There are so many amazing wedding suppliers in Ireland, and we love featuring them here on the blog! Today we meet Kay’s School of Floristry. Based in Rialto in Dublin 8, they deliver flower arranging workshops and courses to students coming from all over Ireland and further afield. The workshops are incredibly popular with brides-to-be and members of their bridal party who want to learn how to create their own beautiful floral arrangements for their wedding day.
Kay’s School of Floristry was established in 1987 by Kay O Rourke who had been running the highly successful Kay’s Florist in Rialto, Dublin 8. Finding it difficult to employ trained florists at the time and being too busy to train them in the shop, Kay’s School of Floristry was born upstairs over Kay’s Florist on the South Circular Road in Rialto. This year the Flower School will celebrate 28 years in business. Initially just delivering courses on a Sunday and in the evening times when the flower shop was closed, the flower school grew and grew and so did Kay’s passion for educating and training florists to a commercial standard.
In 1989 Kay sold Kay’s Florist and along with her daughter Janette, who had already established her name as one of Ireland’s top florists and who had travelled all over the UK , Holland and even Israel learning new techniques and was constantly up-skilling, Kay’s School of Floristry became the only full time Flower School in Ireland dedicated to training florists nationwide. For the next 20 years both Kay & Janette trained florists and their staff and built up a reputation for delivering commercial, professional training, showing their students all the trade secrets and professional tips and providing exceptional value for money. As Kay’s School of Floristry was not connected to any flower shop or flower wholesaler , they could be open & honest to their students when offering advice and recommending the best and cheapest suppliers to suit their needs.
In 2010 Kay decided it was time to retire. Her other daughter Deirdre had also trained as a florist, but had ventured out into the beauty industry by running her own beauty salon for 10 years and was now working in Adult Education and was at the top of her field in training. Deirdre came back on board and back to her roots to work alongside Janette at Kay’s School of Floristry. In 2012 and to coincide with the fast developing digital era, Deirdre who had also trained in social media and digital studies, decided with Janette that Kay’s Flower School would be re-branded and re-launched and e entered into the area of online training.
Kay’s Flower School is now recognised as Ireland’s leading commercial flower school and is very proud after all these years that 80% of the flower shops in Ireland have either trained with them, have sent their staff to train with them or have taken students from Kay’s School to work in their flower shop. Over the years they have had many brides and their mums and bridesmaids booking in for personalised workshops to learn how to create magical Hotel / Church / Reception areas using flowers but costing a fraction of the price.
As the demand for this service grew they decided to launch Wedding Flower Classes so that they could reduce the cost of the training for those attending. In these Wedding Flower Classes Brides can learn how to make their own Unity Candle arrangements, topiary flower trees, pew ends and seat decorations, these can all be made 5-7 days before the actual wedding. Kay’s School also cover Bridal Hand Tied Bouquets and Wedding Button Holes but don’t recommend that brides actually take on the task of making their bouquet & button holes themselves, although many do, as they can only be done the day before the wedding. Brides will generally have enough to be doing the day before their wedding! They are seeing more and more mothers-in-law or friends taking on the making of the bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets and the bridal party buttonholes.
One of their very popular courses is the 1-2-1 Brooch Bouquet Workshop where brides come in and make their own Brooch Wedding Bouquet from scratch. The course also allows brides to bring along a friend for free to take photos of them making their brooch bouquet. In the past brides have included their own special mementos into their bouquets like photos, precious pieces of jewellery, loved ones ashes and even rosary beads. There is very little they cannot include on their Brooch Bouquets. For those who find it difficult to get time off to come to the courses, they also have a distant learning Brooch Bouquet Kit that includes a step-by-step DVD with everything the bride needs, including 30 Brooches and Fabric to make their own Brooch Bouquet. These Brooch Bouquet kits are so popular in the UK that they have launched a UK site primarily for the Brooch Bouquet kits – www.broochbouquetdiy.com
Hen Parties are also becoming quite popular where the Chief Bridesmaid books the school for a couple of hours and they can bring their own beverages and treats and they will be taught how to make the table centrepieces/pew ends/favours etc, these parties are designed with both budget and practicality in mind, but in the past the school has seen the brides’ friends come together the week of the wedding and make all the table centrepieces, pew ends etc from what they learned at their Hen Party.
All of the courses at Kay’s School of Floristry are ongoing throughout the year and the Course Calendar on their website is updated regularly. Demand for these courses vary as sometimes there could be 4 people from the one Bridal Party book onto the Wedding Classes, so early booking is definitely recommended. In the past they have seen brides go on to decide to decorate friends & families weddings from what they have learned on these courses in preparation for their own wedding. For Brides wanting the Pinterest Fairy-tale Wedding using lots of blossoms and blooms, you can now learn to decorate it professionally at a fraction of the cost.
Many thanks to Deirdre and Janette from Kay’s Flower School for taking the time to give us some insight into their business!