Meet the celebrity wedding florist who has worked with Adele and Rihanna
26 Jul 2022
We speak to celebrity wedding florist Larry Walshe, founder of Bloom, and find out more about his fascinating world of flowers
Tell us about your business. How did you get into wedding floristry?
I started life as a wedding producer and quickly became frustrated with what was being offered in the marketplace with regards to wedding design and floristry. I found that at the time, many companies were offering a written proposal with limited visuals and that the ideas didn’t, as a result, feel special or particularly creative.
I had trained in interior and retail design so knew the process that was offered in this sector and felt that plans, renderings, illustrations, mood boards and clarity should be provided for the level of investment that was being undertaken by many couples. As a result, I felt that if I thought I could do it better, I should put my money where my mouth was…so I did!
Eight years on, I am proud and humbled that we are one of the largest and most prolific florists in the UK and Europe and consistently travel across three continents for our clients, creating some of the most discussed and public celebrations on the planet.
Above: Claridge's (Barker Evans)
How much do you charge for your services?
Everything that we offer is entirely bespoke and tailored to the level of investment our clients would like to make. All projects vary in scale and as a result, cost.
What countries have you travelled to for weddings?
Throughout the UK, Portugal, Italy, France, Switzerland, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Doha, Dubai, Bahrain, New York.
Above: 50 Cheyne Walk (And Your Story)
How do you set about ensuring beautiful floral arrangements in hot/cold countries?
Part of the art of floristry is understanding the flowers you are working with, how stable they are and how long each will require in order to open perfectly on the day of the wedding. This typically requires flowers arriving at various points the week before the wedding so each has their own schedule of development.
In warmer and cooler countries, we balance the ambient temperature against the time the flower requires to develop to ensure that on the day of the wedding, everything is fully open and in the perfect state. It is by no means a science and definitely an art form.
Who are among your most famous clientele and what floral arrangements did you create for them?
Rihanna, Adele, Stella McCartney, Dua Lipa, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Carroll and many others are all clients. I couldn’t possibly say what we have created for them….
Above: Cliveden House (the wedding of Jermain Defoe and Donna Tierney; Roberta Facchini Photography)
Which celebrity/royal wedding has been the most memorable to date and why?
All of our clients are memorable. We consider it an honour to be appointed to design the most special day of your life and as a result, we remember every single celebration.
What floristry brief has been the most challenging?
We recently worked on what is likely the largest wedding in UK history and were given eight weeks' notice to co-ordinate nearly one million flowers and a team of 85 over a three-week build. Projects of this size are very much a military operation, but to be brought into the project at such a late stage, with new requests which continued until two days before the wedding itself and to execute it flawlessly, was a testament to the team that I work alongside.
Above: Kew (Kate Nielen Photography)
Tell us why you love your job.
Every single day is different. I wake up not knowing what I may be asked to create next. Every celebration we create is entirely unique to the next, so each time I walk into the studio we have a new challenge with new variables to contend with. I love a challenge and cannot work in an environment where I have an opportunity to become comfortable, so events with their ever-changing demands suits my personality well.
Over the years, as we have become known for the work that we do, we now receive the most creative and interesting briefs, which means that I truly do get to live every design fantasy I could ever imagine and see each one created into the most beautiful reality.
Above: The Langley (And Your Story)
What do you predict will be the top wedding flower trends for 2023?
I feel that garden-inspired designs with much texture, depth and movement will continue to become ever popular. I very much see this as a quintessential 'English' look, as it isn’t something you see recreated elsewhere across Europe. Lashings of foliage, lots of flower varieties and hugely romantic.
This particular style lends itself incredibly well to sustainable design and we have been pioneering new, foam-free techniques to create large-scale installations in this manner for some years now. I feel with an ever-increasing awareness of the need for enhanced sustainability, we will see styles like this come to the fore and develop much further.
Above: Monkey Island (the wedding of Melissa and Adam Webster; Rebecca Searle Photography)
How is the concept of sustainability infiltrating the world of floristry?
Couples are becoming very aware at just how wasteful the events industry can be. For the first time, couples are regularly asking how we can work in a more sustainable manner and this is music to our ears. We are able to guide and advise our clients on the best styles to work with this objective; schemes which lend themselves perfectly to be created without the use of floral foam.
We also look at ways of re-using designs so that they can be enjoyed beyond the wedding itself and taken away at the end of the evening by guests for them to enjoy at home. For flowers which aren’t required post-ceremony, we have recently partnered with a natural confetti company who make charitable donations from each sale so that they use our blooms and give them a second lease of life.
Above: V&A (twobytwo event photography)
What are your top eco tips for brides and grooms planning their wedding the sustainable way?
Be open to the styles and looks which are suited best to this style of design. Take advice from your vendors and let them guide you. Consider each part of the journey: where are your flowers coming from? How can they be constructed in a sustainable way? How long do your vendors need to create this work? What can we do with the flowers after the wedding itself?
Dependent upon what you are looking to create, your florist will be able to make suggestions that suit you best. Given the correct amount of time, they may be able to adjust how they would usually make a particular design to do this in a sustainable way – sometimes these methods take a little longer, so if your venue will give you a bit more time on the day, this may be possible.
Do consider that some choices which are more sustainable may cost a little more too. We know this all too well from setting up the UK’s first 100% plastic-free and sustainable online florist, Bloom. Cardstock which is FSC certified, ink which is soy based, adhesives which are petroleum-free; all are available but at an enhanced price point as they simply aren’t mainstream yet. Consumer demand typically drives down this price so until we can all start requesting it, it sits a little higher than usual.
Support these suppliers, help bring attention to the products that matter and spend a little more to have a more sustainable and conscious celebration.