business: Flora Fauna Weddings & Events
owner: Judy Bourgeois
location: North Yarmouth, Maine
phone number: 207.650.3563
In her previous career Judy was a teacher. These days she continues to care for delicate little ones helping them reach maximum potential, too... but these don't talk back.
Judy is one of Maine's most brilliant floral designers. I had the pleasure of meeting her three years ago at a Grace Ormonde luncheon at the Retreat at French's Point, an elaborate industry event Judy designed. I've been lucky to work with Judy at many weddings since, always excited to capture the visual variety of her wedding bouquets and tablescapes. She works hard to capture each of her couples' taste and personality, all with a trademark Judy smile and spunk.
Many florists have their flowers shipped to them directly, but Judy prefers to visit the Boston Flower Exchange each week to personally pick the stems needed for each upcoming weekend affair. Hearing stories of the scene, I thought it might be fun to join her with my camera and show you the process.
I met Judy at 4a to begin our adventure. This meant waking up at 3a, just two hours after my typical bedtime. Oy. Thank goodness for 24/7 Tim Horton's.
The sky began to brighten as we approached the New Hampshire state line.
The sun's sweet glow illuminated the market as we arrived, two hours after having left Maine.
Inside, different vendors display their blooms in designated stalls, marked with signs and yellow paint marks on the floor.
Row after row of buckets of bright, happy flowers. The smell, as you can imagine, was fresh and the vibe, happy.
Judy got to work, choosing different flowers from several different vendors. She does not shop exclusively with one, but walks the floor and buys what she feels looks best. As a side note, I totally appreciated that Judy gets dressed up for this each week, as I anticipated sweats and ponytails for our jaunt. She prefers looking professional (and says it doesn't hurt when dealing with male vendors. Ha!).
Judy brings a clipboard with a list of what she needs, and client notes (this week: no roses).
I loved all the color.
Hot pink peonies! Yum!
And check out the beautiful textures.
Judy mentioned that things can get tense at the market (she's fought other shopping florists for peonies), but today it was light and friendly.
I spotted some emilie inc ribbon. :)
After setting aside the flowers Judy wants at different vendor's stations, she returns to pay and pick up the wrapped blossoms.
The stems are boxed or wrapped and loaded onto bright yellow carts.
And we wheeled out to load the car.
A common scene in the parking lot.
As we left, I spotted a nearby parking garage and climbed to the top for an overall of the market.
Mission: accomplished. Homeward bound.
Pretty neat, huh? It's pretty wild that I was back under my covers for a quick nap by 10a!
What I left out was that photography is apparently not allowed in the market, something we learned not long after arriving. Thankfully some of the vendors were cool with my snapping away, but otherwise we enacted some stealth shooting tactics. Likewise, the aforementioned parking garage was private parking for a neighboring bio lab. Channeling my earlier journalism days, hungry for a good scene-setter regardless of the cost, I slinked by security guards on the main level to get the view I was after from the 9th floor. I was greeted by a cop moments later, but only after getting the shot. I giggled to myself as I explained I am wedding photographer and showed him what I captured on my camera's LCD screen as he took down some information from my license. Oops. Not sure what they're doing in that bio lab, but happy my vendor tour didn't cause a security breach!
Thanks for having me tag along, Judy, and I cannot wait to see how your bounty comes together for the wedding this weekend!