All In The Family

LAUREN _ NICK (436 of 915)Oh, the perks of having a florist in the family! Jade’s brother Nick got married earlier this year and Jade took on the florals and styling for their beachy-boho Crescent Head wedding. It was the most rewarding, but most stressful wedding we’ve been involved in for a while and we thought we’d share some thoughts with you, straight from Jade. 

Nick and Loz really wanted a fairly casual affair, with a beach ceremony and a a surf-club reception. They had their hearts set on beautiful Crescent Head – it’s a perfect, picturesque spot, but it did create a lot of logistical challenges I had to overcome. We ended up with a ute, a trailer and a few other cars, all loaded up with props, vases, flowers, foliage and anything else we thought we might need. For a Newcastle or Hunter Valley wedding we do a lot of the prep work in the day or two before in our Carrington studio, but because this was a family wedding we were heading up earlier in the week, so everything had to be done on-site. That meant making sure I had everything I could possibly need – all those little florist tools I take for granted: tape, ribbon, wires, cutters… things that I take for granted in the studio!

There was also getting used to working out of a new space – a laundry and a garage in this case, without all the benches, sinks and open space that I’m used to. It was challenging but lots of fun to be out of my comfort zone and seeing how that affected what I could come up with – a bit like cookouts while camping, but with flowers!

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The best part? Being able to throw out budgets and briefs and get really creative. Nick and Loz gave me a very basic outline and left me to it, and while I had to keep an eye on flower costs, we had access to everything in our amazing hire gallery, and made use of it to create a ceremony and reception that was bright, beachy and unique. The JMF team had to go a week without the vintage writing table they use as a computer desk, but even they agree it was worth it! I loved being able to try things that we don’t often do for weddings, like combining tropical foliages with natives and using driftwood, burnt banksias and other unusual materials. It was an opportunity to really play, which I love.

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The day itself was a completely different experience to one of our typical weddings. Usually we deliver the personal flowers to the bride (and groom, often), so we do get to see their faces when they receive their flowers, but we’re in and out in less than half an hour, so it is a quick interaction, usually while they’re getting their hair or make-up done, thinking about fifteen different things! Then we head on to the venue, where we’ve set up and gone well before the first guest arrives. Any feedback we get from our couples about their ceremony and reception flowers is usually a while afterwards, by email, when the emotion of the day has worn off and they find a moment to get in touch.

Don’t get me wrong – we absolutely love that (especially when the feedback is good!) but it’s a completely different experience being present for the whole day and seeing everyone’s spontaneous reactions to the flowers and styling. I’m not one for being the centre of attention and having guests know I was responsible for the flowers and styling and commenting on them during the speeches and in conversation was quite overwhelming, but in the most lovely way!

It was also quite emotional to see our flowers in use over the course of the day. We never see brides walk down the aisle with our bouquets but it was a gorgeous reminder of how much of a difference the right flowers can make to a ceremony and a reception, and gave me a new perspective on how people interact with our creations.

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Another perk for Nick and Loz having a wedding professional in the family is that when it came to their other vendors, I could make sure they chose wisely. They booked two of my favourite vendors – Dea from Little Black Bow Photography and Sam from Silent Shout Entertainment. I’ve known Dea and Sam for ages and we’ve often worked on weddings together but because we’re in and out before the fun begins I’ve rarely had the opportunity to see them in action – we’re usually ships passing in the night, involved in different parts of the day, saying a quick hello and not much more. This was completely different. I got to see them at work, and we had some wonderful conversations in their downtime.

On a personal level, I loved having chats with my brother and hearing his excitement, getting to hear Lauren’s non-official vows and seeing how amazing the venue looked during the night – all lit up and buzzing with the vibrant atmosphere of everyone having fun.
It was such an amazing night, and reminded me of why I’m in this business and have been for over a decade – weddings are magical!

All images: Little Black Bow Photography

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