If there is one thing that should not be missing at your wedding, it is flowers! The bridal bouquet, corsages and flower arrangements at dinner and the ceremony are real atmosphere creators. But where can you find the most beautiful wedding flowers? And is there a difference between a bridal florist and a ‘regular’ florist?
With her business Bloom Your Life, Marte is one of Dusty Blue’s favorite vendors. And she is happy to tell you more about her beloved profession and passion for wedding flowers. What can you expect from Marte for your wedding? What activities are involved for decorating a wedding and what are you actually paying for? We asked Marte that and much more during a visit in her studio in Nieuwkoop!
Dusty Blue intern Theresia and I are warmly welcomed by Marte. Especially for our visit, the studio is completely decorated with a set table, burning candles and of course beautiful flowers!
Marte has been receiving couples in this studio since 2008, for whom she and her team make the most beautiful wedding flowers.
“Our couples often like stylish, chic flowers. The English, romantic style with a modern edge.”
Personally, I have known Marte for a while, because Bloom Your Life also provided the flowers for my own wedding in 2019! That is why it is extra fun to take a look behind the scenes at this outstanding florist and to introduce Marte to you too!
Tell us, where does your passion for working with flowers come from?
As a young girl I used to go to work with my father. My parents had established a flower export company at the flower auction in Aalsmeer. I always thought it was so cool to go there! The atmosphere was so exciting and walking among all those flowers.. That’s where my love for flowers started.
My parents had a client in the US who arranged flower arrangements for weddings and events. I was lucky to go on a business trip with my parents and learned a lot from the way those clients were working. I saw how they made the flower arrangements and organized everything.
At that time, flower styling was not quite as large-scale as it is today. Especially not in the Netherlands. So when I started studying I started doing something completely different and I chose to study ‘marketing management’ in Rotterdam.
Yet after a while the desire to start my own business grew and I started the ‘floral art’ training in Aalsmeer. I did an internship at Rivièra Maison and there I discovered the combination of flowers and interior. Details are very important to me and interior plays a major role in this. So you can say that a love for interiors also came to life. That’s why I think styling is so important for a wedding or event. Styling and flowers together really create a beautiful overall picture.
How did Bloom Your Life grow after that?
In 2008 I registered at the Chamber of Commerce and since then I have specialized in bridal flowers and wedding decoration. In addition to weddings, my team and I also work on projects for private or corporate clients. For example, we set up an event for SkyRadio at the Arena hotel in Amsterdam and a photo session for Hunkemöller.
Our philosophy is: beautiful flower arrangements create an experience. That also makes the work very diverse. Weddings often have a romantic atmosphere, while businesses often ask for flowers in the colors of their logo or corporate identity. It’s really nice to have that variety.
I also had a flower shop in Nieuwkoop between 2014 and 2019. But that was quite hectic and didn’t work well with the weddings and events as I was needed in both places. It was a difficult decision, but I then chose to close the store and focus fully on weddings and events again.
In 2023 we hope to celebrate our 15th anniversary in a big way!
As a florist you have experience with both sides of the trade, so can you explain the difference between a ‘regular’ florist and a florist who specializes in wedding flowers?
This is mainly due to the time and energy that is put into it. An ‘ordinary’ florist does that too, of course, but as a wedding florist you can focus more on one client and pay extra personal attention. This already starts in the preparation with the first introduction, the elaboration of a concept and the discussion of the quotation.
I prefer to serve only a few weddings a week. Then we have the time to take a good look at everything at the flower auction, buy flowers and choose the right details.
An ‘ordinary’ florist often works from a more standardized collection of flowers and usually does not visit the wedding location. Depending on the order, the flowers will be delivered or you have to pick them up yourself in the store. A bridal florist will take care of everything at the wedding location. As a bride and groom, you don’t have to worry about anything during your wedding day.
Is that also what couples can expect at Bloom Your Life?
Yes, of course! My team and I prefer to work very personally with our couples and love to decorate on the spot at the wedding location. We always offer a complete concept and would like to ease their big day. They entrust us with their wedding, so it’s important that they know that the styling will be okay!
You’re talking about “my team and I”, so you don’t work alone. Can you tell us something about that?
I do work with a team! Anneke stayed with me after the store closed. She always helps me with the weddings and events. My parents also work in the business and I work with various freelancers.
Especially during the period of the pandemic, many weddings have been moved and many double bookings have arisen. I really need a lot of hands on those days, because at least two people always work on location per wedding. We style the flowers on location and really want to ease the couple. I can’t do that without my great team!
In what other things does Bloom Your Life differentiate itself from other wedding florists?
Our experience is an important factor and so is our style. The combinations of flowers we use and the way we arrange them. It’s really a compliment when people recognize our work!
The way we work also sets us apart. We are a small business and I would like to keep it that way. I want to be there for my couples and be a sparring partner for them, so that they really feel that we are there for them and go for the best possible result.
This has again proved to be so important during the period of the pandemic. I have developed a very personal relationship with couples, because we had much closer contact. We really did it together!
Does your style and method attract a certain type of bridal couples? Who are they and what are they usually looking for?
