From grand-scale floral installations to take your breath away, to tiny posies and clever candle placement, Amie Bone knows venue styling down to a tee - or, more appropriately, down to a tepee.
At this year's Brides the Show, Amie created a spectacular, eight-metre-wide floral tepee which provided a stunning opening to Brides the Show 2017. Her inspiration? "I was asked by the Editor of Brides to create a feature for the Show, which is no mean feat. It had to be something unexpected, that nobody would expect to see in the Business Design Centre - so I got a tepee! It also had to inspire real-life brides, with elements they could take away with them, so that's how I came up with Wanderlust (the name of my installation) - it's luxe, boho, OTT... and all about thinking outside the box."
Amie's passion for flowers is evident ("I just love the joy they bring, and how much you can create with them,"), but she really got the wedding bug after she decided to push the boundaries and bring something different to the table. "When I started, a lot of the weddings were all the same. But there shouldn't be rules for weddings, they should be as unique as the couple. So I decided to do things that were more adventurous and fresh, and developed my trademark look: "OTT and more is more!"
Having worked on huge, prestigious events in iconic London venues such as Claridge's and The Ritz, and The Grove in Hertfordshire, Amie is known for innovative displays that leave guests awestruck. Her best advice for knocking your guests' socks off? "Create lots of areas of interest throughout your day - anything from memory tables to celebrate the lives of people no longer with you, to chilled-out seating areas with candles and coffee tables. You don't have to spend loads of money, but definitely invest in your bouquet and someone who can do that properly for you. As far as I'm concerned, you can never have enough candlelight for that lovely romantic ambience - and think about using scented candles to create a beautiful scent your guests will remember."
Every single season, the self-taught florist uses her wealth of experience (over a decade!) and serious creative flair to design everything from entrances and table set-ups to bouquets and backdrops for every bride she works with. So what are the trends on her radar for 2018? "Hydrangeas are still on trend. They have been for a long time, and are set to continue. All the florists here at the Show today have them in their displays: they come in a wide range of colours and are great for creating impact. Floral chandeliers are also big right now, but they're not suitable for every venue or budget, so we think up alternatives to get that on-trend look another way."
And what are some of the most extravagant displays Amie has done? "One bride just told me to do literally everything I would want at my own wedding, regardless of the bill... so that's what I did! There were flowers everywhere. She and her groom loved it so much, they both cried when they saw it. For another couple, we created a gin bar with over 20 gins (the groom loved gin!) and dressed it with flowers in empty spirit bottles." But, she adds, your day doesn't have to be lavish to be beautiful. "My motto is big is best, but we also compromise to suit any budget, so that every bride can have that wow factor and that signature Amie Bone look."
Amie left our audience with one final tip that every bride should know: 'To make sure you get the flowers you want, keep it seasonal (there's much more choice in summer, BTW) and give your florist at least a two-week turnaround time to make sure the flowers are at peak condition for your wedding. You can walk into a florist and order roses the day before - but you won't be able to guarantee they'll be open enough to look their very best on your day."