Style Stories: Terri Chandler, Florist
Cork-born Terri Chandler, pictured left, who is one half of London-based creative floral studio Worm, is responsible for many an Instagrammable bouquet. Curating some of the coolest weddings and events, Chandler has an eye for detail and colour, and a flair for elegant but quirky bridal style. Here, she shares her most treasured jewellery moments and what makes the perfect bridal arrangement.
Based in London, but influenced by Cork! Tell us more: Growing up on the coast of Ireland is always something myself and Katie [Smyth, Chandler’s creative partner at Worm] come back to when creating wedding flowers. My dad has this amazing rockery garden on the edge of a cliff in Cove that’s filled with wildflowers and grasses. I love growing wild and colourful things, like nasturtiums, cosmos, foxgloves and marigolds; nothing ornamental. If I could, I would grow a whole garden with just nasturtiums.
The precious nature of jewellery: My engagement ring is a Claddagh ring with an inset of Connemara marble and it’s definitely the most sentimental piece of jewellery I own. My partner is a filmmaker and when his film won at the Galway Film Festival he brought me to Claddagh and proposed. The ring belonged to his granny, but sadly it was too big. So we rushed off and bought a gold ring – another Claddagh! – to tide us over. I still wear it as my engagement ring to this day. I fell in love with it and I can’t imagine taking it off. Meanwhile, my daughter is called Minnie, so I wear a gold M pendant around my neck. She's two but she knows the M is for her. It’s so special, I have to wear it all the time. I’ve even considered, when naming my next child, to make sure that the new initial will pair nicely on the necklace! The jewellery I wear on a day-to-day basis is mainly pieces that have been handed down, I wear an eternity ring that belonged to my mum a lot. It’s a simple ring with a nest of diamonds.
What trends are you seeing for upcoming weddings? In London, we’ve been seeing a trend for smaller weddings since the pandemic. A lot of people are referring to these as ‘elopement weddings’ but, in essence, they’re weddings of around 50; couples are limiting their numbers and putting the money into nicer places, like their favourite restaurant. Overall, we’re seeing people do what they want, instead of doing what tradition calls for; it just feels nicer. I just love when brides wear something that they’ll wear again. Designers like Simone Rocha and Cecilie Bahnsen make such good wedding dresses: a dress that you can re-wear or you could dye. I like shorter hemlines, too. I know people scoff at meringue shapes, but they can be quite cool!
A favourite bridal floral tip: I always tell brides to make sure they include something scented in their bouquet. If you meet an older person, they can often recall the scent of their bouquet which is so special. Something simple like Lily of the Valley is so discreet but has the most amazing, clean smell. Scent can really transport you. Buy local and buy what’s in season. If it's summer, try roses and peonies; if it’s September, go with dahlias.
DIY bridal blooms - really? It is doable to do your own wedding flowers, but be warned: people underestimate how long it takes. If you are going to go DIY, you must learn how to condition flowers properly: there’s no point spending a fortune on flowers, only for them to wilt halfway through the day, especially if it’s a summer wedding. The good news is that this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to do an expensive course, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials available nowadays for you to learn tips and tricks.