Meet Carole Patilla from Tuckshop Flowers
07527 370 653 | www.tuckshopflowers.com
Q - Tell us about your background – how did you become a florist?
Before I became a florist, I was a teacher who had an obsession with gardening. That's where my love of flowers began, and it was growing them for years that led me to think about trying to turn my passion into a job. I never intended to become a florist! I planned only to grow blooms andsell them at farmer's markets, but people kept asking me if I did weddings, funerals etc, as they loved the natural, country look that I grew. I did my first wedding for Andrew and Kate of Urban Herbs, fellow market traders in 2015, and wedding floristry, funeral arrangements and teaching workshops are now the main strands of my business.
Q - What should couples expect when booking your services?
The way I work is quite different to a traditional florist as I specialise in seasonal ingredients, many of which I grow myself. Rather than starting with a set design, I work with colour schemes and what looks loveliest at the time. This approach means that I don't know exactly what I'm going to make until I've gathered up all my flowers and foliage and stand in front of them like a kid in a floral sweet shop. Anyone who works with me needs to be prepared to go with the flow, and this approach requires a high degree of trust from my clients. I offer two types of wedding service – budget packages or a fully bespoke service.
Q - What's your favourite wedding arrangement that you've made and why?
My favourite arrangement tends to be whatever I'm working on! The excitement of seeing the ingredients change with each passing week never gets old! At the time of writing, I'm prepping for a wedding at the weekend, and I'm working with scented garden roses, philadelphus (which smells amazing), frothy white Ammi, cornflowers and peonies. I love a creative challenge, so I really enjoy making installation pieces like a silver birch arch dressed in gauzy white muslin and floral accents, hanging hoops and ladders of flowers.
Q - How long before the wedding should couples book?
Most of my bespoke clients book at least a year in advance, so my diary tends to fill up for summer weekends quite quickly. Right now, there is obviously a high demand for dates this summer once lockdown restrictions are eased, and 2022 is quite busy already with weddings that have been postponed. For package weddings, as I'm providing only bridal party arrangements (bouquets, buttonholes, corsages) and buckets of cut flowers and foliage for the couple to decorate the venue, I can organise these at relatively short notice depending on the size of the order and my availability.
Q - What's your favourite part of the job?
When all the flowers are gathered up and prepared and the moment arrives when you decide which are the blooms that the bride absolutely must have in her bouquet. It's such a treat to pick up that bucket of gorgeousnessand turn it into something unique and special. Every bouquet is a one-off because flowers never stay the same from one week to the next!
Q - Do you have any top tips for couples looking for a florist?
I think it's really important that you find a florist whose approach and style fits your own – whatever that may be. I realise that some couples may want to know exactly what their flowers will look like in advance and I definitely wouldn't be the right company for them. Explore suppliers' websites to see if their images have the look and feel you want for your big day. Don't pick a natural wild florist if you want modern and geometric or vice versa! When you've found someone you're interested in, make contact and have a chat. Weddings can have a long lead time, and you're going to be working together for quite a while, so it's important that you share the same attitude towards the details.
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