day setup).

You can also down­load Flower Duet’s Wed­ding Flower Set Up Check­list to help you remem­ber what to do before the big day while you are still in the plan­ning stages with the wed­ding cou­ple and for what to do on the big day itself.

Be in Contact with Wedding Coordinators

These days it’s pret­ty nor­mal for a cou­ple to have its own wed­ding coor­di­na­tor and for there to be a wed­ding coor­di­na­tor on site at the wed­ding venues. It’s a real­ly good idea to meet with all the coor­di­na­tors or be in touch via phone and email. Make sure you have everyone’s mobile phone num­ber pro­grammed into your own phone so you can text dur­ing the big day. Also, make sure every­one has your mobile phone num­ber, too.

Visit the Wedding Venues

Some of the wed­ding venues we set up for wed­ding flow­ers are huge lux­u­ry resorts like the St. Reg­is in Monarch Beach or Ter­ranea in Ran­cho Palos Verdes. Often, it can be very hard to fig­ure out where to park to first drop off per­son­al flow­ers (bou­quets, bou­ton­nières, cor­sages) for pic­tures. Then, you need to set up the arch and pew décor in anoth­er part of the prop­er­ty only to final­ly get to the recep­tion ball­room that might be in a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent place.

So, it’s best to do a lit­tle recon­noi­ter­ing before the event. Find out where to park from the onsite coor­di­na­tor and even arrange to meet with him or her before­hand so you know where you need to go.

Tip the Bellmen and Valets at Hotels

Both my hus­band and I worked as Valet Park­ing Atten­dants at var­i­ous times after col­lege, so we know what it’s like to make a liv­ing from tips. It pays to tip the valet and bell­men at resorts and hotels. Bell­men will more than like­ly help you car­ry the flow­ers to the hotel room and maybe even give you a bot­tle of ice water to send you on your way (That’s hap­pened to me!). Valets will help you by let­ting you park your car in the cir­cle so you can bypass the park­ing fee, so go ahead and give him some of that fee you save as a tip.

And, you may be back at that same hotel next week for your next wed­ding and those same peo­ple will be work­ing. They’ll remem­ber if you tipped or not, so be nice to “the help” and they will help you. I would sug­gest $2-$5 per per­son help­ing you out depend­ing on how many flow­ers you need to deliver.

Get to the Wedding – A Florist Checklist

  • Bring Cash for Tips, Park­ing, and Snacks. Some­times you need to wait around to move arch dec­o­ra­tions or take down the arch, so make sure you have some cash to buy a Coca-Cola at the hotel bar.
  • Give your­self plen­ty of time to pack up the car or van with the flower designs. This will always take longer than you think.
  • Leave your design stu­dio or shop ear­li­er than you think you need to. You don’t want traf­fic to be an issue.
  • Bring lad­ders, trol­leys and any­thing else you might need to set up the arch or take flow­ers to their final des­ti­na­tion at the venue.
  • Keep flow­ers like hand-tied bou­quets inside vas­es of water for deliv­ery. The extra cost is worth your flow­ers look­ing fresh through­out the day.
  • Make a plan to drop off cen­ter­pieces at the venue so they are not cook­ing inside your car or van for too long. Even if the tables and linens are not set up yet, at least you can “stage” your flow­ers in the area where they will go.
  • Wait to set up arch décor if it’s a hot day, until the last minute. Bring help so you can set up the flow­ers quickly.
  • Put down aisle petals at the last minute or give the coor­di­na­tor a big bag of them to drop on the aisle if it’s a windy day.

Document Your Day

Bring your cam­era and take pho­tos of every­thing along the way. As long as you arrived at the venue ear­ly to set up, you should have plen­ty of time to take pho­tos of your work. Don’t for­get to net­work with the wed­ding pho­tog­ra­ph­er to get some of the great shots of the bride with her bou­quet for your port­fo­lio, too.

Exchange Business Cards

Make sure you have busi­ness cards on hand and ready to pass out to the video guy, DJ, pho­tog­ra­phers, wed­ding coor­di­na­tors and any­one else who admires your work. When you receive busi­ness cards from oth­ers, make sure you take a moment to look at it first and then ask them some­thing about their card … so they know you care about them, too.

Portrait of a Wedding at The Palos Verdes Golf Club, Palos Verdes Estates, CA

All the pho­tos in this sto­ry were from a wed­ding we did in Palos Verdes in August. Here is how the day devel­oped so you can see what to expect when you have a wed­ding to set up.

