Q&A with Larry Walshe Floral Design
Larry Walshe talks us through some trending floristry styles
Based in London, Larry Walshe Studios are a talented team of leading mixed-media installation specialists who design and install unforgettable wedding and event styling. Guaranteeing a detail-driven and multi-sensory guest experience, Larry and his team will bring your floral dreams to life.
So Larry, what is the story behind Larry Walshe Studios?
For as long as I can remember, I‘ve always loved design and how to transform a space from a blank canvas into something spectacular. I enjoy constantly trying to find ways of visually interpreting client ideas into the most beautiful reality. I started out helping a friend at a wedding planning service and it was there where I had that eureka moment.
When I began my career as a wedding planner, I became frustrated with the design process that was being offered at the time. Given the level of investment that the clients channel into their special day, I believe that wedding design should be viewed in the same way as an interior design or renovation project. That perspective gathered momentum into what is now Larry Walshe Studios.
What makes Larry Walshe Studios stand out from other suppliers?
I come with a logistical point of view as well as design, so I really think about the guest experience. I like to view the event flow like how the chapters of a book unfold, considering every moment and turn in the plot. I look at the couple’s style, values and budget, then transform that into the design to make their lasting memory personal and special.
What do your services cover?
First and foremost we are a florist but because it has such a symbiotic quality to it, it makes sense to be a part of all of the choices. We go beyond floristry and can create the entire atmosphere and look of the event, including accessories and elements of production such as stages, wedding aisles, dance floors and bars. We can work creatively with every supplier who’s a part of that wedding to keep it all consistent.
Kate Nielen Photography
How does the process work when couples book Larry Walshe Studios?
In the initial consultation, we sit down and go through what is most important to them and what ideas they have collated. We gather as much information as possible to come back with a proposal that acts as our interpretation of the brief. From start to finish, it’s totally up to them how many times we meet. On average, I meet with them two or three times before the wedding day, including a site visit. Zoom is also so convenient for quick calls and immediate feedback.
Is there any limitation to a project’s creativity?
We always design with a budget in mind, so whilst it’s a very creative process, we know that everything we are proposing is tailored to a price that the client is comfortable with. I’m here to listen, advise and interpret a brief to offer the best result for them. It’s about interpreting what they are looking for within the budget parameters, the style and the colour palette to make the space as beautiful as can be.
Cliveden Barker Evans
If they give you a relaxed brief, where do you tend to get your inspiration from?
I like working sensitively with the space and I try not to juxtapose the styles. For example, if the wedding is in a stately home, I like to pull colours from the tapestries or the carpets or the antiques, so that we’re working harmoniously with the environment. You don’t want to fight against your surroundings, it’s about enhancing the space and making it work for you.
What are your most memorable installations?
I’ve created a lot of work that I’m proud of and every single opportunity I love for one reason or another. I also never repeat the same design twice, which makes it really enjoyable. I work as a versatile designer who is willing to cross genres and styles. It’s this variety that keeps me challenged and excited.
Do you think about the senses and how to engage the guests?
Absolutely. We always try to establish how important that is to the client. We then focus them into moments where you can relish and celebrate those shared values in the building. For instance, I’ve previously had bespoke scents made that are pumped through machines to enhance the space. At a more affordable level, we use scented candles and fragrant flowers, like tuberose, sweet peas, peonies, lily of the valley and perfumed roses.
Where do you source your flowers from and is sustainability a focus for you?
The majority come from Aalsmeer in Holland, the flower capital of the world, and where possible we will look to use British blooms. With regards to sustainability, we have a carbon offset programme with the World Land Trust to reduce our emissions. We also launched our retail side called Bloom (bybloom.co.uk) in October 2020 as a covid response to being unable to do any event work. It is the UK’s first 100% plastic-free and sustainable online florist. We’re always striving to move forward and find new ways of working.
What’s the minimum time frame that you need to design an event?
In 2019, I turned around an event with 24 hours notice, so it can be done! Generally, about three months is ideal, as in that time frame, you can have anything you want but not enough time to change your mind, which keeps you excited and inspired. For destination weddings, we normally need between 6 to 12 months because of the logistics involved and the scale tends to be that little bit greater.
What flowers or wedding design elements are trending?
I tend to defy trends and attract people who want an individual and meaningful look, which is what we excel at doing. However, the heavy use of foliage and texture is certainly trending and the quintessentially English Harry and Meghan wedding style is what clients keep coming back to. Overall, clients are becoming more conscious of sustainability and are focused on texture, depth and movement.
Cliveden Barker Evans
For more information about Larry Walshe Studios, discover www.larrywalshe.com
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