Featured Supplier

Floral Creative: Introducing Olive Owl

29th January 2020 | Alexis Forsyth

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Kathryn Taylor Photography

If you’re looking for floral styling that’s anything but ordinary, then you’re going to fall head over heels for our brand new Brides Up North Sponsor, who’s all about colourful, wild and fun designs.

Meet self-confessed flower nerd Sarah from Olive Owl – a creative wedding and events florist based in Wigan. Swapping acting for floristry – Sarah was inspired to follow this new creative path after treating her mum to a simple but beautifully crafted hand-tie from her local florist. And boy, we’re glad she did! Her floral creations are something else.

Experimenting with lot of stunning flowers and foliage, seasonal colour palettes, emerging wedding trends and innovative floristry techniques, Sarah creates ultra stylish bouquets and florals that are all kinds of gorgeousness for your big day. She really knows how to work her magic and bring a couple’s vision to life, with a dash of personality thrown into the mix.

And that’s not all – Sarah combines music, fizz and flowers for the perfect hen party activity for you and your bride squad, where you can craft everything from flower crowns to centre pieces! Tempted to hear more? Thought so! Here’s Sarah to tell us more…

Kathryn Taylor Photography

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Teresa C Photography

Where did your passion for flowers come from and what led you to set up your own floristry business?

Sarah says: I became a florist rather dramatically, which is ironic because I’d just finished studying drama at the time. I was working as a waitress in between auditions, and at the end of a shift I decided to visit the local florist to see if they could whip something up for my Mum. My budget was just £4.50. I think the florist took pity on me probably because of how utterly clueless I was.

However, what she made completely amazed me! She created a simple hand tie using a single Allium with folded Aspidistra Leaves that was wrapped in purple floral cellophane and finished with a big bow. Let’s be honest it’s not like we’re talking about the floral arch at Harry and Meghan’s wedding (just gorge) but I was so inspired by how she created something so beautiful out of such little materials, that I literally booked onto a two year Floral Design course the very next day.

Setting up Olive Owl was similar in ways. I’d been working at a florist shop for a couple of years and one day I just decided that I wanted to do it by myself. I wanted to learn so much more about the floristry Industry, to experiment with different florals, colour schemes and techniques but it’s difficult to do that when you work for someone else. It’s never your own style or creative stamp. So I took the plunge and I set up Olive Owl Flowers. Best decision ever!

What is it that you love about working with flowers and within the wedding industry in particular?

I love being a florist because there are endless combinations of flowers, foliage, colours and props that you can style and play with. It’s a job that gets your creative juices flowing daily – and it’s so much fun!

Since becoming a florist I’ve gained a whole new appreciation for nature, mostly trees. I love seeing how they form, their colours and how they change seasonally.

For the first year of Olive Owl, I did pop up stalls at artisan farmers markets but the thrill and excitement of wedding floristry soon won me over. I now purely focus my floristry on weddings.

Creatively speaking, the wedding Industry has boomed in the last few years. Couples are done with stuffy wedding traditions and want something that represents them. So, for me, to be able to transform a loved up couple’s dream into their wedding flowers is an absolute privilege, and something I will never get bored of. No matter how big or grand a wedding may be, the best bit about a wedding is delivering the bouquet to the bride. Moments like that are just priceless.

Leigh and Lee Photography

How would you describe your style and approach?

As a creative wedding florist, our florals are often colourful, wild and fun but with an alternative twist. You won’t find traditional here. We often attract fun and alternative couples too. I think your floristry style can very much be connected to who you are as a person.

Personally, I love wearing colourful clothes (my Olive Owl uniform is a pair of bright orange dungarees). I love to dance, sing and simply not taking life too seriously. Picking flowers, colours and props with unique combinations comes naturally to me, which ultimately creates the Olive Owl style.

Can you tell us a little about your workspace – where are you based and what area do you cover?

Olive Owl is based in Orrell, Wigan (aka Pie Town). We travel all over the North West; Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire, Cumbria and sometimes if we’re feeling brave, we might even venture over to Yorkshire!

