Flowers are entwined with colours and memories, and each person’s taste is as individual as their personality.
At Petals, owner Nikki Begg dedicates time to drawing out a bride’s past history and relationship with flowers, and then translating that into something beautiful.
“I feel that part of my responsibility as a floral owner is to inspire and educate brides,” said Ms Begg.
“A lot of people don’t know just how many flowers are out there. Some women may say, ‘Well, my boyfriend gave me roses on Valentine’s Day’, but they haven’t really had much exposure to the different varieties.
“It’s really important to us that we understand what flowers mean to each bride.
“We will take time to talk to you to see what makes you an individual, and the imagery you are trying to create at the wedding.
“Sometimes, when I see some weddings featured in a magazine, I feel they can belong to anyone. They are beautiful but can be simplistic in nature and don’t really give much significance to the flowers.
“I like to see character. Flowers are about memories. One bride told me that one of her earliest memories of her fiancé was going for a walk together and him making a daisy chain for her.
“So, the whole theme of the wedding became spring and daisies — that was very personal to this couple. The bride wore a simple summer frock and held a beautiful bouquet of daisies.
“We used a vibrant yellow and pure white in the colour scheme, and it all looked fresh and innocent.
“The couple didn’t want to spend a lot of money on flowers but the bride said the end result was exactly what she wanted.”
Petals is the sister company to Bermuda Bride, which Ms Begg founded in 2000 as a wedding planner business.
She set up Petals in 2001 to specialize in wedding bouquets and decorations, but it has grown into an independent florists in its own right, with many corporate and individual clients.
Ms Begg, a Professional Bridal Consultant with the Association of Bridal Consultants, was listed among the 2010 top 25 worldwide ‘A-list’ wedding planners by Destination Weddings and Honeymoons magazine.
She organizes up to 80 weddings a year, many of which are “high-end” and commissioned by clients in the US.
Ms Begg said she founded Petals “to have more ability over the end-result” as a wedding planner.
“Often a bride will hire separate entities, such as a wedding planner, photographer and caterer, but how do they come together on the day to create a cohesive feel?
“This is the beauty of having a floral company — it allows me to do that. We are able to get the cohesiveness in a wedding, because we work together.”
The company recently launched the website www.petalsbermuda.com to showcase the “beauty and quality” of its flowers.
Petals sources its products from all over the world and Ms Begg regularly visits her wholesalers in Boston and New York.
She said she is constantly on the lookout for new and interesting varieties.
“I recently came across a beautiful phalaenopsis orchid which was purple and white in a gingham-style pattern,” she said.
“It’s great to see all these new varieties.”
On the website, she said: “We have so many beautiful flowers available to us, I thought, ‘How can we share that with everyone?’.”
The result is a site which allows people to click on colours as tags, leading them to a gallery of photographs of each bouquet and arrangement Petals has created featuring that colour.
It also provides descriptions of each species, educating people about the choices they can have.
“The website helps people who have a colour scheme to search by those particular colours,” said Ms Begg.
“It has allowed us to share our love for flowers with people who are curious and who want to know what each flower is all about.
“It is difficult to explain what a lisianthus is on the phone, for example, so this is more helpful.”
The website also features a personal profile of Ms Begg and her three florists, to help personalize the bride’s relationship with them.
In February and March, Petals will also be running workshops for brides-to-be, to help them develop their colour schemes, floral arrangement and bouquet ideas.
Ms Begg said that as well as organizing weddings for overseas clients, Petals and Bermuda Bride have a “strong local following”.
She said: “The floral industry is hard work. You are standing for most of the day and are constantly pulling thorns off roses and stripping stems, but at the end of the day you create something quite beautiful.
“The best part of my job is meeting someone for the first time and finding out what inspires them, then working with them to implement that and create it so they can have fun on their wedding day.
“Meeting people from different backgrounds and spiritual beliefs, it also forces you as an individual to see outside your comfort zone and become more broad-minded.
“It allows you to see another side of life, and that’s a fun part of my job, along with constantly expanding my creativity.”
Petals, 3 Park Road, Hamilton. Contact 292-7303 or e-mail email@example.com. Websites: www.petalsbermuda.com and www.bermudabride.com.
Fairytale Weddings January 2012