From florist-extraordinaire to owner of one of the most sought after wedding blogs in the industry, Janie Medley has managed to turn her passion for flowers and all things bridal into a successful enterprise.
How did you get your start in the bridal industry?
My love of florals got me started in the industry. It’s funny because, I was never one of those girls that looked through bridal magazines and fantasized about my wedding, I would look through them to get inspiration from all the pretty floral elements. Then one day I decided to take the plunge and get my license and start Janie Medley Flora. I only book a limited number of weddings each year, I still work my full time job and now that I have started blogging, I had to cut back on the number of weddings that I could take.
Is that what made you start The Bride’s Cafe?
I started my blog, The Bride’s Café to advertise my floral business, but it totally turned into a different direction, that was four years ago and almost 1,500 features later…OMG. I didn’t realize how much time blogging would take from my schedule, it is truly like having a second full-time job. I do love it, it’s like having my own magazine and I’ve met so many wonderful people in the industry through the blog site and have made some wonderful friends. Most of all, it really puts a smile on my face when I receive an email or comment from a reader letting me know how I have inspired them and helped them with their wedding or inspired them to start their own business.
How do ‘Real Weddings’ get featured on your site?
When I first started blogging, I would contact photographers to ask if I could feature the images from a certain wedding they had captured….it didn’t’ take long before the vendors were contacting me to ask to be featured. I think this is when I knew my site had really taken off. I still contact vendors about their work…if the wedding is a “café fit”…it gets featured!
How about vendors? Is it word of mouth or do they have to reach out to you?
Yes, vendors reach out to me and I also reach out to them…having Matthew Robbins, Diann Valentine, Sylvia Weinstock, Preston Bailey, Darcy Miller, featured on my site has been AMAZING….and I also love featuring up and coming vendors…there are so many talented people in the industry and anytime I can help them along the way, I’m all about it!
The Bride’s Café serves as a resource for all things wedding related, and my personal favorite section of the site (outside of the real weddings) are the floral features of course. Tell us more about them.
My love for “all things floral” is my true passion and in 2012, you’ll start seeing more of my floral designs on the site. I believe that beautiful flowers are the number one detail at a wedding or event and I want to share the “floral world” with the cafe readers!
We know that you also are the mastermind behind Janie Medley Floral Design, and you’ve been a contributor to Martha Stewart Magazine. How did you get your start in floral arrangements?
I have to give my mom all the credit for my interest in floral design. She was a wiz with all her pretty garden arrangements, and she loved having pretty flowers in the house, I totally give her all the credit!
Where do you find inspiration for your arrangements?
I find my inspiration from all over…fashion (which I love), nature, gorgeous color palettes, home décor, and food…especially fruits…for example…I love raspberries and blueberries…I have them almost every day…to see the beautiful reds and blues mixed together inspired me to make a gorgeous bouquet of black magic roses, eggplant callas, accented with berries….such a vibrant color palette and a stunning bouquet!
What are some tips you can provide to brides when consulting with a florist for their weddings?
- Be up front about your floral budget!
- Come prepared to have fun!! I love it when brides bring images of what inspires them…whether it’s images of bouquets, fashion, their wedding gown, it really helps to get to know the bride’s style.
- I wouldn’t bring too many friends and family along for the consultation, it could get a little overwhelming with too many opinions.
- If you know what florals you want, ask the designer if it will be in season. If you would like to see a mock-up of the design, ask if there is a cost involved.
- Make certain that you “click” with your vendors. You really want to “bond” with your vendors, you want to know that they are going to take care of you no matter what might happen and trust me, things happen!
What’s new on the horizon for Janie Medley Floral Designs and The Bride’s Café? Anything you’d like our readers to look out for?
What’s ahead for The Bride’s Café ….all AMAZINGLY wonderful things of course….to continue to inspire…to have a coffee table book…..to have a television show……oh, I could go on and on, I love this part…xoxoxo
Thanks so much for taking time to share more about you + your stunning work with our readers! We’re so excited to have you as our Floral Contributor and look forward to sharing more of your work:) To see more of Janie’s floral genius, be sure to visit her gorgeous site at www.jmflora.com and www.thebridescafe.com. Special thanks to Jodi Miller Photography for the beautiful imagery!
Click here to view the entire gallery and “bouquet recipes”.