Bundy businesswoman predicts next big wedding trends
WEDDINGS happen once in a lifetime for many and a local supplier has been working hard behind the scenes to deliver a collection that meets the upcoming trends.
Ms Bell relocated to Bundaberg from the Sunshine Coast in 2012 and while she once didn't call the region home, it has always held a special place in her heart.
"My family has owned a holiday house at Elliott Heads since I was about 18 years old," Ms Bell said.
"We often visited Bundaberg on school holidays, so I have always loved the area."
Despite working as a qualified chef for almost two decades, the business owner fell in love with the beauty and romance of weddings and was lucky enough to break into the industry working for a well-known florist in Noosa.
After weddings won her over, Ms Bell relocated to Bundaberg and found it challenging to find a similar role, so she decided to start her own business Forever After Wedding Flowers in 2016.
"I have worked my business from the ground up in the last four years and with the help and support from family and friends in the wedding industry, I am now well known for my unique bouquet styles," Ms Bell said.
"I take an inspiration picture from my brides and put my own beautiful twist on each bouquet so it is personalised to each bride and their style."
But when the pandemic struck, the small business owner who was working in a local cafe four days a week, not only had to overcome a reduction in hours but also faced the postponement of almost all of her wedding bookings this year.
Not one to sit still and with more spare time up her sleeve, Ms Bell continued working towards reaching her long-term goals and building her dream career.
After developing a website for her business, the small business owner began working on extending her range with unique and beautiful products.
"I came up with the idea of selling dried and persevered flower arrangements and gifts and made sure that I was supporting Australian companies who use natural products for my gift baskets," Ms Bell said.
"I decided to start making my own candles using a coconut, soy blend wax which burns cleaner and slower, ensuring the candles last longer and are more eco-friendly and to make sure they looked as beautiful as they smelt, I incorporated dried flowers, rose petals and gem stones to help balance the body, mind and spirit."
To ensure customers fall head over heels for her products, Ms Bell said they are handmade with love and care.
As businesses start to recover from the pandemic, the wedding supplier is continuing to work hard on a new candle collection, which she plans to release in the coming days.
With the intention to pay special tribute to a close family member named Kylie, who tragically passed away a year and a half ago after losing her battle with cancer, the candles each have a sticker saying 'always in our minds, forever in our hearts.'
"The idea came to me after I noticed five beautiful roses blooming on the rose bush I bought to remind me of her after she passed and I decided I would dry the rose petals and picked her favourite scent which is frangipani paired with an amazonite gemstone to remind me of her every time I burn it," Ms Bell said.
"Kylie has been my beautiful guardian angel while I have worked on my new business ideas and her photo looks upon my work area where my ideas come to life.
All remembrance candles can be custom made with an option for the customer to select the scent and gemstone, allowing them to remember a lost loved one.
While Ms Bell admits the recent months have been emotionally challenging, she is grateful she was given an opportunity to develop innovative business ideas and create what brings her the most joy … flower arrangements, candles and gift baskets.
With restrictions lifted and wedding dates booking out for the remainder of the year, Ms Bell already has a diary filled with orders to help couples celebrate their special day.
Ms Bell expects the upcoming wedding season to be filled with earthy tones, natural elements and with a mix of dried flowers and fresh blooms.
A burgundy and navy colour scheme is also proving to be a popular choice.
List of products available from Forever After Wedding Flowers include:
• Floral wrapped chocolates - $12.90
• Small gemstone candles - $26-$28
• Large gemstone candles - $40
• Floral arrangements - $65 - $200
• Tea set gift baskets - $60
• Mama & bub gift baskets - $110
• Relax & restore gift baskets - $100
• The ultimate gift basket - $160
For products and pricing, visit foreverafterweddingflowersgiftshop.com