A florist - from the heart

I can, without hesitation, say that everyone that does floral design loves what they do.  To you, we are simple florists but we view ourselves as being creative artists working with flowers instead of paints.   No matter how many floral arrangements we have done,  each time we choose a vase, decide which flowers we are going to use in the arrangement,  we pour a little bit of our heart and souls into the artistry.  We continually strive to be better, to stretch our abilities and imagination.  We know we need to be on the cutting edge of fashion and trends and deliver work of a high standard in a fast growing and competitive wedding industry.

We enjoy learning from each other and admiring each other's work.  We get together, we have tea, we laugh together, we share experiences.  We are not afraid to ask for advice or even how to tackle a project.  We each have our unique style and each one is special.  South Africa can stand tall within the wedding industry as we set a very high standard alongside the most magnificent scenery/venues in the world.

Established floral designers can no longer hide behind gypsophila as our work is splashed across social media.  We strive to have our work featured on blogs and magazines.   Our work is out there for everyone to see.  We would all agree exposure is either by word of mouth or FB and blogs.   I am quite confident that by the time a bride-to-be contacts me she has some idea of my general style and the work I do.

Everyone should have a budget.  I find it particularly scary when I am told by a bride that they have no idea what the budget for flowers should be.  We all have a kind of subconscious radar of what we can and cannot afford.   I know when I walk into a shoe store  I am always drawn to shoes that, when I turn them over,  has a price tag far too high.  I have no option but to put the shoes back on the rack and look for a pair that has a price tag better suited to my budget. 

I believe that every girl deserves the day of her dreams.  I work within all budgets.  If you are transparent and let me know what you can afford I will try and style and create something that will be pretty and wear the right price tag.   However, if you come to me and show me pictures of huge full arrangements consisting of peonies, hydrangeas, orchids and roses and you wish me to create these for you with a totally unrealistic budget I am not able to do so. I always use this analogy -  visit your local Woolworths, pick up a packet of roses (there are usually 10 in the bunch), look at the price.  Now, look at the arrangement of flowers you see on Pinterest and count as many of the roses as you can.  This should give you some idea of cost.  There are also numerous posts on the internet regarding what percentage of your overall wedding budget you should have for your flowers.   Remember that you have to factor in transportation and set-up fees.

As much as we all love what we do and don’t even see working with flowers as a job a lot goes into a simple flower arrangement for a wedding.  Usually, these simple flower arrangements are x 10, x 12, x 20 or even x 50.  We have to source the flowers, accurately work out how many stems each arrangement will require, collect the flowers (and this has to be timed perfectly so that your roses are not too closed or not too open on your wedding day).  We need to ensure that we have sufficient oasis and the correct materials for our arrangements, we use flower food and flower and foliage sprays to protect the flowers in heat, we drive from place to place collecting the most suitable flowers and greenery.  It is not a one stop shop.  When flowers have been collected we need to start treating them with tender, loving care immediately.  We fill buckets and buckets with water, strip off the leaves, cut the stems so the flowers can drink and In the case of, for example hydrangeas, we need to handle with particular care which requires boiling kettles, plunging into cold water and so on.  A lot of behind the scenes work that needs to take place before we even begin the arrangements.  We can’t do it all alone.   Please remember our life is on line as our reputation goes out with each bowl of flowers and we cannot afford to have roses with brown edges etc.  Our work is our business card.

I  do not want to bore you with details but I do want you to appreciate the work that goes into what, may appear to be, a simple flower arrangement.  Spare a thought for us too as when arrangements have been completed we have to pack them into a truck to transport to your venue.  Very, very nerve wracking. 

So, what is the point of all this?  Please just take a little time to appreciate what we do.  Try and understand the hard work that goes into it all.  Trust us and give us the flexibility to buy what we feel is the best quality flowers at the market to create your flower arrangements.  We are not trying to fleece you as we are all (mostly) people just like you , working hard so we can pay our bills at the end of the month.  Most of us are not making millions and many of us have actually done florals for weddings where we have made no money at all.   Such is our passion for our job.  We want our floral work to be perfect, beautiful, to exceed your expectations, to amaze your guests, to photograph superbly and to be a joyous WOW moment on your special day.

I invest a lot of time getting to know each couple that entrust their flowers and décor to Bright and Beautiful.  It is important to me that what we style and conceptualise is a reflection of who you are.  I don’t want to copy another wedding that has been featured on a blog because I want your wedding to belong to you.  Be confident, be true to yourself and choose what you feel comfortable with.   Be upfront about what you can afford to spend on flowers and give your florist a chance to come up with something that suits your budget.  You may be surprised.    Please give us the opportunity to chat to you about your wedding, show and explain various options that you may have not considered. 

All of us find it difficult to give quotations via e-mail sent to us with loads and loads of pictures attached.  I am quite prepared to spend time with you discussing your flowers and my initial consultation is free with no obligation.    I do this because I care.   We all care.   You are real people and I am a real person.  Meaningful flower arrangements cannot be individualised and styled via e-mail.

It means the world to me to have happy brides.  I always become teary when I deliver your bouquet and see you in your dress!  I feel like we have walked along a wonderful path together.  Today is the day!  Months of planning, sharing ideas and brain storming and the curtain is about to go up.  I want you to live happily ever after with the beautiful aroma of the flowers we have created forever in your memory.



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