EPISODE #6: FROM CELEBRITY TO DESTINATION WEDDINGS WITH CHRISTINE CATER FLORAL & EVENT DESIGNS
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Welcome to the sixth episode of Your Wedding Podcast, as always, dedicated to providing wedding planning tips, stories, and inspirations for our couples to plan their special day. I am Henry Chen of Aevitas Weddings, a wedding photography studio based out of Southern California.
In today’s episode, I get to interview the amazing Christine Cater from Christine Cater Floral & Event Design. The company was founded in 1996 and is based in Carmel, California. Christine and I met at the exclusive celebrity wedding of Kaitlin Doubleday and DJ extraordinaire, Devin Lucien, up in Big Sur. Christine and her team have a philosophy of providing truly honest, thoughtful direction to all their clients, bringing their vision to life.
All about Christine; combining artistic crafts with wedding day dreams.
Christine has been doing weddings for over 10 years and absolutely loves it. She grew up in Carmel, California where the Pacific Ocean is their backdrop. Before Christine got into weddings she was actually a ballet dancer and loves being able to now use her artistic talents in the wedding industry.
More than anything, Christine wants her client experience to be more of a collaborative approach, working together to make their vision a reality. Christine and her team are dedicated to crafting elegant and truly memorable weddings for both local and international brides and grooms.
Hiring a professional florist gives you freedom to plan, and enjoy your special day.
Flowers are somewhat of a craft project and can be very messy. On the wedding day, the flower arrangements cannot really be done on site. The best is to have them completed in a workspace, leaving all the unnecessary pieces behind and bringing the beautiful installations to the wedding.
Often times brides are on the fence about hiring a professional florist, but always see the value once the wedding is over. Having a florist allows the bride and groom to enjoy their day, which is true of hiring all the different types of professionals, not just the florist.
A world market of flowers breaks open new possibilities for brides.
One of the main questions prospective couples ask a professional florist is, “Where do you get your flowers?” Christine and her team get their flower from everywhere, and brides absolutely love that. Although brides often want to save money by going local, their true desire is to have the best flowers out there.
So when they know that a professional florist can help acquire the most beautiful flowers from all over the world, they are absolutely smitten with the idea. Christine listens to her brides and knows that to give them exactly what they want often requires that world market to draw from.
A unique design and collaboration results in priceless value added.
To create a unique and special wedding look, Christine and her team take in the bride and groom’s ideas and collaborate together to come up with something that has never been seen before. When they look at the couple’s request, their motivation is to focus on design and the creation of something new. Trends do change, so it is important as a professional florist to always be thinking forward in your design, to keep it looking fresh and on brand with their wedding vision.
The full client experience; from meet and greet, to show up and clean up.
Brides come to Christine at all different stages of their planning. The most common time is one year out from the wedding day. From there the conversation is started and they chat about designs, pictures are exchanged, and a proposal with costs is created based on their desires. Then a storyboard is formed to give the couple and overall feel of their wedding day. As it gets closer to the wedding day, the designs get narrowed down and finalized one month out.
Part of the experience is that Christine and her team are on schedule with the day of timeline, making sure that they know when the bride is taking her photographs so that her bouquet is delivered accordingly. On top of that, the team also takes the responsibility of coming back after the wedding to clean up all the flower designs, which finally completes the process.
The value of wedding day flowers is more than that perfect picturesque ending.
From a picture to what ends up being a three-dimensional reality on a wedding day, what brides and grooms truly are paying for is what goes into creating that perfect picture. This includes knowing when to open the flowers, at the right time. Sometimes professional florists have to over-order just to make sure that each and every flower is in perfect condition for the wedding day.
Many days of hard work and planning go into creating that perfect final design, with a lot of people behind-the-scenes working to make all the pieces fall into place. The true goal of the professional florist team is to make sure that everything is perfect, at the perfect place, right at the perfect time. This is the real value that turns into dollar signs at the end of the day.
Wedding day success is dependent on a client-vendor trust relationship.
It is often difficult to create a wedding-day mock-up since so much detail is truly missing. Christine and her team work with their amazing storyboard to really bring to life what the day will look like without extra costs and expenses for either party to bear. Their goal is to establish a trust with the couples, which allows them to go out and have creative freedom as artists.
When the limits on their creative expression are taken off, the professional florist team can really “blossom” to ultimately create the most beautiful designs for the bride on her wedding day. So that trust is really important to have with the couple, which is really the best place to be for any wedding vendor.
