Another Wednesday, another installation from my blog series ‘Behind the Brand’. This week I’m delighted to be introducing Amanda of Amanda Jane Flowers. I’m a huge fan of Amanda’s work, her approach, her attitude, and not to mention she’s absolutely lovely and someone you’d definitely want as part of your wedding team. Amanda has been kind enough to share her insights and professional advice and allow us to get to know her and her company that little bit more…
- Tell us a little bit about yourself and your company
I’m Amanda and the founder of Amanda Jane Flowers. We’ve been creating incredible florals for weddings and events since 2016.
I’ve not always been a florist, having worked in banking for over 16 years, and before that I was lucky enough to train and work as a professional dancer. After deciding flowers where in my future I made sure that I’ve trained with some of the best before my leap into the world of floristry with the thoroughly beautiful Laura @ferncottagefloristry , the one and only Georgia @thesussexflowerschool and of course not forgetting the utterly talented Joe Massie @josephmassie
I’m all about creating beauty through nature – so I don’t tend to follow rules. Just beautiful lines and beautiful shapes! And more importantly the inspiration from my wonderful clients. However quality design is at the core to my business. My team and I love to create modern seasonal arrangements using the very best seasonal foliage and blooms. Where possible we aim to use the very best British floral products, supporting the British cut flower growers to ensure that your arrangements exceed expectations in design, scent and quality.
My studio is on the Surrey/Sussex boarders and myself and the flowers are often found all over London, my home town.
Why did I come to floristry? Well I’ve always been interested in flowers even as a child. When I married my husband in 2010 I even created the tablescape for our wedding breakfast in flowers, this was way before I knew what my future career would be. I love the movement in them, and the way they change and develop. I find flowers to be utterly magical.
2. What do weddings mean to you?
Joy – because what’s the point if we don’t find joy in our day to day lives? The biggest satisfaction I can have through flowers is seeing the joy they can bring to people – you can see it on their faces. From a bride who holds her bouquet for the first time and you see that moment of expectation on her face of a future adventure that she is about embark on with the love of life, to that moment a family member is pinning on a buttonhole or corsage and breathing in the scent of the flowers before a wedding. It’s all joy, and flowers do that.
3. As a professional in your field what are your 5 top tips regarding your craft?
- BUDGET – its can be a difficult conversation for couples to have with vendors but is a must early on in the planning process with all wedding vendors. Be open and honest – it doesn’t do anyone any good if you’re looking at a proposal for £5000 when your true budget is £500. If you love flowers and want a grand installation plan to spend more on flowers and less elsewhere. Don’t forget to account for charges such as setup and breakdown – staff are needed for these and need to be paid for.
- SHOW – use tools such as Pinterest and Instagram to get an idea and feel for how you would like your flowers to look. Communicating what you would like and be open to modifications and substitutions. Remember your floral designer is not there to replicate – we can’t practically as nature grows each flower individually, plus a floral designer is an artist in their own right with their own style.
- RESEARCH – get to know your floral designers style and the type of work they produce and does this fit with your vision for your wedding. It sounds really obvious but sometimes we do get requests for work that is just not in keeping with our own style, and whilst we always want to help our couples it might not get you the result that you want to achieve.
- LIAISE with other vendors – if you are not employing a planner then you will need to speak to other vendors if you want them to work together. Of course we will all work together as much as we can but we do need you in this part of the process. If you are wishing to have a free-standing flower arch at your ceremony place will your venue allow it? and more importantly will they give your floral designer enough time to construct this for you?
- Be OPEN minded about flower types and colours – There are some flowers that just can’t happen like fresh British Peonies at Christmas! It can be very disheartening for a couple to be told no, so take a look at what flowers are available and in season on your wedding date. It will give you an idea of what your floral designer will be able to source for you at the right time of year for your wedding. And colour is never exact. Many of the photographs of flowers that you see on Instagram and Pinterest and even print magazines can be misleading, as photographers will make adjustments (as they are also artists) to skin tones and lighting which can affect and adjust flower colours – I’ve been given many pinterest pictures of flowers in colour shades that simply do not exist in real life.
4. What are couple’s main questions and concerns when they book you?
Cost of flowers and our availability. I always ask all my couples to complete a questionnaire before we sit down to talk. This is a really helpful guide as it gives me a better understanding of what my couple feels that they need and if my team and I have the capacity to deliver their wedding flowers depending on the complexity and location. I have had a lot of couples who enquire about flowers and this is the first time they have ever bought fully designed arrangements and it can be daunting. To take some of that worry and pressure off I am currently curating a ready to buy collection of flowers which couples can select to buy direct from my website. These flower collections will still be beautifully designed in our signature style but will not require a team of florists to install on site for you and will give couples more flower for their budget. With this option, couples simply choose what they need such as a Bridal Bouquet and Buttonholes and table arrangements. They are then picked up at the studio the day of or day before the wedding.
5. What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Oh my so many it’s hard to choose! But I think my highlights are always the couples I work with and their families reactions to the flowers we dress the most important day of their lives with. Sometimes people don’t realise the impact that the flowers can have and the memories that they can evoke.
One of the most beautiful requests I have had so far is to recreate a wedding bouquet for a lady by her family on her diamond wedding anniversary. Sadly this lady had lost her husband a few years ago and she struggled with her memory. But that moment when she was given her bouquet and she smelt the Sweet Peas within, it brought her so much comfort and happy memories. This for me is a much bigger highlight than any grand installation or press that we have achieved.
6. What would you love to see more in the wedding industry?
Couples doing what they truly want on their big day. Don’t get me wrong I love seeing traditions and trends being interpreted by couples but only if it is meaningful to them. So if you’re a couple and your idea of a wedding reception is a big fancy affair in a destination hotel then let’s do it. But equally if you want a barbeque and a fire pit to sit round, then please do that. Do what makes your soul sing as a couple and not what you think you should do. And of course flowers, lots of gorgeous scented flowers everywhere!
7. 5 things you’re loving in life at the moment?
- My wonder rescue dog Lucy
- TRX and HIIT workouts (I’m a big gym bunny)
- Open fires in country pubs
- having my nail done (low season for wedding flowers so I can enjoy having pretty nails)
- Planning this year’s weekend away adventures with my friends
A huge thanks to Amanda at Amanda Jane Flowers for sharing her wisdom. Connect and Follow Amanda;
Facebook : @amandajaneflowersltd