Who said you can’t live out your dreams doing something you love?
For Janie Medley of The Bride’s Café, life couldn’t be more fulfilling. When asked how she was able to make her floral dreams come true, Medley says it wasn’t easy but has definitely been a rewarding decision.
“I’ve always loved flowers and I needed a part-time job. I was tired of working retail, so, I thought I’d try making flower designing my part-time job,” explains Medley. “This way I could design beautiful flowers while helping to make a bride’s dream wedding come true.”
Fast forward to 2012: Medley has been making floral dreams come true for 5 years. But getting to the point of female entrepreneur and founder of her popular site has taken lots of hard work and dedication.
“It really takes a toll on your body, trust me, my chiropractor will confirm this,” she warns.
A typical day for Medley involves being at the flower markets at 5 a.m. purchasing flowers. Once she’s selected the goods, she heads to her shop to process and then design them, her favorite part. But the need for chiropractic aid comes from the loads of lifting, bending and transporting that happen on a wedding day.
“After everything has been setup at the venue, it’s time to clean up the shop and start the process over in a few days.”
However, Medley wouldn’t have it any other way. She finds joy in the relationships established with her brides, knowing that she’s been part of making their day extra special. And while some brides might feel worried about how to make their day extra special but are on a strict budget, Medley offers some helpful tips:
1. Use single stem blooms for the bridesmaids’ bouquets and wrap them in a pretty ribbon. A single stem of peony is perfect! You can also use bouquets of tulips, lisianthus, and roses and have each bouquet in the same color palette, just a different flower and the great thing about using these flowers is they don’t need any “filler”.
2. If you can use long tables at the reception as opposed to round, you can substitute some flower arrangements with lots of candles.
3. Repurpose your altar arrangements at the reception.
However, for those brides who can afford to have someone like Medley as part of their prep squad, she suggests getting to know all your vendors before shelling out any funds.
“Brides should make certain they hire the floral designer who is the “right fit” for them. Always remember, that these [vendors] are responsible for every aspect of your wedding day.”
A typical meeting with Medley involves a “tea-time” at her Virginia home where she gives brides the opportunity to learn about her approach, personality and style of business.
“I encourage all brides to bring objects of inspiration with them to the floral consultation and it doesn’t have to be only flowers,” she said. “Think outside the box [with] something as simple as a fabric swatch, a tea cup, an invitation or something that represents the look and feel of how you imagine your wedding to be.”