If you’ve been a long time reader of Polka Dot Bride, you’ll know that we just love our flowers around here. Basia of Basia Puchalski Floral Design designs everything from bouquets to garlands and flower crowns for your wedding using market fresh blooms and foliage. One of the nicest things about your wedding day is seeing your vision come to life – flowers really are the finishing touch that tie the whole scheme together. Are you a rose and peony girl or have you fallen in love with Australian native blooms or greenery? Whatever you choose, Basia will pull together your ideas into a cohesive look that will take your breath away. Meet Basia and read her story!
How long have you been in the floristry business?
What attracted you to this profession?
I’ve always loved being around nature, I was always digging in my dad’s veggie patch and looking though his gardening magazines. I studied biology at Uni with a particular focus in forest ecology. However, my first real job straight out of Uni was at a pharmaceutical company, which I ended up in for a lot longer than I had intended. This was not the career path for me, as there was no room for creativity. I commenced a florist course and knew that was my calling, I worked in many florists in the evenings and weekends, while still working 9-5 as a Quality Assurance Advisor, and eventually left the corporate world behind to focus on my business.
Image by Chris Clinnick Photography
What are your favourite flowers and botanicals to use?
I love garden roses, David Austin roses and peonies, I find myself smelling each flower sometimes, before I use it in an arrangement.
What do you see as your strength as a florist?
I have seen a lot of floral trends come and go over the years, so it’s important to understand the bride and groom and to get to know their likes and dislikes and understand what is important on their wedding day. I prefer to meet the couple in person to discuss their floral ideas and tailor the flowers especially for them, rather than just provide a stock standard package.
What is your favourite thing to do with botanicals for a wedding?
My favourite at the moment is making floral garlands, with lots of lush greenery and flowers. Hair garlands, garlands for long guest tables, a bridal table, ceremony table, fireplace mantle piece and hanging garlands.
How would you describe your style?
Mainly romantic and pretty, but at the same time I love the rustic and native vibe as well.
What are the influences you draw on in your work?
There are many amazing florists out there who I’m inspired by, but my European background definitely influences a lot of my style. I’m always drawn to vintage and art deco styles, and the old world glamour and grandeur of noble palaces, which Europe has steeped in its history.
Are you seeing an increase in brides considering foliage as a more important (or whole) part of the arrangement – instead of flowers taking centre stage?
I’m finding most brides still wanting mainly flowers for their bouquets, but they are opting for more foliage and greenery for the ceremony and reception. Which allows them to have that wow factor but still keeping in within their budget.
Do you think that the ‘just picked from the garden look’ will be an ongoing trend?
Yes, I think it will, as there are varying degrees of the just picked garden look depending on which flowers are used, and by adding a few flowers just poking out, at different angles will give the bouquet a more whimsical feel.
Image by Cesur Sanli Photography
What are brides asking you for?
Most brides have a good idea of what their wedding will look like, and with Instagram and Pinterest these days, it’s a lot easier for brides to create their mood boards, whereas years ago brides would have scrap books with cut outs to get their ideas across.
What colours do you see coming through for 2017/2018?
Lots of foliage with deep moody reds and burgundy with a hint of blush or cream.
What role do flowers play in your everyday life?
I’m constantly surrounded by flowers, whether in fresh form or as a floral image hanging on our walls at home, photographed by my husband (Isamu Sawa Photography), floral prints on my clothes and my daughter’s too. I even managed to get my husband to wear a floral t-shirt.
What do you enjoy about going to the flower markets?
The early mornings are always hard getting out of bed, but once I’m there I just love seeing all the flowers and foliage that are available.
Does what you find there influence your arrangements for a wedding, or do you plan each wedding piece meticulously?
I usually plan ahead and order what I will require for a wedding but I do like to look and see if something special is available, especially at the moment, with specialty flowers being imported from Japan or Europe which normally wouldn’t be in season here.
Does the venue for the wedding inform the wedding arrangements you will create?
Sometimes, it depends on the venue, some venues are a blank canvas which can be styled any way the bride desires, other venues are already styled so it’s working with what would complement the venue and with the bride’s vision in mind.
How do you ensure that you have a work/life balance?
The wedding industry is seasonal, so lots of work in Spring and Summer and have a break in winter. But in saying that, I have a 2 year old little girl, so I do spend lots of time with her too, and she’s often around when I’m working and wants to help with flower arranging.
Where do you like to go for a short break?
Anywhere where I will be surrounded by nature, whether it’s a drive to a national park or a quick walk to the local park with my daughter and showing her all the flowers along the way.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Spending time with my family and friends, going for walks and of course catching up on sleep.
If you could influence the world what would you wish for?
I would wish for people to love and respect one another so we can all feel safe to live our lives.
Thank you Basia for sharing your story. We love garlands too – a beautiful way to add greenery and the ‘wow’ factor to your ceremony location or venue. To find out more about Basia Puchalski Floral Design visit the website.
Headshot by Isamu Sawa Photography.