The Palos Verdes Golf Club is close to our flo­ral design stu­dio, so we were able to keep things cool until the last minute, and load care­ful­ly. We arrived on site to find the pre­vi­ous wed­ding was still wind­ing down, so the tables were still miss­ing linens and the bridal room was still occu­pied. But with 90-degree heat it was impor­tant to be able to unload as soon as possible.

We met the wed­ding coor­di­na­tor who was hired to assist our bride for the day. Ida Gard­ner Events is a won­der­ful oper­a­tion with whom we had worked in the past, mak­ing our set up even eas­i­er. Ida and her assis­tant helped clear space for us to bring in all the flo­rals until the venue was ready. With a venue like the PV Golf Club, they are pro­fes­sion­als and work quick­ly and effi­cient­ly, in no time at all the linens were swapped, tables moved and the bridal room read­ied. The cen­ter­pieces went on the tables as soon as the linens were down, the cake table was dec­o­rat­ed, the bar tables adorned. The bride had not arrived so we want­ed to have those placed in the room so she would see them as she walked in. We make a habit of deliv­er­ing the bridal bou­quets in water, to ensure their fresh­ness, as well as to keep their shape.

Ida want­ed one of the arrange­ments taller, for the dis­play she was cre­at­ing for the place cards, so we did that, as we always bring extra flow­ers for these sorts of things.

We wait­ed until the last minute to hang the flo­ral sprays so that they did not sit too long in the heat. Bring at least two lad­ders or step stools if you can or check with the venue to see if they have them on the site. Two peo­ple are bet­ter than one to hang these.

While I was doing some tweak­ing, Kit had her cam­era snap­ping away. Don’t for­get to bring your cam­era and take more images that you think you will need. You may be able to get images from the Pho­tog­ra­ph­er, but always bet­ter to have your own.

The last step is always the petals for the aisle. By this time you have tweaked, added and used all the extra flow­ers that you brought, so now you can petal all the ros­es for the love­ly walk down the aisle.

As we wrapped up the fin­ish­ing touch­es the video crew from Bof­fo Video and the pho­tog­ra­phers from Ken­neth Pfeifer Pho­tog­ra­phy made their way over to us at the start of the aisle. We all looked at the pret­ty scene and swapped busi­ness cards and promised to all like each oth­er on Face­book.

If you have time, do one last go around to check all your pieces. Make sure there is enough water in the vas­es, no flower heads have snapped off or fall­en out. Check in with the Wed­ding Coor­di­na­tor as she always has her eyes on the details and will let you know if some­thing is miss­ing or will tell you it is just so pretty!

Floral Design on Television

by Kit and Casey

Last month we talked about movies that fea­ture a florist as the main char­ac­ter. This month, with the start of the fall TV shows, we thought it would be fun to fea­ture some of our favorite shows that have great flo­ral designs each week. Some of these are sum­mer shows and some don’t start until Jan­u­ary and some you’ll just have to get on DVD but you can enjoy the flow­ers and the shows!

Gossip Girl on The CW

Both the Van Der Wood­sen and Wal­dorf apart­ments always fea­ture amaz­ing flo­ral designs. Check out the Gos­sip Girl Flo­ral Design­er. Watch free Gos­sip Girl Videos on The CW website.

30 Rock on CBS

Jack­’s office always has the best telev­sion flo­ral design we’ve seen.

Royal Pains on USA Network

Since this show takes place in The Hamp­tons, prac­ti­cal­ly every scene has amaz­ing flowers!

White Collar on USA Network

Love this upscale show about a hand­some art thief who works for the FBI. He is as easy to look at as the flow­ers that some­times grace the show. White Col­lar Flo­ral Arrangements

Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime

What’s not to like about the main char­ac­ter on this show. She over­comes adver­si­ty on every episode and is so sweet doing it. The law offices are very nice and so is the flo­ral decoration.

Gilmore Girls on DVD

Check out the cen­ter­piece flo­ral designs for Fri­day night din­ners at the Gilmores’ home in every episode. Love­ly. Gilmore Girls Flower Designs

Video: Flower Duet Weddings

Check out the latest video on our YouTube channel

We con­tin­ue to add more videos to our YouTube chan­nel. This month we’ve added a video that fea­tures lots of wed­ding flow­ers from a vari­ety of wed­dings so you can see the depth of Flower Duet’s work.

