Lodge Park, Wedding Flowers

Wedding Flowers … Country Elegance

As soon as we had our first consultation with Samantha and Kevin way back in the deepest depths of winter, we knew this wedding would be right up our street! The brief: country elegance. The colours: creams, ivory and zesty green. The venue: Lodge Park a completely gorgeous National Trust property near Cheltenham. HEAVEN!

Samantha knew from the start that she’d love hydrangeas and peonies to feature heavily, and scent was important too. I’m such an advocate for splashing out a little more for a wedding bouquet with scent. Freesias have to be one of my favourites, their heady citrus scent instantly transports me to a tranquil holiday somewhere in the south of France.

With a rather regal entrance with stunning, uninterrupted views across the Chiltons, Lodge Park needed something to bring a splash of Samantha and Kevin’s day to the venue for the ceremony. We toiled with heaps of ideas, but after much deliberation (and a sign from him upstairs) we decided on bay trees, decorated elegantly with white Avalanche roses.

I’m not a pedestal girl, I have never been convinced of their beauty. A vase filled with gorgeous spring and summer flowers … great! A hefty black iron pedestal stand … not my bag. Lodge Park needed something light, clear glass and plain unassuming plinths. Just perfect. We filled the vases with scented eucalyptus, white hydrangeas, peonies, viburnum opulus, white delphiniums, and white Avalanche roses in a simple hand tied arrangement, which complimented the stairway perfectly.

The venue: Lodge Park and The Bay Tree

The flowers: Avalanche and Snowflake spray roses, white delphiniums, white hydrangeas, white peonies, scented white freesias, viburnum opulus, scented eucalyptus and ivory stocks.

 

 

Flowers, Wedding Flowers

Spurred into Action, Dolly to the Rescue

Today I was spurred into action by the wonderful Wedding Sparrow who tweeted she was going to nose at the blog for some inspiration before a meeting with her wedding florist in a few weeks time. Hugely flattering but I also realised everything was looking a little out of date so my interim offering, before I upload lots of gorgeous wedding photo’s, is another homage to the white rose. Not only do I love its simplicity, its romantic ivy collar and the satin bow (I’m big on bows right now) but I also love my model mannequin with wooden arms.

She is called Dolly if you were wondering …

Flowers, Wedding Flowers

White Wedding Bouquet

I am such a white rose girl and they are the perfect for a classical, elegant wedding. I think my favourite thing of all has to be spray roses, I am a complete sucker for them especially when you get these gorgeous green buds poking out between the Akito roses. We filled this wedding bouquet with yummy scented freesias and had one happy bride! hurray!

DIY inspiration, Some little thoughts, Wedding Flowers

The Day That Rock N Roll Bride Came to Play

 

The Green Parlour girls got pretty excited when I told them about our VIP guest appearance from Kat at Rock n Roll Bride! Not only was she coming to say a massive hello but we invited her in to experience a day in the life of, well us, with some DIY tutorials to share with all of her beautiful readers to boot. Just the ticket to brighten up a dark Wednesday in January me thinks.

Take a look at our day with the pink haired beauty here and watch this space for an announcement on some new flower school bridal courses we will be running … the perfect way to come and play with gorgeous blooms with your bridesmaids, mums and friends.

Big love to Kat at www.rocknrollbride.com not only for writing such an awesome wedding blog but she’s a pretty hot trainee florist too.

Flowers, Wedding Flowers

How to Choose Your Wedding Flowers Part 2

Part two of a three part series to help you get the most out of your wedding flowers!

In part two of our guide on How to Choose your Wedding Flowers we start to look at all the fun things! The actual flowers! First on my flower list is always the bridal bouquet. Along with the dress I believe the bridal bouquet helps to set the scene for the whole wedding, introducing the look of your day and containing your personality. In this, part 2 of our guide, we show you some of the key styles, talk about ways to introduce colour and … don’t forget the groom …

The bridal bouquet is always first on my list of flower requirements to talk about; it is my favourite part of the whole ‘let’s talk about wedding flowers’ process, and also probably the most daunting – all the wedding ideas suddenly become super real!

This is the time to whip out all the mood boards, images of your dress (I love this part!), colours that you love, plans, ideas, thoughts, all the little details that you probably don’t think will be connected to flowers. As much information as you can load us up with.

And then it’s time for the big questions … what style of bouquet do you want?

 

The hand tied wedding bouquet, sometimes known as a posy or an upright bouquet, is the must-have bridal bouquet right now. Definitely my favourite shape for its versatile nature, taking you from chic country bride to glitz and glam with a few tweaks here and there.

Fill with in-season flowers to create a wild, natural and just-picked-from-the-garden look, or go for a tightly packed rose dome bound in a satin ribbon for sheer elegance.

What I love most about a hand tied wedding bouquet is the fun you can have on the handle. It’s my favourite place to add in extra details to make the bouquet completely unique. Why not try attaching old brooches, winding vintage lace detailing around the stem or platting together satin ribbon dotted with pearl-headed pins for a plush ornate feel?

Shower or cascade bouquets are in the midst of a major resurgence! Gone are the days of the Princess Diana (heavy, cumbersome and super showy) … in are a smaller, more delicate feminine cascade with subtle country twists and bags of movement using interesting foliage.

