“How do you do it?”
I get asked that question at least once a week. How is it that I can balance a full-time job AND plan weddings AND design event florals. How in the world is that possible? There are days when I feel like that poor polar bear!
First, let me say: I love what I do. All of it. By day, I manage a law firm for friends of mine that I’ve known for eons. It’s a very different environment with very different responsibilities when compared to my former position with the District Attorney’s Office. I left a full day in court, surrounded by criminals to a quiet office with a HUGE iMac. 🙂 I manage day-to-day activities, make appointments, take payments and some office managerial-type stuff for the guys. (This week, I redecorated the bathroom!) It’s my reason to get out of bed, shower and be social. Introverted by nature, I need this daily interaction with people (and coffee) to get motivated. I have no doubt that working from home would render my court-appropriate wardrobe useless and encourage a more sloth-like behavioral pattern.
On the flip side, weddings are a true passion. Flowering weddings has become my honing beacon! I see flowers or plants or useful containers or interesting construction or beautiful composition and I’m like a bug to the light. I just can’t get enough. I used to argue that designing, planning and flowering weddings was an outstanding way to balance out the criminal surroundings of my “9 to 5” (really more like 8-2:30ish…state employee ftw.) That’s not necessarily the case anymore. I don’t have to work full time outside of wedding world. I CHOOSE to. Kennedy Occasions is successful, profitable and self-sustaining after years of hard work and dedication. I work outside of my creative passion because I like what I do. I’m a pretty savvy small business owner and am able to transfer some of that knowledge to encourage and promote growth of my new employ. It’s kind of a win-win for everyone (I hope! You’ll have to ask the guys, but I think I’m an asset!)
But I digress. Now that I’ve explained WHY, I wanted to share the HOW. So, because last weekend was absolutely nuts, but executed without a single glitch, I wanted to share with you a glimpse into a wedding week and weekend! With 3 meetings, 2 weddings, my sister in from Utah and my mom’s birthday, last week was a challenge!
Last week looked something like this:
6:30 am: up / feed pets / getting ready
8 am – 5 pm: Parkerson | Santel
5 pm: leave for appointment with Allison (Wedding 1)
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm: dinner with Allison (Wedding 1) to confirm final details & floor plan for Saturday and to collect personal décor items
7 pm: back home & pets cared for
7:30 pm – 9:15 pm: organize and clean vessels needed for floral designs
9:15 – 10:30 pm : answer emails/catch up on September details that need attention
6:45 am: up / feed pets / getting ready
8 am – 3pm: Parkerson | Santel
3pm: leave for Country Music Hall of Fame
4pm – 5:30 pm: meet with venue staff at CMHOF for Sept. event
6:30 pm: Chik Fil-A drive thru on the way home
6:45 – 8:45 pm: feed pets. clean buckets and prep all vessels with floral for two weddings Saturday
8:45 pm: shower
9 pm: construct LENGTHY email to CMHOF client regarding venue meeting. In box catch-up.
6:30 am: up / feed pets / getting ready
8am – 5pm: Parkerson | Santel
5:15 pm: home/feed pets/load of laundry in
5:45: flowers dropped off and prep begins
9:30: 75% of flower prep completed. Leave to pick up sister at airport. Walmart trip to pick up more buckets (20 just isn’t enough!). Finish flower prep
I took Friday off of “work”.
7:30 am: up / flower fun! 10 centerpieces created for Wedding 2
1 pm: leave for W.O Smith to take load for Wedding 2; oversee floor layout/touch base with assistant (i.e. lifesaver) who is overseeing reception load in / Jena finishing centerpieces for Wedding 1 & 2
4 pm: back home
- corsages (Wedding 1 & 2 – 10 total)
- bouts (Wedding 1 & 2 – 24 total)
- both bridal bouquets
- bridesmaids’ bouquets for Wedding 1 (7)
- wrap all creations
8:30 pm : dinner
– bridesmaids’ bouquets for Wedding 2 (7)
Clean up workspace
1:30 am: bed
6:30 am: up/coffee
Altar arrangements for Wedding 1 & 2 / pack all creations
11:30 am: shower
Noon: Meagan arrives to pick up personal flowers for Wedding 2
1 pm: Leave for Vine Street Christian
1:40 pm: set up centerpieces & ceremony arrangement for Wedding 2
3:15: arrive at West End Methodist for Wedding 1 ceremony drop off/set up
4:30 pm: arrive at W.O. Smith for Wedding 2 reception setup and finalize details
6:15 pm: guests arrive
Orchestrate reception for Wedding 1
11 pm: clean up begins
Midnight: clean up concludes / standard “after wedding” Krystal run (don’t judge)
2 am: bed
8:30 am – up and showering
Parents arrive – birthday celebration: lunch, movie, shopping, dinner, etc.
11:30 – bed
4:30 am – take sister to airport
8 am – 3 pm: Parkerson | Santel
Emails/floral proposals/unload decor and pack away/laundry/etc.
SO, as you can see, it’s a LOT of work. I am constantly making to-do lists and crafting ways to streamline my process. I spend a lot of time thinking through scheduling and timing and organizing my thoughts. With a double-header weekend and a full-time job, I couldn’t afford for glitches or problems. I couldn’t afford to mismanage my time or to fall behind! But I wouldn’t change it. I’ve learned from 7 years of this type schedule, that I function better under pressure and deadlines, so this lifestyle fits me to a T. I love to be busy. I love to accomplish things and check off my to-do list. Call me crazy, but this is my lifestyle!