I have been quite the busy bee lately, with several of my weddings outside of the Hampton Roads, Virginia area! Road tripping for weddings is SO FUN, but it can also be tiring. After traveling this year (so far) to other cities in Virginia, Maryland, (at the gorgeous Walker's Overlook) and North Carolina, I've started to develop a little system and a few tricks to help keep me organized! And, I need to mention- if I didn't have my husband helping me with all my weddings so far, there is NO way I would be able to do this by myself!! So thank you Jason <3
I started developing a few different checklists before this wedding season, and as I have gotten into the swing of things, I have tweaked them a little! I have a customized checklist for each wedding with the counts for each design I need to make (to keep myself on track), and to count once they have been packed in the car. I can't tell you how many times I go back and check the refrigerator for a boutonniere or corsage MIA. It's my worst nightmare I'll accidentally leave one at home!!! To reassure myself, I develop a list and then RECOUNT everything like 12 times before I leave :)
I also have a checklist of supplies that I will need for floral designing on site. I reuse the same list for each wedding, since I normally bring the same set of supplies. It's so helpful to have a list, because when I'm running around putting the finishing touches on the bride's bouquet, whoever is helping me can pack up my supplies for me!! One less thing I have to explain- I'm just all about streamlining :) This could look different for each type of wedding professional, but just as an example- I'm sure a checklist system would be beneficial to a wedding photographer as well! It would be horrible to drive 4 hours away to a wedding and realize when you got there you forgot a lens (or something)!
2. Healthy Eating
Ok, I know this sounds silly, but this actually really gets me through long wedding weekends. I'm one of those people that gets really "hangry" and I really need to refuel on healthy food, or else I'll feel grumpy and sluggish. Jason and I love Chick-fil-a salads, which can be a quick "on the road meal", that isn't totally horrible for you! I also like brining snack bars, water bottles and small snacks like nuts or fruit. It makes a difference for me, and it helps me make sure I'm at my best for my brides!! I know I get so caught up in my work, I FORGET to eat too (which sounds crazy, but it's true)! I'm sure other wedding friends have done that too :)
3. Systems that WORK!
This used to be the most daunting part of road-tripping for weddings- driving for hours with perishable, easily damaged flowers in the car!!! It was stressful packing up the car to leave for a wedding, and it always took around an hour! When you are designing all the flowers for an entire wedding by yourself, and you then need to pack them up and drive four hours, spending a whole hour placing up the car is just SO annoying!!! I hate feeing like I'm running late (even if I'm not late) and I knew I needed a new system!! I sat down with Jason, asked a few friends, and figured out a system to the flower transportation that is so much less stressful!! I won't bore you with the details, but the point from this is: make a system! It will make road tripping so much less stressful if you already know how things go, what goes where, how this gets packed... etc.
4. Portable Phone Charger/Battery
This has been a relatively new thing for me, and it is a LIFESAVER! I'm always worried when I'm on the road that my phone will die and I won't have a way to recharge it (and our car currently doesn't have that capability) so recently we got a portable phone charger! I love it so much, and it's certainly helped me out when I'm in a pinch. It's a good thing to keep around :) I'm also thinking of investing in a phone case with a built-in battery; I just love my Kate Spade one so much I'm having a hard time finding one that is as cute!! Suggestions?!
5. Week of Wedding Preparation
Whenever I am traveling out of town, with flowers, I always feel an extra sense of urgency and a "time-crunch"! My time actually WORKING on flowers is cut short, because of the drive time. Not to mention if I have to get a hotel room the night before, putting all the flowers into the hotel room and then back into the car the next day is SUPER time-consuming. So, to give myself a little more breathing room, I started preparing (as much as I could) prior to my flowers arriving for the wedding. For example, the week of the wedding before the flowers arrive, I make and attach all the bows for my corsages, I clean and wash out all my buckets and wash my shears, and I start to iron out ribbons for bouquets. All those little things save me time in the long run, especially with the additional pressure of an out-of-town wedding!
(Above grid images by Sarah Brookhart Photography)
I hope these tips help you feel less stressed during wedding road trips! Shoot me an email if you want to chat about this more! :)