We like to say we can do any­thing and that we can make your vision come true. To learn more about our wed­ding pack­ages, vis­it

Sub­scribe to our YouTube chan­nel: fash­ion­ingflow­ers so you’ll know when we’ve uploaded a new show!

Book Review: Everyday Flowers

Every­day Flow­ers: Flow­ers to Beau­ti­fy and Dec­o­rate the Home by Paula Pryke

Paula Pryke does it again with a fan­tas­tic flower design book. This time, she goes into detail on what to grow in your own gar­den for flo­ral designs. True to her impec­ca­ble style, this book also fea­tures some won­der­ful and classy flo­ral designs. This book is a great addi­tion to any flo­ral designer’s library.

Floral Design Tool: Boutonnière Pins

Boutonniere Pins

Bou­ton­niere Pins

A pin with a lit­tle pearl bead might seem like such a small item to fea­ture as a “flo­ral tool” but these ver­sa­tile pins are won­der­ful in many ways.

Decorate and Secure Hand-Tied Bouquet Ribbons

In addi­tion to using them to pin bou­ton­nières (bouts) on dads, grooms, grooms­men and ring bear­ers, these pins can be adapt­ed to help secure rib­bon to hand-tied bou­quets and offer a fash­ion­able accent to the stems of a bouquet.

Use to Accent Flowers

Also used to accent flow­ers them­selves as shown above on this poman­der of green Ker­mit mums.

NEW! Pixie Bouquet Pins

Used to cre­ate a nice look at the end of stephan­otis reser­voirs. This looks much nicer than just the cot­ton tips of the reservoirs.

We used to cut reg­u­lar bou­ton­nière pins in order to fit them into the short part of a stephan­otis stem reser­voir, but now you can pur­chase short ver­sions of pins to use for flower accent­ing. These are called “Pearl Tiny Pix­ie Bou­quet Pins” and you can pur­chase them through

Here is a link to Pix­ie Bou­quet Pins

You can get them in a vari­ety of col­ors includ­ing pink!

Fancy Pins

There are oth­er “fan­cy” pins you can use to bejew­el your flow­ers. These are called “Light Blue Rhine­stone Dia­mante Cor­sage Pins” and can be used in a vari­ety of ways includ­ing adding a “blue” theme to your flo­ral designs if you can­not get blue flowers.

Here is a link to the fan­cy blue rhine­stone pins Blue Dia­mond Pins

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Flower Duet Online Floral Design Classes

Online Class Sample Button

In-Person Floral Design Classes

Class­es are usu­al­ly in per­son. Here is our 2020 Schedule*

*May’s class will be a hybrid where stu­dents will get their flow­ers for class at our curb­side pick­up, watch pre-record­ed videos for the les­son, then meet via Zoom with Kit & Casey.

Saturday Flower Arranging Classes & Optional Flower Mart Tours:

  • Jan­u­ary 11, 2020 — White Botanicals
  • Feb­ru­ary 8, 2020 — Flo­ral Gift Boxes
  • March 21, 2020 — Wav­ing Ranun­cu­lus — Can­celled (California’s #SaferAtH­ome)
  • April 18, 2020 — Tremen­dous Tulips Can­celled (California’s #SaferAtH­ome)
  • May 16, 2020 — Pock­et Full of Posies — Will be held through Video Conference
  • June 13, 2020 — Ros­es + Peonies 
  • July 18, 2020 — Trop­i­cal Flowers
  • August 22, 2020 — Hap­py Dahlias
  • Sep­tem­ber 19, 2020 — Antiqued Flowers
  • Octo­ber 17, 2020 — Pump­kin Crafts
  • Novem­ber 21, 2020 — Fall Flow­ers for Celebrating
  • Decem­ber 12, 2020 — Hol­i­day Flo­ral Wreaths

Wednesday Night Wedding Series Workshops:

  • Jan­u­ary 22, 2020 – Bou­quet & Boutonnière
  • Feb­ru­ary 26, 2020 – Cen­ter­piece & Table Accents
  • May 20, 2020 – Bou­quet & Bou­ton­nière — Will be held through Video Conference
  • June 24, 2020 – Cen­ter­piece & Table Accents
  • Sep­tem­ber 23, 2020 – Bou­quet & Boutonnière
  • Octo­ber 21, 2020 – Cen­ter­piece & Table Accents
Book a Class