I delivered a bridal bouquet at a hotel last week. It was a boutique hotel with a small lobby and not many people inside. I had already talked to the bride and had the room number, but the staff stopped me before I could go up. They would not allow me to make the delivery to the room.

Deprived of the hand-off and the bride’s reaction, I reluctantly gave up the bouquet. It was anticlimactic. I was left feeling incomplete and unsatisfied. Delivering a wedding bouquet to the bride is the culmination of a long process – some creative, some logistical, some business. It is the completion of an emotional transaction. I have a personal investment in that bunch of flowers. I worked with the farmers to grow them. My team and I obsessed over selecting the perfect blooms and set them apart. We took the most time and care to design it above all other florals and strove to meet the desires of the bride. When we work to create a bridal bouquet, we are trying to make a dream come true. I need to know if I succeeded. I need to know she loves it.

My flowers are unknown to the bride before I present the bouquet. She did not select the bouquet from a menu. She has never seen it before. She has an idea in her mind. I try to realize it. In the consultation, the bride articulates her vision. She provides inspiration. She defines the style, look, mood, shape and colors. She tells me everything about the rest of her wedding: her gown, the linens, décor, music. Every aspect is considered for the bouquet. Our flowers are all locally sourced, I do not know in advance what the best flowers will be available for the event so I do not promise to provide any particular variety. Every bouquet is custom and unique. When she sees it, her reaction is spontaneous and genuine.

The delivery of the bouquet is like an informal, mini ceremony. And it is transactional. I have made this delicate, beautiful thing, and now she possesses it. Her reaction is an critique of our work. In those seconds she expresses acceptance and conveys joy. She is holding a symbol of the event honoring the most significant decision of her life. It is a realization for her. This is happening. She is getting married.

Leaving that boutique hotel without bouquet validation is part of the job. I don’t always get to see the reaction. I usually have more work to do for the wedding. If I didn’t see the bride receive the bouquet, I will probably see her with it at the ceremony site, getting pictures. I try not to interfere, but attempt to make eye contact. Did we get it right? Is she delighted? I need to know.

Photo by Paula B Photography

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