Whether it is creating stunning tablescapes, billowing archways or artfully unstructured garden bouquets – florals are a huge part of any wedding day style.
From destination elopements, micro weddings on mountaintops or luxurious vineyard weddings, when it comes to creating that floral magic for your dreamy day, where do you start? To talk us through the process we caught up with a long time Waiheke Island favourite, passionate floral lover and owner of Wedding & Event Floral business Wildflower, Zoë tells us all about the design process when planning the floral elements of your event, upcoming trends for weddings and of course The Wildflower School, run by business partner and Wildflower Founder Vicki Roycroft.
We just know you will fall in love with Wildflower’s romanced floral celebrations.
Tell us about your process, how long do you spend on a wedding? From the first meeting to designing and finally bringing it all to life.
Far more time than people think! We always start with a consult and from there put together a detailed quote and a mood board, from there we do all the behind the scenes work calculating stem counts for each arrangement and plan out the logistics and run sheets for the days leading up to adn day of the wedding. On the day we like to have as much work prepped and finished already so we can work on final details, deliver the bridal party flowers and set up at the venue with as little stress as possible.
The consultation, emails, planning, ordering, quoting and mood boards can take 5 – 10+ hours per wedding and then the prep in the studio the days before the wedding… unpacking flowers, stripping and sorting blooms which can take 5 – 7 hours alone, prepping vases, making bouquets, vase arrangements, prep for ceremony flowers, candles etc. usually takes 2 – 3 staff about 16 – 24 hours. Loading everything into the van on the day of can take over an hour and set up can be 6 + hours then we have to come back to the workroom and clean buckets and tidy our workspace followed by a trip back to the venue the next morning to pick up vases and candles and pull down installations. That’s for one wedding and we have 60 over the season, it’s very busy! So I’d say on average each wedding is around 50 – 60 hours of labour
What trends are you expecting to see this season?
Definitely seeing more of the beautiful cottage garden style coming through from Europe and the more floral heavy styles. I’m not a big fan of the dried flowers or greenery heavy arrangements myself so I’m really excited for this season!
Where do you draw your creative inspiration from?
Usually, travel but covid has most definitely halted that! Otherwise, just Pinterest and Instagram. I usually look at Australian or European weddings and I also follow a lot of wedding stylists. For me, I truly believe that you have to have those beautiful smaller details, like linens, candles and place cards to really make the space, and the flowers look incredible.
What advice would you give to wedding parties when choosing their wedding flowers?
Firstly I would say, hire someone whose work you love the look of and trust them. We’re creatives, the less restrictions we have the more fun we get to have and the more spectacular the flowers will be- I can assure you of that!
In terms of choosing your flowers for the wedding, be open to ideas and let your florist know the feeling or the vibe you want to create along with a colour palette. Give them a couple of reference images that give you those butterfly feelings and let them do their thing! If you’re feeling particularly trusting, ask if they have any ideas they’ve been wanting to try out for fun and see what they’ve been hiding up their sleeve waiting for the right client to ask them!
How did the story of Wildflower begin?
Wildflower was established over 20 years ago by Vicki Roycroft who still runs The Wildflower School, she was still working as a teacher and like most florists, she did some flowers for a friend and because there were no other florists on Waiheke, word caught on! Over the years Wildflower became the leading wedding and events florist on the island and about 5 years ago Vicki decided to combine her years of self-taught floral experience and her years of being a school teacher to create a course teaching people how to become wedding florists. I signed up for the course in 2017 and after the course ended I couldn’t get enough. I spent the next several years attending workshops around the country and going overseas to the workshops we held overseas. Vicki really became like a second mum to me (I call her my Flower Mother) and when she mentioned off-hand one afternoon when we were having tea that she was thinking of retiring soon and selling the business, I didn’t think much of it other than I hoped whoever bought it liked me enough to keep hiring me through the summer. A few days later I mentioned what Vicki had said to my dad over dinner and he just turned to me and said “Zoë, why don’t you buy it? You’ve travelled the world to go to flower workshops, I don’t see you doing any couch selling workshops. Clearly this is where your passion lies” (at that time I was working part-time in a homeware store) and he wasn’t wrong. So I did! Vicki and I did a handover season and now I run the Weddings and Events portion of the business while she runs the workshops and I help out with lessons when needed.
What is your favourite type of flower? Why is it your favourite?
Oh goodness, I imagine this is like trying to pick a favourite child! I think garden roses will always have to be my favourite, specifically the David Austen ‘Evelyn’ rose which is my grandmother’s name and it has a particularly beautiful scent and lovely peachy pink tone. However, I am rather fond of anemones and hydrangeas.
Can you tell us more about The Wildflower School? It sounds amazing.
Of course! We run a 3-5 week course twice a year for people wanting to learn about flowers, whether you want to work as a freelancer, start your own business, or just something for fun. We have a whole bunch of info about it on our website under ‘The Wildflower School’ tab along with shorter workshops that we have coming up too. The course includes a trip to our local flower farm, learning about the language of flowers, how to make different styles of bouquets with different techniques, vase arrangements, installations, you get hands-on experience on real weddings and learn how to price your arrangements along with behind the scenes business things.
We are excited to have Wildflower Waiheke as part of our exclusive Wild Hearts Vendor Collection. Check out more of Wildflower’s romantic florals on our Directory here and follow Wildflower Waiheke on Instagram here.
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