Birgitta Zoutman Photography

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Leigh and Lee Photography

How do you work with your couples to ensure that the designs you produce are fitting to both them and their big day?

I love getting to know our couples, so consultations are always such a fun experience. In meetings, myself and said couple often find ourselves side tracked and talking about unrelated topics. But that’s the beauty of these meetings and this is how Olive Owl creates such personalised florals.

Beyond colour what other elements are important for couples to consider when deciding on their wedding flowers?

A few things can really help towards the style of your wedding flowers naturally coming together. The venue is a big help as you can take inspiration from the style of the building and décor. Your dresses and suits can help bring a colour scheme to life too. The season you get married can make a huge difference to your flower choices but also helps to tie your flower style and colours together.

Dan Hough Photography

What current flower wedding trends are you enjoying and can you forecast what’s coming next?

The wedding trends I’m currently exploring use a mixture of dried and fresh florals to create stunning boho designs but the up and coming trends are the ones that are getting me so excited about 2020!

Now that we’re in the 20s it seems appropriate for the 1920s Gatsby era to be brought to life with a modern revamp. My first styled shoot of the season was a 20s inspired winter frost shoot at Eaves Hall in Lancashire. I’m a big lover of vintage so I’m a massive fan of this style! It’s a much more elegant and timeless look for couples who love anything vintage.

Another big look that I’m also excited to explore is maximalism. With current interior decor trends becoming bolder, more colourful and exotic, these trends are bound to hit the wedding Industry very soon. If you’re loud, love colour and anything OTT, this could be the wedding look for you.

You also offer flower preservation – can you tell us a little about this?

A couple of years back a bride asked us if we could preserve and frame her bridal bouquet. Ever since then, we’ve been preserving bridal bouquets, buttonholes, corsages, hat flowers, etc. We’ve made this service available to everyone, not just Olive Owl couples, however you do receive discount if we also create your wedding flowers.

The process is simple; I receive your flowers no later than a week after your wedding, these are then dried for a few weeks and mounted onto a frame. We either ask people to pick them up or we can send them out via courier as this is a national service, not just for the North West.

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Dan Hough Photography

And what about your flower workshops and private parties – what do these include, and could they be an ideal hen party activity?

Our workshop parties are so much fun! Oddly enough, this is where the drama side of my life connects into floristry. I treat my workshops like a show and want my audience to feel a buzz of energy and leave feeling on a high.

Workshops are a great alternative for a calmer hen party activity. Make whatever design you like, this could be a flower crown, a hand tied or a cute table centre. You don’t need any previous floristry experience to do our workshops, I will talk you through the step by step process and then guide you along should you need any help. There’s music, fizz and flowers – what’s not to love?!

We also recently did a wreath and rave workshop in a vintage clothes shop – It was awesome! Check out our Instagram page to see the short film!

What is the feedback like from your wedding couples?

The feedback is just amazing! It’s so lovely to hear how much wedding couples loved their flowers. So many people comment about how we ‘understood the look they were trying to create’, and that we ‘exceeded all expectations’. We know we’ve done well when the guests comment about the flowers too!

We often get comments about the whole process being a smooth and enjoyable one due to our friendly, bubbly and relaxed nature. Couples put their trust in us because we know and understand flowers and that gives them the confidence to feel relaxed throughout their floral journey.

What sets you apart from other florists?

I think what sets us apart from other florists is that I’m just solely focused on creating florals that represent me and my style. And there is no other me; like there is no other you!

I’m also a total flower nerd who practically lives and breathes flowers. I’m always hungry to learn more about flowers, styles, trends and the wedding industry, so that in return, I can give my clients the best possible service which is perfectly suited to them.

How can our readers get in touch or find out more about Olive Owl and your floristry offering?

If you’re still reading this, I’m hoping that means you like the sound of Olive Owl Flowers and would like to learn more about us, or at least know how to contact us.

Kathryn Taylor Photography

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