Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Floral Arrangement On A Budget

The life of a caterer is all about balancing budgets for food, service, rentals and sometimes décor or floral for the tabletop. Food and table presentation is very important to me at all my events, no matter how small or large the party is. Not only is my reputation at stake, but the reputation of the host or hostess that hired me. Besides reputation, I really care and have a passion for all my events. I enjoy the creative process that’s involved and I’m always learning about new ways to present and stage my food.

Floral arranging is an art in itself and a completely different ball game then catering. I am not a florist and I let my clients know that and I suggest to them that they should purchase a floral arrangement for their buffet table and/or guests tables. Sometimes in rare occasions my clients tell me they don’t want flowers or that they don’t need them, but I know perhaps their event budget was stretched a little too thin. In this case I need to be a little creative with my “art of presentation”.

At a recent holiday party, I had to think of something to “stage” or decorate the tabletop on a budget (as usual). I came up with something quick, seasonal, colorful and some of it edible. When I say quick, I mean quick-with all the other elements involved with what I do, I really don’t have the time to make elaborate floral arrangements. Since I’m always at a grocery store somewhere in my day, I look in the produce department for and inspiration on a budget. If you remember that “food” is being served, food can also be used to compliment it with style, color and texture. I saw that green apples where on sale, so I bought loads of them and then I needed a complimentary color. I found some large purple and while flowering kale, so I bought a few bunches of those. I already knew that the event location of this party had a large entertaining room with high ceiling. So, I thought I would use these large and tall cylinder shaped vases-big and dramatic always makes a statement! After that, I drove to my favorite local florist and purchased some tall bunches of curly willow, some evergreen branches and some red branchy things. I did not even arrange this until I was at the event the next day, that is how easy this is, it really only took 15 minutes to arrange.

To make the floral arrangement I put some green apples in the bottom of the vase and put in the curly willow, evergreen branches and the red branches. After putting the arrangements on the buffet table, I arranged some more evergreen branches and apples right on the tabletop and just put down the kale on the table at the base of the vase. Simple, elegant and decorative and on a budget…in some cases you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make something look great and unusual.

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