12 Oct Vendor of the Month: Wimberly Fair Designs
Wimberly Fair not only has one of the coolest names (yep, it’s her real moniker) in the wedding world, she’s also one of Charleston’s biggest, most whimsical talents. Today she shares about the inspiration behind her floral work and tells how she got started. Read on for tips and tricks you can incorporate into your Big Day.
Car: Lowcountry Valet & Shuttle Co. | Florals: Wimberly Fair Designs | Calligraphy: J.Lily Design | Image: Clay Austin
The Wedding Row: Tell us about yourself and how you got into weddings.
Wimberly Fair: I’m a color-loving creative who will tinker with anything pretty if given the chance. I started by planning events and, when I could, made arrangements rather than hire a florist. One day, a friend hired me to do the flowers for a small wedding and I was hooked. With little knowledge about the flower industry, I tracked down kind and talented mentors to help me along. I think that is one of the most incredible parts of the experience so far—meeting and learning from strong, gifted, and caring women I greatly admire.
TWR: How do you navigate trends?
WF: Generally speaking, I try to avoid anything overly trendy—particularly for weddings. I create a design based on what a couple loves (how do they decorate at home?); their experiences together (is there anything inspiring from their travels, hobbies, or hometowns to work in); and the venue itself (what designs feel most cohesive with the space?). Answering questions like those helps develop a look true to the couple and is hopefully timeless.
TWR: What are your favorite elements and events to design?
WF: I really do love every bit. Bouquets are a favorite because they are with the bride all day—I obsess over them. Tablescapes are fun because that’s your chance to create an experience that transports guests and makes them feel special. You mix patterns and colors, play with lighting, and ideally build an environment that invites people to linger and forget about their phones for a while. Photoshoots are a creative playground—a place to try ideas that might not be practical for every day. To me, those are all about imagination, pushing boundaries, collaborating with friends, and enjoying the fact that we are surrounded by so much beauty.
Photographer: Aaron and Jillian Photography | Venue: The Historic Rice Mill | Dress Designer: Hayley Paige Occasions | Bridesmaid Dresses: Garnish Boutique, Adrianna Papell | Floral Designers: Wimberly Fair Designs
TWR: What do you do to set yourself apart from other florists here?
WF: I push for projects that really make my heart sing—my favorite designs always come from that place. I stay true to my style and before starting something new I think about what I wish existed. If I can make something with a bit of originality that is also true to my style and pleases my client, I’m usually happy with the result.
TWR: If you were given complete free rein to design a bouquet, what would it look like?
WF: For fall and winter, give me all the jewel tones! Rich plums, deep reds, spicy oranges, and ambers—saturated and unapologetic hues. During spring and summer, I’m forever in love with a color palette that incorporates peaches, oranges, bits of light blues, and buttery yellows … lavenders and ballet slipper pink … I’d go for everything but the kitchen sink if left to my own devices.
Designing: Events by Reagan | Venue: Lance Hall, Circular Congregational Church | Florals: Wimberly Fair Designs | Rentals: Ooh! Events | Image: Corbin Gurkin
TWR: What are your favorite flowers?
WF: Poppies really make me happy—I love their fuzzy, opinionated stems and watching them shed their coats, not to mention their colors. And I marvel at tropical flowers—tough as nails and altogether otherworldly.
TWR: How soon during the wedding planning process should a bride address flowers?
WF: Nine months is great for dreaming and planning, but six months will do, and two to three months is still plenty of time.
TWR: What one piece of floral advice would you give brides?
WF: Flowers are impactful and meant to bring you and your guests joy—have fun with them! Embrace color and hire a floral designer you trust.
Photographer: Kristy Roderick| Venue: Cannon Green | Event Planning & Design: Karma Goddess Event Planning and Design | Floral Designer: Wimberly Fair Designs
TWR: How can a bride set her floral budget?
WF: Truthfully, every bride and every wedding is different. Your floral budget doesn’t have to be huge, but your budget for décor should be substantial enough to give your guests a lovely experience.
TWR: How do you work when brides share super-specific direction?
WF: I’m a fan of Pinterest for giving designers and clients a platform from which to jump. Photos help put you and your client on the same page about specific flowers and other design elements. Brides can show you they like this shape for an arrangement, but with these colors from a separate photo. From there, you branch out and deliver sketches and concepts to the client that fit the vision without replicating someone else’s work.
TWR: Do you have any exciting news to share?
WF: We are working on a project for January that will hopefully be a delightful surprise for Charleston, but I don’t want to talk it away. Keeping my fingers crossed!