As part of my connection with 'Absolutely Beautiful Weddings', I am thrilled to be bringing you a series of interviews with all those designers involved in this exciting project, the inaugural event for which will be held at Claridges in London, on Sunday 28 March 2010 (click here for further details).

My first interview focuses on an area I've not written about yet on Love My Dress; flowers. 

Back in 2005, a long established London based Florist, 'William Hayford Ltd', took on a new employee – a Florist.  Her name was Joanna Rhodes.   Within two
years, Joanna was practically running the business, and Mr Hayford confided in
her that he hoped to retire and sell the family business. After much
deliberation with her family, Joanna and her two Sisters Amy and Laura, proposed taking
over the Company and transforming it into what is now 'Hayford &
Rhodes
'.

"Mr Hayford was hugely relived that the business would continue
to run as a family affair which it has been since 1924.  The takeover
was a mammoth task and an operational nightmare. Thankfully, after
three years of extremely hard work, it seems to be paying off!" {Laura Rhodes}

Sisters are doing it for themselves…
All Imagery Copyright (c) 2010, Hayford & Rhodes

Hayford & Rhodes ~ Three Sisters and Their Passion for Flowers... (Weddings ) 

"We have all been very creative from an early age and eventually each
graduated with an Arts Degree, so I guess the passion for colour and
design started at an early age. The idea to learn floristry was
initially formulated by Amy and Jo whilst on a double deck bus in 2005!
They made a pact to quit their jobs and risk a more creative career in
floristry instead. It was a huge gamble as they both scarified
successful careers to initially work as junior florists…not for the
faint hearted!

It was enormously hard at the outset to work with each other as we
had no idea what we were each capable off. We obviously had some blow
outs as sisters do, but thankfully we are extremely close and genuinely
great friends. We now recognise each others strengths and fortunately
our roles within the company compliment these. I am responsible for PR
& Marketing, Amy heads up Sales and Joanna basically runs the show.
I am always in complete awe of the huge amount of work Joanna manages
and Amy is a networking guru!! I look after all the geeky stuff like
the website!"

Hayford & Rhodes ~ Three Sisters and Their Passion for Flowers... (Weddings )

What can a Bride/Groom to be expect at a typical Hayford and Rhodes pre-wedding appointment? 
"We
invite all our brides to come to our Head Office for a wedding
consultation.  Our newly-completed wedding showroom is the perfect
setting for us to discuss designs and ideas.  It is really important
for us to meet the bride in order to fully understand her style and
requirements and we spend around an hour talking through the flowers
that are in season and the different design possibilities.  We always
find it helpful if brides bring along images of their dress, the
bridesmaid dresses, the venue and pictures of any flowers they like
etc.  We work to any budget and all our designs are priced by the cost
of the stem."

What beautiful examples of a wedding bouquet…

Hayford & Rhodes ~ Three Sisters and Their Passion for Flowers... (Weddings ) 

What’s your unique selling point?
"I
think our appeal basically stems from the fact we are all young (well
30ish!) women with experience of organising weddings and know what a
nightmare it can become. We understand how much it means to Brides to
achieve their dream day, so we always go the extra mile to ensure the
flowers and our service are nothing short of perfect.  Officially our
unique selling point is that we currently hold the title of 'Retail
Florist of the Year' which we are extremely proud of and is testament
to the level of service our team offers. However on a more informal
note, I think we are genuinely nice people and our clients enjoy
working with us. We love working with brides and get a real buzz
contributing to their big day."

Do you supply locally only, or nationwide?
"Our
wedding clientele has gone threw the roof thanks to amazing support
from wedding publications and word of mouth. We are now asked to
provide wedding flowers all over the UK, which we love to do, but the
delivery charge will always be greater than those held in London."

Hayford & Rhodes ~ Three Sisters and Their Passion for Flowers... (Weddings ) Hayford & Rhodes ~ Three Sisters and Their Passion for Flowers... (Weddings )

What type of services do you offer?
"After
the
initial consultation, we create a bespoke and extremely detailed
quote for each of our brides (for a price guide, click here to download
the Hayford & Rhodes Wedding Brochure ~ PDF file).  We work
alongside our Brides every step
of the way and are always on hand to provide any extra advice or
guidance.  Sometimes brides find it reassuring to see a mock-up of
their table-centres before the wedding and we are more than happy to
arrange this.  We also have an extensive range of trusted suppliers so
we are able to help brides organise the other aspects of their wedding
and ensure all the different elements work together."

Hayford & Rhodes ~ Three Sisters and Their Passion for Flowers... (Weddings ) 

Where do you source your flowers from, and why?
"Our
flowers are sourced both directly from Holland also from New Covent
Garden Market in London to ensure our customers get the freshest
flowers and the widest choice."

