Carolyn from Adore
Lovely Carolyn from Adore Weddings + Events is on the blog today.
A magician with all things floral, when Carolyn is involved in your wedding day, you just know you will be getting the most amazing floral installations that are so insta-worthy… we always have ALL the heart eyes when we see Carolyn’s beautiful work.
A mamma to two munchkins and a farm girl at heart, Carolyn shares more with us today about what inspires her, how she got into the wedding industry and a mistake which involved one too few bridal party bouquets!
Take it away, Carolyn…
Hooray: Hi, please introduce yourself to our readers…
Carolyn: My name is Carolyn Hall, I’m Mom to Georgie and Harry, dog Mom to Dixie and Lucy, and the owner of Adore Weddings and Events.
Hooray: Please tell us a bit more about yourself.
Carolyn: I’m a farm girl, born and bred so have a deep love for wide-open spaces, green growing things, and beautiful moments. When I’m not creating wedding magic, I love spending time with my little family in wild and beautiful places. I have a particularly deep love for the berg and will take any opportunity to go be still in its still, vast spaces. I also have a deep respect for growing things, books, and tea. It soothes my soul to have my hands deep in the soil, making green things grow. And to feed the inner silly, I love dancing around the lounge with my daughter and son. Little people giggles are the best sound in the world!
Hooray: How did you get into the wedding industry?
Carolyn: With 6 years of combined experience in Corporate Eventing and Client Services, I reached a point where I felt compelled to spread my wings in a more personal and creative way. Weddings were the perfect personal choice, a combination of all the elements and skills that make me, me. Joining Netherwood Wedding Venue in Nottingham Road in 2010 was the beginning of my Wedding Planning journey. In 2013 I literally followed my heart to the North Coast to be with my other half, Chris and launched Adore in February of that year.
Adore started out exclusively as a Wedding Planning company, but after being coerced into styling a shoot for a fellow creative, Jacki Bruniquel, a whole new world opened up before me, and I inadvertently fell sideways into providing styling, flower and décor services to my clients in addition to wedding planning. It was the missing piece of the puzzle. Our floral and styling services are now one of our key services requested by clients.
Hooray: What is your favourite flower to work with?
Carolyn: Oh my heart, this is such a cruel question! It’s like trying to choose a favorite child, which is impossible. I truly do love all flowers. There are some blooms that are sentimental because they remind me of growing up and playing in my Mum and Nana’s gardens – enormous scented heavy-headed garden roses, sweet peas, Dutch iris, dahlia, freesia, bluebells, hellebore and snowdrops; and then there are the show stoppers I’ve grown to love like peonies, but I have a heart for flowers, so they all bring me joy. I love the way they radiant and revel in their purpose of being beautiful, abundant, joyful, just because God designed them so. I love them.
Hooray: What inspires you?
Carolyn: In terms of planning, styling, and décor I am inspired by my client’s love stories. It’s special to integrate something personal and unique to each couple. Whether it be working the map of the world for travelers into the styling of the day, or bringing fully grown fever trees for a Kenyan farm girl getting married far from home, to suspending a thousand white butterflies throughout the venue in honour of a special Mom who was no longer with us; I love finding a way to integrate personal touches into the day that are unique and precious to each individual couple.
In terms of floral design, I am very much influenced by an abundant, natural style. Does the arrangement feel as though it is growing? Is there space between the stems for butterflies to float through? Does the arrangement look as though it would dance in the breeze? Is there depth, texture, movement, and freedom? I love flowers, trees, movement, and the wind. There is a quote by Tolkein that resonates with my heart, “We put the thought of all that we love into all that we make”, this is the essence of my inspiration in floral design.
Hooray: Running your own business can be hard, do you have a daily routine?
Carolyn: I tend to have a weekly routine, especially during peak wedding season. Tuesdays are admin, email and client consultation days, Wednesdays and Thursdays we work on flowers in either our Ballito or Midlands studio depending on where our wedding for the week is situated; begin décor / installation set up at the weekend’s venue, Friday flowers are delivered and set up is completed, Saturday we run the day of the wedding, Sunday we pack away, Monday we rest!
Lee-Ann has recently joined our team as our Office Manager and runs emails and the studio while we are on location. She has revolutionized my work hours! I am no longer replying to clients at 4 am while on location, what a blessing!
Hooray: Tell us about your ideal wedding client.
Carolyn: I love a love story, so weddings, in general, make my heart rejoice! If I had to get more specific, I’d say I love clients who are flower lovers, who are wide open space and adventure hearted, who are happy to laugh over the small stuff and celebrate the big, and who have an adventurous, discerning eye in terms of design.
Prior to booking a new client, I most love taking the time to meet face to face over a cup of tea (or Skype), and talking. If a couple is comfortable with Adore as a team, I know they will trust us to create magic for them .. and trust is a powerful motivator!
Hooray: What has been your favourite floral installation to date?
Carolyn: Again, such a hard question! Each installation is created with a specific client/space/mood/palette in mind and no two are exactly the same. I love their mutable, playful, creative challenges. Along with bouquets, installations and focal features are probably my favorite individual projects within a full set up.
