Supplier Love – Silk Flowers France
As a luxury wedding planner in France, I am fortunate enough to work with some wonderfully talented suppliers across the country. For my recent editorial, I was fortunate enough to work with Claire, Founder of Silk Flowers France.
With a background in interior design and property development, Claire has always used silk flowers in her interior schemes. Upon moving to France in 2016, she brought along a collection of high-quality silk flowers, creating the floral design and décor of a close friend’s wedding. This gradually led onto more and more events, before Claire realised that natural and realistic looking artificial flowers solved numerous problems for couples, wedding planners and the venues. Keeping flowers from wilting in the French sunshine, avoiding triggering allergies in guests, the rising costs and availability of fresh flowers and the heart-breaking disposal of everything after the event – just to name a few!
I’m offering you a little insight into what it takes to run a silk floristry business in France. Let me hand you straight over to the lovely Claire…
Claire, it’s lovely to welcome you to the blog! Please could you explain to my couples the services that you offer?
“Silk Flowers France is unique in France, in offering the hire of arrangements, bouquets, arches, ceremony and table décor in high quality artificial flowers and foliage. Although hired artificial arrangements have been popular in the Uk and America for many years, Silk is the first company launched in France.
All items are bespoke, I work with the clients, the planner or alongside a fresh florist to create a completely cohesive and personal flower scheme of a clients dreams. As a company we specialise in the more dramatic installations, tree hangings, arches, staircases and bespoke creations.
We also work with venues to create permanent or semi permanent installations and arrangements for an event, a season or adhoc. All the arrangements are built for the scheme, installed by our team and then removed, disassembled and repacked, ready to be recreated. The ultimate in sustainability and recycling even the oasis and wire is reused.”
It sounds amazing! What is your signature style?
“As a designer, my ethos is ‘less is not more’ when it comes to the flowers. The more impact I can create the better. As I have access to tens of thousands of flowers I am not restricted by costs and can create installations which would be impractical, unaffordable and sometimes impossible in fresh flowers. I am happy to create more pared down schemes if this is what the couple are looking for of course but my signature style is ‘abundance’.”
Tell us a little bit about your usual working day as a silk florist?
“I usually prepare the majority of arrangements, bouquets, arches etc in my atelier in advance of the wedding so most days in wedding season are spent listening to jazz, surrounded by flowers, creating each design. My trusted assistant Jo is also on hand, especially when we are building multiple items such as aisle base boxes which can sometimes spread out of the atelier and onto the drive!
On the wedding day or installation day we can then install as quickly and as efficiently as possible, with only the finishing touches required. Obviously bespoke installations are impossible to create offsite so these are built from seemingly endless buckets of flowers and foliage and lots of hours walking up and down ladders.
Another benefit of artificial arrangements is that they will last indefinitely, so we usually design a scheme to reuse and move the arrangements throughout the day or weekend to get even more value from each piece.”
Do you have any silk floral trend predictions for weddings in 2022/2023?
“White, creams and champagnes will always be a mainstay of wedding flowers designs but for 2022 and 2023 there are two emerging styles. Firstly, the more romantic mixed florals inspired by the period dramas such as Bridgerton, with their soft blue hydrangeas, dancing pink delicates and blousey peonies and roses, this more natural look is perfect for a relaxed country garden ceremony.
A more striking style is the abundant use of pampas grass, dried and bleached leaves and exotic flowers and shapes. Mix with white anthurium flowers, calla lilies and orchids for a sleeker, modern ceremony look or soft coffee, beige and blush roses to create a gentle bohemian feel.”
Your work is beautiful! Where do you find your inspiration?
“Luckily, we have access to an unlimited number of inspirational images and of course these form the basis of many schemes, but its important not to copy, but to innovate. I am happy to be inspired by Instagram, Pinterest, magazines but I always like to offer a new twist… after all, if it has been photographed, then it has already been done.
Some brides have very clear ideas of their needs but many couples feel a bit lost or have a mix of styles in mind and I work very closely with them to analyse, refine and balance their ideas. I also like to push the boundaries and suggest something they may not have thought of.
It’s also important to integrate the venue and their personalities into the scheme. Who are they?, why did they choose that location? And what special aspects does that particular venue offer. I love to blend colours and trial different combinations. Currently I am adding more lime green or soft pistachio into colour schemes and this enhances everything from the pastels through to the vibrant.
I work closely with the manufacturers and they send me the latest shapes or tones they are developing and with every order of flowers I make, I add in a colour or flowers Id not usually choose, just to see whether it can add value.. and it usually does.
I also like to think wider than my own tastes. I encourage visitors, couples and brides to choose colours they are drawn to and its sometimes surprising. Im hoping to run flower arranging courses during the winter months and look forward to seeing the different combinations the clients come up with, there are certainly no right or wrong answers.”
What do you love the most about your job?
“My job can be incredibly physical and stressful, but it is worth every ache and pain and sleepless night to see the flower creations appreciated and loved. To create something which has gone above and beyond the dream of a bride or couple is priceless.”
Thank you Claire, it was a pleasure to feature you! You can find out more about Silk Flowers France here.