Rowi and Rahul’s wedding at The Calyx
For Rowi and Rahul’s wedding, the ceremony took place at the heart of Sydney city at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Aptly dubbed as one of the richest and most extensive early public cultural landscapes in Australia, the gardens was much more than a venue to the couple as well as Don de L’Amour. Don de L’Amour envisioned it as a sanctuary, a space of creation, and cultural hub, a place that celebrates the imperatives of love, community, and historical and cultural heritage. “Yes, it’s an event venue and public recreation area, but it’s also a place where we can come together, share our passions and creativity, a place for people to learn and connect,” Amy Thai says, describing a vision that forges bridges between environmental sustainability, traditional and contemporary floral design, art, craft, and even wellness practices. “A lot of our work has expanded into something beyond floristry, and through the research and visions for this creative project, we’ve been able to approach it with reverence and awe and show how transformative the art of floral design can be, something that is beyond conventional and overtly feminine,” Thai continues.
Don de L’Amour designed the arrangements and installations for the couple's Sangeet and Reception. “You can feel the craftsmanship of the people who contributed to the design and construction of the venue. So naturally, it becomes part of the energy of the space. Without this respect, the process of creating artworks with natural life would not happen. We wanted to acknowledge this and use it as a source of inspiration to connect science and the natural world and it gave us so many options and ideas, but our inspiration also comes from plants and fruits from all over the world.”
“Don de L’Amour honours the wisdom and insight of nature, spaces and community as well as the incredible energy of contemporary art and design scenes that lives through different unique creative roles we all have,” Thai says. “Our work at Don de L’Amour will continue to evolve and grow, but the basic premise remains the same. We want to share the magic of this special place and beyond this, the healing and creative nature of botanical art.”
When Thai first saw the images of Rowi’s vision board and her wonderful flair for colour, she knew without it, the wedding would be incomplete. For Thai, she believes that colour is a notable force with huge emotional power and in her work, this plays a large role in provoking emotions. The Calyx was transformed by captivating florals like cherry blossoms, carnations and orchids - but the juxtaposition of tropical fruits and vegetables lychees, banana blossoms and green chillies and bold colour patterns with that of delicate, dainty petals made it a particularly fascinating sight to behold. Moving from soft pastel and light green shades at one end of the spectrum to intense deep purples and reds, its effect was in turn balanced, restful yet dramatic and responds sensitively to the natural light that comes from the open outdoor space. “For instance, passages from the entrance to the guest areas get light from the sun as soon as it rises to when it sets, so we intentionally chose warmer red shades for this space,” reflects Thai. Considering the visual complexity of the project vision, Don de L’Amour kept things simple in terms of shape and composition. In fact, much of the floral installations were designed using classic Parisian principles. It was imperative to use simple planes and welded structures in order to achieve a visual balance.