Meet Shelley, owner of Wine Country Floral Design and graduate of London’s Fanshawe College School of Design and Niagara College's Floral Design program. Shelley has previously worked as a freelance artist and graphic designer and her custom designs, whether classic or contemporary, include only the freshest flowers in a style that is perfect for you and your wedding.
How long have you been a floral designer and what drew you to the profession in the first place?
I have been a floral designer for seven years. What drew me to it was my passion for flowers, colour and design. Every couple and wedding are different, so there are always new challenges to meet.
What is your favourite part about designing wedding flowers?
My favourite part about it is working with all the flowers. I love it when my studio is filled with bucket after bucket of gorgeous colour, and scent. Then I loose myself in putting it all together. You know that you are in the right profession when you are working and not aware of time....hours and hours go by, but it feels like just a couple. When the job is completed, bride's flowers delivered, venue set-up, there is a huge feeling of satisfaction.
What advice can you give brides seeking a wedding florist? Is there anything they should know before their initial consultation?
My advice to brides seeking a wedding florist is to look at all of the options before you decide. Talk to friends, family and even your wedding venue. I love it when my brides send people they know my way. It tells me that I have done a good job. Before the initial consultation, I like to make sure that the bride has her dress, and has decided on her colours and look. In the past I have done consultations to early in the planning stages only to find out later that everything has changed. Because of the influence of Pintrest, the multitude of wedding blogs and magazines out there, I can understand that its difficult to decide.
For the consultation, I like to see photos of the dresses, fabric swatches and any photos of what they like, so I can get a feel for their style.
DIY is a huge trend right now, especially with flowers. What advice would you give a bride considering taking this route?
DIY weddings are popular because of budget restrictions, because couples want to add their own personal touches to their wedding and express themselves creatively. My advice to them would be, that whatever they are doing make sure that it can be done well ahead of time. Nobody wants any last minute stress. Hire professionals for the bouquets and boutonnieres...you want them to be as fresh as possible. They are also more costly and difficult to assemble then you may think.
Most brides are aware of the typical places they will need floral pieces (bouquet, centrepiece, altar, etc.), do you have any suggestions for some other spots that brides should remember to decorate?
It always looks great when the head table is decorated as well. I like to make use of the brides and bridesmaid bouquets. Have vases with water in them, to put them in when not in use on the head table or other areas through out the room. Other areas would be the cake or sweets table, signing table, the entrance to the venue with wreaths or the re-use of the ceremony pieces. And of course, a vase or two in the washrooms always adds a special touch.
Simple white or ivory satin has been a bouquet wrap staple for a long time, but what are some stylish alternatives?
White and ivory bouquet ribbon wraps are the traditional, but I like to wrap the bouquet in ribbon that is the same colour as the flowers for a unified look. Rustic is a strong trend now, so I have been doing a lot of burlap/twine wraps. Just recently I wrapped a brides bouquet in a piece of vintage lace that belonged to the brides grandmother. Vintage pins, brooches, keys, mini frames with photos of family....jewellery that belonged to family members that have passed. Going with the woodsy trend right now would be to wrap the bouquet with a piece of sheet birch bark. Hanging ribbon is making a strong comeback because of the trend towards cascading style bouquets.
When it comes to flowers, how can a bride get the most 'bang for her buck'?
To get the most for your money, re-purpose the ceremony flowers to use for the reception. Use rental vases instead of purchasing them. Most florist have these, as well there are business that provide this service. Use local and in-season flowers.
What floral trends do you think we’ll see a lot of in 2015 and beyond?
We are really moving away from tradition. Couples are choosing to marry at wineries, art galleries, museums, even airport hangars. I think that the large, unstructured, wild bouquets that we are just starting to see this year will be hot in 2015, with a mixed flower just picked from the garden look. This looks great with the boho bride theme. At the New York Bridal Fashion Week show for 2015, the designers were showcasing colour in wedding dresses, again moving away from the traditional white, ivory and cream. Other looks featured were again the boho bride, vintage 1930's and 1960's, Greek goddess, clean minimalistic silhouettes, sleeves, off-the shoulder styles, floral crowns, textured lace dresses, and in contrast to that light, airy gowns.