We caught up with Owen Lavin, owner and floral sculptor (as he prefers to call himself) at Little Lillies to talk Hydrangeas to signature styles.
Little Lillies is a Hampshire based wedding florist. It began back in 2000 when Owen owned a fruit and veg shop called ‘Little Tomatoes’ that also sold flowers. Owen was always interested in the creative aspect of the business from the shop design and decoration. This led to the opening of Little Lillies alongside his wife and business partner Anna.
“I was fortunate enough to be born with a creative mind and after studying fine art, I found myself involved in the world of flowers.”
It was the days before Facebook when Owen and Anna first opened the florist. Owen sought inspiration from a book he read by Daniel Ost - a Belgian floral artist, floral designer and garden architect who has been described as ‘the world's leading flower designer’. An unlimited passion for flowers and the skill to convey emotions through natural elements is what makes each creation of Daniel’s an unparalleled work of floral art. Owen relied on his own creativity along with the ideas brought to the table from the bride and groom and believes anything is possible.
“I consider myself to be very lucky to be involved in so many people's lives, bringing them joy with my creations. During each and every consultancy I just let my imagination take me away as we discuss ideas.”
When we asked Owen about the best advice to give, he simply responded with “Don’t think of flowers, think of a colour you like.” A colour can help determine the flowers that are available (season depending). Owen considers what you don’t like to be just as important as what you do. He suggests creating a list of likes and dislikes to take with you to the florist consultation so that you are clear on what you are after. Owen understands that the shape of the dress along with bridesmaids dresses play a part of the florist design but states to not get held up with the venue and let the flowers create the venue décor.
There is always a moment in everyone’s career that sticks in the mind. For Owen it’s two. From creating a bouquet from a deer’s head to the creation of what we now know as the ‘Champagne tree’. The deer head was an interesting concept for Owen who is vegetarian. The bride told him to not think of the blood and gore but to think of the beauty of the deer and what it represents. The Champagne Tree was created as a fluke as Owen misheard a bride say the words champagne and three and thought she had said she wanted to have a ‘champagne tree’. As Owen never says no, he rolled with it to create a beautiful centre piece for everyone to enjoy.
The seasons play a huge part in wedding floristry and what flowers can be sourced at the particular time of year. For spring time, Tulips are a popular choice whereas winter brings Amaryllis into play. The summer is a great season as nearly everything is readily available. Everyone wants a sunny day on their wedding day, but flowers do not. Owen wants to make a point to not shout at the florist if the Hydrangeas’ die when exposed to hot weather- they just aren’t designed for the heat.
Owen suggests that the bride should begin to think about the flowers as soon as she says the words ‘I do’. If you are looking to book Owen, he requires at least a year’s notice to book the date in the diary. As Owen explains, he has a unique style, like many other wedding florists. It is important that the bride and groom pick the florist based on their style and previous works rather than try to change the florist themselves.
Flowers are really the heart of your celebration and can create the vibe you're going for: romantic, modern, whimsical, rustic—the list goes on and on. If you like moss, twigs and unusual creations, contact Owen today to book a consultation.
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