When I was a junior reporter on OK! magazine, I was lucky enough to attend the wedding of Victoria and David Beckham. My role was to go round interviewing the key figures in the bridal industry who were responsible for putting together such a high profile wedding, one of the people I interviewed was floral designer, Simon Lycett, Since then, I have been fascinated with the amazing creativity of wedding florists. I recently caught up with Liz Inigo Jones of Blue Sky Flowers. We chatted amongst other things about her thoughts on the next wedding flower trends and her dream bouquets for all seasons.
Liz, welcome to Style & the Bride. When did you first launch Blue Sky Flowers?
This will be my 16th year!
Have you always been involved in floristry, what is your background?
After around 15 years of working in the magazine and publishing world, I decided to make a change and through one connection and another, a career in floristry called! It all started slowly but gradually word of mouth kicked in and now I’m busier every month.
Where is Blue Sky Flowers based?
I have a studio located within The New Covent Garden Flower Market and operate across London and the surrounding counties. A lot of new ideas and interesting styles come out of London based florists. so I feel I am right in the thick of it. Being on the Flower Market site also means that I have access to the freshest flowers every day and I have the added bonus of being able to show my brides around the market so we can both get inspired.
Would you say you have a signature look?
My style tends to be very soft and romantic with a luxurious edge – I like to use top quality flowers and have the freedom to create something that is truly beautiful above anything else. But I’m just as happy to work with a tight client brief and make sure they have what they want. My favourite flowers to work with are probably pale pink roses, white ranunculus and lilac hydrangea.
If you were to create your dream bouquet for a spring, summer, autumn and winter wedding, what would it be and why?
Maiden’s blush lilac, fragrant white garden roses and silvery grey foliage for spring; hot pink roses, purple and lilac sweet peas and crisp green foliage for summer; golden roses, rosehips and dark cotinus foliage for autumn and finally white roses and anenomes with fragrant Paperwhite narcissi for winter.
If a bride-to-be or groom chooses you as their wedding florist, how many times do you meet up to discuss their flower arrangements?
The answer is as many times as we need to! We will meet with potential brides or couples at their home, work or at our studio located within the New Covent Garden Flower Market– whatever is easiest for them. We can do a venue visit with them especially if it is somewhere new to us. Once the proposal has been done and agreed, we will of course do another flower market visit to choose the final seasonal flowers just before the wedding date.
If a bride to be hasn’t got any idea of what she wants when it comes to her flowers, how do you help her decide?
The most important thing a florist needs to do is to listen to what their client wants – not just what they like but more importantly what they don’t like or want on their wedding day. Find out what they have in mind, listen to them, talk about their ideal day and then guide them through what is available, what is best seasonally and then work to their budget. I encourage brides to come armed to my consultation with mood boards, magazine cuttings, scrapbooks, basically anything where they can visually show me what their floral vision is. Sometimes, brides have a clear idea of what they think they want from their wedding flowers, but when we ask them to start thinking about the time of year they are getting married, or the type of venue they have booked often, they can often change their mind.
What do you think the next big trends are when it comes to wedding flowers?
Metallic – especially Rose gold. Rose gold has been very popular this year for containers and hardware and will continue to be in 2016 – teamed with blush but also used as a warm highlight with pale blues and soft greys
Flower walls. There is often a place for a flower wall behind a ceremony space or framing the top table. What a great backdrop for a selfie station or photo booth? Why not go for a flowered frame to house your table plan?
Cascading bouquets. We still cannot get enough of oversized bouquets, wild natural or contemporary, they will be essential for lots of brides in 2016, even those who just want something to hide behind!
Ring corsages. You better put a ring on it (or whatever the song says!) – but who said it needs be traditional. Floral rings are the next thing after floral crowns, necklaces and brooches.
Do you like using British home grown flowers?
Yes, and I do whenever I can and it fits the brief but during the winter there is less choice and variety.
Do you try and use flowers in season?
Yes, all the time, it is best for the quality and value so a win win really!
Where do you find your inspiration from?
I get inspiration from all over. Instagram and Pinterest has made the world so much smaller … we can see ideas and designs from florists and designers the world over.
What’s next for Blue Sky Flowers?
More weddings, more parties, more events and more flowers – I’ve got some fabulous weddings booked for next year … lovely brides with gorgeous ideas at fabulous venues, what’s not to like?
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