Anyone who read my 'Sharing The Love For UK Wedding Blogs' feature yesterday will know that one of the things I love most about Blogging, is connecting with so many creative people. One of these fabulously creative people I've had the good fortune of connecting with recently is Simone Pickering – more commonly known as 'Miss Pickering' to those in the know
Miss Pickering, owner of a floral emporium in Stamford. Specialising in wedding flowers with personality…
"I have always loved flowers, their colour, shapes, and particularly their scent. It wasn't a career I had ever actually thought of, creative subjects not high on the agenda at an all girl's boarding school. After a career in food, fashion and medical sales, I took some time out to live in France and find myself. Looking back, I was ridiculously pretentious, I tried my hand at photography, painting, you name it i did it, whilst eating baguettes. On my return to London, there was a vacancy at my local florist in Notting Hill. Initially, I started answering the telephones…..the rest as they say is history…"
Vintage Wedding Flowers – All Images Copyright (c) 2010, Miss Pickering
What area do you cover/do you deliver nationwide?…"We predominantly cover the East Midlands, but we will travel anywhere in the world if a bride simply can't get married without our flowers. We also offer a nationwide delivery service for gift bouquets and have sent bridal bouquets as far away as Scotland."
What is the typical Miss Pickering experience?…"The first consultation is held at the shop, an eclectic mix of chairs are pulled up to our rather vivid turquoise table, and we start with laying out all the ideas the couple have got, along with dress fabrics, invitations, menus, anything that gives me an idea of what the couple are envisaging their day to be. Then we turn to our images of previous work, to fill heir heads with more ideas, flowers are plucked form the table and bouquets and table-centres are improvised.
Then with spinning heads, we fine tune it to 3 ideas, which are then quoted for. After that, each Bride is very different, some we won't see until a few weeks before their day, and others we see a lot of, whether it is helping with the choice of bridesmaids dresses, colour of marquee carpet, or table linen. Then on the day, we install everything, deliver bridal flowers, and the following day collect any hired props and vases."
Can you describe a little about your bridal/wedding service in more detail? What type of service/s do you offer? …"We can offer as much or as little as brides require, whether it is all the flowers, prop hire or just the bridal bouquet. In September we will be holding wedding flower classes, so that brides can learn how to make bouquets and buttonholes. Even if they don't make them themselves on the day, it will give them a better understanding of flowers, and who doesn't want to be let loose in a flower shop with cake?"
What are your favourite varieties to work with?…"I am fickle, one day it will be roses, the day after a humble sweet william. There is always something at market that takes your breath away. However I will never be a fan of gerbera."
As I was chatting to my Husband this morning (he has exceptionally green fingers!) he was asking me about fragrance – do you find fragrance plays a big role at all in a Bride's choice of flowers for her wedding day, or is it all about presentation?…"Fragrance is so important, and unfortunately flowers are grown for longevity and length rather than scent nowadays. We always encourage Brides to have a scented bouquet, scent in the church and at the table. Whether it is the addition of rosemary or mint, or a few stems of freesia – a much maligned flower, but the double variety is beautiful and smells divine."
Do you see any trends emerging in wedding flowers for 2010?…"I think the trend is no trend. Brides are stamping their own personality on their wedding, and this is extending to the flowers. One day we are filling silver bowls with roses, the next jam jars with dahlias. We have an emphasis on "vintage" but this is a term becoming vastly overused. For us it means relaxed, a nod to informality, eclectic, and scented."
Are you able to offer a service for the bride looking for an environmentally friendly/purely organic collection of flowers?..."We are very fortunate to be located in the heart of the English flower business, flowers are grown and cut to our specific requirements. Organic flowers are very few and far between, which makes it very hard for a bride to be selective on her colours etc. The best combination are local flowers, garden foliage and some Dutch flowers."
Any words of wisdom for our readers?
♥ Don't be afraid of flowers, or florists. Planning a wedding is often the first time couples have to really think about flowers ~ we understand! We didn't know the names of anything before we started either, and to be perfectly honest we still don't. Florists are human too.
♥ Do not have your wedding bouquet preserved and framed in a wooden box, that will get dusty, instead have your photographer take a photograph of it.
♥ Flowers can be used in so many ways, and can be versatile, pew ends can become chair backs, bridesmaids bouquets cake toppers, try and get as much use out of them as possible.
♥ Things have changed a lot since your parents got married……..
♥ The bridal bouquet is the most important thing, it must complement your dress, and doesn't have to match everything else. nobody wants to look like they walked down the aisle carrying a table-centre.
♥ Choose a florist whose shop and work makes your heart sing. If you want contorted Cala Lillies and steelgrass with diamante pins, I am not your girl, but i will happily recommend other florists that will do that for you with great passion and vigour. Likewise if your heart is set on bonne maman jars filled with garden roses and herbs, don't go to a florist who has a shop filled with birds of paradise.
♥ A small vase on the top table to hold your bouquet will ensure it still looks fresh for the tossing photographs. do throw it, all your single friends secretly want to catch it, and it will be little use to you on your honeymoon in the maldives.
♥ Flowers can be attached to pretty much anything, bags, shoes, heads, dogs…
♥ Flowers aren't just for the wedding, a messy updo with a fresh rose pinned in looks beautiful on the day, for a hen night, drinking cocktails. I often wear an Alice-band with a few flowers attached during the day.
♥ I love the fact that we have a shop, we are surrounded by flowers all the time, and often we will buy something for the shop, that turns out to be perfect for a wedding.
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Enjoy your Saturday all ~ I'm just off to pick some fresh flowers from the garden ;) Oh, and be sure to check out Miss Pickering's Blog – it's a fabulous read, and features an absolutely gorgeous golden hound too!