Peachy Chats with a Florist | J.F. Floral Couture

It’s been a while since we’ve had a guest on the blog to share some insights into their world of weddings so today, I’m super excited to have one of my favourite florists in Hong Kong, Joyce from J.F. Floral Couture here to give us an insight into her work and talk about all things floral. Joyce’s incredibly creative work never ceases to make my jaw drop. You might remember Joyce’s peachy and succulent arrangements from our vintage peach inspired styled shoot last year and if you do, you’ll know what I mean by jaw-droppingly stunning. If I were a photographer, I could seriously photograph her work all day! In Hong Kong where traditional and super structured floral arrangements are the norm, Joyce’s use of interesting colourful and textured blooms are a real breath of fresh air. Don’t let her young appearance, petite self and sweet demeanor throw you off – this girl knows what she’s talking about peachies!

Can you tell me a little something about yourself? How did you get started in floristry?

I lived in Bordeaux in France in 2005 for a study programme and was totally in awe of their colourful lifestyle. There were so many small boutiques in Europe and after traveling to Paris more years later, I found myself attracted to the work of top florists like Eric Chauvin from “Un Jour de Fleurs” (who is my total inspiration by the way). After spending a couple of years in the corporate world, I found that my genuine interest lay in flower arranging and  floral events styling and so I set out to start my own floral boutique in Hong Kong.

Where do you find inspiration for your floral designs?

I always see flowers as a way to enhance any kind of interior so I can spend hours and days reading all kinds of magazines about interiors and flowers. There are so many flower varieties out there from all over the world, with a little mix and match of vessels and foliages, it will always surprise someone.

What do you love about floristry?

It always challenges my creativity in thinking about a situation where flowers are being displayed, no matter if it’s for home or a wedding. It is just different every single day.

You must have a lot of early starts in order to source gorgeously fresh blooms. What does your typical week look like leading up to an event?

I always get anxious about any floral event that I have planned for my clients. On the day when the flowers arrive at our studio, the first thing I do is check the colors and sizes of the blooms and thinking about ways to control their bloom size under different temperature before the big day. Preparation is always key – how we control the size & freshness of flowers can make all the difference in the world. We often need to hand-pick better quality blooms at the market too, just to make a little enhancements to our arrangements.

What is your favourite flower?

I love everything dainty and detailed. Dainty flowers give so much life & personality to the arrangements and are great materials to bring out the bride’s personality. My favorite of all time are the lily of the valley, blush pink lilac and scented sweet peas from Japan.

For a little sweetness and something taller, I love cherry blossom branches but they are only available around the beginning of the year. For something a little bit bold, I cannot resist the charm of antique autumn color hydrangeas!

What flowers are great for bouquets in terms of their ability to stay fresh all day?

My top choice would be hyacinths. They are long lasting and they have paper white and blush pink tones most times of the year. For something with a harder texture, I usually go for calla lilies, grey brunia and some phalaenopsis to achieve a white & grey modern look. For brides who are looking for peonies during months when they are not available, garden roses are a great alternative.

It’s so hot and humid in Hong Kong all the time. What’s your advice for couples who are getting married in Hong Kong during the more humid months when choosing their flowers?

You are right! It is definitely a key point to note for summer brides especially when they are having an outdoor wedding in Hong Kong. Try to avoid using hydrangeas as they will dry up very quickly under the sun. The best would be to cool up your bridal bouquet until the last minute (if possible), or use more orchids like cymbidiums for your boutonnieres & hairpiece which can withstand the heat of summer. 

What do you recommend brides to start with when they’re planning their floral needs?

Let your imagination guide you first, and it can then be streamlined to the style you would like to have for your big day through the help of your vendors. There are many approaches in creating a floral design so it is good to have a chat with the florist before coming up with a solid item list / color palette. It is always recommended for couples to work on a simple wedding moodboard together, so each of your vendors can visualize the style that you like. It doesn’t have to be very specific on the outset but it’s definitely something good to have. It can give room for your designer to create something that could really surprise you.

What is your number one tip for couples wishing to keep costs down without sacrificing a gorgeous set of blooms?

My advice is to look at your wedding venue. Try to look for a spot where you can put most flowers together, for a bigger impact. Also, try reusing some flowers at your banquet from the daytime ceremony if you have two venues on your wedding day. Be sure to ask your florist for advice because they will know what can or cannot be done with the blooms you have chosen.

Photos by Kilometres.