Camelia from Austen Flowers
Picture an empty room with exposed stone work walls, wooden floors and a large cable window. The first time I worked with Camelia was at a photoshoot at the Old Deanary in Ferns, Co. Wexford. She was let loose on this room for an hour and transformed it into wedding bliss. Delicate winter flowers on the table dressing and creeping vines along the walls to bring the surrounding nature into the room - that is talent. So where does Camelia draw her inspiration from and how does she go about finding the right combination for your wedding
Who is your bride?
Being based in the picturesque Wicklow countryside and with a background in horticulture, my floral style is natural, loose, organic, full of textural foliage and architectural twigs and other foraged finds, so my bride is a nature loving person, adventurous, stylish, travelled, hunts unusual floral designs and is not afraid to be ‘different’.
When do you feel most inspired?
The more quirky and unusual the brief, the more exiting the project becomes. Each wedding is approached as a blank canvas: we start with a mood board of images (not necessary of flowers) and develop a theme. The next step is choosing the perfect seasonal flowers for the designs (I insist on seasonal, both from an environmental and cost view).
I feel very lucky to work in an ever changing environment and the inspiration can come from the most unexpected places: the pattern of a scarf, the icing of a cake, the colours of a comic, and the texture of a feather…
How do you feel meeting a new bride to be?
The flowers are such a new and unknown subject for many of my brides. Our consultations are a flutter of ideas, images, mood boards, fresh flowers – we start from ‘I have a vague idea of what I want’ and finish with ‘I know that you will bring my vision to life’. My relation with most of my brides starts as a client and ends as a friend. The process of designing the wedding flowers involves a long conversation (in a virtual medium most of the time) that, by the time I deliver the bridal flowers, I fell that we have known each other for a lifetime.
What do you like to hear from a bride?
I’ll keep it simple: ‘I trust your artistic flair and I am happy to leave the whole creative process in your hands.’‘ Is there anything you can’t do?’ because the answer would be that, in floral terms, the impossible doesn’t exist (I just love a challenge!)
How did you find your calling?
I suppose I had a love of nature since I can remember. I use to spend my holidays with my Granny in the countryside and her love of gardening and outdoors was my greatest inspiration. From there followed a 5 year degree in Horticulture and a Masters in Plant Protection. After a short stint in my mother’s ‘Louise Austen Catering’ company in Wicklow and several experiences both with creative freelance floral designers and florist shops in Dublin and Wicklow, I established my creative venture, Austen Flowers, and, as they say, I never looked back.
Thank you Camelia for share insight into you passion. Check out Austen Flowers
Flowers are such a beautiful tradition for weddings. From a simple bouquet to a grand top table display. Are flowers top of your wedding list wants? Or are you overwhelmed with the choices and combinations out there. Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and see if we can help