Wedding flower tips from the experts at Floral Centric.
Where did the passion start and how did it get you to where you are today?
Michelle: "I fell into floristry after having Ainsley and was looking for a new career. We were living in Christchurch at the time and started watching a lot of home and away and it really got me inspired to move closer to the beach. We relocated to Tauranga and that’s where my floristry journey began. My father has a beautiful garden down in Queenstown, so I guess you could say appreciation for flowers run in the family."
Ainsley: "My career was inspired by being around mum and when I decided to move to the UK floristry felt like a natural pathway."
Michelle: "Floristry is more than just flowers, it's the relationship to fashion, design and blending elements of the natural surroundings."
How do you draw from each others experience to create final products
Ainsley: "We do both have similar tastes which work seamlessly together. I have experience in overseas markets and large scale installations and mum has great technical experience."
Michelle: "I have been doing this a very long time, but you're constantly evolving in floristry by working with various people and understanding how they work. Everyone has a different way of creating the final product."
Ainsley: "There’s a huge amount of thought that goes into weddings & events. If you are working with installations or hanging pieces you have to try and figure out how to make the flowers last longer or suspend in certain ways."
Describe your style - where does the inspiration come from?
Michelle: "It’s a love of really beautiful things; well made clothes, furniture, naturally made soap. Our favoured flowers are the same, we find the beauty in how flowers work together. We love working with flowers in a natural way and building on how they would normally fall within nature. We look for great compositions and it’s always exciting for us to create something that’s unexpected - pairing florals with fruits or two completely opposing flowers you would never see in an everyday arrangement."
"Being a florist is much like being a designer. You have to take into consideration lines, forms and colour gradations while considering how each flower works."
Ainsley: "We love delicate, simple florals - we never strive for perfection and we always say that arrangements look better uneven. We love movement and focusing on the element of form. The beauty is in how it all comes together."
How do you blend your own visions with couples you work with?
"Most people getting married have never had to choose flowers for a wedding before. It’s important for us to guide our couples and explore a range of options outside of the norm. People often have a vision derived from what they have seen from other weddings but we always want to strive towards a bespoke approach and creating something unique to each couple - this is what keeps us passionate about floristry."
What’s your creative process from initial consultation to final product?
"Once a couple has contacted us we get them to send us any inspiration, likes & dislikes. We then send over a price list and meet with them in person to get a better understanding of what they are looking for and how we can integrate florals with their wedding venue and the bridal party colour palette."
"We always create a mood board to help narrow down the creative direction. It's important for us to bring in both our taste and the couples style. We make sure we are in communication throughout the entire process and then are ready to set up for the big day."
What's been your favourite project to work on and why?
Ainsley: "When I was in London I got to work in the event’s floristry space, which gave me the opportunity to be a part of huge installations. A favourite for me was working closely with a hotel in London called the Ned. We would get up at 5am to decorate the hotel with various arrangements depending on the season & general atmosphere of the hotel. It’s not your everyday hotel you see in New Zealand so it was amazing to be able to experience new tastes and boutique designs. They hosted a jungle inspired event that brought in 100 florists to set up to cover the facade of the building in greenery & hang garlands that went from floor to ceiling. It’s not something you see everyday here - no one has budgets that permit such a huge one off event."
Michelle: "All of my most memorable weddings have been detail focused. I love creating a floral story that transitions throughout the entire venue."
If you had free rein and unlimited budget on a project describe what this would encompass?
Michelle: "Every year New Zealand flowers have little pop up events around the city. I have always wanted to draw inspiration from Melbourne and cover Auckland’s pink bridge with flowers. Not only to create something unique but to also connect the wider community with flowers."
Ainsley: "I always loved Chelsea flower week in London and would love for Auckland to create a similar space for florists to be able to that essence here."
What's your greatest failure and what did you learn from it?
"In floristry, there’s always unpredictable moments. You have to be incredibly adaptable in those times, especially when you're trying to create something you have never tried before."
"What you can take from failures is learning to be prepared - taking extra flowers, or extra vases and not getting too caught up in what might not be possible. Everything always comes together beautifully in the end and our collective experience is always helpful."
What advice would you give a couple looking to bring in flowers for their big day?
Michelle: I" would always advise the couple to not be influenced too heavily by people around them. Use the flowers that mean something to you and your partner and be open to the ideas that the florists suggest. More often than not giving the florists free rein of any ideas will provide an outcome far superior than you could of ever dreamed of."
"Weddings nowadays are completely different to what they used to be. People had small budgets 25 years ago, limiting options to a few bouquets. Whereas now there are so many more options we can explore and incorporate into a wedding."
Would you give a recommended budget for flowers?
"We work with all budgets and it’s all dependent on what people are comfortable with. You need to be realistic with the amount of time that goes into prepping a wedding. However anything is possible and we love to work collectively on the process with the couple. For us a creative and cost proposal helps to narrow down the vision with what we can execute within budget."