Bespoke Wedding Flowers

An interview with Stems of Southwater –  Bespoke Wedding Flowers 

I love meeting suppliers, particularly when there is so much to learn about a craft. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Kate from Stems of Southwater, a local florist who has a real passion for creating bespoke wedding flowers for each of her clients. I really enjoyed chatting over a coffee and getting an insight into wedding floristry and the art behind it.

So who is Kate and what does she do? 

Kate trained in Knightsbridge and opened her first shop near Brighton. Looking to expand her business she decided to look for somewhere a little closer to home and in 2015 bought Stems, where the business has gone from strength to strength. As well as her love for flowers the shop sells a fabulous range of hand-picked products, perfect for gifts and home styling that you won’t find on the high-street. (Kate’s Christmas Shop was amazing by the way)

What happens if a bride and groom have a particular flower in mind?

Using very seasonal flowers such as tulips and peonies can be tricky as they are only available for a limited time. If a bride and groom have their hearts set on a particular flower then it’s worth checking exactly when they are in season to see if they will work around your chosen date. Once I have gained an insight into the overall look a bride and groom are trying to create, I can make lots of suggestions and hand-pick flowers which will best suit their theme. It is also worth pointing out that our international friends, particularly those in Russia, have a huge influence on the flower market and the prices and availability we see in the UK. If something is on trend there, the availability here may be limited and the price may be higher than usual.

What style of Bouquet is proving to be popular for 2017?

The trend is certainly bigger this year but not necessarily trailing in style. Brides are enjoying a fuller and wider bouquet design with an emphasis on foliage. It’s equally important that the style of the bouquet compliments the cut and shape of the bride’s dress and the flow of the skirt. Another thing for brides to think about is how they want to hold their bouquet.

I love the look of a Flower Crown for the bride and bridesmaids, would you recommend these?

Yes, they compliment so many looks, especially the country outdoor wedding. Whilst you only need a small amount of flowers the cost is in the crafting of the crown, as each flower has to be wired individually. This is something to factor in if you are having lots of bridesmaids and flower girls who all need a flower crown.

What about Buttonholes for the gents?

The bunch effect tied with twine is now a popular option and a great opportunity to introduce more greenery and foliage. I really love to add texture to a buttonhole by introducing something like a thistle or feather.

This takes me onto venue decoration, what are we seeing trending this year?

This year we are seeing hanging decorations and statement pieces with a focus on lots of greenery and fewer flowers. Whilst the cost can initially be higher, having a ‘wow’ piece means that you don’t need extra decoration on the tables.

Example of barn table decorations Photo by Sarah Williams Photography

How about choosing the right table flowers?

Table decorations need to be low enough to see over or high enough to see under and every guest should have an equally good view. It is possible to have a mixture of both as long as it’s in the right place. Whilst high arrangements give you a great impact when entering a room, once guests sit down to eat it is nice to give them smaller arrangements on the table to provide them with a lower level reference point and details they can admire.

Finally Kate, what would be your top tips when thinking about wedding flowers?

  • Always use your flowers twice where possible.
  • Spend money on flowers which will make the most impact – your flowers are likely to be in most of your wedding photographs!
  • Have a contingency for all outdoor flowers so they can be used inside if the weather isn’t kind to you.
  • Look for a florist who will add texture, have experience in great placement for your flowers and one who has a keen eye for detail.

If you would like further information on Kate’s services please visit her website

Blog post interviewPhoto by Sarah Williams Photography

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