Hampshire Wedding florist – the story of Louise Avery, in words and flowers
I’m writing this blog as both a personal introduction and a business introduction to Louise Avery and Louise Avery flowers. Based, though not exclusively a Hampshire Wedding Florist. In this blog I am also going to share with you a little more of my backstory. My career in flowers has so far been bloomin’ marvellous. Both locally and in London! I’m going to share with you some of the highlight points along the way to running my wedding and event flower business today.
How it all started for this Hampshire Wedding Florist
My love of flowers started as a young child way back in the 70’s! It came from gardening with my mum. It was a regular joy to walk around the garden with her inspecting plants and watching new flowers open. This is also something that I still do in my own garden now. Another great pleasure was “helping” her weed, prune and generally maintain our little family garden oasis.
As result, I was rewarded with a little flower bed of my own to tender. Nothing fancy. Just a forsythia shrub that was underplanted with mesembryanthemums. Do look them up, if you don’t know them. They are fantastic flowers for kids to enjoy. They respond to light and magically open up on a sunny day and remain closed on a dull cloudy day! Then flowery garden games that I loved included making rose petal perfume, as a lot of young girls do. Picking the garden flowers and giving a birthday bunch to one of the family was also a firm favourite. Who knew that I’d go on to become a professional florist – maybe my mum!
Working life, the beginnings
Working life started with a job in a local flower shop and I couldn’t think of a better work environment. You really can’t get a better office than to be in a shop all day long that is filled with flowers and plants. Here I began my 3 year City & Guilds training and eventually ended up as shop manageress.
Keen to expand my flower industry experience I chose to move to London to live and work there. This was a very exciting step for a young 20 year old girl!
My first job in London was in a family owned and run flower business with 6 shops in the west-end. The main branch where I worked was just off Tottenham Court Road This is where I got my first taste of large scale event work. Experiencing new work, I was thrilled to pop out of the shop to decorate a nearby restaurant on a weekly basis. I loved the opportunity to help decorate my first Chuppah for a Jewish wedding and visited for the first time a central London Synagogue. The flower shop was in a fashionable area for media including the Channel 4 offices and glossy magazine HQ’s. This opened up another new aspect of my job which involved stylising flowers and plants for photoshoots.
Being in London on the day that Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson were married was also really exciting. That day, I pestered one of the delivery drivers to take me out on his rounds. I was really keen to see the crowds, the flags and experience some of the buzz of a Royal wedding. The same experience that I was to enjoy a couple of times more…..but I’ll get back to royal weddings later!
Following a couple of other London jobs including managing Paula Pryke’s first flower shop in Islington. Several years later I moved back to my home town, Haslemere in Surrey.
Flower School & London floral functions
Whilst back in Haslemere, I saw that the Constance Spry Flower School in nearby Farnham was recruiting. I landed the job teaching and running day courses as well as my main role which was in the decorating department. Here I picked back up on my love for event work. Though the company was based in Surrey most of the events were London centred. Government hospitality was one of my favourites and always required a lot of flowers.
Official functions like G7 summits, head of State dinners as well of course, as the house flowers in 10 Downing Street. These were just a few of the aspects of my latest flowery role.
Love is in the air
Whilst in Haslemere one weekend, I bumped into a local guy. We’d both worked in Haslemere and knew each other before I moved to London. Long story short. We married and I became Louise Avery and the rest, as they say, is history! This year in fact Paul and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, ahhh!
Freelancing with flowers
After I was married I freelanced…….. as London events still called me! I spent the next few years freelancing for just a few chosen event florists in London and mostly for Shane Connolly. Up at the crack of dawn, I got a huge thrill from creating a flower instillation in the Royal Academy on Piccadilly at 7am before opening to the public. Then, before the gallery opened to the public to be cleared-up and gone. Charity dinners at St James’ Palace, functions in Livery Halls and the Mansion House in the City were favourites of mine.
Hampshire Wedding Florist works on Windsor Royal Wedding
Who would have thought that I’d be on the team for a royal wedding? As part of a small and select flower team Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall’s wedding in Windsor was great fun to work on. Along with the Clarence House florist who organised all of the floral logistics. I even had an invitation from Buckingham Palace to take my place in the Royal Mews. This privileged, prime, position gave us the opportunity to watch the royal party emerge from the ceremony and onto the steps of St Georges chapel.
Locating back to Haslemere
I had always loved my flower work in London. Now though, I decided that it was time to cut down on the travelling and to consider flowers more locally. It occured to me that I wasn’t alone in the path that I had taken. Many girls grow up in the country, move to live and work in London, then follow with a wedding back in their home town in the country. I also realised that locally there weren’t any specific wedding florists and I had my next idea.
Launching Louise Avery Flowers, Hampshire Wedding Florist
The next step was launching Louise Avery Flowers, specialist in wedding and events flowers. My plan was simple. To bring forthcoming country brides all of my flower expertise and experience from London and high-end floristry.
Humble beginnings started in my garage and then expanded to take on a converted barn as workroom. Today my flower studio is on a business park within the South Downs National Park in Liss, Hampshire. Here I have a wonderful base as a Hampshire wedding florist. Local geography however covers three counties for me. I live in West Sussex and drive through the corner of Surrey to my Hampshire flower studio. It then makes perfect sense to also work as a West Sussex wedding florist and to do Surrey wedding flowers too.
Westminster Abbey and Royal Wedding of the year!
Since launching Louise Avery Flowers it was a delight to be invited to rejoin the Shane Connolly flower team once again. This time the commission was to work on another Royal Wedding, how exciting is that!. It was a huge honour to be part of a surprisingly small flower team. This you see was totally understandable, as security was incredibly high. Creating flowers for Prince William and Catherine Middleton in Westminster Abbey was both an amazing and a humbling experience for me, a local Hampshire wedding florist. An opportunity however that I am so grateful for and have such incredible memories of.
Return to the Home Counties for this Hampshire wedding florist
Next a return to the home counties with a 10 year position as the recommended florist to the bijou wedding venue group. It’s also been fun creating wedding flowers for a whole variety of venues. My creative flowery juices flow, whether I’m working on a country house hotel, a wedding barn or a private garden marquee, all are a pleasure.
Recent exciting news is that Louise Avery flowers has been appointed recommended event florist to the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex. I’m really looking forward to lots of lovely new weddings and bringing my florals to Goodwood House, The Kennels and Goodwood Hotel.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading my back story. From my early training to creating wedding flowers for literally hundreds of weddings in Hampshire, Surrey and West-Sussex. AND not to mention a couple of Royal Weddings along the way too!
I’d love to hear from you if you are planning your wedding. To arrange a complimentary consultation or to talk to me about your flowers please follow the link to the contacts page. https://www.louiseaveryflowers.com/contacts/ or call on 01420 538879
I look forward to hearing from you soon
https://www.cityandguilds.com https://www.paulaprykeflowers.com https://www.gov.uk https://www.shaneconnollyflowers.co.uk https://www.royalacademy.org https://www.royal.uk https://www.liverycompanies.info https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk https://www.clarencehouse.com https://www.stgeorges-windsor.org https://www.southdowns.gov.uk https://www.westminster-abbey.org https://www.bijouweddings.co.uk https://www.goodwood.com