Following her beautiful summer wedding to her beau Paul Harvey, Co-Owner of Windyridge Garden Centre & Nurseries; we had a chat with A-list florist and owner of Joeanna Caffrey Flowers, Joeanna about her breathtaking wedding flowers, the colour scheme she chose and her reasons behind each delicate detail. To read more about Joeanna's showstopping wedding pick up a copy of our Winter Edition of SOCIAL & PERSONAL WEDDINGS

Portrait image of a table setting. Pink, blue, red and green Irish flowers surround the base of a small black birdcage with a small fake black bird perched on top. There is a silver frame in front of the centerpiece that says the word stock in calligraphy Joeanna Caffrey's wedding flowers

What led you to opt for a deep green as your overlying theme?
  • Being a florist was obviously a factor as I am constantly looking at how everything grows naturally. Green is the foundation for nature, it is the basis of all flowers and plants. I felt the use of lush foliage with beautiful florals would bring my vision of bringing the outside inside, to life. This was the underlying reason, also my engagement ring is an antique Emerald, so I felt it would be beautiful to compliment that also.
What are your favourite florals to work with? Do you have a sentimental attachment to any of the flowers you chose?
  • I adore all flowers and love using a mix of different textured florals. I particularly love old fashioned style flowers such as garden roses, sweet pea, gladioli and dahlia. I chose a mix of florals based on different memories I would have of my grandmother’s garden and my Mum’s favourites. In particular sweet pea, both my grandmother and Mum used to grow these and the heavily scented flowers remind me of them.
Do you feel like you and your husband's experience in working with flowers aided the planning process?
  • Definitely, I am lucky to work with flowers daily at my stores at Avoca and also on beautiful weddings nearly every week so I would have a lot of experience in organizing different aspects for weddings and events. I would also see all different types of flowers every week so am very familiar with seasonality so choosing our flowers was a pleasure. We also incorporated trees and plants from Paul’s garden centre, Windyridge and choosing these was fun to do together.

Irish bride, Joeanna Caffrey, and groom embrace outside the doors of a church. The groom is holding the bride in the air in a tight hug. Behind them is a large arch of white flowers and greenery bordering the door and grey stone wall of the church Joeanna Caffrey's wedding flowers

Had the season been different would your colour scheme have been impacted? Like if you had a winter wedding instead.
  • 100%, the theme always must reflect the time of year as I love to bring nature into my arrangements bringing the outside inside. It is so beautiful to reflect your surroundings in your design. I chose colourful florals for our venue to reflect what was growing in their gardens.
Have you noticed the eco-trend in Ireland yet, are many brides looking for more locally sourced blooms or is the demand for importing flowers as steady as always?
  • I am extremely aware of the environment and am continuously trying to source more environmentally friendly flowers and materials. Brides are not necessarily requesting more eco-friendly flowers and packaging but I see it more in my retail outlets in Avoca. I always endeavour to buy Irish where I can.
In that vein, did you find yourself incorporating local flora into your wedding?
  • Yes, as much as I could but it is difficult with cut flowers due to our weather. I used Irish plants from Windyridge garden centre and greenery from Wicklow.  The flowers on my cake were from Bumblebee farm in West Cork.

A three tiered, white buttercream wedding cake covered in small flowers and leaves in a way that gives the effect of a small garden Joeanna Caffrey's wedding flowers

Did you feel a lot of expectation to have perfect flowers on your wedding day?
  • Not from everyone else but more from myself, I adore flowers and wanted the flowers to reflect both Paul and I. I obviously had a little more pressure than most as it is what I do but I thoroughly enjoyed picking everything and seeing everything coming together. It’s amazing to imagine the whole look of an event or wedding and then see it in reality especially when it was for our wedding.
How much consideration did you put into the scent of your floral décor?
  • I adore the natural scents of florals and greenery. This was very important for me, sweet pea is heavily scented which is what I chose for all the bridal party flowers. For the church and venue, we had scented stocks, scented garden roses and the forest scents of moss and eucalyptus.
Tell us about your bouquet, what you included and why?
  • I chose white sweet pea, it is so delicate and beautiful. It reminds me of my Mum and grandmother and also has the most beautiful scent. I wanted something very simple and elegant and sweet pea was the perfect choice.

A bouquet of white Irish sweet pea flowers held together at the stem by a thick white ribbon Joeanna Caffrey's wedding flowers

Why did you opt for a dark colour palette for your bridesmaid dress and light for your bridal flowers?
  • I chose deep green for my sister’s bridesmaid dress as it was perfect for our theme, she held a smaller version of my bouquet using white sweet pea also. The green from the stem of the flowers matched her dress and the white of the flowers really bounced from the colour of her dress and mine. All the flowers in the church were white and ivory with wild greens.
What was the decision behind your groomsmen colour scheme and boutonnieres?
  • The wedding was black-tie so the groom and groomsmen wore black tuxedo’s, Paul wore an ivory dicky bow to match my dress and the groomsmen wore deep green dicky bows which worked beautifully with my sister’s dress. They also wore buttonholes of white sweet pea.
What is your favourite part of creating wedding florals, is it bouquets, floral arches, standout arrangements, floral chandeliers, etc?
  • I love the design process and especially if a bride gives me free reign, it can be great fun creating something different. I adore seeing everything come to life, flowers really transform a space.
Has this given you a new perspective for designing future bride’s flowers?
  • I have always put everything into delivering my absolute best on a bride and groom’s special day and will continue to do this, always endeavouring to do those little extra touches that make their day special. Getting married myself just cemented this even more as it really is the most special and happy time.

Large display of pink, white, blue and green flowers amongst a large display of green leaves and ferns on the top of a tall vase. Small glass baubles with tealights inside dangle from the greenery Joeanna Caffrey's wedding flowers

- Grainne