Florist spotlight |Ali and Bloomologie UK: wild and wondrous wedding flowers specialist

I’m thrilled to feature the amazing Ali of Bloomologie today – specialists of wedding flowers that look freshly gathered, wild and wondrous. I met Ali at the National Wedding Fair in Charlton Greenwich recently and her stand bowled me over. She had this arch made of sticks which she seemed to put up in an effortless flash and her seasonal flower displays were absolutely beautiful. We were right next to each other in the fair and it was lovely to be so close to her relaxed fragrant British blooms which wowed everyone as they walked in. The best bit was that she gave me a gorgeous bunch of flowers to take home and I’m happy to report they lasted a few weeks. See for yourself on the photos below and meet the talented Ali who tells us about her life and loves in this short interview.

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1. What inspired you to be in the wedding floral trade / industry?

I’ve always loved flowers and gardening, but it really bothered me that the flowers I grow and love in my garden are not the same as what you see in florists and at weddings. So I decided to apply my love of gardening and seasonality to flowers – and weddings are so creative that for a florist, they are a joy to work on.

2. What / who would you say your main influences and inspiration are?

I wanted to work with seasonal, British-grown flowers that smell incredible and change with the passing months of the year so that no two weddings are the same, and I wanted to create a wilder, more natural look that’s garden-gathered and relaxed. I’m inspired by my own garden – every week there’s something new and different. I love the era of Constance Spry, the gardens of Rosemary Verey and Vita Sackville-West, and the mad, colourful order chaos of Great Dixter.

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3. Who are your favourite icons / personalities in the industry you are in and why do you look up to them?

I love what Thomas Broom-Hughes does at Petersham Nurseries {I love Petersham Nurseries, full stop!}, and I’m a huge fan of Sarah Raven and how she has shone a light on the trend for growing your own cut-flowers and arranging them.

I also work with Rebel Rebel in Hackney and I love Athena and Mairead’s passion for using British flowers and following the organic form of the flowers, rather than forcing them into a perfect arrangement – nature isn’t perfect. Shane Connolly and Jay Archer are both pretty awesome, and Jay has been a fab mentor to me throughout my career so far.

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4. What advice would you give to brides when choosing flowers for their wedding day?

Follow the season first. No matter how much you may want peonies, you’ll never get them in October, and likewise Dahlia’s will only be around in late summer and autumn. So the first thing you should do is find out what’s available when you get married, and then work with those flowers.

I also say not to get too concerned about one colour or flower – flowers look best when you have a palette of different tones and textures so mix them up!

And I am a big fan of colour – don’t be scared, embrace it! White and green is sophisticated but it’s also boring, no matter how pretty the flowers. And against a white or ivory dress, you just won’t see the flowers.

Get up early and go to New Covent Garden Flower Market {I offer to take all of my brides there} to see the amazing array of what’s available – it will spark so many ideas.

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5. Do you love what you do and why?

Of course – I spent 15 years as a magazine journalist and editor before I went into flowers, so I’ve always been used to spotting trends and seeing amazing flowers at launch parties and fashion week. To be the one creating them now, for the likes of the BAFTAs, Tate Britain, the Intercontinental Hotel and Conrad St James is incredible.

Despite the early mornings and long days it is so rewarding and creative, whether I’m figuring out how to hang a floral chandelier in a barn in Suffolk or installing an arch to go outside a church in Greenwich, it’s amazing. And taking the bouquet to the bride on her wedding morning is such a privilege.

6. If you were given free reign do what you love for a bride’s wedding day that would delight her, how would you go about it and what would be the result? What would your own bridal bouquet look like?

It would be wild and seasonal, and you’d feel like you’d stepped in to a meadow or the woods! At the moment I’m obsessed with foxgloves, so I’d turn the aisle into a glade of foxgloves and cow parsley and Solomon’s seal for her to walk through – there would be floral arches, hanging chandeliers of flowers and abundant, rustic crates and churns and planters of wild flowers everywhere!

As for my own bouquet, it would be relaxed – a wide hand-held bouquet, that would look decadent and smell gorgeous with English garden roses, dahlias, cosmos and scabious, and a few gate-crasher flowers in there so that it doesn’t look twee – think seed-heads of poppies or scabious, wild grasses, or an almost-black chocolate cosmos in amongst the blush cafe au lait dahlias.

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7. What is your dream regarding your business?

To stay true to my style and grow organically. I’d rather do fewer events and love them all than say yes to something that really isn’t me – I wouldn’t be happy and nor would the couple. As long as you love what you do, I think it shows in the end result.

8. What is your dream regarding your personal life?

Well, although a bit more down-time would be a luxury, I’m pretty much living my dream as I changed my life to work with flowers.

One day I imagine myself living in the countryside, with a barn to do all of my flower work from where I could host workshops and have a dog running around and I could even grow my own flowers!

I already do try to use at least one thing from my own garden in every wedding that I do. This year I’m growing more dahlias because I just can’t buy the colours and varieties that I want to use.

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A huge and heartfelt thanks Ali for sharing with us her passion and inspiration. Check out Ali on her website Bloomologie and follow her on her Facebook Page, Twitter @BloomologieUK, Instagram @BloomologieUK, and Pinterest. You can contact her directly by email on hello@bloomologie.co.uk.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @lilyrsawyer, Twitter @lilysawyerphoto and Facebook for more creative and wedding features coming up!


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