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Raglan Floral Co.

Lush wedding floral workshop 2019

Words by Elise Adlam

One by one our participants turned up, huddled under raincoats with thunder and lightning flashes lighting up the sky. An air of quiet, nervousness prevailed as each guest was shown to their room and quietly mingled with their fellow flower enthusiasts. Welcomed with local kombutcha and ginger wine the group sat down to their first meal together, and began to unravel strands of their journeys through the storm to meet in this unfamiliar place to honour a shared love of flowers. 

The storm raged through the night, but the morning bought with it the promise of warmth, with the sun making frequent appearances. After a gentle yoga session, bellies were filled with lovingly curated local food and coffee and we were ready to focus. Hand dyed silks and clear quartz blessed each workbook, and goodie bags sparked delight with tools and treats. An opening mihi, and karakia acknowledged the land, tÄ«puna, and host, and set the tone for the days to come. 

The days learnings were plentiful, and guided by Elise Adlam of The Rebellion Floral, the participants were encouraged into the garden to choose fresh flowers loving grown by Kristel. 

As we all got comfortable with each other, bonds were formed and personalities began to shine. We were a diverse group brought together by a common love of flora and a desire to express our creativity.

Something magic began to happen as we embarked on creating our table arrangements. Time lost relevance, and it suddenly felt as if we had been in this warm loving house full of the smells of homely food, and fresh blooms for longer than we had. It was familiar, comforting and exciting, and the people around us had changed from strangers to old friends in the space of 12 hours. 

As we placed our arrangements on our table for dinner, we stood back in awe, and felt that such a grand table setting needed a moment of appreciation before we joined again as friends to share a delicious meal prepared by Kristel, and plum margaritas by Elise. 

This decadence felt uncomfortable at first, but the realization settled that this was more than a floral course, it was self-care. It was treating the senses. It was holistic in infusing care, love and attention to beauty. 

Learning came through osmosis, through being absorbed and infused in this beauty. This reflected in the bouquets and installations that were created the following day,

And again in the styled dinner with rustic furnishings from Flat Rock Events and beautiful styling from Bridgette at The White Wedding Club, home fired pizza, champagne and fireside performance of original songs. 

With our styled shoot set to go on the final day, our team of creatives witnessed the talent of our photographer Kushla Cranswick, and videographer Jordan Reid, who had been sneaking snaps in, as well as connecting and learning with the group. This is the result.

Kristel and Elise had been envisioning such an event for years, and over conversation found they were heading towards a common goal. Uniting women, pampering them, and sharing new skills, so together created the Lush Wedding Flora Workshop. As our new friends gathered their shared seeds from the seed swap and made their way to cars, arms laden with flowers and gifts, there was an underlying understanding that something special had just happened. Our closing karakia blessed our travels home, full to the brim with inspiration, joy and gratitude for our new friends, our new skills and the beauty and abundance all around us.