Rita FeldmannRita Feldmann has been surrounded by flowers since birth. A second-generation florist, she spent her early youth selling flowers from the back of a horse-drawn milk-cart in Melbourne’s South Yarra. In her teens, Rita began working alongside her mother servicing the weekly requirements of hotels and on large-scale events, happily performing the fiddly corsage wiring work for hundreds of hotel guests per week.

During the 90s, Rita studied Science at Melbourne University with a major in Botany, and later completed a Post-graduate Diploma of Science Journalism. For a decade until 2006, Rita juggled freelance writing and working in the family’s flower shop “The Big Bunch” which was highly regarded throughout Melbourne for its exceptional standard of flowers and design.

In 2006 Rita started Blooming Brides and moved back to the Dandenong Ranges. The business very quickly become established as the preferred supplier for multiple wedding venues throughout the Yarra Valley. Over the course of a decade, Rita played an instrumental role in establishing a distinctive floral style now favoured at the world-renowned wedding venue, Stones of the Yarra Valley.

Rita currently trades as Rita Feldmann Flowers, providing floral design and installations for weddings and events throughout the Yarra Valley, Melbourne and on the Mornington Peninsula.

Rita is extremely fortunate to include the following local creatives as part of her team:

TEAM

Clare JamesClare James
Clare James is a painter and sculptor living in Healesville. A Victorian College of the Arts graduate, Clare’s inspiration is drawn from the natural world: the garden, Australian landscape, family and animals. Clare has an instinct for botanical form and floral architecture that cannot be taught. This comes from a love and understanding of plants and gardening and a deep respect for the natural environment.
http://clarejamesartist.com.au/

Kate JamesKate James
Kate James’s art practice reflects her keen eye for detail and colour, combined with her personal attributes of sensitivity and patience. A love of botanical dyeing drives her associated passions of preserving traditional craft practices, sustainable yarn production and the slow art movement. Kate has a Master of Fine Arts from RMIT, has exhibited in multiple solo and group exhibitions and was the 2014 recipient of the Yering Station Sculpture Prize.
http://katejamesart.blogspot.com/

Shawn MitchellShawn Mitchell
Shawn is the kind of man everyone wants on their team. Born into a family of flower and foliage farmers, Shawn’s keen eye for art and design, logical brain and an exceptional work ethic has taken him all over the place, sustaining excellent relationships wherever he goes. Shawn’s work history has included a long stint as artist David Bromley’s Right-Hand man, auction house manager at Leonard Joel and in various positions in the Melbourne antique business. Shawn’s love of installations (and sheer physical strength) has brought a new  dimension and wave of energy to our installation work.

PHILOSOPHY

My inspiration comes from the garden, living in the hills and having a studio on a flower farm. I know when everything is in season, who grows it and where to get it. I have several local gardeners who let me pick from their treasured gardens and long-standing relationships with growers who can pick-to-order large volumes when the job demands the quantity. I start with seasonal products, consider the space and design to create the maximum impact with a client’s budget.

I have no interest in copying another florist’s designs. I understand that sharing images as part of communicating a mood or general feel/colour theme is part of the process of working out a brief, but I will not quote on copying another florist’s work or providing a competitive quote for a design brief that someone else has put together.

My goal with each wedding is to do something unique that celebrates the best of what is in season locally in the chosen space.

I design to support our local industry and growers. We are so fortunate in this region as it produces such a significant percentage of cut flowers for the Australian market. I avoid use of imported flowers because of the carbon footprint associated with flying perishable flowers into the country and because of the heavy use of chemicals in the quarantine process, which stipulates fumigation and devitalisation of many varieties to stop the introduction of pest and propagation. This process can involve immersing the majority of the cut stem into a glyphosate solution (otherwise known as “Round-Up”). Because of health and environmental concerns associated with the use of this chemical, I do not wish to expose myself, my co-workers or my clients to the chemically treated stems.

We do not use any floral foam because it is a plastic material that does not biodegrade yet becomes a microplastic very quickly. Because of its crumbly nature and use in water, it can very easily make its way into the sewer and storm water systems and into the ocean, in addition to producing a large amount of non-biodegradable landfill. Over the years I have designed many different structures that allow for huge aerial displays and freestanding arrangements and I’ve found that not using foam has directed me to a whole new level of creativity and design.

We do not take on a large volume of work. Ideally, we work on one event per week, depending on the size of the event and the booking schedule.

COSTS

We have a minimum spend of $3000 for weddings in the Yarra Valley and Ranges, $4000 for Melbourne and the peninsula. An average wedding budget with us is usually around $5000. This spend usually includes a full suite of bridal flowers, ceremony flowers, table decorations, an installation and delivery costs. Cost is driven by such factors as choice of varieties, volume of flowers, design of arrangements and how many vehicles will be required to transport the goods.

Straightforward orders that involve the supply or purchase of glassware/vessels and do not require a pack-down are negotiable. Bridal-flower-only orders are also possible, with most bouquets for the bride falling between $200 - $250. Delivery fees are determined by the return distance and driving time from our studio and we can deliver anywhere in Melbourne.

MEETING AND LOCATION

Consultations are by appointment only.  Before meeting, clients are encouraged to collect a few images that demonstrate the look and feel they are after.

During meetings, an extensive portfolio, range of glassware and styling props can be viewed.

Following the consultation, clients are provided with an itemised cost breakdown. Consultations are held during the week, evenings and on weekends.  However, weekend appointments are limited in the thick of wedding season.

Address: Level 1, 439 Monbulk Rd, Monbulk Victoria (above Lakeside Flowers)