Flowers have been a sign of love for centuries and they still continue to be a pivotal part of the wedding celebrations. So as wedding season approaches, A&E speaks to the Founder of Plaisir Cadeaux et Fleurs, Mandy McMechan about romance and getting the right flowers for your big day.
Any bride or groom-to-be knows that flowers are one of the most important aspects of the wedding day. Having the right floral arrangements to fit the mood and the location of your wedding is crucial and can really make or break the mood of your big day.
Someone who knows all about choosing the right kind of flowers for your big day is Florist and Founder of Plaisir Cadeaux et Fleurs, Mandy McMechan. McMechan realised that a career in floristry was her destiny when, after 12 hours of flower arranging in her garage, she was still happy, captivated and eager to carry on. With her floristry currently located in Dubai, she has ambitions to expand on her unique, luxe business throughout the region.
We got to catch up with Mandy to talk about all things romance and bridal, and why having the perfect flower arrangements on your big day is so important.
Why do you think flowers are a symbol of romance?
When somebody gives you flowers it means they’ve been thinking of you. That to me is the ultimate in romance.
What have you learnt about romance since becoming a florist?
This is a really good question! I find that in today’s day and age things have to be bespoke. People love to have things custom made. I have clients that come in with the most expensive gifts – jewellery, a Chanel bag, an Hermès bag – but they still want to add flowers when they present it as if the gift is not enough and to me, that’s romantic.
When did you know you wanted to be a florist?
I started [flower arranging] in the garage of my home, one day, it was seven in the morning, by about 11am my daughter came down and told me she was going to a party, by 11pm she came home and I was still in the same position doing the same thing. That’s when I knew – after twelve hours I was doing it and I was still happy, that’s destiny.
What would you say most women are looking for from a wedding bouquet?
Elegance and durability. Most brides look for softer colours and pastels and are not so particular on the type of flowers used as long as we give them our expert advice on durability – it has to last the whole day without water and look fresh for photographs, so we tend to select flowers that will do just that.
Why do you think it’s important to have flowers on your big day?
It’s not a wedding without flowers. Flowers are one of the top five most important part of a wedding.
Are there any wedding floral trends or colour combinations you love at the moment?
There are three trends for 2019 which we tend to receive a lot of requests for. Colour trends of choice remain pastels, pastels, pastels. We are big fans of soft delicate colours and unique blooms. Although we will always honour and respect our clients’ choices if they insist on strong colours or a traditional rose or peonies bouquet, we love to interest them in unique flower trends for weddings this year, and giving a little ‘Plaisir’ twist to it – using unique stems such as Lily of the Valley, and freesias can take your bridal bouquet from traditional to modern and still remain highly elegant.
Overflowing greenery is another trend which has become popular this year, with a single large bloom such as a Garden Rose or a Dhalia – but we recommend doing this design in a much smaller and more controlled bouquet in order to stay far away from the ’80’s ultra-big looks.
Minimalism is the third trend. Stems such as carnations, which used to be known as ‘fillers’, are now taking centre stage with very unique and elegant colours. For example, we had five stems of peach multi-petal carnation for a bride recently, simple, without frills and not even tied together. Five stems loosely placed in layers.
What are the differences between having flowers for an event or special occasion compared with those in the home?
Home florals need to be selected mainly for their durability. You want your home flowers to last at least five days and look as fresh as the first day. Whereas your aim for an event floral bouquet is not so much durability. You, therefore, have much more freedom in selecting any types of flowers you like for events.
How do styles of flowers change with the seasons?
Colours are the biggest factor when seasons change. In fall we tend to have many more requests for yellows and oranges, whereas in winter the trend is more festive with reds and greens, as well as white. Spring, of course, we are inundated with pastel colour requests, Cherry Blossom, Forsynthias and such. And summer tends to be more jewel-toned colours.
Are there any flowers that are particularly popular in the UAE and why do you think this is?
A local standard in the UAE are Orchids and Longlife Roses. Both of which have a durable and very long life, as apparent in name. Another popular choice here is Peonies; loved by all for their beauty and delicacy (but not for their durability) – however, this particular flower blooms for a very short time so when it is in season, we can’t keep enough on hand! It sells out very quickly.
What’s the biggest challenge you face as a florist?
There are many challenges you face as a florist in the UAE because we don’t purchase with our eyes, we purchase with our minds. You have to think of a flower and its name and order it online. Many times we receive it and it’s not the same as what we ordered or the colour is different, so we have to send it back and wait another four days. Whereas in other parts of the world you go at four in the morning to the flower market and that is so important because it inspires you. Maybe there was something that you weren’t thinking of and then all of a sudden you’re visually stimulated to create something new. That’s’ an option we don’t have here and that’s challenging.
What’s the professional motto that you live by?
Be good to your team because your team is everything.