We have many couples who generally have busy lives. They often have their own business, a demanding job or a busy family life, so they can use some help. They often have little time to decide which direction they want to take with the style and atmosphere of their wedding. Also they are often couples with a budget in the higher segment and want to invest in making things easier for themselves. We deliver that in a complete concept for the entire wedding, which they do not have to worry about.
Couples also come to us because they believe flowers to be very important for their wedding. Our couples often like stylish, chic flowers. The English, romantic style with a modern edge.
Do you also travel abroad with couples?
Yes, I also work abroad! Destination weddings are really great fun to do! But it takes even more time and work. Fortunately, thanks to my parents’ export business, it is easy for me to arrange for the flowers to be transported to their destination. But I also once bought all the flowers locally for an event in Ibiza.
Event flowers are different from wedding flowers. For a wedding I really want to buy certain types, but at an event that is less important, as long as the atmosphere and color scheme is right. If I know that I may or may not be able to get certain flowers somewhere, I prefer to export them from the Netherlands. The flowers are then transported by truck and once on site I rent a bus for further transport.
How far in advance is it best for a couple to contact you for their wedding? And what financial investment should they take into account?
On average, a couple or wedding- or eventplanner comes to us six months to a year in advance for an introduction and to discuss their ideas. We then have enough time to go through everything and adjust the quotation. Due to the busy wedding season in the spring and summer, we try to go through everything as much as possible in the preseason to spend enough time on all our couples.
No wedding is the same in terms of decorations, wedding flowers and logistics. So it is difficult to say what the total investment is, but we provide concepts starting at 2500 euros. This includes an introduction, personal styling plan and adjustments to it, rent of our materials and logistics on the day of the wedding. The amount of decorations and flowers included really depends on the concept and the wishes of the bridal couple.
When a couple contacts Bloom Your Life, what does hiring you look like for them?
In the ideal process, a couple will first of all find us through Dusty Blue! When they contact us, we invite them to our studio in Nieuwkoop. Nowadays we also do a lot of online meetings.
During that first appointment we take the time to get to know each other and to discuss and view all kinds of things. We find out which style appeals to them and build a concept and personal styling plan from there.
I think it’s important that our work appeals to them, so I really only show examples of work that we have made ourselves. After that first meeting I draw up a quotation and a mood board, so that they can discuss and review it together.
If the couple wants to continue and hire us, we schedule the next meeting. During that second conversation we go through the entire plan and details again. I prefer to make sure that the plan is as good as finished at least a month and a half before the wedding. The bride and groom then have two weeks to make final changes. One month before the wedding the plan is really ready and I can start arranging everything. The plan always includes a mood board with photo material, but also provides insight into what kind of flowers and materials we are going to use and what we are going to create for them.
And then? What needs to be arranged for a wedding?
It is of course more than just buying flowers. First of all I have to arrange a team for the day of the wedding. All styling items are cleaned, for example vases and stands. Just in advance I buy the flowers, which are then cut and put in water. We also select all the flowers one by one. Of course we only want to use the most beautiful flowers and ensure that they bloom at their best during the wedding!
Then we will prepare the implementation of the plan as much as possible. We make smaller flower arrangements and bouquets in the studio, but larger decorations such as backdrops are completely decorated on location. We also try to prepare as much as possible for this, so that everything runs smoothly at the wedding location.
What does a working day at a wedding look like for you then?
That starts with getting up very early to arrange the last things. For example, I make the bridal bouquet and corsages on the morning of the wedding. When everything is loaded into the bus, we set off. Often we first visit the groom to deliver the bridal bouquet and then drive on to the wedding location to style everything.
We always make sure that we are completely ready about an hour before the ceremony. Then we move to the background, but are often still present on location. For example, to take care of the styling for dinner later in the day or to move the decorations to the party, so that they can also be used there. Also we often clean up all our stuff at the end of the day, or come back for it the next day.
What is your number one golden advice for brides-to-be?
Work with excellent vendors. That is really worth the investment! Sometimes couples choose to have everything arranged by a sister or friend. The florist, for example, then only delivers the flowers and they will arrange it further. But that often causes a lot of stress and agitation for both them and the couple.
I prefer to work with wedding planners or professional masters of ceremonie, because they know exactly what the plan looks like and what they have to do. That clears so many questions and ambiguity!
Also hire vendors that fit well together in terms of style. A fun fact is that you often meet vendors that fit well together at weddings. I work with the same vendors a lot, because we are just a really good match and our styles fit together nicely.
Would you like to know more about what Marte can do for your wedding? View her portfolio full of bridal flowers from other weddings, read the reviews and contact her via Bloom Your Life’s personal vendor page!
The footage during this interview in the studio was made by Dusty Blue. The photography of the flower arrangements and portraits of Marte was provided by Alexandra Vonk.
Excited to learn more about other wedding vendors? On the blog you will find the interview with Lisanne Kamp of Your Weddingplanner and a talk with Feline Styling about styling weddings. And of course all of Dusty Blue’s favorite vendors are happy to introduce themselves to you on their personal vendor pages.