For an utterly romantic bouquet, fill with a mixture of scented English roses, smaller rosebuds and jasmine foliage in a soft feminine trail. Or go super modern: bold minimalist flowers with bags of colour … my favourite has to be deep purple vanda orchids which look like tropical butterflies.

This is such a gorgeous statement shape! I love seeing it with simple, elegant gowns or with vintage style dresses with delicate sparkly beading around the bodice. It’s my dare-to-be-different bouquet of choice and should be made using some of the most standout flowers available.

For the ‘wow’ factor include crisp white calla lilies with modern leaves, or for a country twist go for strong groupings of zesty lime hydrangeas; a must-have colour for 2011.

The first rule is always reflect what’s happening in nature … Simple huh?

Every time I talk about reflecting the seasons, an episode of Don’t Tell the Bride pops into my mind. Specifically, the one when during a heat wave in July, a snow loving Groom transformed a barn into a winter wonderland. It looked beautiful, yes, but there was something slightly unnerving about seeing guests in very summery dresses, walking down an isle covered in snow. Flowers follow the same rules!

Read more

Flowers, Some little thoughts, Wedding Flowers

How to Choose Your Wedding Flowers

Part one of a three part series to help you get the most out of your wedding flowers!

Choosing the right flowers to reflect you and your wedding day can be mind blowing! First there is the style of bouquet, then you have to think about colours and on top of that flower names and what may be available at that time of year … and it goes without saying … cost! Flowers are so important for adding the finishing touches to your day, reflecting your style, colour theme and enhancing your dress.

So where do you start in this daunting flower world? Follow our step by step guide to prepare for your first wedding consultation

It sounds a little interior-design-meets-changing-rooms but mood boards are a great way of gathering all sorts of visual information to show your wedding florist (and other suppliers). Go traditional and get creative with your scissors and glue and grab all of those lovely wedding magazines you’ve been hoarding and start ripping them to shreds! Fill it with images of your dress, your inspiration; basically fill it with you, your personality! If you are a little more technology minded give some of the online sites a try, some allow you to create your own mood boards using some of their existing photos as well as uploading your own images and taking a look at other peoples boards of inspiration while you are there (www.dessy.com).

Take a look at the blogs below for some gorgeous wedding inspiration that is sure to get you drooling at all the wedding loveliness out there:

… and don’t forget to photocopy/print your creative hard work and give a copy to all your potential suppliers!

Budgets are always a difficult subject – how on earth with no knowledge of the cost of flowers are you meant to think of a figure to put in your budget? There is so much varying advise out there, it sounds pretty obvious but the more you spend, the more floral your decorations will become. We usually find the budget for the flowers should be between 5% – 10% of the total wedding budget but this is not prescriptive. It really depends on you!

The best advice we give is to be open with your budget, it allows you to get the most out of a consultation with any supplier and means that any ideas being discussed will be achievable for you!

Phew!

This is one of the most exciting parts! We usually suggest putting by around 1 hour 30 minutes for your first consultation, giving us plenty of time to talk about your dress, the look and feel of your day and of course the mood boards we talked about earlier! You can contact us about a consultation online here or you can call us on Tel: 0118 984 4000.

See you next week for part two …

Bradfield College, Wedding Flowers

White for White at Bradfield College

There is something about white wedding flowers that I love. Perhaps its there timeless elegance and the fact they can be a complete chameleon! Able to transform from crisp modern orchids right through to a relaxed, English country garden theme, they retain their simplicity and grace of style no matter what venue, vase or dress they find themselves near.

I personally love white flowers in a relaxed country feel, a look that suits Bradfield College perfectly, complimenting the dark wood that is present throughout the Main Hall and bringing a taste of the buildings gorgeous grounds inside. Filled with Avalanche Roses, white Veronica, scented Eucalyptus, Majolica spray Roses, Astilbe and Waxflower these glass cylinder vases work perfectly with the relaxed but elegant brief we were given!

I had to take a snap of the Bride and Groom’s cake of cheese, the woodblock is amazing! and the theme of the white flowers become a little more obvious.

Anyone who reads a few of our notes will know that I have a huge amount of love for kissing balls! This one is a particular favourite of mine, the heavy oak door leading to the Main Hall in Bradfield College would not be out of place in a Harry Potter film is the perfect backdrop for a kissing ball filled to the brim with scented Eucalyptus, Ammi Majus, white Veronica, Majolica and Avalanche roses. Yum!

Mapledurham House, Wedding Flowers

Wedding Flowers, English Tea, Kissing Balls and an Aeroplane

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.

Green Parlour in the Press, Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, Some little thoughts, Wedding Flowers

Green Parlour in Perfect Wedding Magazine Article

We’ve made it to the national press! with the help of some wonderful images by Rosie Parsons (not only does she write a mean blog she also takes some pretty amazing photos to boot … look out for her brand new shiny blog coming soon http://rosieparsons.com/blog/) and of course we couldn’t have done it without the help  the Bride and Groom – Ruth and Mike.

Here are the snapshots of their day (and our flowers…hurray!)

Monks Barn, Venues, Wedding Flowers

Wedding Bouquets

There is nothing better than receieving an email/thank you card/letter from a Bride to say thank you for all of your hard work, and most importantly that they loved what you did! and when the email/thankyou card/letter is packed full of images it literally makes my day.

So imagine my excitement at opening an email from Sarah (you know who you are !) and letting me sneak a peek at the photos of our flowers. I love them!