10 top tips to seamless event floristry from Academy of Floral Art


We know just how much anxiety there is around the topic of large-scale event floristry: how much should I charge, how can I limit my exposure to risk, where should I focus the budget, what insurance cover do I need, how should I start designing and planning for such a vast space? The list goes on...

So, the team at renowned Academy of Floral Art have come up with a cunning plan to make large events far less daunting and a whole lot more fun! In early June, they are taking over Bridwell Park in Devon for a two-day residential floristry course entitled 'The Big Event', perfect for intermediate and experienced florists and advanced flower arrangers ready to scale up their work.

Tina Parkes, Academy tutor explains: "We have designed 'The Big Event' to give florists the knowledge, confidence and hands-on experience of how to pitch, cost for profit and plan for a large-scale event as well as the techniques to create designs to complement the scale and style of the space." Tina will be instructing the course alongside her fellow Academy tutors – Julie Collins, Amanda Randell and Kathryn Delve.


Academy of Floral Art tutors Amanda Randell, Julie Collins, Tina Parkes and Kathryn Delve.


To get us started, Tina has shared 10 top tips to seamless event floristry:

Tip #1 - Pitching

Take time to research your client, the venue and get into their world. It is not about you, but about what you can do for them to make their event special.

Tip #2 - Costing for profit

The commercial success of an event is by no means a given. It is not uncommon to hear of florists – even experienced ones – actually losing money on large-scale events by not costing the job properly at the pitch stage or by being caught unawares by price hikes, having limited their palette to a specific flower.

Tip #3 - Contract

Get it in writing! A written contract between you and your client sets out clearly what you've agreed, such as deposits and payments, responsibilities and services, so there are no unwelcome surprises or disappointments along the way.

Tip #4 - Space

It can be all too tempting to fill a large space with flowers, but you need to stop and think what will give most floral impact – a few spectacular displays or a lots of smaller arrangements? And how should you site them?

Tip #5 - Water

Water is not your friend on site, as water can do a lot of damage to a listed building and quickly become an expensive affair. Many venues will insist upon their florists having public liability insurance to cover any watery mishaps.


Bridwell Park - the hall


Tip #6 - Context

Few properties are a blank canvas. You have to work with the style of architecture and interior decoration, picking up on colours, tones and form. There is still plenty of room to be daring and creative, but you need to give a nod to the context.

Tip #7 - Risk assessment

It may sound dull, but drafting a risk assessment is essential to make sure everyone is safe on site. It helps you identify and resolve any potential safety issues and plan what you need for the job.

Tip #8 – Team-working

Create a working plan so that everyone working with you on a big event has a clear job role and knows what they need to do. This saves a lot of time and confusion and so ends up saving you money.

Tip #9 - Flower buying

Think carefully about the flowers and foliages you choose for the event – vase life, dramatic impact, fragrance, colour blending – and create a flower ordering grid to make the most of the wrap sizes.

Tip #10 - Design to Build

A good sketch helps you plan the varieties and quantities of flowers, foliages and sundries you are going to need and how you are going to construct the design. Draw up a timeline to help you work out the number of people you need and when you should start prepping. Do as much of the structure and mechanics in advance to save time and stress on the day itself.

'The Big Event' will take place at Bridwell Park, Devon on 6-7 June 2017. To find out more, call the Academy of Floral Art on 01392 834893 or visit


Bridwell Park - the house