Ok. So this is my first time ever creating a blog, I thought it was going to be so simple, just adding a new page to the website and twittering on for a bit - talking a lot seems to be a bit of a forte of mine - but that was SO definitely not the case!! There was so many layouts to choose from, sign up options, view counter and a whole host of other complex things to navigate, BEFORE I even started to figure out what my topic of chat was going to be. So, please please, bear with me!
I thought I would start a blog to keep people updated with weekly life at The Countryside Florist. I already update Facebook as often as I can with photos of our beautiful weddings, and I tend to waffle on a bit on there anyway, so I thought this was maybe a good way to give people even more detail and even a chance to learn something new about us, and how we work and what we do.
I imagine this first blog will be a bit of a mess, bit of an unorganised jumble until I get into the swing of things, and find my groove! For the topic this week, I thought I would combine a bit of background info about us, and then finish off with what I do best - wedding flowers!
I guess an introduction is usually the way to go for a "first meeting", which is what many of you may be doing when you read this, meeting us for the first time, as you may - hopefully - have stumbled across this blog on your trips around the World Wide Web. So I'm Rebecca, and along with my lovely Mam Linda, we make up The Countryside Florist - Wedding and Events Floral Studio. On paper, I am the florist, the owner, the manager and all round boss, and Linda is the "go-fer". In reality, I am the florist, the owner and the manager, but Linda does so much more than just run around after me. Linda is the 24/7 support for me, the breath of fresh air and even the comedian when the 18th working hour has struck and I am nearing the end of my rope. She is the top "greener upper" and Prep Queen, setting the stage for me to do my thing and flower until my heart's content. The one word I would use to describe my Mother and colleague, is "selfless" - which is a beautiful trait to have.
I first embarked on a Floristry career back in 2010, when I was 17 years old and struggling to find the enthusiasm for my A Levels. I yearned for a career which was creative, I hated the thought of being stuck behind a desk all day. In absolute desperation, I stumbled across an article about an NVQ Floristry Course which had just started at the local college. Something really clicked inside me, and I begged them to let me start the course, despite it having started a few weeks earlier. Thankfully they allowed me to start, and I am so happy to say I have never looked back. I worked my backside off day and night to get all of the coursework done, worked in a couple of local flower shops for my work's experience, and gained all of the necessary experience to complete my course, one whole year early. I qualified in the October of 2011, and by the November of the very same year, my very own flower shop was OPEN!
I started very small, and worked incredibly hard to build my business to what it is today. We have had a shop move into a premises which I actually own, and have had a complete re-brand and change of direction since 2011. For nearly 7 years we operated as a retail flower shop, doing everything from birthday bouquets to plants, funerals to weddings. At the beginning of this year, we started to realise that we had grown into something unrecognisable. It was both thrilling and scary that I now owned a business which was as successful as it is. Linda and I talked for hours and hours about our flowery future, and we came to the decision that the best way forwards for ourselves, was to change direction, and focus on what we really really love - weddings. I will always remember, and we often laugh, about a conversation Mam and I had when I first opened. She said to me "do you think you will do weddings then?" to which I replied "maybe, I don't know if there will be much of a market." HA! My naive 18 year old self had no idea that 7 years late she would have over 400 weddings under her belt and another 100+ on the books!
Thankfully, I aren't so "green" and naive now, weddings are my true strength and speciality. I am constantly amazed by the reputation we have now got - I still grin when someone says "oh yes I've heard of you, people say you are amazing!" But I never take that for granted. Every single wedding has to be just as amazing as the last, making sure everything is of the highest quality, and something to be proud of. I truly believe that the moment you don't get butterflies when you hear those compliments, is the moment you should hang your boots up. Passion is what drives me. Passion and sheer determination to succeed and make my family proud, so hearing kind words only add fuel to that passion, and I am so thankful to have a career that I adore as much as I do...not everyone is so lucky!
In our new role as a Wedding and Events Floral Studio, we still operate from the very same High Street premises, we just aren't open to the public every day, we work on an appointment basis. We undertake weddings of all shapes and styles, no matter the distance, and our "Wedding Enquiry Form" has proven to be so helpful for our clients to get in touch with us about flowers for their big day, as it means I get all of the info I need to check our availability, and it really speeds up the enquiry process! We still create beautiful floral funeral tributes, and do this on an appointment basis at the studio or as a home visit. The peak times are sorted too, we will be offering flowers at Christmas, Mother's Day and Valentine's Day, on a pre-order basis.
Yes so that is definitely a rambling blog! The word count says I am at nearly 5800 characters already, and it is even clever enough to say that it should take a reader 5 minutes to read - bet you have just checked your watch ;) I think I will stop with the life story there, and wrap things up with some beautiful wedding photos!
Sam came to see me with her lovely Mum months and months ago, to talk to me about flowers for her big day at the amazing Ormesby Hall. She wanted crisp white and ivory flowers, with an abundance of mixed greenery, in a relaxed and informal style. The marquee was to be full of breath-taking blooms, in high and low glass vases, which worked so well as it gave different depths and interest on the eye.
For Sam's bridal bouquet I used white roses, with lisianthus, silver scenecio, eucalyptus, gypsophelia and so much more. It was so stunningly beautiful, and it was "only white"! It really shows that even the simplest colour scheme can be WOW.
In the venue, we used blousy white hydrangea for massive impact, along with a mix of the other flowers from her bouquet. Lots of trailing greenery really made the arrangements sing.
It was amazing to arrive at the venue on a beautiful day, to see the one and only, fantastic Samantha from Sheer Elegance, decorating the chairs and tables in the marquee, to her usual impeccable standard. Samantha provided a stunning wisteria and chiffon backdrop for behind the top table, which really provided a focal piece, and worked so well with the fresh centrepieces.
I'd like to thank Emily from Silverbird Photography (www.silverbirdphotograpy.com) for the amazing images from the big day. It is so nice to see everything come together so well, and to see our bride and groom look so blissfully happy just shows a job well done on all of our parts!
So here we have it, our first ever blog, clocking in at just under 8600 characters. I think that is good even in my limited experience! Thank you so much for persevering with this ramble, and reading all about us and what we do. I hope to see you back here soon for another - shorter - instalment! If you like what you see here, please head over to Facebook and like our page, like a few of our photos and even comment on some to tell us which are your faves! It really helps us and our social media presence if you get involved :)
For now, here are the beautiful photos from Sam's big day (including one of my amateur bouquet shots at the very beginning!)
And of course, if you would like to chat to me about flowers for your wedding day, please head over to our enquiry page and fill out the form, and I will be in touch asap!
Thanks so much!