If you’re looking for wedding flowers that are truly unique and as individual as you are, then let us introduce you to Uncommon Hands.
Carol at Uncommon hands creates the most exquisite, unstructured bouquets and arrangements that have a gorgeous ‘just picked from the garden’ feel’ and are arranged in the most inspiring and creative way.
Choose Uncommon Hands for your wedding flowers and yo won’t be constrained by the conventional, on the contrary, you’ll be positively encouraged to have the flowers you want rather than those you feel you should have.
Over to Carol now to tell us more.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business
I am Carol and I am originally from Singapore. I have been in the wedding industry for almost 10 years now; be it bridal wear, catering or planning so I guess wedding flowers is a natural extension of what I have been doing. I would say culturally I am quite diverse and I bring this diversity to my arrangements.
Singapore itself is already a multicultural nation, but on top of that I grew up with a Norwegian dad and a Chinese mom and was lucky to have travelled and live in different places such as Sydney. I think that’s why I never really have 1 style per say. There are just so many beautiful styles out there and I want to bring them out with my work.
What motivated you to start your business?
I always enjoyed creating things though I never felt as if I was good at it. I can’t paint or draw, or really do anything artsy in my opinion. When I started doing flowers for a previous company as part of the venue’s décor, I realised that I loved it so much more than was I was doing.
With floristry, it allowed me to bring those ideas & inspirations that I have to life. I am also so amazed with flowers – something about the fact that these insane colours and textures are natural forming just blows my mind. The deeper I delved into it, the more I realised that this was what I was meant to be doing.
I waited a couple more years before I decided that it was time for me to move on and try to build the brand. It was a very nerve wreaking decision – mostly because I am building something in a city that I have only been here for 2 years but it was a good move. I have grown so much in such a short period of time through it.
Tell us a little more about the day to day activities of your business
I do a lot of freelancing for a local florist near my studio during the weekdays. The owner has a very different style from mine but again that difference is still something that I learn and incorporate from time to time. I think it is so important to keep your mind open regardless of whether you think it might or might not be right for you. You won’t really know if something is useful until a situation arises where you then realise you need it.
There is general admin work that needs to be done such as replying to emails. I take quite a bit of time creating visual boards for my clients and finding the right flowers to use. I don’t typically price the way that some other florist might. A lot of my work is priced by the design rather than the flowers as I don’t want to discriminate on the later. I think it’s so important to give the very best that you can and also educate on what is available out there.
When there’s a wedding I generally order 2 weeks in advance with my supplier who is amazing. I can send him the longest list and he never fails. It is really important to keep a good relationship with the people who help me. Wedding prep usually happenes 3 days before the big day.
My favourite thing to do is actually to just create my own stuff and photograph them myself. It’s freeing when I have limited things with me and just use the leftovers to create something beautiful. I am not fixed to do anything; I just let go and do! A lot of my favourite pieces are from using leftover flowers.
If our readers were to order from you, what can they expect?
I hope that what I am giving people is a small piece of myself. Does that sound weird? Lol. I think when you are ordering flowers from a florist for your wedding, what you are really ordering is their interpretation of a collection of flowers to tell a story.
There are so many styles of wedding flowers out there; what I do is I listen to what a client wants and I deliver it in my “words” using flowers. So while I may use imagery to represent an idea what I deliver is never a copy of it and that is very important for me to ensure that my client understands this. When I got married and I had my wedding flowers done by this amazing florist I was a tad disappointed because even though she had done a great job; in my mind I had expected my flowers to look just like the images that I had given her.
It wasn’t until I started doing flowers that I realise you shouldn’t ask your florist to try and replicate work. You should pick a florist whose work you already love and just go with what her/his style is. Rather than giving specifics on design, tell your florist a mood you want to emote and colours that you like. And with that trust your florist to give you the best representation of that.
How can couples judge if a company is the right fit for their wedding?
By speaking to them. There’s no better way.
What are your favourite moments from previous weddings you’ve been involved with?
It’s always nice to see a venue come to life with a wedding. As a planner I have been at so many weddings and the thing that I have learnt is that at the end of the day, it really is about being happy with the people around you and sharing that happiness together. So honestly you can have a wedding without all the glitz and glamour if you don’t want it. It doesn’t make it less special or amazing.
At the end of the day, it’s your party that you’re throwing so have what you want that makes you and your partner happy. This is something that I always stress to my couples as a planner or as a florist. As a provider of a service, I can’t put a value on the intrinsic reward that I get when I see a couple’s face and it’s bright and full of joy and when they thank me for helping them bring this event of theirs to life. It makes it all worthwhile.
The bigger picture – does your business offer goods/services outside of the wedding world? Tell us more
I am open to flowering basically everywhere that I can. I wouldn’t limit myself to specific fields. So long as flowers are needed, I am there. I am in the midst of offering web orders + delivery service around London.
What have you got planned for the next 12 months?
Kicking the wedding bookings into full gear and potentially having pop ups around London. I have this vision of a dynamic event space where I’d have my permanent studio and incorporate other services with it. It is still in the planning and idea phase. We’ll see what happens.
And finally, what or who inspires you and why?
I am very inspired by music. I think lots of my pieces are a reflection of the songs that I have been listening to. There are also so many floral designers that I look up to and continue to learn from their craft as well. Ultimately though it’s the flower that inspires me the most. What can I do with it so that I can show all of its beauty, and how can I use it in a way to create pieces of what I am feeling.
All images courtesy of Uncommon Hands