October 23, 2015

Florist Friday : How to use colour psychology to read your brides’ minds!

Style-Me-Pretty-Jeremiah-And-Rachel-Photography-Mums-Flowers-2

I’ve always been drawn to the colour purple and all its shades from aubergine and lilac to lavender and burgundy. And more often than not, it’s the muted, softer tones that I favour the most. It was only though when I attended my workshop co-host Fiona’s Colour Psychology for Creatives workshop last year that I started to understand why these particular colours appeal to me so much. And more importantly the workshop helped me to identify that I’m a ‘summer’ personality (with a little touch of ‘autumn’).

For me, this realisation was ground-breaking! A mist lifted and with Fiona’s guidelines, I’m able to show a cohesive look for my brand by for example ensuring that my photos are muted rather than highly saturated. By identifying my season, I feel more confident in my choice of images which I feature on my blog and social media. As it’s helped me so much, I thought you may also like to hear how colour pyschology can help you with wedding consultations. So, I’ve asked Fiona to explain more in this guest post. Over to you, Fiona…

If you’ve attended one of our workshops over the past eighteen months you’ll have heard Rona and I waxing lyrical about colour psychology. We’ve talked at length about how understanding the seasonal personalities can help you find your focus, create a strong vision and brand your business in a powerful, cohesive and coherent way. We’ve also talked about how understanding which season your business is in can help you work out which props to use when styling your photos and help you unlock your distinctive floral style.

But have you ever thought about using colour psychology as a tool in your floral design process? As something that’ll help you create a design that your brides will love every single time? Have you considered using it to help you understand their brief, gain a clear insight into what they are looking for and put you firmly back in creative control? Forget being a slave to Pinterest boards – this could revolutionise your design process!

In my experience as a brand designer, many clients micro-manage the design process because they worry about whether you ‘get’ them. Colour psychology transformed my creative process because it allowed me to see beyond ‘buzz words’ and ‘brand values’ and actually visualise what would be right for my clients. And by encouraging them to focus on the mood they wanted to create and the impact – rather than the specifics of the fonts and colours they wanted, it freed us up to be more creative, more inventive and more successful.

Could these principles work within your floristry business?

I’m sure that many of you do this anyway: you’ll probably ask about the venue, the day, the vision and the impact they want the flowers to create. You’ll probably also ask about favourite flowers and any that the bride hates – as well, of course, budget.

But what if you could shortcut your design process from there? And use the principles of colour psychology to guide your choices when it came to the design? What if you could look for clues in the brief to decide what sort seasonal personality the bride/wedding style was going to be? This would make every single decision faster and more effective.

Spring
A spring bride might be talking about pretty, cute or whimsical touches. Her bridesmaids will be in a pale/soft colour and she’ll probably love touches of sparkles. I’d make sure that there were some circular forms in there somewhere – be it in the shape of the flower itself, the style of bouquet or even the containers on the tables. I’d also want to include reflective or clear surfaces (glass vases, mirrors) and maybe fairy lights. (See image above and immediately below.)

Paula-Pryke-11

Summer
A summer bride will be looking for a more refined, elegant and romantic occasion. Her style will be natural and flowing, so it’s a great place to experiment with the ‘just picked’ from the garden look. Soft, harmonising colours, elegant forms of flower with nothing too dominant or in your face will make her feel you’ve ‘got’ her. Quality is paramount to a summer bride, so be careful when choosing accessories. Kate Cullen’s hand-dyed silk ribbons will be perfect – cellophane or organza will make her toes curl. Porcelain vases – especially like Serax’s delicate containers will work beautifully and natural, tasteful colours – sage, olive rather than anything too zingy – this is not the place for alchemilla mollis.

Style-Me-Pretty-Sally-Pinera-Kelly-Lenard

Autumn
Autumnal brides like to do things differently. Substance is important to them, as is the environment, so you may find them asking you to use British grown flowers, or use plants on the table rather than flowers which they’ll value for being more sustainable and able to be used again. Pick bold forms and colours with substance. Even the palest forms (like the cafe au lait dahlia) will have a warmth and a slight intensity about it. As with summer, shapes should be organic and loose – nothing too stiff or formal which will make her uneasy. Use natural ribbons and interesting, perhaps artisan or unusual containers that become a talking point.

Shane-Connolly-7

Winter
A winter bride will be looking to make an impact. She’ll have a strong sense of style and be very clear about the sort of day she is looking for. She’ll have a ‘wow’ dress with an element of drama about it and she’ll want the flowers to do the same. So whether that’s going for all out opulence, adding feathers or diamante or just using one type of flower but in an impactful way, design is key. Containers and accessories will be bold – this is the place for something unusual that’ll make a statement.

Style-Me-Pretty-Alexandra-Grace-Photography-Sammys-Flowers

The most important thing to remember is that this isn’t about when she’s getting married. It’s about capturing a spirit, a form, a style and that style can be translated to whatever the time of year. So you may have a bride who is getting married in July who strikes you as having a winter personality. She’ll value luxury, she’ll be going all out (even if her budget is relatively small) and she’ll want drama. You can still do that with the flowers that are available in summer – it’s how you arrange them and the colours you pick. She won’t respond to a country style arrangement in jugs (far too spring/summer) but she will love a tall, impactful arrangement of tropical foliage for example.

You can find out more about colour psychology on my blog. Start with my post on the Absolute Essentials and then work through all of the colour psychology posts. I’m also running my next Colour Psychology for Creatives workshop in London on 12th November, which will really help you understand colour psychology and how you might be able to make it work for your floristry business – I’d love to see you there!

P.S. As a Flowerona reader, when you book, pop the word ‘Flowerona’ in the special request box and you’ll receive one of our very special Flowerona notebooks worth £11, as a gift!

(Images : 1. Style Me Pretty |Mum’s Flowers | Jeremiah And Rachel Photography, 2 Paula Pryke,  3. Style Me PrettyKelly Lenard | Sally Pinera, 4. Shane Connolly 5. Style Me Pretty | Sammys Flowers | Alexandra Grace Photography)

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2 Comments

  • This was so useful and insightful – a December bride is so much a winter bride. I’ll look forward to reading your whole blog.

  • Thank you Elisabeth! Yes, very often a December bride will want to embrace that very typical, streamlined, dramatic, luxurious look that we all love in winter. But she might also be more of a summer personality looking for something softer, or indeed any of the seasons. It’s a really fascinating subject that’s quite addictive once you start learning about it. I hope you enjoy!

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