The pilgrimage to the chapel
Around 8 years ago I spied a bouquet online that blew me away. It was voluptuous and had all the right curves in all the right places. I was in love. I became a flower stalker and had to know all about the creative behind this dream design. This was my first flower crush and it was the work of Holly Chapple, an internationally renowned designer from the US. Subsequently I followed Holly’s blog and her honest words became a bit of a salvation for me, she wrote so frankly about her floral adventures and experiences that it was great to know I wasn’t the only one in the world woking on designs into the wee small hours, long after the rest of the family was tucked up in bed.
Never meet your hero
Along with Holly’s blog I would also read other floristry blogs and was thrilled to have one of my designs featured on the blog where I first discovered Holly! I knew it was a really good week, when following the mention I then received an email from Holly herself, just messaging to say she’d seen my name via Amy that wrote the blog, and thought she’d say ‘hi!’ Best. Day. Ever. From that day forward Holly and I had a lose but warm online friendship. I’d ask if she’ come and teach here and she would say she’d love to but doubted she’d have the following to fill a course. Forward to 2016. And I find myself sitting in pub (The Rose – obvs) with Holly and Evan Chapple, Nick Priestly and a whole host of other fabulous florist from all over the UK and Ireland, having welcome drinks before the first 3 day conference for The Chapel Designers. (read more about us right here) That first year we were 13. Roll forwards to 2017 and we were 30!
The 3 day event involves all sorts of floristry stuff, business information and hands on skills. It’s really been quite phenomenal and I’m so pleased I did get the chance to meet my hero, but she’s now also a good friend who Skypes when you have a dilemma, doesn’t allow distance to be a barrier and makes the time during busy her wedding weekend to make sure she wishes you congratulations on your actual wedding day! She truly is the best!
The conference this year was great fun and we had some really amazing demos from world class designers.
Nick Priestly, Holly Chapple, Robbie Honey and the ever so dapper Simon Lycett.
Go big or go home
The highlight of this years event was the chance to create some really stunning large scale designs, that we use to decorate the venue for our conference dinner on the second evening. In door trees, floral runners and the most stunning flower wall ever. I also created a bouquet for our model bride. You can see the amazing designs we created below. Its a joy to work on such a large scale, and boy did it create a WOW.
My beautiful bridal bouquet.
The flower wall.
How about that for a dinner party?
Planes, trains and automobiles
The question is, whaddayado with all those flowers???? We’d mostly arrived at the event via public transport and a had long trips back home. It’s not the best way to transport flowers. So, as in previous years, we turned these designs into literally hundreds of Lonely Bouquets (and the creator of the Lonely Bouquet concept, Emily Everson, joined us to talk though the process of paying it forward with flowers via The Lonely Bouquet movement – she was an absolute doll)
The bouquets were then distribute around Brixton, ready for folks to pick up, take home and enjoy. It was the perfect end to a really inspiring few days, with some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Looking forwards to CD2018!
Special thanks to Dasha Caffery Photography for the great memories she captured from the conference .