Archive for the ‘Mapledurham House’ Category

Wedding Flowers, English tea, kissing balls and an aeroplane

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Sometimes you get the opportunity to meet a bride who wants something a little different for her wedding day, and is willing to put in the time to make it happen.

It was such a joy to meet Alice (the Bride) and Penny (Alice’s Mum who just happens to be handy with a needle and thread and growing flowers amongst other things!) way back at our first meeting in deepest darkest depths of February. As soon as they started describing the theme for their wedding, relaxed elegant English country garden with a fete, party feel in the afternoon. Perfect! Its exactly how I’d have my wedding.

Alice’s dress sounded perfect – lace with an elegant vintage feel and was having a birdcage hat specially made, their ideas for the marquee they were erecting in Mapledurham Estate just outside of Reading, Berkshire were getting more elaborate and ornate by the day.

I always have images of Penny sitting there surrounded by mounds of pastel coloured triangles ready to be made into the pretty bunting that adorned the interior of the marquee and definitely will never forget the amount of jam jars they collected ready to house the pretty table flowers that ran the entire length of the marquee. I think if you flashed a jar in front of them, to this day they would be able to identify exact content of the containers. Filling them with small hand tied arrangements was an absolute joy and I love the en mass look they create effortlessly. Less is definitely more.

At one of our first meetings Penny informed me of the plan to decorate the church, St Celement in Ashampstead, Berkshire, themselves. So a few weeks before the wedding I was invited up to Penny’s house in the blazing summer sun to take a look at all the flowers she has been growing ready to be cut and arranged by her and her sister on the Thursday before the wedding. I was greeted with a garden full of lovely goodies including Ammi Majus (one of my all time favourite flowers) as well as Molucella with their lime green zest bringing the garden alive!  At this stage, been in complete awe of her talents I decided that I want Penny to plan my wedding!

We set to work on creating the bespoke flower decorations for the big day, using all the wonderfully shaped jam jars and filling them with an abundance of seasonal flowers. Each jam jar was individual and so the flowers reflected this too, really adding to the mismatched relaxed look that the day was all about. I really think spreading the arrangements across the entire length of the table, scattered between cutlery, cake stands and, later on, storm lanterns created a pretty, country tone to the marquee, and I always think its lovely when your guests can leave with a little floral gift. The flowers reflected the time of year with some of my personal favourites including Peonies, Roses, Eycalyptus, Scabious, Ammi Majus, Molucella, Sweet Peas and Guelder Rose.

My favourite item however had to be the large kissing ball that hung from the central point of the marquee. Filled to the brim with a whole host of Eucalyptus, Ammi Majus, Avalanche and Deep Water Roses and Guelder Rose, it suited the theme and venue perfectly! I love having an unexpected twist in marquees and the kissing ball fits the bill perfectly.

They also hired an aeroplane stunt man to draw a heart in the sky.