The Wedding Spotlight – Bloom and Burn
Today’s Wedding Spotlight feature has possibly the most interesting ‘background’ story that we’ve had so far and I’m SO happy that Gee made the jump from TV into flowers because he’s just incredibly talented and it’s a feast for our eyes… Take it away Gee.
I am an ex TV Producer turned florist. After 12 years working on reality shows like Celebrity Big Brother and The Voice I decided to retrain and explore my love for flowers, that up to then was just a hobby. After an intensive two week course at flower school I worked for the brilliant JamJar Flowers in Kennington for 8 months before setting up Bloom and Burn in January 2016. I run my business from a home studio in North London and provide flowers for weddings and events.
When I worked on The Voice I would spend up to ten hours a day auditioning singers from all over the country. Regardless of their talent, age or training they all had one thing in common, they all knew that being a singer was the only thing that they wanted to do. As much as I loved the job I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Now that I have my own business, doing something I love, I finally understand why all those singers kept showing up at auditions regardless of how many times they had been told ‘no’. Floristry is a tough business to be in but the opportunity to do something creative everyday and to be your own boss makes it worthwhile.
The great thing about working as a florist is that every day is different. Monday to Wednesday are normally admin days for me, so that means time spent answering emails, consultations with new brides and writing up their proposals. I get a lot of work from Instagram so I spend time uploading and editing photos making sure I have enough content for three or four posts over the course of the week. From Thursday to Saturday I’m normally focussed on a wedding. Thursday will start at 3am with a trip to the flower market, I’ll get back around 7am then spend a few hours conditioning the flowers. As I work on my own I have to stick to a strict schedule to make sure I can get everything ready in time for the wedding. I normally make all my centrepieces and start on any big arrangements, like garlands, flower frames or ceremony pedestals in the afternoon. I’ll be up early again on the Friday morning to make the bridal bouquets and finish off the large arrangements. Saturday is normally wedding day so I’ll start making buttonholes around 4am and then move on to flower crowns. When the van is packed the last thing to do is wrap the bridal bouquets. I’m using lots of trailing silk ribbons at the moment which look beautiful in the photographs. I’ll deliver the bouquets to the bridal party before heading the ceremony venue to set up. Once that’s looking beautiful I’ll go to the reception venue and set up there. It’s always a race against time to get everything finished, but somehow I always manage it. Then it’s back to the studio to clean out the van, ready for the pickup the day after.
I think my favourite memory was installing my first ever solo wedding. I was still working at JamJar at the time and a friend of a friend had asked if I’d do it but I was so nervous about taking it on. It was at The Asylum Chapel in Peckham, which is one of my favourite London venues. I remember feeling totally elated after everything was in place and knowing the bride was happy with the final look. My partner and I went to the evening reception for drinks and so many people were commenting on the flowers, that’s when I decided to set up on my own.
My number one rule is to avoid spending too much time on Pinterest. It’s a great way to get ideas but it can be mind-boggling. You see so many things that you feel you just have to have for your big day and before you know it you’ve blown the budget. If you are on a tight budget decide on a couple of items to splurge on, the things that are really important to you – it might be the dress, for some it will be the food, for others it might be the flowers. Set aside a chunk of the budget for these items that are important to you and cut corners elsewhere. And finally, remember to enjoy it! I’ve worked with a couple of brides who said that they found the actual day very stressful, they didn’t expect it to be so overwhelming. You need to prepare yourself for being the centre of attention for the day.