Expert florist Shea Hopely of Shea Hopely Flowers, Inc. is the perfect match for all you modern, chic couples. We worked with her magic floral abilities in our Winter 2016 issue of The Celebration Society (go snag a copy to see) and the arrangements were beyond gorgeous. Check below to discover her history in the floral business and tips to consider for your wedding!
How did you get into wedding florals? Actually my background is in retail, fashion merchandising and specifically visual merchandizing, where we did a lot of floor plans and displays, mannequins, that sort of thing. And we would entertain corporate when they would came to visit. for these retail companies. So we would put on parties and plan parties, things like that. And we would order florals, centerpieces and what not and that’s what kind of sparked my interest. So from that point on I would do those events and then a couple of clients and friends in the stores would get married and I would do their wedding florals. Then I decided to stop working full time when I had my children so I worked part time for another florist here in Jacksonville for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day… that sort of thing. That grew my interest in more the event based world because he did more of higher end events and he went out of business after two years, that’s when would do contract work occasionally here and there and I decided to start my own company.
What’s your favorite part about being a wedding florist? Seeing the finished product in the venue and overall design and everything coming together. Also, when your clients expectations are far beyond what they originally were is definitely the best part.
What is your favorite flower to use in weddings? Hmm… that’s hard. Let’s say peonies and dahlias are my top two.
What is your favorite wedding style and why? Probably a little bit of modern-organic. I just add touches of modern so that things don’t seem dated and everything is kind of fresh but I still like the organic feel of it being natural.
What is the biggest tip you have to pass onto aspiring wedding florists? Don’t be scared to fail or do a bad design. Don’t be scared of the product. Just keep working with the it until you kind of come up with your own aesthetic, until you really like it. I think sometimes you start off with this vision in your head and it doesn’t come out when you design it that way. Just keep working at it because it might not necessarily come out exactly like you want it but that’s how you develop your own aesthetic.
Highlight of your career? Probably going into print for the first time in a magazine.
Where do you look for wedding floral inspiration? Definitely the fashion world. I’m not very into nature, as most florists are. I don’t have a green thumb, which is crazy. People ask me about plants and that’s just not my things. I like the outdoors but I’m not an outdoor lover. So defiantly fashion, more trendy that way fabrics and textures.
What should a couple have prepared before meeting with you? They should know to feel comfortable speaking their mind as far as their likes and dislikes. I have a very blunt personality, so they can be like that too.
Photos by Brian M Miller Photography