The Wilde Bunch | Florist
The Wilde Bunch discusses breaking the rules with the desire to create a unique design for every bride.
What is your idea of the perfect wedding?
Getting a challenging design right for a Bride. The more original…the more fun for us…it’s our desire to create a unique design for every bride.
What is your greatest fear when you are working on a wedding?
We don’t really have any fears on the day, we’ve done this for so long, nothing can really throw us. For the majority of weddings, we are on hand throughout the day, as part of our service, so we are there to make sure everything looks perfect.
What is your best trait that helps you be so great at your job?
Creativity, innovation and getting into the minds of our Brides…That’s three, so we’ve cheated on this question…Sorry!!
Which living person do you most admire?
Ours are both dead so we’re going to cheat again…There’s a theme developing…The Wilde Bunch seldom follow the ‘The Rules’…That would be rather mundane and lead to dull outcomes, so best avoided at all costs!!
Oscar Wilde for his wit & intellect and the inspiration for our name, The Wilde Bunch. Then, William Burroughs for his wonderful, convoluted perspective on life…The Wilde Bunch live by the motto, ‘Why be ordinary when, with a little more effort, you can do extraordinary things and leave a legacy in your chosen field’.
What is your current state of mind?
After a hectic Summer, ‘Happy’ to be entering November for a little respite before the avalanche of December weddings is upon us.
On what occasion is lying at work a good idea?
The odd little ‘white lie’ is justified when you know it will make the difference between a ‘Good’ & ‘Bad’ design…Trust us we’ve worked with flowers for so long we know what will look ‘Good’ and what may result in a ‘Floral Disaster’…We may choose to ‘Distort the Truth’ about the availability of certain flowers/colours but it’s all for the best in the long run. Our reputation is ‘on the line’ with every design we produce, so we only want to showcase work of the highest standard…surely, that’s also in the best interests of our Bride’s and worthy of a ‘little fib’ now and again.
What is the most outrageous (fabulous or terrifying) outfit you have ever seen at a wedding?
An Event Manager, at a venue that shall remain nameless towards London, who choose to wear the most revealing ‘Plunge neckline’, figure hugging, designer dress; showing off most of her ‘more than ample assets’. She was a stunning looking woman and we stood back and watched as she quickly became the focus of attention for most of the male guests and the object of raised eyebrows from their partners…I too received a jab in the ribs from Claire and was told to concentrate on getting the flowers on tables.
Come on…That really is bad wedding etiquette…it’s the Brides Big Day and all eyes should be on her, not the manager of the Event Team flaunting herself off around the venue!! The same goes for any ladies invited to a wedding, you can look as ‘Pretty as a picture’ but never try and upstage the Bride with your choice of dress…it’s her Big Day.
What is the best theme you have seen at a wedding?
Our design for Alex Jones of BBC’s ‘The One Show’ and her New Zealand born partner Charlie Thomson. Alex wanted us to combine a theme of ‘Winter in the Welsh Mountains’ with a ‘New Zealand Tropical Rain Forest’ at Cardiff Castle!!…Opposite ends of the world…opposite ends of the floral design spectrum!! I believe we pulled it off but it was our greatest challenge to date.
But Hey…Whatever the budget…whatever the job…who-so-ever the client…It’s our job to absolutely max out on what we are given and give every Bride something completely unique on their Big Day. Every Wilde Bunch Bride gets a unique design based on their ideas and our creativity.
What quality in a groom do you like the most?
Every Groom should look a little nervous…It’s only right…This is one ‘Hell of a Big Day” in your life.
What quality in a bride do you like most?
Calmness on her Big Day…Trust your florist, trust your Event Team, trust your caterer…it’s all going to be wonderful. Go with the flow and enjoy your day…if you get stressed it will all be over and you’ll have missed out on all the fun on the biggest day of your life.
When was the last time you laughed out loud at a wedding? What happened?
