The Wedding Collective; Chupi & Friends; In Conversation with Heather
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The Wedding Collective; Chupi & Friends; In Conversation with Heather Condren


The Wedding Collective; Chupi & Friends; In Conversation with Heather Condren

By Zoe Le Belleguy,
Fri, Jun 07, 2024

Tags: Educational Wedding

Following our insightful event, The Wedding Collective, with Heather Condren,  professional florist, we sat down with Heather to bring further insight into her work.

1. How did you get into floristry? 

Accidentally! I always had a creative streak but never found my ideal outlet. My own hen party surprised me with a flower crown party and I was hooked. I was working as a social care worker for ten years and I was burnt out, so after my wedding I decided to take it as a fresh start. I entered a competition for a scholarship with Kay's Flower School and I won, which has changed my life.


2. Where should couples start when it comes to flowers for their wedding? 

The very first thing you should establish is the three Ss. Style, Spend, Secure.

Style: Find a florist who's style and vibe you like. Florists specialise in everything from modern and structural, to garden and whimsy.

Spend: A lot of event florists have a minimum spend, so it's worth determining your budget early on. There's no point in falling head over heels with a florist and then realising their minimum spend is €5k and you have a budget of €3k.

Secure: Wedding florists are often booked up to 18 months in advance, so particularly if you are getting married in peak season, if you have your heart set on a florist, get that date secured with a deposit. 


3. What are the latest trends you’re seeing in the florist world and specifically for weddings? 

There's a big focus on sustainability amongst our couples at the moment, which is great to see. People are keen to use Irish florals, which is great.

Bold and vibrant florals are having a huge moment, too. I think people are getting more comfortable stepping away from the traditional wedding and this is showing in their design choices.

And another big trend we're noticing is couple's focusing their spend on statement installations. So a really over the top ceremony backdrop, with more simple flowers on the guest's tables. 

Mixed media is a huge trend, adding candles, ribbons, lanterns all add a layered look and add depth to the overall design.


4. How do you work with brides and getting their vision right on the day? 

We try to get as much information as possible! Your favourite colours, your interior design aesthetic, the music you listen to - all of this helps us determine the kind of couple you are, your personal style. Then we'll look at your wedding details, your dress, the bridesmaids, your stationery suite, your venue etc.



5. Are there any lesser-known flower varieties that you recommend for adding a unique touch to wedding bouquets and arrangements? 

One of our USPs is that we like to choose unusual stems. We can tend to lean rose heavy for weddings, whereas we love florals with linear shapes, textural petals. I'm personally on a one woman mission to bring back carnations! They are a gorgeous, textural and romantic bloom when used correctly.


6. Can you talk about the importance of sustainability and eco-friendly practices in wedding floristry?

I think floristry, like most industries, can do better when it comes to sustainability and there is so much innovation coming through right now.

Where possible we try to buy Irish blooms, though our season is short and buying from local farmers often only suits a very wildflower look - which is stunning but if you're dead set on a colour palette, it can be tough to achieve that with solely local flowers.  

The Floral foam is not a great product in terms of sustainability, so we try to avoid it as best we can. We are probably 90-95% foam free and aiming to be 100% foam free in the next 12 months.

The industry is also busy creating alternatives for foam at the moment, which is exciting!


7. What are your tips for arranging flowers at reception tables to create a strong visual impact?

I am a maximalist by nature, so more is more for me. More flowers, more candles, more texture and colour in tablecloths, napkins etc. Look at the florals as an ingredient in a bigger picture. If your floral budget is limited, ask your florist to play with the height and size of the blooms. You'd be surprised at the impact 3 bud vases can have if the florals are placed at different heights, and the range of bloom size varies. The more visual abundance you can create, the bigger the impact.

8. What are the best ways to preserve wedding flowers after the event?

There's a nig trend to set them in resin right now, which I love. From coasters to coffee tables, wall art and beyond. It's really special! Get that booked in asap if you're interested in it as the flowers need to be collected fresh the day after the wedding.

I also love the idea of a watercolour painting of your blooms to hang forevermore.

And finally, I am an old school romantic, so I would definitely suggest that you snip a bud or two and press them in a book.



9. What are the factors to consider for outdoor versus indoor wedding floral arrangements?

Look, we live in Ireland. If you are planning an outdoor ceremony, be sure to scope the inside of the venue and plan for in there too. 

We had a recent wedding where we planned an outdoor circle arch. It lashed on the day and the ceremony was moved inside.

Trust that we are professionals, and while this may be your first rainy day wedding, it's certainly not ours - and we've got you!


10. Can you talk about trends in flower crowns for brides and bridesmaids?

I always, always recommend that if you're having flowergirls, choose a crown over a posie.

For a bride, depending on your overall style for the day, I think florals in your hair are always a good idea! The opportunity doesn't present itself often enough for my liking, so go for it!

11. How do you work with couples to coordinate flowers with other decorative elements such as tablecloths, napkins and crockery?

I do think if you are working to create an overall tablescape, then you should consider bringing in the expertise of a stylist. If you're not hiring a stylist, of course we'll assist in some of the design choices but it's worth noting that you'll need to secure a friend or family member to place them all on the day.

12. What are the advantages of using a professional florist rather than DIY flowers for a wedding?

Flower designing is a skill. And I think often people look at floral design and think it looks handy enough to do themselves, but there is so much more to it than putting florals together.

Not to mention, designing wedding florals is incredibly time consuming and given the nature of the product, can only be done the day before..

You wouldn't handmake your dress, you're unlikely to do your own hair and makeup. Your flowers will be in every photo of the day.... book a professional!


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