Graham, the founder and creative artist behind Tweed Twigs is a man of many talents. Besides his stunning skills with floristry, these include his architecture career, warm and funny demeanour and the way he gets to know his couples, their intimate moments to create magic on their wedding day.
I wanted to share Graham's beautiful nature and skills with my audience. I hope you get as much pleasure out of reading it, as I did chatting to Graham.
Tell us a little about Tweed Twigs; how you came to be, and the philosophy behind your beautiful business...
I think I have always loved flowers ever since I was young. I was never overly active nor extroverted as a child. I would wander around the courtyard by myself looking at plants or squatting on the grass playing with grass. And fast forward to today as an adult, where some people find their bearings with physical landmarks like buildings or roads, I would find my way with the neighbour’s oak tree or that flowering hakea tree on the nature strip. I guess not much as changed!
As Tweed Twigs, I use flowers as a medium to challenge the norm and people’s perspective of them. I see floristry as way of intervention, a human way to capture a time or a season where beautiful things collide. Flowers and nature have been there for decades and centuries, but for a short moment, I have the privilege to create something beautiful for a day worth celebrating.
What inspires you about nature?
I am inspired by the changes in nature and its adaptability to the world around it. There is a drive that seems to continue without question and there is a lack of prejudice to beauty. David Attenborough once said that ‘the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the great source of intellectual interests. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.’ I couldn’t agree more.
What is signature to the Tweed Twigs aesthetic and approach?
My technical background is in architecture and in designing buildings, we often look to both light and the human experience. In a space, the first thing I look at is how light affects the space and how the walls and finishes make a person feel. Timber makes a room feel warm and inviting where stone or concrete feels cold to the touch but adds a stoic weight to the space.
Where I see flowers in a space is how the flowers may add to a space or challenge it. Where the building is built to last, the flowers are not – so how can I create an experience that extends far beyond the lifespan of the building and flowers for a memory of what it was. That to me, is the Tweed Twigs aesthetic!
How does your architecture experience influence your floristry work?
A large part of my architectural work directly works with the client or the consumer and same goes to flowers. I think more than just the beauty of flowers as a prop, I like to think of flowers as another way to change the perspective of how you look at a space. Maybe it is a library with vines growing out of books, maybe it is a play of billy buttons mimicking the swing of a tennis ball. The flowers become less of an object but a tool to tell a story.
Name some favourite things about working with your wedding couples.
Everyone has a story, it does not have to be exciting or bombastic – it just needs to be personal. Seeing a couple light up when they retell how they first met or the time they realised their partner might be the one; that is my favourite part. With those stories, I like to weave them into the floral narrative that starts to become an extension of their story. Whether or not that becomes a visual 'wow' moment or not, it is secondary. It is almost like a speed-dating circuit to get to know a couple in a matter of months! That is always fun.
Real CB Bride Vanessa wears Laure de Sagazan, bouquet by Tweed Twigs
Do you work one on one with clients or predominantly wedding stylists?
I love working with both – I don’t think that there is one that is better than the other. Either ways, we are working towards telling a couple’s story and celebrating who they are. Sometimes the team is bigger, sometimes the team is a little smaller. But the stories are still worthy to tell and worthy to be celebrated.
What can’t you live without?
Is it ironic that I would say flowers? There are times during the wedding season when I just cannot see another rose but give me 8 hours of sleep and I would need something on the kitchen table. Even right now, I have nary a bloom in the house and I am itching to pick something from the street – a leaf, a branch, anything!
What comes to mind when you think of Carte Blanche Bride…
The Carte Blanche Bride knows what they want. There is sophistication and there is a sense of who they are. They don’t want to be a completely new person that they won’t recognize, they want to be an extension of who they are.
Your ultimate travel destination and why…
At this point, I would love to travel somewhere out of my comfort zone. Maybe it’s the humid forests of South America or the icy northern parts of Sweden to see the northern lights. Or to bring things out of context, the Vitra Design Museum in Germany to explore the research and presentation of design and its relationship to architecture!