What are your favourite varieties to work with?
"Our
team regularly battle it out over the best varieties to work with
because we all have our favourites! I love Peonies, Joanna loves Lily
of the Valley and Amy is big fan of Anemones. On a practical level
Roses are wonderful to work with and offer such diverse scent and
colour all year round."

Does fragrance play a big role at all in a brides choice of flowers for her wedding day, or is it all about presentation? 
"Fragrance
adds another gorgeous element to your wedding flowers and that scent
will always evoke such wonderful memories of your happy day. 
Beautifully scented flowers include Lily of the Valley, Tuberose,
Stock, Hyacinths, Freesia, Muscari and Lilac.  However, we would advise
caution regarding the use of scented flowers in table-centres because
scent can interfere with the taste of the food."

Hayford & Rhodes ~ Three Sisters and Their Passion for Flowers... (Weddings )

Hayford & Rhodes ~ Three Sisters and Their Passion for Flowers... (Weddings )

Are you able to offer a service for the bride looking for an environmentally friendly/purely organic collection of flowers?
"We
currently don’t advertise the fact that we can offer this service, but
if a brides wishes to use flowers that are organic or home grown or
fair trade we will always work with suppliers that can meet their
request. We love to support UK growers and always buy from them given
the opportunity."

Hayford & Rhodes ~ Three Sisters and Their Passion for Flowers... (Weddings )

Do you see any trends emerging in wedding flowers/bouquets for 2010?
"A
big trend has been towards bouquets of just one flower type to create a
very sophisticated and elegant look.  Wired bouquets are also becoming
increasingly popular again but the design of the dress often determines
the best style of bouquet.  We have also noticed a move away from a
rigged, contrived look towards looser designs with more foliage and
texture."

Hayford & Rhodes ~ Three Sisters and Their Passion for Flowers... (Weddings )

Are you exhibiting anywhere in the next 12 months?
♥   'Absolutely Beautiful Weddings', Claridges, 28 March 2010
♥   The Designer Wedding Show, 8-10 October 2010
Hayford & Rhodes ~ Three Sisters and Their Passion for Flowers... (Weddings )

What are your plans for the future?
"2009
was an incredibly tough year for businesses large and small and it
certainly knocked our confidence a little! We are focusing our energy
this year on improving our current services rather than expanding. Our
reputation for delivering excellence is what draws new customers to us
and we don’t intend to change this in a hurry! Beyond this we plan to
run the business as a successful family affair for many years to
come…who knows maybe our children will inherit it one day!"

Hayford & Rhodes ~ Three Sisters and Their Passion for Flowers... (Weddings ) Hayford & Rhodes ~ Three Sisters and Their Passion for Flowers... (Weddings ) 

And if all that wasn't enough to convince or reassure you, read this…

"A favourite at Vogue, Hayford & Rhodes flowers are a necessity for any special event"
Emily Zak, Vogue Magazine January 2010

“Hayford
and Rhodes are one of my top wedding tips in London for all you brides
to be – not only do they have fabulous fresh blooms, but their designs
are creative and classy. Not to mention what a lovely bunch of ladies
they are too.”

Nessa Wrafter – TV Presenter, Wedding TV

"Hayford
and Rhodes have their own very distinctive floral style: always
feminine, pretty and on trend. I would recommend every bride to have a
chat with them, they have lots of fabulous ideas to make magical
wedding flowers.
"
Vanessa Gore, Receptions Style Editor, You and Your Wedding Magazine

You can also check out the impressive Press and News section on the Hayford & Rhodes website…

Hayford & Rhodes ~ Three Sisters and Their Passion for Flowers... (Weddings )

Thank you so much to Laura, Amy and Joanna for sharing these beautiful photographs and taking the time out of their very busy schedules to speak to Love My Dress.  I'm really excited about meeting you in March at Claridges and being able to swoon over your wonderful floral displays for real! Hayford & Rhodes ~ Three Sisters and Their Passion for Flowers... (Weddings )

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Hayford & Rhodes ~ Three Sisters and Their Passion for Flowers... (Weddings )

Annabel/

Annabel is the founder of Love My Dress. She lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, two daughters Eska and Leanora and three dogs. If she's not being a Blog Queen or practicing her photography, you'll find her fighting her way through a renovation dust cloud as she and her family transform their forever-home.

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9 thoughts on Hayford & Rhodes ~ Three Sisters and Their Passion for Flowers…

  1. Lovely flowers! Wish I can also arrange beautiful flowers like that. I want to learn how to arrange flowers cause it so interesting. Anyway, I enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for sharing!
    -pia-

  2. Wow, this three sisters have done great thing together. I can say their floral arrangements are beautifully done, the color combination are perfect. No wonder they’re doing good.

  3. They made my wedding bouquet! They are truly incredible, I had made button stems to go into my bouquet and button holes and they really made me feel like I was part of the process of creating the flowers, can’t recommend them enough! :O)

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