I met with Jo and her loverly Family to capture a few images of them at her picking patch about a week ago, we talked about weddings and floristry, I learn loads! We went over what we recommended, where we liked to work and what we think is important on the day! – You can see Jo’s work on her Instagram!
I loved my wedding bouquet created by each guest haha it was epic.
I’ve always been artistic and enjoyed creating things whether it be with my sewing machine, a paint palette or glue gun and my parents growing up were keen gardeners, grew their own veg and spent heaps of time creating our childhood garden from scratch, but Floristry is something I discovered later on in life. I worked within the NHS in varying frontline roles for 11 years and decided I wanted to focus on something a little less traumatic, look after my own mental health and do something where I could work it around my young family. I did a wreath making course for fun one Christmas and fell in love with it, I suppose you could say that creating flowers, planting them then watching them grow, seeing the joy on faces when I deliver a bouquet, or the happy tears when I create farewell flowers to celebrate a life has been therapeutic for me since leaving the NHS. I love to still be involved in life’s milestones such as Birth, Marriages and Farewells, but now I feel I can create colour, happiness to mark them and make a difference that way.
I suggest to my couples about having a few extra flowers in the morning, so I can accent their wedding details, they work so nicely to help frame or work as natural lead in lines. Can you suggest the single best thing a bride and groom can do to help provide them with the best flowers possible?
Research your season. If you want the best flowers possible then don’t expect peonies in December or daffodils in July! It comes as a shock to most couples that certain flowers aren’t readily available all year and this can lead to disappointment. Some flowers are available to be shipped out of season but they are often not ‘ready’ to bloom, smaller in size and will not create that magazine style bouquet a lot of brides are after.
Do most couples let you have creative freedom when crafting your floral arrangements? Or do you prefer it if you have a brief to work towards?
Couples always come to be with an idea of colour palettes, designs and often a ‘theme’ they may want to steer towards- but the most important thing you can do is really think about your venue. The flowers need to suit both your personality and also the venue you have chosen- this helps to really make them ‘pop’ and stand out during the day. For example, if you were marrying at a luxury hotel venue with traditional round tables and plenty or ornate vases and staircases – I wouldn’t suggest a rustic farmyard style bouquet tied with hessian and heaps of seedheads and twine. A brief is helpful but I love it when brides say “I trust you – go mad” and that gives me the freedom to suggest things slightly more alternative like Floral pillars, dried flower arrangements, hanging chandeliers and things that maybe they haven’t thought of.
If you had creative freedom over a wedding what would you suggest or steer your couples towards?
My style of floristry is very natural, unstructured and wild, I love bits of grass poking through, I love designs to look as though they have just grown from the ground, rather than regimentally placed I formation. Flower meadow aisle designs are my ‘go to’ and they can totally transform a small chapel, or the blank canvas of a top table.
Wedding can be a big investment, and I was definitely ill educated in the cost of something when I first entered the industry, If someone was budget limited what would you suggest they focus they funds toward, and what choices can they make to best influence this?
If budget is smaller don’t worry, beautiful florals are still achievable. Its important to be honest with couples and I will always be open if their expectations exceed their budget. Choosing foliage rather than florals for table designs can be more cost effective, some premium roses can be pricey and for same budget greenery garlands and large rich foliage bouquets could be created. Also choosing what florals you have. Most brides love having a bouquet and gives you something to hold walking down the aisle, and have in couple photos – but re- think if your 3 aunties and cousins actually need a buttonhole? That often wilts, gets taken off through the day or doesn’t go with the dress they’ve chosen anyway.
Flowers are very seasonal, some are only around for a few weeks of the year, especially with our ever changing climate, On your website you say that you love to use English hedgerow as an inspiration, using home grown varieties from your own cutting plot, but Is there a colour pallet, tone or specific flower that you love to work with or one you really dislike?
Autumn is my favourite time of year, I LOVE the rusty tones of the changing leaves, burgundies, mustards, browns and yellows. Just because summer is over it doesn’t mean colour has to be as well. Seed heads are great to use in designs, sometimes spraying them gold or metallic tones to add some richness to bouquets. Id have to say that my least favourite flower to work with is a Gerbera (I know a lot of you will think I’m swearing) I find them hard make look natural within designs and they just remind me of petrol station flowers .
We all have somewhere we would love to work at, or aspire to go too, I would love to photograph a wedding at Old Royal Naval College, What’s venue do you get excited about decorating the most?
Ooooooh hard question! I have my first wedding at Hever Castle this year and I am very excited! I love the fact I get to visit so many beautiful and alternative venues and woodland style wild venues excite me but I wouldt rule anything out – boats, castles, zoo’s, space – I’m there !
I love to share with my couples previous weddings, this allows them to see how I photograph a whole day. Doing so provides them with an idea of what their images will look like, guiding couples who are unsure on what they want, or what’s most important to them.
How do you guide or inspire couples who are hesitant or unsure what they want from you?
I tend to guide couples with the season they are marrying in but also the colour tones of things like bridesmaid’s dresses or table centres and go from there After booking and thrashing out ideas at a meeting either in person or on zoom I always create my couples a mood board so they can see my ideas put together.
Thanks Jo, from Eliza Rose Artisan Florist for spending a moment of her time and inviting me down to her picking patch!
Check out her amazing work and support an amazing family here!