We are really enjoying writing these vendor feature blogs! I think it is so fascinating to see what other wedding vendors do in their day to day planning and creation processes for weddings. We thought for this week you would like to hear from a wedding floral company that has been around for 25 years, Garden District Memphis.
I’ve had the joy of working with Greg and Erick of Garden District many times in my years as a wedding photographer. I think their attention to detail and their creative process is facinating!
We sat down with Greg Cambell of Garden District Memphis to get his take on the wedding industry, design process and collaboration with clients.
“I believe Garden District is unique because we are a twenty-five-year-old company that is still in business. Over the last 25 years, we have developed relationships with flower growers, both domestically and on an international level. Knowing these farmers has opened up a level of communication that helps fine-tune our ability to provide the flowers requested from our clients. I can contact one of our growers in Oregon and ask for 200 stems of dahlias the color of cut cantaloupe in two weeks and have an accurate response from him within the same day. This type of dialogue has really changed how we do business over the past decade.” – Greg
“The initial consultation with the bride and her mother is always the most productive. The family arrives with their event planner, and we discuss all aspects of the décor. Sometimes the bride is prepared with ideas, and sometimes she is not. Either way, we all leave the meeting with a pretty good sense of the direction we are heading- the colors, feel, and style of arrangements and reception. I then prepare a proposal that is as detailed as the info from the meeting allows, but I always make sure the bride knows that the proposal is not set in stone. Things change through the planning process, a lot. New design elements evolve after the initial consult, and this is my favorite part of the planning process. These new thoughts tend to be what makes this celebration personal to the bride and groom. They make the wedding their own. Some of our best work comes from these scenarios. We work very closely with the event planner, so we are not burdening the bride or her mother with every detail involved with the production. We feel the family should enjoy the ‘fun part’ of talking flowers, colors, and concepts, rather than how to get the church opened or how many trays will be needed at the reception.” – Greg
“All of the vendors at my wedding were incredible and great to work with. To no surprise, Garden District did an absolutely stunning job. They really listened to the vision I had in mind when I brought maybe 100 magazine clippings to our first meeting!” –Claire Higginbotham Frantz
“The next big push is closer to the wedding when we secure the flowers from the growers, make sure props are constructed, and containers are pulled and in pristine condition. The day of, our team gathers for a meeting early in the morning, and then we are off. We set the church up first and then the reception. When possible, some of the technical work is done the day before (draping the tent, hanging the supports of greenery in the ballroom ceiling, or installing groves of branches that will receive fresh greenery canopies the day of the wedding). The installation tends to be fast-paced, but relaxed. Our goal is to have everything in place and ready to roll two hours before the time for the ceremony, and I am proud to say that this is the case more times than not. This timing is not only for our own comfort, but I want the place to look put together if the bridal party is present before the ceremony. One of my favorite parts of my job is when I get to walk through the decorated reception with the bride and her mother as they take it all in before the activities of the wedding and reception begin.” – Greg
“Garden District helped me pick the beautiful Amnesia Rose that we based a lot of decisions around. Aside from that, the flowers, lighting, ambience, everything they created was a masterpiece. I truly do not know how they do it.” – Amelia Brown Williamson
“I always suggest to my clients at least one ‘wow’ moment. Even if the couple is on a budget, I propose at least one installation that is a show stopper. It may take a larger portion out of the floral budget, but the impact of a ballroom ceiling raining fresh lavender or a cake table supported by a bed of calla lilies will be enjoyed and remembered by the new couple and their guests forever.” – Greg
“When working on an event, it is important that you do everything thing you can in your workspace/studio before delivery. Too much energy is spent lugging bucket after bucket into a venue the day of the function. Plus, the mess created with this type of designing can be enough to drive all the other vendors crazy! For example, when we are constructing a wall of flowers, multiple smaller sections are created in the shop, and then the day of the event we transport the sections to the venue and secure them to freestanding pre-constructed plywood walls- like a patchwork quilt. We then tweak the wall with one bucket of flowers and then move on to other installations of the party. With this method, we don’t even need 30 minutes to clean up each area. A quick sweep and we are good to go. Not to mention, being respectful to the venues and their employees will make your life so much easier in the future.” – Greg
“Our former employer, John Hoover, created a solid foundation when our journey started 25 years ago. Over these years we have developed relationships with so many of our clients, which created a level of trust that allowed us as designers to experiment and push the boundaries of the norm for floral design. Our conclusion? Pretty is pretty. Don’t work against the flowers, as they will do much of the work for you. We want to create something that looks as good in a photo in 25 years as it does today.” – Greg
“I love dreaming up these seemingly impossible ideas and, with our team, figuring out how to make them happen. Then when it comes together, and the client is delighted – that is just the best.” – Greg
“The Garden District team is used to traveling for out of town events, but we have started seeing more and more requests for things in different markets locally. That being said, there might be some slight adjustments here and there within our business, depending on what offers we continue receiving. Overall, we are so lucky to have an excellent staff that adapts as needed, so it does not appear as if this train is going to slow down anytime soon.” – Greg
Garden District co-owners Greg Campbell and Erick New’s book, Florists to the Field is one of this floral design team’s most ambitious endeavors to date and a worthwhile testimony to their work—avant-garde resourcefulness that employs flowers to complement settings, mirror emotions, and enrich lives. Join Greg and Erick on their Florists to the Field excursion. From the Deep South to the West Coast, through the Midwest and across the ocean to Holland, these are the places where they find inspiration. Their book can be purchased at their website, Garden District Memphis.