Sassi #2015 Wedding Collection Team – Neill Strain Floral Couture

Virtually every wedding, from the ultra-traditional to the super unconventional, has flowers so it’s important to me that I can recommend some truly excellent florists to my clients.

Neill Strain Floral Couture is one of the florist companies that I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest. Neill and his team create gorgeous arrangements for any occasion and his wedding bouquets are truly stunning.

Tell us a bit about yourself! How long have you been in the floristry industry?

My first experience in a flower shop was when I was 14 years old. I went on to study floristry, art and design to a high level, working with leading florists in London and abroad. I opened my own flower boutique in Belgravia in 2008.

What is it, for you, that makes wedding flowers so special?

Each wedding I design is completely bespoke to the client. I tailor the flowers and the designs to the venue and theme of the event, to make the couple’s dreams and ideas a reality for one day but remaining as a memory for a lifetime.

What’s your favourite type of flower arrangement the moment?

My floral arrangements are very inspired by the seasons, and one of my favourite arrangements at this time of the year is antique urns and pots filled with berries and autumn foliage. If I was asked to design a wedding now, I would choose a venue with rooms of dark wooden panelling and carvings to reflect the flowers and foliage available at this time of year with an autumnal theme.

What advice would you give to couples who are just starting to look for their flower arrangements?

Start by thinking about what style of arrangements and flowers will coordinate with your venue; consider the time of year so that the flowers you wish to use are in season and readily available. You need to decide on the budget early on… how important are the flowers and what percentage of your budget are you willing to allocate?

If you were to create a centre piece that represents ITA*, what would it be?

As ITA* offers luxury and elegance in their wedding venues, I would create a structural design incorporating the elegance of orchids, the opulence of hydrangeas and the sophistication of garden-style roses.

What ITA* venue would you choose for your wedding day?

It would have to be Chiswick House, one of my favourite venues due its opulent interiors and majestic gardens.

What trends in flowers have you seen this year?

The success of the film “The Great Gatsby” has revived the popularity of Art Deco. Hence, we have seen trends in an Art Deco order diazepam online style with strong lines and soft, pastel colours.

What trends in flowers do you predict for 2015?

Floral design is often influenced by fashion and as we see more glitz and glamour along with the combining of many different textured fabrics in fashion, this trend will no doubt be reflected in our floral arrangements. As more and more flowers are becoming available beyond their traditional seasons, we are able to mix flowers from different seasons.

What is the most unique flower arrangement you have created?

Being based in Belgravia, we are never short of interesting clients with unusual requests! A recent commission came from Lady Gaga, who wanted to send a gift to Donatella Versace. I created Donatella’s initials entirely out of flowers. The lettering was over 8-feet-tall and covered completely with gardenias (Ms. Versace’s favourite flower), roses and Phalaenopsis orchids. My team and I went to Milan to create the designs and delivered them personally to Ms. Versace.

Which was your most inspirational/memorable wedding and why?

My youngest sister got married this summer, and it was definitely a very memorable day. Knowing her so well, I knew I could help create her dream wedding. She trusted me completely and gave me “carte blanche” to let my imagination run wild.

The wedding was in the fairy tale setting of Lough Eske Castle in Co. Donegal in Ireland. The church was serenely decorated with elegant and sophisticated white and green colour palette. However, the reception was a dramatic scene of large opulent arrangements of garden roses, hydrangeas and orchids in different shades of pink and fuchsia.

Why is London so great for weddings?

London offers an amazing spectrum of venues, from the ultra-modern to listed masterpieces of architecture, from the sublime to the extreme. Whatever your dream wedding might be, there will be the perfect place for it in London.

What really excites you about your job?

Working with clients to realise their dreams, the diversity of creativity following the different tastes and styles of my clients, decorating some of the most exquisite venues and interiors in the world… what could be more exciting than this?!

What inspires you about a wedding?

The idea of creating a stage for a single moment to mark such an important event in one’s life is naturally inspirational… Every wedding is different; it is tailored to the venue, to the couple, to the theme. Nothing could be more unique, and this is what inspires me in my work.

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