I had the opportunity to collaborate with Veiled Lady Floral for a styled shoot and I'm finally unveiling the images. Sarah is the artist behind the amazing floral designs at Veiled Lady Floral. She is an Ohio native living in Lakeland, Florida and taking the wedding industry by a storm. She's one of the vendors I highly recommend to my brides who also happen to be a friend. I wanted to showcase who she is and why you absolutely need to hire her for your wedding! I interviewed her and asked her a few questions about what she does. If her answers resonate with you, you need to connect with her and book her ASAP.
How did you get started in floral designs?
I grew up in nature—my mom, sister, and I all love to go to a garden whenever possible. I grew up playing outside, and always dreamt of owning my own huge garden floral studio one day. My dad is a hunter, my mom is a gardener, and my grandma is a master gardener. When I moved to Lakeland with my husband, I was bored to death during my 2-3 hour commute to work and started a notebook of ideas, mapping out what I truly wanted to do with my life other than sit in a cubicle. I have a BFA in graphic design, and for the past 6 years had done wedding photography. I traveled everywhere for wedding photography, but during my last wedding in Hawaii, I decided wedding photography wasn't what I wanted to do. I wanted to be driving around, finding the flowers, and photographing that process. I just knew on that trip that I had grown tired. I was editing my eyes out after an 8 hr work day at the computer... I had missed creating with my hands. I decided why not start on the dream, there was nothing to lose.
I got a new job in Lakeland and decided to start Veiled Lady Floral. Florida has a lot of southern wedding designs which is not what I'm used to. I focus on bringing a unique, foraged look with natural flowers to central Florida. Wedding flowers should be fun and exciting, not just a necessity. What I offer my brides is just that!
Where do you draw inspiration?
I am a huge fan of the floral trends seen in California/Australian photography. Aside from floral trends, I look for inspiration in a few places: the first is by observing nature and how it naturally grows, intertwines, and seasonally develops. I don't want my florals to be stiff because nothing about nature is stiff. There is air, movement, different tones. Another way is by interacting with nature. If I am feeling uninspired I will just go for a hike, and look for new movement tiny, or large, high or low. My other source of inspiration is fashion design—runway shows, textile design, and clothes that I can't afford play a part in it. While I love the dirt and garden side of florals, I love following fashion designers because just like florals, fashion pays attention to color, the times, and texture. I LOVE texture. I hope to get brides excited about ribbon as well, because ribbon is something that makes a bridal bouquet so much more than just flowers tied with wire. Lastly, inspiration flows from graphic design work. It all crosses paths... lines, color, hierarchy, space—all of it.
What’s the most challenging and unique project you’ve done so far?
Installations! Many florists shy away from installations, but they are my favorite to tackle. I love being able to transform a space inside, and just green the heck out of it. Using tons of natural foliage can make a place look so magical. While the technicalities of hanging, cascading, or wall installations can be rough, it's kind of fun figuring out how to make it work.
What do you like the most about working with brides?
I think the most exciting part is bringing out the artistic side of my brides. I love to show inspiration images, and hearing what they like or dislike. Seeing them get a spark in their eyes when I can show them what I can create is my favorite thing. I like connecting with brides who care about having an amazing experience. I only use naturally dyed ribbon, and source most of florals from direct American flower farmers. I can educate my brides to know what's in season so they choose their blooms accordingly. Working with my brides is an opportunity for collaboration, with their creative sense that may not know they have, but that I get to pull out of them... it's wonderful!
What advice can you give to brides who don’t even know where to start when choosing flowers?
My advice would be to have a budget and get to know your florist. You want the person in charge of your flowers to have good taste, good work ethic, and a positive attitude. If you are investing on a tangible experience, you want it to blow the socks off of your guests. Flowers create the wedding experience—so go big! When else do you get to invite all of your loved ones to a flower-filled extravagant party to celebrate the love that you have manifested? You can order a bridal bouquet from anyone, but you can't order wedding florals that transform a space to reflect you. Hire someone who is passionate about what they do and don't treat you like you're just another job on their list. Last piece of advice: don't get too caught up in what everyone else is doing or what the wedding standards are. Do what YOU want. It's a love party/ceremony/whatever-the-heck you want it to be.