OPW Spotlight – Pop up Gardens

Pop Up Gardens

Today we are shining the OPW spotlight on something a little different and a lot greener, and it might provide some great inspiration for your Big Day.

Finding the right wedding supplier for your perfect day can always be a challenge and here at Our Perfect Wedding we always enjoy talking to other wedding suppliers to find out more about the industry and what makes a great day.

Emilie Porterfield – Pop up GardensPop Up Gardens

Pop-Up Gardens is a green styling business, specialising in plant styling and hire for weddings and events. The company was originally my husband Iain’s brainchild. He’s a landscape gardener, and had been discussing branching out into the wedding & events industry for a while. One day while he was 4m up a ladder pruning a hedge, he had a flash of inspiration and thought of the name. We decided to propose the concept to our good friends Paul & Sarah, who have been running their own landscaping business for 25 years. We went into partnership, and the business grew and evolved from there.

So if you are in the market for something different when it comes to your floral design give Emilie a call.

Website:     www.popupgardens.com.au

Instagram: www.instagram.com/pop_up_gardens

Facebook:   www.facebook.com/popupgardens

Tell me about your Business

We hire out a big variety of pot plants (like palms and tropicals, citrus, olives, Aussie natives, magnolias, and many more). But more than that, we design a space using those plants (and other styling items). We build bespoke archways and garden furniture, make green table centrepieces, do hanging greenery and foliage. We also specialise in living green walls – these are a fantastic feature, that can be used as the backdrop for the ceremony itself, or for photos at the reception.

What should couples look for when selecting a Wedding Supplier?

Pop Up Gardens
credit: Less Stuff More Meaning (@less_stuff_more_meaning)


At Pop-Up Gardens we’re all about creating something unique and different. I always strive to really get to know my clients – what do they like/love/dislike? What is their personal style? What do they like and dislike about their chosen venue? How do they envision their guests reacting when they see the venue? How would they like their guests to use and interact with the space? We aim to create a space which flows, and which feels beautiful and stylish yet comfortable. I want the wedding space to really reflect the personalities of the bridal couple. From just a couple of pot plants, to a full package of plants, green wall, archway and furniture, we can create a package that suits your style, your budget, and your vision for your wedding.

I love this job because every day, and every client, is different! We make our designs as individual as our clients, so it never gets boring. I love creating something beautiful, fun and unique for people on their big day, and then hearing afterwards that it put a smile on their faces! It’s such a big moment in a couple’s lives, and they’ve invested so much time, energy and money into this day, so to know that we are contributing to their happiness (even just in some small way) make me really happy!

What is the biggest mistake couples make when selecting a Wedding Supplier?

I think the main thing for me when dealing with clients is open, honest two-way communication. Be honest and realistic about your budget – what are you actually comfortable spending? If you tell us this from the get-go, we can design a package around that, to suit your needs. This saves us all a lot of time, and means we can get right down to the details of the styling right away. Another thing I always tell couples is that we are sometimes limited a little by the availability and seasonality of the living plants, and the locations we can keep them in – for example, don’t expect certain flowering plants to be in bloom in the winter, and don’t expect to be able to place shade-loving tropical plants outside in full sun. We have a consultation about what our clients want, and then where there are limitations we make suggestions for suitable alternatives.

What are the latest trends that you are seeing?

Pop up Gardens
credit: T-One Image (@tone_image)

I absolutely love the more rustic styling, and particularly outdoor weddings. My perfect wedding would be a ceremony in a pretty outdoor space, with a rustic archway and simple wildflowers, and lots and lots of greenery! And perhaps a marquee reception with hanging foliage and twinkly festoon lights as darkness falls. I’m seeing so much of this trend at the moment, and I can’t get enough of it – country-style weddings, with chunky wooden furniture, Aussie native florals, and lots of cool rustic styling (wooden fruit crates, hand-lettered signage, mismatched antique chairs).  Purple is going to be a huge colour this season, and also a continuation of the trend for rose golds and copper tones.

What’s the most bizarre or interesting thing you have seen at a wedding?

I once worked at a wedding where the Maid of Honour didn’t bother to turn up to reception, and everyone brushed it off as “normal” behaviour for her – I thought that was pretty bizarre! Other than that, not many bizarre stories, just lots of nice ones. My favourite brides are always the ones who have a pretty clear vision of what they would like, but at the same time are very open to letting you flex your creative muscles. One particular bride we worked with last year was very clear that she wanted to use mainly rustic styling and Aussie native plants (to reflect the style and heritage of herself and her fiancee), but then pretty much gave me free reign with how to execute that vision. It was a gorgeous venue (a glasshouse on top of a hill with stunning views over Manly and the harbour), and we decided to keep things simple and beautiful. We built her a bespoke archway out of native gum branches, and worked closely with her florist to style the venue with aussie native flowers and plants, wooden fruit crates and milk jugs, rustic furniture, and lots of little candle jars. We even had a large jar of red sand to represent the hometown of the groom. The place looked fantastic, but I always still get butterflies when I leave, not truly knowing whether the couple will be happy or not. I received a message the next day to say they were over the moon, and that when the bride first walked down the aisle and saw what we had created for them, she cried (happy tears!). That’s an incredibly powerful and gratifying feeling, knowing that you helped to make their day really special.

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