This week we had the pleasure to chat to Brigid Riley owner of the amazing Fernwood Flowers. Based on the Meath Cavan border Brigid started her business in 2016 and since has created the most amazing floristry business. Fernwood’s wedding bouquets and arrangements have Brigid’s signature style bringing floristry to the next level. Here is a little insight on what we chatted about.
How did you come up with your company name?
After a brainstorming session with my family around the Sunday dinner table. I knew I wanted a name with 2 syllables and something to do with nature so we made 2 lists of nature words and started matching them up. We landed on Fernwood and it just felt right, I still love it 6 years later so it was obviously the right one!
Do you have a certain design style or inspiration?
Yes, for sure. I like my designs to look like they could be growing in a garden, I love the way flowers grow in nature and I try to replicate that in my work.
How do you source your flowers?
During the Irish growing season, I grow some of my own flowers. You really can't beat the scent or movement of garden-grown flowers, the commercially-grown flowers just can't compare. However, I do also bring in a lot of flowers from Holland, I just couldn't grow the quantity of flowers I would need to supply my whole business. I try to use seasonal flowers where possible, we're coming into the Spring flower season now so all the bulb flowers such as amaryllis, narcissus, ranunculus, anemone etc. I love how each flower has their time of year and I look forward to the changing seasons for that reason.
How far in advance do you have to prepare for a wedding day?
It depends on the size of the wedding. We need at least a full day for most weddings but for some of our larger weddings, we can be working for 3-4 days in advance prepping the flowers.
Do you ever create Bridal Crowns?
Yes, we offer both fresh and dried flower crowns, they work so well with boho style weddings and are a lovely way to bring extra flowers into your wedding photos. I always remind brides that the photos they will have hanging on their walls will be of their bridal party so that's why we put so much emphasis on the bridal party flowers. They really make an impact.
What goes into preparing your arrangements behind the scenes for a wedding day?
There's actually a lot of work involved before we can even start arranging the flowers. The flowers come dry-packed in boxes so we have to unpack them, strip the stems and cut them into water so they can rehydrate. The buckets need to be spotlessly clean so we scrub them with bleach first. Once the flowers have been "conditioned" we can start arranging them. The bridal bouquet is my first priority, I always choose the best-looking stems for the bride and I design it in front of a mirror to make sure it looks good from all angles- it is the most photographed of all the flowers, after all!
How far in advance should a couple book their wedding florist?
We have just opened booking for 2024 and we already had a waiting list so really as soon as possible! There are always certain weekends that book up really fast so I always say if you have favourite suppliers, get them booked as soon as possible, especially if you are planning a summer wedding.
What is the best way for our brides to contact you?