Christian weddings in India's biggest city
I have known Tina since my college days, but back then, I had no clue that she was so incredibly gifted at craftwork. It’s strange how you get to know your own classmates better after you’re done with schools and colleges and the like. Especially now that social media does so much to keep you updated on your old mates.
When a mutual friend and classmate passed me photos of the spectacular flowers and gift pieces that Tina makes as part of her label Tina’s Creations, I just knew that she would be the artist to craft my sister’s wedding bouquet. And if you have a look at the dreamlike bouquet she conjured up for my lovely sister, you’ll know exactly why I decided to do so.
Dear readers, please say hello to the immensely gifted Tina Patil of Tina’s Creations, a nylon stocking craft specialist and floral artist extraordinaire. Tina works from her home in Kurla, in a dedicated work area – the base of all her inspiration and beautiful ideas and also the place from where she handles her flower crafting business.
Tina is one of those rare artists who have struck an excellent balance between their jobs, their hobbies (she designs accessories and fabrics and is a painter as well!) and monetizing their artistic pursuits. With 15 years of experience under her belt, you can safely say that this floral artist is a veteran and professional when it comes to her creations.
Tina’s father has been very instrumental in bringing out her artistic potential, having taught her the basics of flower crafting and leaving it to her to explore and further develop her skills. From crafting flowers as a way to while away time and decorate her home, her hobby soon took her into the world of wedding accessories where she began to experiment with butonnieres, hair sprays and baskets.
At the suggestion of a shrewd aunt, Tina took her hobby a step further. Along with gifting things she would make to dear friends, she also began taking orders on a larger scale. It’s been 10 years since she took that leap and for someone as gifted as Tina, there’s been no looking back.
“The first bridal bouquet that I made was for a family friend. The theme colour was golden yellow and had golden yellow roses.”
What challenges her the most about designing flowers for weddings is working with a fixed palette and flower style and of course, the idea in the bridal couple’s mind. Having been in the bride’s position, I know how it is when your ideas don’t translate that well into the vendor’s minds. But from the point of view of an artist, I know how frustrating this can be for the artist involved as well. There is little room for deviation and not much room for personal creativity.
During the planning process for my sister’s wedding, I had first-hand knowledge of the way Tina was able to combine her creativity with what my sister and myself had in mind. And she did it so magnificently, that I lost count of the number of people who asked me to compliment the floral artist, who in their eyes, seemed to understand the bridal theme so well.
Tina reveals that she combines her artistic vision with the bride’s wedding-day wishes by simply understanding everything that the bride has in mind about the floral theme. She then makes it a point to advise the bride on the ideas that can be translated into reality and the ones which will have to be modified. In the rare case the bride does not agree with her suggestions, she offers other choices which will suit just as well with the estimated costs involved and goes ahead with the order only after the intricacies involved are understood by both parties.
Apart from bridal bouquets, Tina also designs flowers for the bridal entourage and incorporates her designs within Alice bands, hair clips, and corsages. Decorative pieces for the tables, for the cake and for giveaways also find their way into her orders at times, allowing couples a splendid way to use one designer to take care of some of the most important design elements for their wedding.
Tina uses a variety of materials like foam and organdy cloth and fabric like satin, denim and cotton for crafting flowers, apart from nylon stocking – which is her specialty.
Most of her materials are sourced from Mumbai and are available in any local arts and crafts store. However, she especially loves hunting for material in shops like Something Special at Bandra’s Hill Road, Pramanik at Ghatkopar East Station and Bhavesh Stores at Kurla West Station.
Tina’s Tip: “If you really want to get a good deal, are ready to sweat it out in the sun and have some company along, then the best place to go is to Bhuleshwar – a huge market housing all kinds of fabric, art supplies and accessories.”
I asked her about the process involved in completing an entire wedding order and was amazed when she told me that even with next to no time to dedicate on the weekdays to her orders, she manages to complete an order in 2-3 weeks.
She starts by making samplers for each and every flower type that’s requested. Once that’s finalised, she begins work on the bridesmaids, flower girls and the rest of the entourage’s flowers, leaving the bridal bouquet for last.
“I mostly make the bridal bouquet last as I like giving maximum time to it without having to worry that I still have to make other flowers.”
For instance, the time and effort that artists spend into making beautiful things. It is heartbreaking when people cancel orders without notice or when they wait for the delivery of the order to make their displeasure and disagreement over the design known. In many cases, Tina notes, as an artist, she would rather understand everything that is on the client’s mind beforehand and accordingly accommodate their wishes.
Tina also makes decorative butterflies, wall hangings and cold porcelain bouquets – the last being a skill she’s especially proud of due to the challenges involved. If you are a bridal couple on the lookout for exquisite floral pieces at genuinely affordable pricing, I suggest you have a look at Tina’s Facebook page, her beautiful blog and most especially, her Facebook albums for an idea of how she can design the floral elements for your wedding.
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