You’ve been working in the industry for over 20 years and now have an international reputation as one of America’s best floral arrangers and event planners, how did you begin your career?
My career began with a passion for flowers and 20 years, and many many weddings and events later I am still working and making a name for myself in the industry I love so much. I was blessed to have won the 2013 Wedding Innovator of the Year, and am now launching my double headed tulip in Holland, which will be revealed very shortly! I was initially working in a florist however it soon grew into floral designing and event planning as there was such a high demand. I now travel the world designing weddings and big events, while hosting my floral master classes around the world.
Who are some of your well-known clients?
I have worked on some big name celebrity, aristocratic and royal weddings all over the world. Recently I was in Vietnam and used over 29,000 roses for a wedding- we exhausted all of the national suppliers and then sourced some internationally.
I’ve noticed that you use a lot of orchids in your arrangements. What is it about the orchid that keeps you returning time and time again?
It is such a classic flower and really exudes the feeling of luxury I love in my designs. Last week I hosted a dinner at Watsons Bay Hotel with Wedded Wonderland and we used over 8,000 flowers- mostly orchids. They are stunning and last for up to 2 weeks.
It’s Autumn now in Australia, what blooms would you recommend for an autumn wedding?
Seasons , which will determine what is available, and themes, which colours and textures to choose, are important to know when choosing your flowers for the big day. Autumn brides have some stunning options available to them, with beautiful rich colour! Roses, orchids and lilies are available all year round and always a favourite. I personally love working these florals – my work is mostoften very glamorous and extravagant. Succulents are also big at the moment and create gorgeous textures and striking table arrangements or bouquets- the perfect touch for autumn weddings when the weather is getting cooler and the light is soft. For the brides who want something simple and delicate, baby’s breath is also a gorgeous choice and can be used in a simple bouquet with twining, or throughout the décor.
Flowers always add sophistication to an event, but what do you consider to be the little extra touches that transform a space?
Candles and lighting, you need to set the ambiance with these features, and they always bring out the best in flowers.
What are some of the latest wedding trends that you have encountered?
Gatsby has been such a huge trend in the states and a fabulous theme to work with. Lustrous and luminous colours and tones are also trending, and often a more popular style for autumn weddings. We took this trend and most recently executed it for the Wedded Wonderland dinner this month when I was in Australia. From the models wearing Australian couture gowns, chandeliers, exquisite table settings and extravagant and glamorous floral table centre pieces, the overall look was lustrous and completely decadent!
For those wanting to work in the luxury wedding industry, what are some hints for targeting the affluent market?
Focus on a signature look that you know will attract the bride you are targeting. Social media is key to showing your calibre of work. Wendy El-Khoury, the founder of Australian wedding blog, Wedded Wonderland discovered my work on pinterest. We both share the same creative visions and it was from this that I was brought to Australia and show my work here!
In terms of style and taste, have you encountered many differences between American brides and Australian brides?
Australian brides are so fashion forward. There are some fantastic floral designers here, however I think Australia is only just starting to see what floral designers can do with flowers at weddings!
Describe your perfect client, what qualities are you hoping they can bring to your working relationship and to their event?
I love all of my clients. Wedding days are so special and I want to help make their day magical. Memories last forever! I think that a clear idea of budget is important so we are realistic and can achieve the best results. I also like to advise my bride and groom to choose what big floral moments they want on their day, whether that is table centre pieces, floral arches, flowers at the church or bouquets etc, so we don’t spread ourselves too thinly. I also like my bride and groom to trust me and get a little creative with our vision. Some of the couples I work with could never have envisioned some of the things I do – and it truly makes the wedding day so special!
You can contact Karen via her website http://www.karentran.com/