AD Artistry is a local Brisbane company run by a one woman floristry-queen, Arlene. Located on the Brisbane's south side she has created many floral arrangements for many bride's over her long history with flowers. Josh and my experience with Arlene goes back 2 years ago when we were looking for a florist and some professional direction for our wedding day. Arlene was able to understand what we needed and added her own artistic genius to the mix, to create beautiful bouquets for myself and my bridesmaids, boutonnieres for the groomsmen, my dad and grandma, and flowers spread across our reception tables - all within our budget. Since then we have collaborated on a garden party shoot (see next blog down) and Arlene's skills manage to amaze me still.
I must admit I'm a bit of a sticky-beak and was intrigued to know more about Arlene's process for making bouquets whilst she was creating them, and possibly help you the reader or maybe a bride you know, find out a little more about AD Artistry. Below are a few questions I asked Arlene to help you get to know her and her history with flowers.
Happy reading! -Anna-
When did you start doing floristry? My first job was as junior florist for Myona Florist in the city. I left Brisbane Girls Grammar School after year 10 to pursue my passion for floristry, and to accept the offer of “a job here any time you want it.” I used to catch the train from Corinda in to town every Saturday morning when I was still at high school to help wire for weddings. Just voluntary, but in exchange I received a wealth of knowledge and experience from a highly artistic/perfectionist florist. I can’t remember ever “not” doing flowers – I did them at home, or often entered competitions.
Did anyone introduce you early to floristry? My mum picked flowers from our beautiful large garden for our big old queenslander home every week. She arranged beautiful flowers for most of the rooms. I used to passionately love to go around the garden with her, picking armfuls of flowers to arrange. Mum used to enter the Royal Brisbane Show every year for a while back then. She took me along with her and I duly entered the children’s section and came away with a bucket load of prizes. They gave monetary awards then – awesome for a kid! The neighbours used to refer to our home and yard as “the botanical gardens” because it was the family home and my grandma had planted so many flowering treasures. I grew up loving the garden and helping to take care of it. I always had my own little plot of garden as well.
What drives you to do floristry? A passionate life-long love of natural beauty, especially flowers.
Do you have any memorable moments either with clients or creating floral arrangements in your career? As a kid at the RNA show my Informal Arrangement won the overall (always taken by adults) grand champion one day. I was so excited I thought I’d burst! But I knew the artistry I was presenting was strongly influenced by my mother’s work. As an adult with my own wedding flower business I immensely enjoy the “people” side of it. I love working with people to help them achieve their goal. More recently, the Tesselaars (my main wedding flower supplier) Top Gun annual competition, Australia-wide, have given me some great coverage at different times. Last year I was astonished/thrilled to be a judges’ finalist in two of the three sections.
Whats your favourite flower/s? Very hard! Perhaps wisteria – my sister and I as kids used to press our faces into the silky petals of the hanging clusters of fragrant blooms in our enormous vine. I just love flowers, particularly old-world style!
What would you recommend a bride who didn't know where to start with flowers for her special day? Do you have a favourite flower? What type of “look” are you aiming for? What colours are your gowns? Let's look at what is in season and likely to be available then. Would you like to see some of the work I have done that might give you some ideas?
Whats advice can you give to a bride for her special day? Regarding flowers: “How can I help you? If you give me your ideas, I love to work with you, sharing my knowledge and experience with flowers to help you obtain your own special look on the day.”
Above all, ENJOY your flowers – they are such a fun part of your big day.
Below are a selection of photos from behind-the-scenes of Arlene's floristry business. In her own words Arlene describes these posies style and flowers involved,
"Arianwen's gorgeous posies were a mix of vibrant and 'elegant rustic'. Vibrant earthy-red roses with their beige-backed petals were mixed with lots and lots of different berries and foliage."
You can find more of her work and also contact Arlene here at AD Artistry.
Arianwen's bridesmaids Posy