Bride Guide

Eliza Jane Flowers

By Louise Campbell on 12-Sep-12 16:05

Eliza Jane Flowers is the creation of Eliza Barrett, a very talented florist with 15 years experience gained from all over the North Island.

Originally from Wanganui, Eliza moved to Hamilton to study Floristry-Horticulture-Landscape for a year. After she finished her course, Eliza went straight into a position at the age of 17, working in a shop in Cambridge. Having gained a years experience, she moved to Whakatane with her boyfriend at the time and worked as a florist for a couple of years.

An opportunity arose back in Wanganui to work for Eileens Floral Studio, an award winning florist who Eliza credits as having "learnt most of my skills from her and my wonderful work colleague Tracey".

At 21, the young talent moved to Auckland for a break from floristy and worked with a friend at a vineyard. It was when her parents moved to Hamilton that Eliza thought she might like to get back into floristry, and moved back to work for a Mother and Daughter team called Twigs. They showed Eliza a good work/life balance and that work can be fun. This was when she decided to dabble with the idea of her own business.

She moved to New Plymouth in 2007 and says, "I love coastal towns and New Plymouth is perfect with its mountain and sea. We used to holiday here as a kids". It was here that Eliza met her husband, whom she married earlier this year.

Eliza worked for a local florist here for four years before she realised she no longer wanted to work in a shop. It was then that she decided to start her own business working from home to focus on the things in floristry that is her passion - weddings!

The main aspect Eliza loves about working from home is the work/life balance she learnt at Twigs. "There are no distractions here. I can work solidly on weddings and be as padantic as I can without pressures for other orders. I give my clients 100% attention to ensure they get what they want and my consultations can run over-time without any problems".

Her passion for wedding floristy is evident in the way she talks. "Each wedding booking I get is just so enjoyable and refreshing. They are all different".

Asked about her particular style she likes, Eliza says "I do have a tendency for rustic with its bright colours, french for its soft and pretty elements and vintage, which can be either soft or bright". When I ask what she means by vintage, she says "its using any colours but using old style floristry such as carnations and gypsophila that were commonly used in the eighties and also centuries ago. I've structured gorgeous bouquets using these two, to create what looks like one massive flower. It's really effective and costs less than a whole lot of different flowers".

I joke about the old style tier drop arrangements and Eliza says shes not a fan but isn't opposed to creating exactly what the bride wants. "One of my first questions will be what style their dress is. This determines what arrangement will complement their dress. Tier drops do take away from the details in the dress" she replies, "but if a bride is after a tier arrangement, an informal tier drop that looks softer against the brides dress is more in vogue than a traditional style".


Eliza advises brides to meet with her for a consultation, with most not understanding flowers and the foliage combinations. She says "you can mix and match, so instead of the conventional roses with camelia leaves, you can swap for lisianthus and rosemary as foliage, which gives off an amazing aroma".

At our recent Mystery Bus Tour where Eliza had a stand on the TSB Bowl of Brooklands stage, she gave away a similar bouquet where she used rosemary for the foliage. The smell is lovely and gives the bouquet a certain edge that is unlike any other

Whatever the bride chooses, Eliza recommends following the theme right throughout the wedding, from the ceremony to the reception. "Some brides want their bouquets different to the flowers at the ceremony and different again at the reception, which is very confusing with too much going on. I recommend following one theme through, its more visually pleasing".

Eliza also loves the use of personal and sentimental elements in a bouquet. "I had one bride who wanted lemon roses in her bouquet as a gesture to her husband to be, who bought her a bunch for their first date. For my wedding, I included a picture of my pop who is no longer with us in a small frame that was attached to the stems of my bouquet. He was with me the entire day" she says.

Full of ideas, Eliza tells me about using props with flowers on the reception tables. "I like the use of old books, cut glass vases, old china plates etc. It really compliments the flowers itself" she says.

Eliza is a very easy and down to earth person who oozes sophisticated style. She is a talented florist who keeps up with the trends by thinking outside the square. The benefit of working with Eliza is the fact that she works from home and has the time to make multiple options for you to achieve a quote.