Flowerart … the art of flowers

I’ve worked with the lovely Michele at Flowerart on a number of weddings over the past couple of years. Over a recent cup of coffee, I thought it would be a good idea to quiz Michele about her knowledge of floristry, current trends and just have a good natter! Whilst I was there, I took some images of Michele, her shop and her flowers … and so thought it would be a great idea to try to illustrate some of Michele’s responses and basically just to show you her beautiful flowers!!!

“Wild flowers in mason jars … what are your thoughts?”

Michele’s answer was swift and sure so I knew that I’d hit a good conversation starter! Michele’s main concern about the current trend for wildflowers in mason jars is the sense of scale. As a florist with many years of experience, she has learned how to judge and accommodate displays of all sizes, whether it is a table for two or a table for ten. Wildlowers may have a shorter life and not survive the rigours of a wedding day if not treated properly. Also, certain flowers work better together and, using the concept of the colour wheel, it is a knowledge of design that really helps a table decoration to come to life and not just be something which people talk across!

“Why do we have flowers at weddings?”

“Traditionally, brides didn’t have confetti at weddings and flower petals were thrown as the original version! Each flower has a meaning and are very symbolic, such as a daisy for pure love and innocence and a red rose for true love!”

Michele had just taken a delivery of some beautiful roses – although to my untrained eye, they looked very similar, to Michele’s experienced eye, they were completely different!

How do you see wedding trends for the coming year?

Vintage is still incredibly popular, says Michele and bright colours, reflecting a “back to the 80’s” feel. However, when adopting a bold colour scheme, it really is worthwhile getting advice from a professional. Michele’s shop is based at Brogdale near Faversham, right in the heart of the National Fruit Collection. Michele takes inspiration from nature and sources as many of her products locally and as seasonally as possible as the quality is far higher although she is able to source out of season flowers … at a price.

Michele terms what she does as being a “wedding specialist”, and she says that each wedding is individual and unique – she is happy to give advice and to translate what the bride sees in her mind’s eye into something tangible. She has come across brides who have been to other florists who have said that their ideas were impossible to create but Michele is confident and embraces each and every challenge!

One size fits all?

Not really, said Michele. She takes into account the style and level of detail on the bride’s dress and advises accordingly. In her opinion, for example, a hand tied bouquet would suit a ruched dress far better and you also have to be careful with the kind of flowers and foliage too – you would hate for a dress to get snagged on something in a bouquet. Michele takes details of the heights and sizes of bridesmaids in order to visualise what the photographs would look like – something I hadn’t really taken into account as a photographer but something which will certainly stick in my mind from now on.

Are there really alternatives to a fresh flower bouquet?

Absolutely but it can sometimes be an expensive option. Freeze dried roses and orchids are beautiful … but pricy. Michele also would not really recommend using dried flowers as the colours can appear quite washed out. However, coming from Faversham, the use of hops in displays for autumn weddings are incredibly popular and also as circlets for bridesmaids. Corn can be incorporated into bouquets but can be spiky and there is a danger that the dress material may get snagged.

Gifts for the mother of the bride and groom … what can you offer?

Michele had a variety of ideas for longer lasting gifts. A bouquet is beautiful and striking but perhaps something like a hydrangea, which can be replanted, or a rose with a special name, maybe even that of the bride, could also be a lovely and different option. Orchids are always very popular too.

What is gratifying about visiting Flowerart is the huge array of thank you cards and the obvious attention to detail that Michele brings to each and every order. Not only wedding flowers, and celebration flowers but sympathy flowers too. Having used Michele’s services many times myself, I can vouch for the quality and beautiful designs that are created by Michele and her team.

As with so many people, Michele has a dislike of having her photograph taken, but we strolled out into the orchards so that she could illustrate to me her inspiration. And I snapped her …

Michele would recommend booking your florist as soon as you have your venue booked as she only accepts one wedding booking per day. The final decision as to colour scheme and design can be made later but certain dates will always get booked up quickly. Michele and her team are on hand to help with buttonholes, dressing tables, cars and cakes … really the complete service! So if you are looking for flowers which are beautifully designed with a passion that is evident, do contact Michele and her team at Flowerart. The contact details are 01795 539759 – between 10am and 5pm (Tue – Sun) and 07930 909441 – up to 9pm in the evening (Mon – Sat). I’m looking forward to working with Michele again very soon!

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