The exciting thing about creative people is that there is no limit to their imagination. You just have to plant the seed of an idea and they are able to build on it and present to you something that is beyond your wildest dreams. Good Grace & Humour is the brain child of Meghan, a very creative florist. With bucket loads of imagination, she harnesses her creativity to create voluptuous bunches of blooms and foliage, headpieces, and flowers spilling out of all sort of containers to create the perfect finishing touch to your wedding decor. To be presented with a bouquet or wedding flowers that take your breath away is one of your wedding day’s special moments. This is Meghan’s story.
What an unusual name for a florist business! How did it come about?
It came about over a G&T! I started Good Grace & Humour with a colleague, Anna. We were talking about how important it is in life, whether as a florist or as anything else, to handle yourself with good grace and humour. Anna has since moved on to new creative endeavours, but the name endures.
What was it that drew you to floristry and then to make it your career?
I’ve always worked in creative jobs, and until I began this business about four years ago, I was an editor for a company publishing children’s and lifestyle books. I wanted to do something new, and to have creative control. And I’ve always loved flowers. There’s not much more to it than that!
What or who inspires you?
I get a buzz out of collaboration. I’ve always worked in a creative studio, and nowadays my main “collaborators” are the brides I work with. I love being in the moment with them, and translating their visions into something concrete and beautiful.
How would you describe your floral style?
If pushed, I’d say earthy with a bit of a twist. To be honest, I potter around in my studio and make things that are one-offs, that I know are beautiful, and that my brides will love.
I like to include some unusual, off-beat elements that accentuate the beauty of the more traditional flowers. The human heart likes a little disorder in its geometry (with credit to Louis de Bernieres).
What do you love about visiting the flower markets?
I love to take my trolley and do a lap looking for amazing things. My favourite part is the little kick I get out of the serendipity of finding the perfect flower – or the perfect anything else.
For example, last week I bought some blackened, dried flax seed pods. I saw the glory in them, or to put it another way I thought they looked banging. The colour scheme included dark accents, and so I paired them with olive branches for a table arrangement.
Image by Two Front Teeth
When a bride approaches you with her ideas, how do you plan the flowers to use, to deliver the style she is looking for?
I start with a colour scheme and a concept and place an order for any big-ticket items – say dahlias where the plan is based around them. But 80% of my buying is spur of the moment, on the day. Brides have to trust that I am bringing our ideas to life in my own way.
Do you find yourself adding unusual flowers/foliage that you’ve discovered at the markets on the day, to add that ‘wow’ factor?
Hell yes. Every time.
In terms of design, does a design come to you when you first meet the bride or first see the venue?
Designs come through my conversation with the bride. We work together to distill the theme, connecting disparate elements. I come with an open mind and let the conversation take us there. I always want to come out at a point where we’re (metaphorically) high-fiving each other because it is all coming together.
How do you go about developing that initial design idea?
I don’t start with what is possible, or what is available in a catalogue. For example, a bride recently wanted to create something that matched with her art deco dress. Pointed, spiky shapes work well with the curves and loops of art deco, so my mind went to a pointed structure to build floral arrangements on. We talked about the handy people we knew who could possibly make that sort of thing. And that’s how the bride’s dad got recruited to build spiky structures for an art deco-themed wedding!
Image by Jessica Prince
How do you keep on creating new and fresh designs that are as individual as each wedding or event is?
This one sounds cheesy but it’s true. The uniqueness of the couple means the floral designs will always be unique. They’re who I collaborate with in the beginning and who I’m foraging and designing for in the end, so the final product is a unique testament to our teamwork.
What do you see becoming more popular in terms of floral style, colours and foliage in the future?
The biggest trend I see is that people, more and more, care about design. They want to stand apart. They want to create floral design that reflects all the time and effort they have put into their wedding…let alone their relationship.
Some couples might not want to have huge input into the design themselves. They might not know their floral varieties, or even their colour scheme, but they always want something unique and beautiful. I hope they are confident that they can just ask me for some beautiful flowers and get exactly that.
What are some of the more unusual flowers and foliage you love to use?
I like wildflowers, and sprawling stick-like stems, and crazy colours from the garden. I like to balance traditionally pretty flowers with something out of left field.
I did an arch arrangement a couple of weeks ago that was based on a frame of chestnut branches. I used the branches themselves and their foliage as part of the structure, and as the inspiration for what I added next.
Image by Kelli Morris Photographer
What are some of your favourite colour combinations right now?
I particularly like warm tones. Anything that you could see in a tropical sunset. Last week, I used some rich burgundies and mulberry tones with amber accents. Delicious!
You use many different containers for flowers such as baskets and wooden boxes. Why do you like using unusual containers?
It’s not just about the flowers, it’s about what contains them and binds them. Part of the design is the structure and the shape, or maybe the dress that it needs to match with, or the table that it is on. If those things don’t work, it’s not going to be as good as it could possibly be.
Do you ever feel a little sad that your work is so fleeting, and can only be enjoyed for a short time?
Nah. I’m too busy thinking about the next thing. What’s great about flowers is that they do change with the seasons and are different every moment of every day. Though…at the end of a set-up, I do pause for a moment to take it all in. And I always look forward to seeing the flowers later through the eyes of a professional photographer!
If you could choose to style flowers in a venue for anyone (money no object) what would they look like?
It would look like Monet’s garden at Givenchy, near Paris. An abundance of flowers, layered on each other, making up many different little floral worlds.
What advice would you give to brides?
When looking for a florist, see if you can find some creative affinity. You are looking for a creative partner. Nowadays it is very easy to go onto someone’s website or Instagram and just see if you feel the good vibes. Then let that person know your deepest desires, and try to trust them to give you something amazing.
Image by Jessica Prince
Are you creative in other areas of your life?
My mind is constantly adapting or integrating whatever I’m looking at or thinking about into my work or my life. Aside from flowers, I love furniture, wallpaper, ceilings, tiles, artwork, patterns and everything about home interiors so I’m often bringing home random bits and pieces!
Favourite things to do outside of work?
I love to hang out with my family. Whether that’s over a sneaky babycino or two at our local cafe, or at a market or festival or park or in our garden – wherever looks fun between naptimes!
Thank you Meghan for sharing your story. Beautiful botanicals with a difference to add the wow factor! To find out more about Good Grace & Humour visit the website.
Headshot by Two Front Teeth.
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