Jess Gale, the talented florist behind Sassafras Wedding, boasts an impressive 27-year career in the floral industry. Throughout her extensive journey, she has been a part of numerous enchanting weddings and events in the Yarra Valley, Melbourne, and more. Jess's signature is abundant, lavish and deeply romantic eco-conscious floral designs that linger in memory. In an interview with us, Jess talks about her approach to weddings, favourite blooms to work with and flower trends she enjoys right now.
How did your journey into the world of floristry begin?
I started at the very bottom - sweeping floors and cleaning buckets! I was lucky to get a position at the florist in David Jones when the Spring Flower Show was happening nearly 30 years ago in Brisbane and was able to work on that with some incredible florists. I was hooked then!
What do you love the most about flowers?
I love the romance of the seasons and the impermanence of fresh florals. I love how seeing and smelling flowers can transport you to another memory. I love seeing how flowers can transform a space and how every wedding we do is different in some way.
Are there certain flowers you especially enjoy working with? Tell us why!
I love spring blooms like ranunculus, snowball hydrangea, blossom, lilac — when the spring blossoms come out it’s so exciting after a long winter!
What is your biggest source of inspiration?
I’m constantly inspired by other creatives, not just florists but sculptors, potters, painters and photographers.
How do you approach designing for weddings?
Listening to the couple is key. Listen to what is important to them — how they want a space to look, how they want a space to feel, what colours and textures interest them and how I know this will translate in a space.
What emotion do you aim to evoke the most with your floral designs?
Wonder and awe is always a pretty incredible feeling to evoke in people that interact with my work.
With sustainability being such a crucial focus nowadays, how do you keep your designs eco-friendly?
We work hard to be sustainable in so many ways. We never use floral foam, we separate all green waste and recycling after each event, we re-use and reduce where possible and we buy locally where possible.
If you could share one piece of advice with couples before they pick a florist, what would it be?
Find a florist whose work you love and aligns with your aesthetic. Give them a brief and then allow them the space to do their best work for you.
Which flowers have been the stars of this year's wedding season?
Not one flower, but definitely got a lot of enjoyment out of light dancy blooms such as cosmos and phlox and hopefully will see more delicate floaty flowers in the coming season.
Any floral trends you are absolutely loving right now?
Colour blocked florals and lots of unconventional elements like seasonal produce and other botanical treats.