Flowers are one of my absolute favourite parts of a wedding, so I’m always very excited to pick the brains of the talented florists we have working in the wedding industry! Today, Jade McIntosh of Jade McIntosh Flowers fills us in on what it’s like to create wedding florals, where she finds inspiration, what flowers she loves to work with and what’s on trend for weddings right now. I love that she’s not afraid to experiment and try new techniques, all while working closely with her couples to make beautiful bespoke arrangements for their special days.
How long have you been a florist?
Back in 1999 I bought a little retail florist in a busy boutique shopping strip of Newcastle.
Where are you based?
Newcastle, NSW. Just outside the Hunter Valley vineyards.
Can you tell us about all the services you offer?
Our mainstay has been event florals (mostly weddings) with basic styling, but last year we added a full styling business to the mix (White Roses Styling), so we now cover lighting and furniture, as well as tablescapes, ceremony and wedding party florals.
What do you love most about creating wedding florals?
Seeing the couple’s face when we open the bouquet box and present them with their flowers. So often I’m holding back emotional tears!
What are you favourite flowers to work with?
All the spring bulbs and dainty fragrant flowers. They have a special place in my heart, as my grandmother’s garden was full of such a variety of daphne, forget me nots, daffodils, crab apple blossom.
What about colours?
I’ve always been partial to vibrant colours, but endlessly falling in love with the classic freshness of white/green and the current trend of neutrals with dried/preserved foliages.
Best bouquet you’ve put together lately?
It would have to be for a 10 year vow renewal. Recreating an August wedding bouquet we’d created 10 years prior! Still classic and elegant and the style had not dated one bit!
Are you known for a particular style?
In the previous season, definitely very natural styles with an abundance of native foliages and flowers. Evolving is the key to staying fresh and maintaining a successful business, so I’d hate to be stuck with a label for one particular style!
With your bridal clients, is it best if they bring ideas to you?
To begin with, yes. This gives us a guide to what their likes/dislikes are and then we customise from there and bring in other elements of their style and of course season.
Are you ever allowed free reign? Is that harder or easier?
I love this! A few family/friends have set me loose with this (with them it is a lot harder because of the emotional ties).
Where do you find inspiration?
I need to escape into nature regularly, disconnecting from phone reception, this brings me back to earth and inspires my creativity. I love to travel too and while I’m away I’ll explore florists shops and flower markets and botanic gardens, And of course late nights of obsessive Pinterest researching.
Where do you source your flowers?
We have a buyer in Sydney flowers market, who has been especially good to us over the years. We’ll be communicating with him late at night or early mornings over our orders which hands down beats the travel and the generations of relationships he has behind him!
What trends are you noticing in wedding florals right now?
Lots of neutrals, reflexed roses with pastel dried palms, preserved foliages, little bunny tails and my favourite preserved and coloured amaranthus.
Trend you’d like to see make a comeback?
Honestly none of them. They all have had their time and fitted, we can’t go back! I only cringe when I think of most of them!
What do you love most about your job?
I love meeting couples, who are excited about getting married and show so much enthusiasm and respect for our work.
Image: Gez Xavier Mansfield
What goals do you have for 2020?
Now that we have a styling business too, we’re aiming to be involved in more aspects of a couples’ wedding, which means less events overall for us for the year, but greater design control and satisfaction in seeing the end picture.
Thank you Jade for sharing your story with us today! Your knowledge and enthusiasm is such an asset to the couples who work with you, and your florals are absolutely stunning to look at. So much time and effort obviously goes into these! To find out more about Jade McIntosh Flowers, head to their website or check them out on the Polka Dot Directory.
Headshot by The Serial Narrative