Peter James is doing 57 weddings in September alone, including those he does as the house florist for weddings held at The Berkeley, where he got his start, and those he does as Couture Events with partners Jenna and Tommy. Located on the Asbury Park circle, Couture Events offers, for starters, floral design, event planning, coordination with vendors, and an amazing and unique array of rentals for weddings, bridal showers, charity events, birthdays, and other events. It also builds and constructs chuppahs, backdrops, and photo opportunities to fully customize the environment.
Huge shelves up to 12’ high are lined with all types of items, big and small, available for rental, including lanterns, candlestick holders, and even table numbers. Says Peter, “All those things are displayed and everybody can see them. It’s a great look, and it helps them visualize. That’s the biggest thing with the clients. We pull everything out and kind of build it to help them visualize, and then 30 days before their event, everyone is shown exactly what they’re getting. It’s called a ‘show me.’”
Peter believes that when you’re having a wedding or event, it’s the same as going to a mechanic. You go to a professional; you don’t do it yourself when it’s important. “We’re professionals about the best way to handle an event. You should go to a professional for that. You should have professional advice,” he says.
One of the critical things Couture Events offers is peace of mind. “Your wedding day comes… do you have to be worrying about the DJ showing up, are they going to get the tablecloths downs, are your flowers going to arrive on time? We could do all of that for you. We could take all of those little pieces and put them together for you so that you can really enjoy your day. We do wedding planning, designing, coordination, day-of services where someone is with you all day long… It’s really important. It’s one day, and it’s a very heavily timed day. You have to be really secure in getting everything done.”
Peter’s skill and creativity with flowers, color, and design are undeniable when you look at his work. He credits part of this to being open-minded. “You really have to listen. I was always told this great thing from all the other businesses I was in: God gave me one mouth and two ears so that I can listen twice as much as I talk. If you listen to everything the person’s saying, you can get a feel for that and be able to create something special.”
He also sees things that most would miss, like unearthing treasure. For example, he turned a lamp into a one-of-a-kind riser stand. “I took the whole lamp apart and I was left with just this beautiful base and I’m able to put flowers on top of that. Nobody has that. Only I have that,” says Peter. “I can see things and know that I can pull all the different parts together and make something. I believe that every bride should be different. I want every bride to have something different, so we never open a book and say, ‘Oh, do you want something that looks like that?’ We never do that.”
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