We love our work and as a confident Team we always have a laugh at most weddings. Claire ‘The Boss’ is the worst and can never resist a ‘Dressing Up’ box and has to try it all on.
Here’s the funniest thing we’ve witnessed at a wedding…bullet-pointed for brevity
- Lulworth Castle in Dorset adjoins a military MOD firing range
- There’s an agreement in place to cease fire for the duration of wedding ceremonies at the Castle (1.00-2.00pm)
- Hottest day of Summer 2015 for an outdoor ceremony
- Elderly Registrar faints in heat
- 20 minute delay in starting Ceremony while Registrar recovers
- Poor girl with acoustic guitar goes to the front to lead the guests in a rendition of ‘All You Need Is Love’ to close procedures
- Second chorus in with all guests singing along the 2.00pm military curfew passes and they are drowned out by the sound of rapid fire machine guns and the blasts of Tanks firing shells on the Range
- The most surreal spectacle we’ve witnessed at a wedding made all the more hilarious by the choice of song. Thankfully the Bride & Groom saw the funny side of it.
What moment are you most proud of in your profession?
There’s a list of celebrity weddings like Alex Jones, Kerry Katona and Lord Pembroke’s daughter and major UK events like The Grand National and The Stella Artois Tennis Tournament but in reality it’s any wedding design where we feel we have pushed the boundaries of UK wedding floristry. Many of those have been on the classic ‘Mr & Mrs’ weddings across the South of England where Brides have allowed us to express our full creative talents and we’ve achieved something we are really proud of within the couple’s budget.
What is your favourite occupation, apart from your own?
Author, artist or photographer…anything creative that inspires people.
What is your favourite occupation, apart from your own?
Author, artist or photographer…anything creative that inspires people
What question do you wish every couple would ask you when you are meeting with them for the first time?
‘Can we leave this design to you?’…Once Claire has an insight into what you like, she is best left alone to create something completely unique and inspirational. It’s a ‘Big Ask’ and a big ‘Leap of Faith’ I know, but having watched her over many years, once she has free rein to ‘just design’, she enters a ‘different creative plane’…It’s suddenly ‘her design’ and her chance to set new levels in UK wedding floristry. All the best images I’ve caught of Claire’s work are where she has had this freedom to express herself and the couple are rewarded with a stunning design. And…her biggest talent is her ability to do it within any couple’s budget.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your work?
Nature… Flowers are beautiful things. Show them as they are…don’t mess with them. Don’t pin their leaves, don’t contort them into shapes that are unnatural, or spray paint them different colours. Let them behave as nature intended in arrangements. That way the design looks ‘Natural’. We could go into the whole ‘Golden Ratio’ aspect of design but trust us… ‘Nature’ is pleasing to the eye because it was ‘made that way’…messing with it ruins its inherent beauty.
What mistake do you see couples make over and over again on their day?
Employing far too many unnecessary suppliers on their Big Day. A top wedding florist should be able to ‘style’ the whole day, thus rendering ‘Stylists’ as unnecessary. We have a barn full of wedding props that are there for the use of all of our clients in the floral designs, so no need for ‘Prop Hire’. A good venue, a top florist, a quality Event Team, good food, entertainment and a decent photographer to capture the day is all you need. Focus your budget on the essentials and save yourself some money.
What is your motto?
‘Expect The Unexpected…Beyond Your Wildest Dreams…’
A twist on our main man, Oscar Wilde’s; ‘To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect’ from the play ‘An Ideal Husband’ (How appropriate!)
What would people be surprised to learn about you and/or your work?
We spend absolutely no time looking at National wedding blogs, wedding magazines or other florists work. As a Team, we design in our own (creative & wonderful) world, alongside our own Brides. We aim to continually push the boundaries of UK wedding design…others can copy us, but we will never copy anyone else as that would result in a very ‘sad’ world of ‘Pinterest’ copies that would be so dull and unimaginative and not a place The Wilde Bunch would want to place ourselves.