Continuing our series of talking to some of the wonderful wedding suppliers from around Ireland, today we are talking about fabulous florals with Balla Florists from Co. Mayo. Judi gave us some great insights into the world of wedding floristry and talked about some of her favourite aspects of the business.
My name is Judi Roche. I hail from Co Wexford originally and I am the eldest of seven. My parents at one stage had 4 florist shops back in the day and were growers also. I grew up in the flower business so from a very young age was making bows, bouquets and even wedding florals. I met my husband in 2002 in Galway and at the time I was working and living there. A year later we decided to move to James’ home place in Co Mayo. I was working as service coordinator for a company in Mayo, and one day I saw an ad in the local paper for the position of a florist. Within a week I had a great urge to go back into floristry after a twelve-year break from the family business. I started the job in 2004 and was guided by a great florist. Within a short time I was learning so much and became increasingly interested in all things floral. On a random night out with friends I was told that a premises was for let in Balla, Co. Mayo and from there “Balla Florists” was born. I opened my little shop in November 2004 and of course went against the grain and opened on a Tuesday. My first purchase that winter morning was a dozen yellow roses and Balla Florists’ journey began!
When I’m dealing with a bride the first step really is to find out all the relevant details – her wedding date, church, bridal party details etc. From here, I would find out what colours she may like and types of flowers she likes also. Every bride is different and unique and this is always my priority – THE BRIDE. We have 11 years ‘ experience with wedding flowers so therefore we have a great rapport with Churches and their hard-working sacristans, we know most hotels in the area, we know what suits churches and hotel venues. We keep up to date with all the trends and try to help our bride feel as comfortable as she can in using our service. Social media has been such an amazing tool for our business as we can display our work to the world. So whether you are a local or an overseas bride, the age of technology can have you right in the room with us. We arrange Skype calls with brides from the USA to Australia and even to Dublin if they can’t make it down to see us. Our aim is to provide a service to our bride and give her wedding florals she will remember for all the right reasons.
I have lots of favourite flowers and I suppose it does depend on the time of year. At the moment it is very much the Peony Rose. I adore everything about it – its look, its style, its scent! At the moment I do also have a huge grá for the hydrangea and baby’s breath. In spring it has to be the tulip – essence of purity. In the autumn and winter, I love the cymbidium orchid. When I work with flowers I love it definitely bring my creative side to the max.
I have lots of favourite churches that I work in. Balla Church is amazing. It’s located in the heart of Co. Mayo. It’s so wonderfully decorated with its long aisle and spacious altar area. It has an amazing area at the back and candles look so wonderful there. Its doorway is stunning and looks lovely throughout the year. Ballintubber Abbey is another gem. It is a busy church for weddings and Fr Fahy and all his amazing staff at the Abbey have really put Ballintubber on the map. It’s so beautiful when decorated with candles. I also love Claremorris Church, Kiltimagh Church, Callow, Foxford, Straide… I love them all! Each church has its own personality and that’s what makes our job so interesting.
There are so many beautiful venues on this side of the country. The McWilliam Park Hotel Claremorris, The Park Hotel Kiltimagh, Mount Falcon in Ballina and Beleek Castle also in Ballina would be my top 4 at the moment. I suppose I know the staff so well and know the rooms inside out, and it’s always so enjoyable to create a look/theme for our bride.
When I’m not working I love to just hang out with my three beautiful children and my hubby James. They are all football mad so we do spend a lot of our time at GAA games/training. I love yoga and Pilates, and catching up with friends and family.
Balla florists have a busy Facebook page and we are also on Twitter, Pinterest, You Tube and Instagram. You can check out our website on www.ballaflorists.com and links to all our social media sites are there. We have lots of testimonials from couples and good interaction on our pages. If you need to ask me anything, just send me a message or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I’m happy to lend you some advice. Our shop number is 093 9366858.
Thank you Judi for such a great insight into your business!