As a floristry student or newly qualified florist the moment you get your first ‘paid’ gig is a really big deal. When our students come to Pearsons with the exciting news that they've been asked to do a wedding or provide flowers for an event, we’re just as excited as they are and always on hand for any advice that they might need.
We spoke to just a couple of our students who have recently created the florals for their first paying client. And asked them how it went and what they learned from the experience.
In this first article we share the story of the lovely Julia due to complete her Certificate III in 2020.
We asked Julia "You have just done your first wedding for a client, which is very exciting. Tell us about it and your flower journey"
I have been studying my Certificate III in Floristry with Pearsons for about a year now. I took a trimester break for my own wedding last year, and I will be finishing the course in May. I work four days a week at my other job, and study at Pearsons one day per week. I also play cello in an orchestra for fun.
"What initially attracted you to studying floristry? "
My mother used to run a florist shop in Elizabeth Bay when I was growing up. I have always loved flowers and colours, but never thought I would be able to learn my passion. I spoke about it with my husband one evening and we started researching options and Pearsons came up in our search. I was so excited when my supportive boss allowed me to move from 5 days to 4 days at work, so I could study at Pearsons on the fifth day. I love the idea of creating beautiful things that people can appreciate. I don't know a person who doesn't like flowers!
What was it about Pearsons School that made you want to study with us?
Pearsons has a great reputation and is also close to home. I love the flexibility of the course – there are always several day choices and if for some reason due to work or personal commitments I can't make a day, it's easy enough to change to another day for that week. I also love the outings provided by Pearsons. I have already attended the flower markets, a funeral home, and visited some of the flower growers.
"What did you love about studying the ‘SFL30115 Certificate III in Floristry’ with Pearsons School?"
I have really enjoyed feeling challenged, learning about lots of new flower names and varieties, and meeting new people. I've also enjoyed the fact that the learning has been a process, if something is challenging and I don't think I've understood it properly, we will go over it again the next week so I will feel much more confident with that design.
You have just done your first wedding for a client, which is very exciting.
Being at Pearsons has definitely given me more confidence in floristry. I had previously been on a market visit with Pearsons, which helped me with the wedding in terms of knowing who I wanted to order my roses from, and just navigating the market experience in general. Having been at Pearsons also helped me immensely with preparing the flowers and creating and presenting the bouquets themselves. I was also able to enlist the help of another Pearsons student who was in my class last. The people you meet through the course are great!
"What did you enjoy most about creating the florals for the wedding?"
I loved the excitement of delivering the flowers on the day to the bride and her bridesmaids. It was so lovely seeing how complementary they were of the flowers, that was a real thrill.
"What surprised you and was there anything that maybe next time you would do differently?"
I think the amount of time it took me to strip and prepare everything! On the Friday when I came home from the markets and the Saturday night in front of the television, I spent hours stripping and preparing roses and foliage, I would probably ask some friends to help with that bit next time!
"What range of flowers/colours did you use for the wedding and were there any challenges sourcing them?"
As the bridesmaids were wearing burgundy, the bride requested bouquets with burgundy, peach and white. I used beautiful Australian roses from Grandiflora, Australian carnations and South Australian gum, and pepperberry. Grandiflora has a fantastic catalogue from which you can select rose varieties and put through an order.
Funnily enough, I was more nervous about the roses lasting over the weekend (I purchased them on the Friday for a Sunday wedding) in the heat, but the pepperberry was what I struggled with keeping refreshed in the end!
I think it was important for me to do a test run to the markets the previous week, there were so few roses when I arrived that I knew I wanted to order them in especially for the wedding, for peace of mind.
"What advice would you give to someone about to do their first wedding for a client?"
Have self confidence, but don't be afraid to ask for lots of help and advice from your trainers and also professional florists who you admire. I ended up asking two of the florists whom I did work experience for for some advice, and they were more than happy to help.
Also, don't forget to think about things such as how you are going to deliver your work so that it stays looking fresh and professional.
"What does the future hold for you?"
I am expecting my first baby this July which is exciting! In terms of floristry, I would love to keep working for and learning from others (completing the work experience component of the Certificate III course was invaluable), as well as continue to branch out and do some more professional work for friends of friends and family members.
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