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MEET: Bridget Kovacs - Event Florist

Bridget Kovacs Florist

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm an Event Florist based in Cambridge. Almost six years ago I set up my own business called Larkspur Floral Design - I love to create and design floral styling to enhance clients' celebrations! I adore all things flowery and love selecting blooms and foliages to make bespoke statements for the best people!

Sarah Brookes Photography

Photo courtesy of Sarah Brookes Photography

How did you become a florist?
I studied for a degree in art and design, specialising in painting, textiles and printmaking, and then went on to work with artists and crafts people as an exhibitions organiser in galleries and museums. When I was little I grew up in a village called Fenny Bentley in the stunning Derbyshire Peak District and was lucky enough to spend my childhood playing with nature all around me. My brother and I used to go for long walks in the hills and dales and I always brought back flowery and foliagey specimens to collage with and draw or paint. When I first had my children I started some evening classes in floristry, and discovered I had a flair for making lovely things with flowers!

Thyme Lane Photography

Photo courtesy of Thyme Lane Photography

Do you have any formal training?
I decided to undertake a 2 year City & Guild's Diploma in Floristry, and spent many days and nights when my babies slept(!), writing, drawing, and designing with flowers, to gain the skills needed to work in the floristry industry. It's not just about being artistic - there are lots of skills and techniques to learn that make you more expert! I also attended courses run by industry professionals, such as The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers, and with Judith Blacklock's Flower School.

Dottie Photography

Photo courtesy of Dottie Photography

What is so special about working with couples on their big day?
As weddings are so special it is immensely valuable to help couples plan their celebration, and flowers are often such an important part of that! I usually meet clients at least twice & also have many email/phone exchanges so we get to know each other and their likes and dislikes. The overall look and feel of the day, as well as the 'personality' of the celebration is important to understand, to style the flowers in harmony. Flowers have the power to enhance a celebration - they are food for the soul!

Fiona Kelly Photography

Photo courtesy of Fiona Kelly Photography

Have you been asked to do anything unusual?
Yes, often - I love a challenge! I've had a range of unusual and unique requests, and love to be involved in the overall styling/personality of the wedding. Often the sheer scale of the event, and number/size of flower designs to be made and installed at venues is an exciting and demanding challenge... pushing your problem solving and creativity to new lengths!

Fiona Kelly Photography

Photo courtesy of Fiona Kelly Photography

Recently, I've conceived a wedding which included creating and hanging a huge four tier willow/floral boho chandelier, along with 126 napkin flowers, table centres and multiple outdoor designs including bicycle flowers, willow hearts and floral tableaux, within the ground of a private home (phew!)... which was a huge event to pull off! I feel very lucky to have an invaluable mini team to help on those occasions.

Red on Blonde Photography

Photo courtesy of Red on Blonde

A quirky, funny request I had was to design bridesmaids' bouquets using living lettuces (as the groom ran a company that farmed them) - always good if you get a bit peckish at the celebration! I love the variety of work I'm able to be involved in. The village hall settings have yielded some fun briefs - last year we did a Moroccan style wedding, with many hanging lanterns filled with blooms in the midst of 'Turkish Delight' plates.

Each time you take on a new challenge you are learning and growing - which makes it very rewarding!

Commissioned installation for Marcus Barnett Garden Design for Chelsea Flower Show

Do you do other events as well as weddings?
Yes, if we can squeeze them in! We love to design and make bespoke flower arrangements for corporate events and parties too. We were commissioned to help Marcus Barnett Landscape & Garden Designer to make an installation of over 250 hanging silk blooms outside a restaurant in Mayfair, to tie in with The Chelsea Flower Show.

Invision Photography

Photo courtesy of Invision Photography

Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by my ingredients (I live and dream flowery specimens!), and by my clients too (hearing about the planning for their celebration, their shared histories - everyone is unique.). I also love following other florists, artists & sculptors. I've eclectic tastes, so it changes all the time, but I love Francoise Week's botanical couture for all its rich inventive textures, and Rebecca Louise Law for her amazing dying floral installations. Plus, I'm really drawn to the florists who use British flowers where possible and those whose style is inspired the Old Master paintings, like 'Swallows & Damsons', a florist based in Sheffield.

Please tell us about your workspace/studio.
I have a workshop attached to my home where I work with my flowers and a wealth of ever expanding containers, but my work has been known to spread onto my utility and kitchen tables too! Finished flower designs occasionally sneak under the piano and next to the cat bed too - always needing more space! I am lucky to have a small 'studio' room (my oasis of calm girl cave) where I meet my couples. It's lovely to have a special room for drawing, looking through pictures and books for inspiration. I must say, it's the one room in my house that stays tidy!

Joanna Ornowska Photography

Photo courtesy of Joanna Ornowska Photography

What are your favourite tools of the trade?
My scissors! I've got an old well worn pair of secateur style ones that were my grandad's (that I still sharpen) and I am always on the look our for new styles. I'm looking forward to receiving a new style Japanese pair for my birthday, that are meant to be state of the art.

Lina & Tom Photography

Photo courtesy of Lina and Tom

What does the term handmade mean to you?
To me, it means creating work that is artisan, using flowers to make bespoke, tailor-made designs for each client to suit a particular outfit or setting and backdrop.

What advice would you give someone looking to start a creative business?
Practice your art, know your market, and research thoroughly before embarking on setting up. Think carefully about your pricing and don't undervalue your skill!

Ben Minaar Photography

Photo courtesy of Ben Minnaar

What was the best advice someone ever gave to you?
Say yes to any creative challenge, and then find out how to do it later!

What are the most rewarding and most frustrating aspects to what you do?
There's lots to do in a small space of time in the lead up to an event, which can be tricky, particularly since you are working with ephemeral material. But, as long as you are organised (and are lucky to have help for the medium/larger events), and prepared for the early mornings and late nights, then you will succeed. I especially love the installation day - seeing all the designs looking perky and stylish, coming to life in the settings they were made for! It makes me happy and proud that I have contributed to it being a memorable celebration.

Ross Harvey Photography

Photo courtesy of Ben Minnaar

Please describe your perfect day…
It would be a full on day of multi-tasking! Catapulting between scrubbing out flower crates, prepping containers and researching the best blooms to fit a theme/colour scheme or vision. Popping to the flower market or speaking/meeting local growers to pick out the best shades and textures. One of my favourite parts is meeting clients at my studio and mulling over pics and ideas about the exciting flowery possibilities! Visiting new and well known venues to iron out any details. But, the piece de resistance is making the designs - many hours of creating with flowers (standing, cutting, lifting), bringing design ideas to fruition, and hopefully conjuring up wedding flowers that dreams are made of! A labour of love...

If you had the chance to learn a new creative skill, what would it be?
I'd love to do more dancing - I did ballet and contemporary dance when I was a girl and in my twenties, and loved it so much! If I'd have more time I'd like to learn to do Latin or Ballroom - not sure if my hubby would want to accompany me though!

Red on Blonde Photography

Photo courtesy of Red on Blonde

What are your goals for the future?
To keep helping couples realise their vision and to provide distinctive, quality wedding flowers. Learning and stretching myself all the time. It's a little way off, but my daughter's very artistic and if she chooses to get married in the future I'd love to help her design her bouquet!

Photo courtesy of Thyme Lane Photography

Where can we see your work?
As I work with living materials it means I'm always making new things - but you can see examples of my designs on my website www.larkspurfloraldesign.co.uk and follow me on www.facebook.com/larkspurfloraldesign and on www.instagram.com/larkspur_floral_design