Hooray: What do you love most about your job?
Carolyn: Loving people and celebrating the magic of their decision to make a beautiful commitment to one another in front of God and all their favourite people. It’s an honour to get to be a small part of the beginning of a marriage, and I absolutely adore what I do. So loving people, and flowers. I LOVE getting to create with flowers. It’s food for my soul!
Hooray: Can you describe your style?
Carolyn: Wildly romantic, abundant, nature-inspired, growing, sophisticated and free
Hooray: If there was one thing you could change about the wedding industry, what would it be?
Carolyn: I’d be happy for there to be less intense pressure on clients to follow trends. I’m a huge advocate of listening to your hearts, focussing on your own story, and creating a wedding that is specifically for the two of you. Social media can be a wonderful inspiration tool, but it can also create overwhelm. It’s always my heartfelt hope a couple will enjoy their wedding planning experience, and will absolutely LOVE their wedding day!
Hooray: The mistake you made that has taught you the most valuable lesson?
Carolyn: As a businesswoman, it’s making sure you have a signed contract and have been paid before you begin!
As a planner/florist it is making sure that there is very clear communication between client and service provider.
Hooray: If you had to get married (again) what would be the ONE non-negotiable?
Carolyn: My husband and I absolutely loved our wedding day and don’t think we’d change a thing. For me, it would be all our favourite people and loads of flowers, for him it would be all our favourite people and loads of good food and drink!
Hooray: What is your favourite way to unwind after a wedding?
Carolyn: A big mug of hot tea, cuddles with my kids, snuggle in my chair and read a book, gentle walks in wide-open spaces, a glass of red with my hubby – all my first choice of ways to decompress.
Hooray: Where do you see yourself and your company this time next year?
Carolyn: It is my heart DREAM to own a small piece of land that I can grow specialty flowers on to add to our beautiful designs. Whether this dream becomes a reality within the next year remains to be seen, but it is written on my heart and I’m praying daily for this heart vision!
Hooray: If you could be anything else in the wedding industry, what would you be and why?
Carolyn: I would never be able to step away from my beloved flowers!
I’d be a flower farmer in addition to planning and designing flowers for weddings!
Hooray: We see you are delivering blooms during the lockdown, tell us more about this.
Carolyn: Weekly bunches is an offer that we had actually wanted to launch in January of 2021, but because of weddings being so badly affected by COVID-19 and because I am trying to keep my team’s full salary going for as long a possible, I decided to move that launch date up. We offer three bunch sizes, as well as a bespoke option. The three bunches are as follows:
The “Handful of Joy” is R350, the “Song of Happiness” is R550, and the “Armload of Love” is R750. The Bespoke Option we tailor-make according to your budget and preferences.
In terms of flower types and colours, as much as possible, we will try and honour colour palette and if you have a specific flower that you absolutely love, we will try our best to source it. Currently, under Level 3, we do not have full access to all our normal flowers. We are also currently moving to winter so where we aren’t able to fully order exact flower types and colours, I will communicate this with my clients. At the end of the day, I will always choose quality and freshness over the exact flower type. We only ever use long-lasting and fresh flowers as my aim is for the flower bunches to last two weeks.
Hooray: Tell us about your most embarrassing moment on the job.
Carolyn: I once made one bridesmaid bouquet short. It was a miscommunication between us and our amazing client (see note about communicating clearly!!!) so we only created 5 instead of 6 bouquets. Thank goodness we caught the problem in time and managed to fix it before photos began! I was SO embarrassed, but it was a great lesson about double-checking prior to delivery!
Hooray: Do you have any friends in the industry? Tell us who and how they impact you in this beautiful business.
Carolyn: The wedding industry in KZN feels more like a family than a hardcore industry, and I love the friendships and relationships we’ve built over the years. At this stage in my life, it is the Boss Mom’s who lift me up and carry me through the tough days. Running a business AND raising young kids is no easy task, and these women support and love one another generously. It’s beautiful women like Kate Bain, Kate Steyn, Lindy Fourie, Derryn Schmidt, Christy Hosking, Bron Veale just to name a very few. There are many incredible women I get to do life (and work) with. I’m so grateful to you all.
Hooray: What are you missing most about weddings during this lockdown?
Carolyn: Lavishing love on my clients and blessing them with the work of our hands! It’s such an honour to get to be a little part of the start of someone’s marriage. For us, it’s through wedding planning and curating beauty to represent each couple’s individual personalities and love story. My favorite medium for doing this is through flowers. I miss being that little part of the start of their marriage.
Hooray: Lastly, tell us about the last time you were really, really proud of yourself/job you completed.
Carolyn: By the time my son was 9 weeks old I had successfully completed 7 weddings. He arrived 6 weeks early and gave us a run for our money so our planned timeline went up in smoke. It was INSANE, but I am so proud of our team and the way we managed to pull it off without compromising on our amazing client’s beautiful days!
Carolyn, thank you so much for sharing more with us today.
We cannot wait to see what magical weddings + events you are involved with when this lockdown is finally over… we know you are probably itching to get creating again!
If you would like to get in touch with Carolyn, click here.