A romantic collision of art and flowers, inspired the creation of Auckland based wedding florist Print and Petal. Always drawn to painting delicate flowers in every form, while studying Fine Arts many years ago. There was always something magical about this subject matter.
“I grew up on fairytales and have always seen florals as an extension of that. There is an undeniable magic about them that elevates every event. I’ve always felt like I’m being pulled between clean polished designs and maximalist ethereal complexity when it comes to creativity.”
Founder & Floral Designer Sarah shares the story behind this beautiful brand, her inspiration, workshops and very valuable advice for choosing your wedding flowers.
Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
I’m Sarah, the owner and florist at Print and Petal. I started P&P in 2015 when I was 23 and have been obsessed with it ever since. I decided early on to specialise in weddings because there is something so magical about the bridal industry. I got my degree in fine arts, as a painter, and flowers were always my subject matter. So I’ve always approached floristry as a crucial creative outlet, more so than just a business. I love every part of wedding floristry; bouquets, buttonholes, flower crowns, ceremony installations, table arrangements, the whole lot. I’m in love with big ceremony installations and bouquets currently, but my favourite things seem to change each season. P&P offers full floral styling services from the tiniest details. If my client wants it, I’ll do everything I can to make it happen.
Over time I had a few brides ask if I would consider running a workshop for their hens do’s. From there P&P workshops came about. I love teaching and sharing the love of flowers so this is something I was happy to find came naturally to me. It can be daunting standing in a room of 20 women and teaching them about something so dear to your heart but I have had nothing but great experiences traveling the North Island getting to do this.
How long have you been a florist?
I’ve been a florist since 2013. At first I simply wanted a job in a creative field to earn a living while I focused on my other creative pursuits. However the love I have for floristry hit me immediately. After my first day in a local shop I looked at my mum and told her “I think I was born to do this”. After that I went and studied it for a year to give myself the best possible introduction to the floral industry. Even then I hadn’t dreamt I’d be self employed. Now I can’t imagine not having the full creative control that P&P and my clients allow me to have.
How would you describe your style?
I’ve always considered my style to be whimsical, playful, and romantic. I grew up on fairytales and have always seen florals as an extension of that. There is an undeniable magic about them that elevates every event. I’ve always felt like I’m being pulled between clean polished designs and maximalist ethereal complexity when it comes to creativity. By centering myself to those three consistent things I can strike the balance I need to feel satisfied with my work.
Tell us a bit more about your Preserved Flower service?
It’s important to me that my brand is very wedding focused. I’ve had a lot of interesting requests over the years but as more brides started to ask about bouquet preserving I decided to really see if that was a service I could offer. A few years ago I had a line of retail items in my online store called Sun Catchers. These were pressed flowers between floating glass. As this was something I already had experience in I decided to give it a go with a few willing trial clients. We were thrilled with the results, creating huge statement framed floral pieces. The idea that brides love their flowers so much that they want to preserve them is so humbling and I’m thrilled to help them achieve this.
Any advice on choosing flowers/floral arrangements for couples getting married?
Every couple is so different and I believe a wedding should reflect that. I’m totally guilty of chasing the perfect aesthetic, but at the end of the day, more than anything else, your wedding should feel like you. Don’t jump on a trend for trends sake, do it because it makes you feel excited and speaks to your vision for the day.
It’s really important that you hire a florist that you trust. You can send us a million inspo photos, but at the end of the day, no one knows what’s showing up to auction until the day it’s there, which is usually only days out from your wedding. A good florist will have a thorough understanding of the overall vibe and style you are after and will bring it to life. We can usually guarantee a whole myriad of products, but sometimes we have to let mother nature do her thing. If you’re caught up on your arch having exactly 20 white roses, 10 blush peonies, and 30 pink snapdragons then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Just let your florist know that you want mostly white with blush and pink present, and discuss the type of blooms you like. For the most part, us florists love what we do, and we take a lot of pride in making magic happen with flowers so you’ll be in good hands.
Flowers can really set the tone of your event. For a well designed, cohesive wedding, try to have flowers at every location; where guests enter, the ceremony, the cocktail hour, the bar, reception, and the list could go on and on. That way there is a consistent visual element that carried across your day that people can look back on.
At the end of the day, when it comes to creativity there is no such thing as right or wrong. Only right or wrong for you. Plan your dream wedding flowers.
What floral trends do you think we will be seeing this year?
Colour is in! For the past few years we have seen a huge trend of solid white and/or blush colour blocking. We’re seeing a huge departure from this now which will carry on for the next few years. Flowers that haven’t been getting much attention are now popping up everywhere; Gerbera’s, Gladioli, Delphinium, Daisies, Cosmos, Anthuriums, and more. We’re seeing more compote and ikebana styles too which is super fun. Fruit amongst the flowers is making a big comeback after not being as present for a while too, which is fun to see. Though you do have to be careful about this.
I think that across the board in weddings, individuality is being celebrated and we’re seeing this in flowers by brides and florists alike throwing out the rule book. We’re having fun with it.
Do you have a favourite flower or floral combination and why?
I’ll always be a sucker for peonies. There’s something about them that is absolutely captivating to look at. In general, November is my favourite month for flowers. I love mixing up bold chunky blooms like peonies, roses, chrysanthemums, and carnations, with the delicate soft wispy spring blooms we see then, like sweetpea, orlaya, and lilac. One of my favourite things that flowers do, is that it can control your gaze. Placing certain flowers at certain heights and locations can help lead your guests’ eyes around the room right where you want them to be. By mixing up tones, textures, and scale we can create depth and dimension that the eye is more drawn to.
I feel like whenever you take one of the classics like roses, and combine it with a new and fun idea you’ll always have a good time.
What keeps you inspired?
Other florists and the gorgeous work they share online. I am constantly having my mind blown at the talent of the women I work amongst in this field. As someone who is competitive (as much as I deny it) I am constantly inspired to do better than I did yesterday. There is always something new to be done and with every wedding I try to outdo myself. I rely on media like Wild Hearts, and Together Journal, and social media like Pinterest and Instagram to see how the industry is developing outside of my little business bubble.
If you aren’t setting up florals for a wedding, where would we find you on a Saturday morning?
If I’m not up at the crack of dawn with a fistful of flowers, then I’m doing either of two things. Either lying in bed for as long as possible, basking in the morning sun, reading, with an iced coffee, cuddling my cat, Minnie. I affectionately call her my number one employee because she shadows me whenever I’m doing weddings in my home/studio.
Otherwise I’m up in Ruakaka on my sister’s dairy farm, playing with my niece and nephew with other visiting family members. We’re a very close bunch and when they aren’t giving me a hand with flowers we’re usually all hanging out together.
What’s coming up next for Print & Petal?
I’d love to find a way to stay creatively fulfilled when I’m not doing weddings. At the moment P&P is limited to wedding dates for the creative explosion. For the past few years it has felt very compartmentalised, trying to get through lockdowns and navigate the ever changing pricing of the industry, so when I haven’t been doing the weddings themselves I’ve been maintaining the business. I want to focus on growth more than maintenance now though.
When I started P&P I used to share more paintings, design projects, and other creative works that I did, such as sewing and styling. I would love to extend my wedding offerings further to include bespoke fabrics for napkins and runners, and a unique hire line for styling products that are hard to find for the common person. There’s still a lot for me to unpack with this idea but I’m excited by the possibilities.