The magical moments and thankful hearts are priceless in Christine’s eyes.
For Christine, what always brings her back to weddings again is the moment when guests and brides see the things that her team has created. Their feedback and appreciation keep her coming back for more. She also loves seeing the bride walking down the aisle, which brings her to tears and is just such a magical moment for her.
To Christine, weddings are a lot like dance performances; the curtains open on the day of the wedding, and her performance is setting everything up and making it beautiful. Then the curtain closes at the end of the day, and the applause is the bride’s overwhelm and grateful heart, which is another reason why she absolutely loves weddings.
Creating a wedding vendor team that tells your story is key.
Cream of the crop, like-minded wedding vendors is one of the most valuable investments that a bride and groom can make on their wedding day. The ultimate vendor team is one that works together to truly capture the day and tell the story of the couple. It is a great investment for the bride and groom to invest in a team that has their story in mind because your wedding day only happens once, and that story cannot be told again.
One of the best ways to pick a good vendor team is by asking your initial vendors who they like to work with. That way they can draw on their existing networks and you can form a team that already has experience working together and can easily capture your story.
Effective communication is invaluable for saving time on the wedding day.
From a professional florist’s perspective, the biggest challenge is the timing of the wedding day. The timeline is critical, and sometimes things get switched around. If the florist does not have enough time to design things, the time crunch leaves the designs unfinished or not quite up to the vision that was laid out.
It is really valuable to communicate as a team so that all of the players are represented really well. As a wedding vendor, if you run out of time on the wedding day you cannot think straight and everyone is simply rushing to get things done. This leaves room for a lot of errors and mishaps to occur.
The vision of Christine Cater Floral & Event Design.
Often times brides are unclear of what they want; they are not professionals in the design world so they really do need guidance. When brides bring in a picture of something that has already been done many times before, Christine’s motivation is to take their idea and give it her unique twist to create something completely new for her clients. This is a concept that Christine and her team have used to develop their brand and build the business with that mindset at the center; to be a design creator, not a follower.
On top of this, Christine aims to educate brides and grooms on the critical need to work with a professional florist through her workshops and more. It is also part of Christine’s dream to build her business beyond the borders of Big Sur, and continue to design for weddings in other cities and countries around the world.
Parting words for brides and grooms.
Christine feels that with the industry changing and as current as it is with all the images and easy online access, on the one hand, planning a wedding can be very overwhelming. However, on the other hand, it can also be very inspired too. Christine is always inspired by staying current with as many areas in the industry to stay in tune with design and other vendors.
She recommends that couples really rely on the professionals to get them what they want, to make sure that they have a really great wedding day in the end. When they find all the best vendors and trust them, their day will be magical for sure.
Working with a professional florist is one investment in your wedding day that you absolutely cannot pass up. The florist is there to turn your dream into a reality, creating something unique that has never been seen before. A flawless wedding day truly requires a well-integrated, high-communication team to make it runs smoothy, and capture their wedding say with all these stolen moments. When brides and grooms find a team they trust, they can relieve so much stress and really sit back and watch everything come together, step-by-step.
Coming up on future episodes:
On the next episode of Your Wedding Podcast, I get to interview the planner of Kaitlin and Devin’s wedding, Samantha Hall of Samantha Hall Events. She is absolutely fabulous, and we had a great time working together up in Big Sur.
In the episode, we will be talking even more about wedding planning tips, most importantly, the vision and perspective of it all through Samantha.
Outline of this episode:
[0:25] Introduction to episode six.
[3:13] Quick intro of Christine.
[6:59] Interview with Christine.
[12:57] Why hire a professional florist?
[15:57] Common questions from prospective couples.
[17:38] Understanding unique vision and collaboration.
[18:46] The client experience process.
[21:39] The true value of wedding day flowers.
[25:01] The wedding day mock-up.
[27:51] Christine’s favorites.
[29:45] How other wedding vendors can help florists.
[32:28] Wedding day challenges.
[34:18] Whose job is it to pin the boutonnieres?
[36:57] All about Christine Cater Floral & Events Design.
[45:14] Final take-home tips from Christine.
[47:25] Interview wrap up.
[49.18] Coming up on future episodes.
Resources and links mentioned in this episode:
- https://www.aevitasweddings.com – my wedding photography business.
- http://www.weddingphotographypodcast.com – my other podcast, the Wedding Photography Podcast.
- http://www.christinecater.com – Christine Cater Floral & Event Design website.
- https://www.instagram.com/christinemcater/ – Christine Cater Instagram.
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