Good morning and happy Friday – typed whilst doing a little Friday dance! Today is a great one, the kids are just about to break up for the Easter holidays, it’s my birthday this weekend and we’re introducing an awesome new series, NTK – otherwise know as Need To Know.
We really are flooded with such incredible wedding talent here in NI and I for one love to scream about some of the real stand-out stars so today I’m kicking off with floral wisdom from the lovely and super hug-giver, Kim Davies from Victoriana Floral in Whitehead. We cover everything from realistic budgeting to her favourite wedding style. I hope you enjoy, are inspired and learn something new about wedding flowers. Have a great weekend and see you back here on Monday.
TP: In season flowers, should brides choose them, and are all flowers not readily available these days?
Kim: Most flowers are available all year round though they can vary in price depending on what’s in season. For example peonies are in season for a relatively short period of time from end of May for approx 6-8 weeks. They can start of costing as much as £8-15 per stem and drop during peak season to £1.50 per stem. I encourage my couples to use what’s in season at the time of their wedding as they can generally be locally sourced and will be better quality and may be slightly cheaper.
TP: Do you have an all time favourite flower?
Kim: My all time favourite flowers are sweet peas. I adore their scent and colour. They are relatively short lived – maybe only a few days but are so worth growing. There is nothing quite like a vase of sweet peas for perfume and cheerfulness and the fact the more you pick the more flowers they produce has to be a winner!!
TP: Floral style, do you have a style you will always return to?
Kim: My style I would say is unstructured and natural and is definitely the style I prefer. I am really fortunate that after four years I can choose which couples I work with and they tend to be those that love our style of design. I find it is best to let the flowers ‘do their thing’, they dictate how they are placed within an arrangement or bouquet and do not like to be made to face a certain way or be bent into a particular shape.
TP: What floral trends should we be looking out for this year?
Kim: Trends change regularly and are generally led by what’s happening in the fashion and interior design industries. This year sees a lot of greenery within floral design, a looser less contrived shape and very foliage heavy. 2018 is showing a move away from blush pinks and pastels to bolder stronger colours.
TP: Your floral must-have?
Kim: If I had to advise a couple of a must have for their floral design I would say go big and bold on one aspect. A statement arch, an epic top table hanging installation, some raised centrepieces. Something to create that wow factor!
TP: Where do your flowers come from?
Kim: During the months of May to September we source a lot of our flowers from our local grower- Cherry at Kilcoan gardens in Islandmagee. Cherry has a cottage garden of over six acres open to the public and well worth a visit! She supplies our shop with a vast array of unusual annuals, perennials and foliage throughout growing season and this makes our work stand out from the rest. We also grow a lot of sweet peas and other annuals in our own one acre garden in the country where we also hold our workshops and alternative hen parties.
TP: You recently started hen party floral workshops, I was very lucky to attend one, can you tell our readers a little about them?
Kim: At Ash Tree Farm – our country workshop – we run courses for complete beginners and experienced florists as well as alternative hen parties for Brides and their hens. We offer flower crown or arrangement workshops, using beautiful flowers and we can tailor the workshop to suit the party. We can cater for up to 20 and a fabulous afternoon tea is provided courtesy of Maggies Working Kitchen.
Kim’s Five Secret Floral Tips! 1. Trust your chosen florist, choose the designer whose work you love, ask to see samples of their past wedding work. 2. Be brave don't do what everyone else has done. 3. Choose something that works with and complements the overall theme of the day. 4. Pinterest is great for opening your mind to different styles of flowers but don't become it's slave. Use if for inspiration but put your own spin on what you see. No florist wants to create someone else's work, it's creatively stifling. 5. Choose flowers and scent that mean something to you - perhaps a herb or rose that reminds you of a childhood memory.
Kim: If you decide to choose Victoriana Floral for your wedding florals I will want to know the style of your dresses, body shape and height of Bride and Maids and their colouring. We can advise you on what’s going to look best with the dresses and suit everyone.
When couples contact me I generally arrange a phone or Skype call to check we are stylistically compatible, get a feel for what they are after and discuss initial ideas and then we arrange to meet. I would generally have one face to face meeting then send out ideas of pricing. Once they book I may have one further meeting prior to the wedding itself. Emails and phone calls are also ongoing during this period.
I offer package options for couples who want the overall look and feel of a Victoriana Floral style wedding but who do not have specific flower requests and are perhaps working to a tighter budget. Our bespoke options start at around £1900 and go up to in excess of £10000. A good rule of thumb is budget for a minimum of 10-30% of your overall budget depending on how important floral decor is to your overall look. Some people have said to me that they feel flowers are a waste of money because they die but I point out that you could say the same about the food! You eat it and then it’s gone, your flowers should last at least a week after the service where they will continue to give you pleasure. They appear in every photograph and can truly transform your venue to make it different to other weddings held there.
I do arrange to visit venues when it’s my first time there and it’s a bespoke service the couple have requested. It is useful to meet couples at the venue and discuss options as it helps to visualise with sketches what is possible. We travel all over Ireland from Donegal to Cork and have also provided florals in Scotland and England.
Huge thanks to Kim at Victoriana Floral for sharing her floral knowledge and inspiring us with her incredible work! To view more visit www.victorianafloral.com or call 028 9337 2519.