LoveToKnow welcomes bridal floral designer Gerri-Lyn Ard of Ardesign to discuss her unique custom faux bridal flowers. Gerri-Lyn's floral designs are creative and add personal touches that can make each arrangement one-of-a-kind.
About Bridal Designer Gerri-Lyn Ard of Ardesign
Gerri-Lyn discovered floral design right out of high school and recognized her calling. She worked for years as a freelance floral designer and traveled abroad for event planning before deciding to specialize in custom faux bridal flowers. She now sells her faux custom bridal pieces at her Etsy shop, Ardesign.
Ardesign Custom Faux Bridal Flowers Interview
Gerri-Lyn Ard's love of long-lasting artistic floral arrangements led to a career in faux bridal flower couture.
Founding Story of Ardesign
LoveToKnow (LTK): How did you become a bridal floral designer? What made you specialize in artistic faux floral pieces?
Gerri-Lyn Ard (Ard): I actually fell into floral design back in the 90's taking a part time job at a local flower shop fresh out of high school and instantly knew this is what I wanted to do; I wanted to learn everything about the art of floral design. I especially loved getting the opportunity to design pieces for weddings as they were so much more challenging, extravagant and over the top than your traditional flower arrangements. My dream was to start my own floral design business and create custom pieces that I found unusual and totally untraditional, which led me to using faux flowers and other unique materials to create one of a kind pieces of floral art for a bride on her special day.
LTK: Could you share the founding story of Ardesign?
Ard: Having been a freelance floral designer and traveling abroad to design for various party planning and special event companies, there was no guarantee of steady work. I decided to make a few faux flower bouquets and list them on Etsy. To my delight every piece sold quickly and I was getting many of requests from brides asking me create custom bouquets for their wedding day. I now work for my company Ardesign full time and freelance a little here and there to stay within the floral industry "buzz."
Floral Design Inspirations
LTK: What inspires your artistic bridal floral designs?
Ard: I like to think outside of the box; in my opinion there are no rules to design.
Anything will inspire me from a long walk in the woods and viewing the natural organic growth given to all of us to admire from lovely Mother Nature herself, to the crazy and sometimes bizarre color combinations that one would never even think of.
LTK: How do you come up with your floral designs?
Ard: With a potential client I ask what their color story is, the feel and mood they want to convey. I then visualize what I feel would be the perfect design that compliments their theme, and suggest shades of colors, faux blooms and or materials to create their custom bouquets. Giving an artist/designer the freedom to create what comes from the heart is the best way to receive the most beautiful piece.
Gerri-Lyn's Favorite Materials
LTK: What types of materials do you commonly use to create wedding pieces?
Ard: Besides silk and latex blooms, feathers are my absolute number one favorite to work with. They are available in so many colors shapes and sizes that would complement any faux bouquet. I also make feather flowers and use organza for my feather and fabric bouquet creations. Adding accents of rhinestone buckles or bracelets, pearls or crystals is a sure way to take it over the top for that "baling" factor.
Personalized Wedding Keepsake Pieces
LTK: The blogger at Hand Sown describes how you created bridal bouquets for her and her bridesmaids using swatches from the bridesmaid dresses to create one-of-a-kind wedding flowers. What other ways do you personalize bridal flowers for customers?
Ard: A former client of mine was given a large piece of lace that was from her mother's wedding dress that she wanted me to incorporate into her bouquet that I thought would suit the design best. I incorporated small tufts of the lace throughout the bouquet along with the faux blooms and used the remainder of the vintage lace to wrap the stems with. This really made the piece very personal and an heirloom that she may want to pass down to a loved one.
Another request was to incorporate a bird's nest into the bouquet design. I instantly thought of a bouquet sitting in a nest. I hand wired the nest with grapevine which was quite a challenge, and then nestled the faux blooms into it, and added accents of feathers throughout the piece.
Also, a way I personalize a bouquet for a bride is to add charms to the stems that suit the theme of the wedding.
Gerri-Lyn's Advice for Brides
LTK: What are the benefits of faux wedding flowers?
Ard: They won't wilt and you don't have to worry about a water source throughout the day/evening. They're a lasting memento and special keepsake of your big day. They are easy to transport. The petals won't come off at the worst possible moment.
LTK: What should a bride look for when selecting a bridal floral designer?
Ard: On Etsy they have a "feedback" section where you can view the buyers experience and reviews on the designer's custom work. I suggest you take a look at the comments before committing to that designer.
Also a suggestion is do not wait to place your order last minute as that designer could be booked solid and may not be able to fit you in. I suggest a minimum of four months leeway time to give the designer time to source out the materials and get your pieces made, and shipped off to you on time for your special day.
LTK: What should a bride consider when deciding between faux flowers and fresh
Ard: Certain fresh flowers are only available at certain times of the year. These are available in silk/latex all year round. Faux flowers are a perfect alternative for anyone who has allergies. You will have a stress-free day having not to worry about if your flowers are going to make it especially on really hot or freezing weather conditions.
Do you want to keep your bouquet forever and perhaps pop it into a container and have a lovely arrangement that represents your wedding day? You can with a faux bouquet.
LTK: Do you have any additional advice for brides searching for wedding flowers?
Ard: Look at the pictures from the designer's work. The blooms should look as close to real as possible. No glue or mechanics of the bouquet should be showing, and the handle/stem of the bouquet should look just as stunning as the flowers.
Learn More About Gerri-Lyn Ard and Ardesign
Follow Gerri-Lyn Ard's Facebook page to learn more about the artist and her bridal flowers. Customers can also purchase wedding floral pieces at her Etsy shop, Ardesign. She plans to have an official website soon.
LoveToKnow thanks Gerri-Lyn for the delightful interview and wishes her much success in her future endeavors.