An award-winning floral artist, designer, teacher, and design consultant; Zita Elze’s work speaks for itself. Trust her to exemplify the beauty of flowers and create magic with them every single time. A long-time collaborator of Aashni + Co, she will be creating the floral design for the Aashni Wedding Show this time around as well. We caught her in a conversation about all things flowers and weddings!
A+Co: What is that ‘something extra’ that flowers lend to a celebration, especially a wedding?
Zita Elze: Flowers evoke emotion, just like a beautiful piece of music. They live in the moment offering a rainbow of colour options, the softness of a petal, the sculptural contour of a leaf, a divine scent. Their fragility, when used sparingly, and their presence used in volume, can set the tone at any event. There is so much scope to play with these elements for a wedding, when everyone’s senses are more heightened, in tune with the bride and groom for their special day.
Suggest the best flowers to opt for, for summer, monsoon and winter weddings.
The choice is endless and subject to the seasons and the environment. The starting point for many is colour, usually picking up on the bridal outfits, but it might also be a memory or a dream. I like to approach each wedding design through a dialogue with the bride and often the groom. Of course there is an abundance of choice in spring and summer, while winter offers the opportunity to work more with foliage, berries and textures. But nowadays blooms can be shipped from afar and many are cultivated out of season in specialist glasshouses so just about everything is possible.
The most memorable wedding floral decor that you have worked on?
A wedding at The Savoy in London. The brief was a woodland theme and I loved transforming a handful of different areas in The Savoy into a dream setting for my beautiful bride and groom.
What are the most common mistakes people make when working on the floral setup for the events and festivities?
I think many people don’t realise that you need to condition flowers before you can use them in an arrangement. Forward planning is essential if you want them to remain fresh looking. Some will not perform well in certain environments — for instance, many will wilt in even a small amount of heat and many events have strong lights which exacerbate these conditions. It is important to consider cultural preferences too. Certain colours and certain flowers have symbolic meanings in different countries. So one should always try and consider the family, the audience and the type of festivity when choosing the flowers.
Which flowers lend themselves best to Indian weddings?
I try to avoid too much white with Indian weddings as it tends to be used for funerals, but a lot depends on who is getting married and where the wedding is taking place. It’s always good to choose blooms which are in abundant seasonal supply as many Indian brides and grooms welcome the opportunity to celebrate their wedding in a spirit of generosity. I always try and tailor the choice of flowers to the couple’s suggestions and feelings, and also in keeping with the bridal outfits.
Please give us some floral decor ideas for pre-wedding parties.
It’s nice to introduce elements of your wedding theme during the pre-wedding party. For instance introducing your key colour with a miniature bouquet as a giveaway for guests is a good idea. This can be kept very simple — a single stem with a beautiful ribbon or a little posy. I always like to mix in foliage with my flowers as it adds texture, sets off the colours and can add volume to an arrangement.
Buy tickets to our Wedding Show 2017 here.