Our second guest blogger this week is Sara from Forever Green Florists, we hope you enjoy her wonderful blog!
Forever Green Florists: floral tips, advice and no-no’s!
Flowers. Eek!! In my professional opinion, one of the more troublesome elements of preparing a wedding. Whether you’re completely lost when it comes to flowers, or you have that kind family friend who is a ‘flower arranger’ hobbyist, or maybe you are an avid fan and expert, there are potholes a plenty along the pathway to floral heaven. However, calm those palpitations, unfurrow that brow and read on. Here you can find out about mistakes that past brides have made so you don’t have to, along with a few essential pearls of wisdom from our expert in house florists at Forever Green. First up, Emma will give you some advice on choosing wedding flowers, followed by Sara who has some gems on sneaky money saving tips. Finally, Jamie, having recently been awarded the accolade of ‘Delivery Driver of the Year 2014’ at the British Florist Association (BFA) Industry Awards, is going to divulge some of his nominations based on real life stories of ‘what not to do on your wedding day’….!
Before we begin however, let us introduce ourselves properly. Meet ‘The Taylors’. Emma – Creative Director and sister in law of: Sara – Proprietor and wife of: Jamie – Deputy Head Delivery Driver and owner of: Hyatt the Golden Retriever – Head Delivery Driver and Customer Relations!! We all work together at Forever Green Florists in Moordown, Bournemouth. Despite having owned the shop for almost 5 years, our passion for stunning flowers, absolute perfection and customer happiness has not waned since we first opened our doors. Admittedly, back then they were tired looking doors in need of TLC and some fresh enthusiasm! But we brought more than that, transforming the shop into the busy, multi award winning, friendly establishment it is today. To say we love our job is an understatement. From the unusual to the classic and everything in between, every piece is a pleasure. If you haven’t seen rainbow roses, an owl made out of flowers or a golden retriever in reindeer antlers, you need to check out our FB page!!
Emma – How to choose your wedding flowers
Seasons: This is not as limiting as you may expect. Indeed, certain flowers are only available at certain times of year (daffodils, tulips, snowdrops etc), but the floral industry is developing to suit its customer’s needs. Growing seasons have extended and there is a huge array of colour and flower options out there. Working with the flowers of the season however, could well mean they are not only better value but better quality too. Best to speak to your florist on this one.
Pictures: The best way to convey the style you are trying to achieve is through images. This way you can be sure that you and your florist are on the same wavelength. BUT… be careful, there are pitfalls. Make sure the pictures that you have are of real flowers. Sounds simple but silk flowers are very convincing these days, but are not always attainable. Also, the flash can change the colour a flower appears to be. Cream roses appear paper white and surprisingly purple flowers appear blue! Watch out!
Colours: There are so many colours and combinations to choose from! The most important thing to remember is that flowers are a natural product – the precise shade is dependent on things like the acidity of the soil, seasonal availability and where they are grown. Don’t expect an exact match, it’s better to try and blend and have a palette of shades and tones instead.
Sara – Money Saving Tips
Recycle: Why not use your bridal and bridesmaid bouquets as head table arrangements? Just buy or rent some vases to put them in, fill them with water to stop them from falling over, and hey presto, beautiful flowers decorate your table while you eat, at little or no extra cost!
Use greenery: The most expensive part of any bouquet is the flowers themselves. Consider adding some textured foliage to bulk it out and create interest, whilst simultaneously keeping the price down.
Share the love: If your florist doesn’t stock the vases/candelabras/jars that you would really like, consider buying them online and then reselling them on bridal forums.
Eat jam! Love the vintage jam jar look?! Better start eating jam! For an eclectic shabby chic look save different shaped and sized jars to use on your big day. You can decorate them with twine, ribbon, lace, hessian etc and add a personal touch. They could even be given to guests as keepsakes afterwards too.
Jamie – What not to do on your wedding day!
What makes Jamie worthy of his aforementioned award? Simple. He stands out from the crowd, thinks outside the box and continually goes above and beyond expectations to ensure customers are happy. Here are some past scenarios for you to avoid!
Think like Santa and check it twice!
Wedding bliss may be a phrase commonly used to describe a bride and groom, but the lead up to the wedding day is often a little less smooth! One bride forgot to order a buttonhole for a central member of the wedding party. To avoid a family row and hurt feelings, Jamie pretended that there was an extra one in the van. He then proceeded to rearrange the head table piece so one rose could be taken out, he formed it into a buttonhole, found a spare pin and managed to calm the situation and resolve the problem without the family realising anything was wrong!! The bride was very grateful! Make sure you have a list of everyone who you will be providing a buttonhole or thank you flowers for.
Treat them like a baby!
If you ever have to drop flowers, you don’t want it to be on your wedding day. Unfortunately for one bride, she accidentally knocked her beautiful rose and lily shower bouquet face first onto the floor. Jamie took control of the situation, calmed the bride, rearranged his delivery schedule and rushed the bouquet back to the shop at top (but safe!) speed for some pronto recovery action. Flowers can be delicate, do be careful no matter how excited you are!
If doing flowers yourself, have a practice, buy extras and think ahead! The latest ‘save the day’ that Jamie had to do, was when another bride, in a bid to save money, decided to provide her own martini vases filled with her own stones. The only problem was, that when the big day arrived, there were not enough stones for our flower arrangements to sit on top of; they just floated in the air and looked really awful. Jamie used his initiative. No sundry supplier was open to buy more stones, so he came up with a cunning plan where he used some clear cellophane (bought from a kind nearby florist – our shop was quite far away) to bulk out the stones and make it look full. He spent over 1.5 hours redesigning and sorting out the bride’s miscalculation, and wouldn’t leave until it looked perfect, despite it not really being his job. What a hero! He didn’t just think outside the box, he thought outside the box the box itself came in!
The BFA’s National Industry Awards celebrate a range of inspiring companies and individuals who work tirelessly to further their business and/or the floral industry, so well done to Jamie on his well-deserved accolade! In his own words, “making a difference, one flower delivery at a time!”
So, there you have it. A few pointers to get you started. We always offer free one on one consultations so if you ever have any questions or need some floral inspiration, you’d be most welcome to get in touch.
Floral love, Emma, Sara, Jamie and Hyatt xxxx
All photos taken by Forever Green Florists and permission for use granted.
BFA Industry Awards information – held in conjunction with Fleurex – a weekend event of demonstrations, master classes and exhibitors, all to do with the world of flowers. The ceremony took place on Saturday 25th October at the Chesford Grange Hotel in Warwick, and saw over a hundred people attend the BFA Gala Dinner and Industry Awards ceremony. The event was a glittering affair where 8 top notch flower industry gems were congratulated on their excellence, along with Level 4 and 5 high achieving floristry students. http://www.britishfloristassociation.org/BFA_Industry_Awards.aspx
Forever Green Florists
825 Wimborne Rd
01202 532 664