Rose & Mary is a Boutique Flower Studio, based in Richmond, West London specialising in seasonal wedding flowers. They totally appreciate that choosing wedding flowers isn’t something you do every day and so they’re happy to offer as much advice and guidance as you need to create just the right arrangements for your special day.
The focus is very much on you, so whether you have specific ideas on what you would like, or you haven’t a clue where to start, it’s absolutely no problem. Rose & Mary are ready with advice on seasonality, styling, colour palette and working within your budget.
Over to Leonoor, owner of Rose & May now to tell us much more about her business and of course, we’re delighted to showcase just a small selection of her beautiful arrangements.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business
Rose & Mary is a florist studio in Richmond specialising in wedding flowers. The company was founded in 2014 by Leonoor Vader.
I came to London from Holland in 1997 to study a MfA in sculpture at University College London. I worked part-time at a florist in Chelsea until my twins started school and it was then I decided to set up my own business.
What motivated you to start your business?
I started my own business as I was so fed up working for someone else. I worked at a very boutique florist in Chelsea and did ALL the hard work/decision making and the owner would take home all the profit at the end of the day. The work/life balance was really hard, especially as none of my colleagues had kids.
When my boys went to school I started up on my own and it’s the best thing I have ever done. I can plan in weddings when it suits me and the family and most days I am finished at 3pm. I love being in charge and working with my lovely brides to be. It is so important to listen to them and incorporate their wishes, the quirkier the better, rather than trying to produce the same old rose and peony dome!
Tell us a little more about the day to day activities of your business
I specialise in off-season weddings. Although the majority of enquiries are summer weddings I do love the informality of an off season wedding. I love the variety of spring and autumn and winter flowers where you can experiment so much more with colour and structure. Obviously most flowers are now available throughout the year but I love using seedpods, berries and interesting and seasonal foliage.
My working week consists mostly of admin on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (Lots of proposal writing, designing and ordering the flowers and vases, paying bills etc.) On Thursday and Friday I am usually arranging the flowers ready for weddings on the weekend and on Monday I tidy up the mess I made in the studio.
If our readers were to order from you, what can they expect?
I always make sure I meet a bride-to-be for a chat. Wedding flowers are such a personal thing and it is so important to talk about what they love. I can tell them what is in season in 9 months time and what flower go best with their colour scheme at that time of year.
If they have any personal requests I can help, whether it’s a little portrait of a loved one to incorporate into the flowers or any other object. I’ve made buttonholes with special feathers or little lego figures. I also take the wishes of the groom into account.
I did a wedding last year where a guy from the Provence married this gorgeous Chinese girl. I suggested deep reds with fresh lavender and they loved their flowers. I did a steam punk wedding which was great and a white goth wedding (with the most stunning bride !)
How can couples judge if a company is the right fit for their wedding?
I always send potential customers to my Instagram feed. If they like my style of floristry than I am sure we can work together. I can copy a wedding from a Pinterest picture but that is never ideal.
I also have a guide on my website that shows brides-to-be on how to fill a space with flowers, how to budget and how to work within a colour scheme.
The website has tips on reusing flowers from the ceremony to the reception, how not to clutter up the tables and where (and where not) to put accent flowers.
I am aware that most people have no idea where to start and what flowers cost and you are likely to do this only once. There is also no option to get it wrong on the day, it has to be spot on.
What are your favourite moments from previous weddings you’ve been involved with?
I had a bride last year who was so nervous the day before the wedding. She came by the studio and to ease her nerves started play with some flowers.
We cracked open a bottle of wine (or 2) and had such a laugh. She ended up making a lovely bunch of flowers from the leftovers to give to her Mum.
The bigger picture – does your business offer goods/services outside of the wedding world? Tell us more
I also do event and funeral flowers although I do love doing weddings the most.
What have you got planned for the next 12 months?
I am nearly booked out for the next 12 months so there are lots of weddings to do!
And finally, what or who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by nature and using flowers at the peak of the season. If you are determined to have an all peony wedding please don’t get married in August as it’s just not going to be the best it can be. Also I try to encourage brides to let their personalities shine through in their wedding flowers.
Don’t worry what is trending on Pinterest or what so and so celebrity had for their wedding. Be quirky, be original and be open to advice. I know a lot about flowers and can always suggest flowers you had never thought of before or that are a little bit unusual.
My children keep me going, they are my inspiration. I am so grateful that I am around (most of the time) after school and at dinner and bed time. I am also so grateful that I can be a role model and that they can see that hard work does pay off and that being passionate about your work is more important than anything else.
All Images courtesy of Rose & Mary