It’s been an exciting summer for Meadowsweet. I`ve arranged the flowers for two beautiful weddings – Lisa’s and Eleanor’s. Both have been lovely occasions which I felt privileged to be part of……and I have learnt such a lot. Readers please bear with me as I am going to show you lots and lots of pictures. I will start with Lisa and Simon’s wedding which happened first – at the end of June. This first picture is of Lisa’s bouquet. She chose a white and blue colour scheme. I made it with gorgeous white bridal gladioli (the flowers that spike up from the bouquet), white stocks, white phlox and white roses. Then I added the blue contrast with veronica (the other spikey flower), agapanthus and cornflowers. Then I finished off the edge with some white gypsophila to give the whole bouquet a sense of lightness. The bridal bouquet really needs to stand out from the bridesmaid’s posies. I did this through shape and colour. You can see an example of one of the bridesmaid's posies below. It is made from roses, veronica, phlox and gypsophila so that it ties in with Lisa’s bouquet but then I have added dusky pink astrantia and pink dahlias to provide contrast.
There were four bridesmaids and the picture below shows Lisa’s bouquet and all the posies lined up on a shelf just before I handed them over. If you look carefully you will see that I have finished them off with lace and ribbon at the point where the stems are held together. Lisa’s bouquet stands out from the posies with its elegance and elongated shape. I used English flowers as far as possible in making the bouquet and the posies – the agapanthus, bridal gladioli, astrantia, cornflowers and pink dahlias were all from my English flower wholesaler and these were the stars of the show, giving the flowers a really fresh and unusual look.
The first flower job at a wedding is to meet up with all the men (the groom, best man and ushers) because they get to the church first and need their buttonholes pinned on. You also have to track down the father of the bride and any other important men on the bride’s side who need buttonholes. Simon wanted really simple buttonholes like a mini posy, just made out of one small white flower. I used gypsophila and tied it up with lace and string – this gave a lovely, light country feel. I was pleased that I had made such light buttonholes as the younger men had very narrow lapels and I don`t think they would have held a weighty single flower buttonhole. Here I am – the florist on the way to the bar to pin on the buttonholes!
Lisa and Simon were married at the Holy Trinity Church in Cookham which is not far from Henley. It is an old church believed to date back 1000 years and it is easy on the eye with its attractive stone and the simplicity of its form. The wedding took place on a warm, sunny day in late June and Lisa and the bridesmaids looked lovely – with their flowers adding to the colour and radiance of it all. Here are a few pictures of Lisa and the bridesmaids:
The men also looked sharp and sexy with their little white buttonholes:
And here are Lisa and Simon being driven away from the church in a classic car. I was pleased to get a glimpse through the window of Lisa with her bouquet as they set off to the reception.
The reception dinner was held at Ye Olde Bell, an old coaching inn in a small village called Hurley. This dates back to 1135 – it is a quirky, interesting building with pretty gardens and special areas for private gatherings. One of these is a characterful beamed tithe barn - this is where the dinner was held. Lisa and Simon wanted the barn to have a natural and unpretentious feel – with flowers being placed on the tables looking a bit like wild flowers in a jam jar. I achieved this by using 1 litre kilner jars that have an authentic, traditional look and are big enough not to be swamped by the size of the table. I filled these with English flowers – using the same flowers as in the bouquet and posies and also adding blue ageratum, white and pink alstroemeria, blue statice and mini suwari statice (pink) from my wholesaler. I also supplemented the jars with flowers from our garden – snapdragons, scabious, cornflowers, cosmos, ammi, alchemilla and valerian. I also added some foliage - pittosporum, box and ruscus to provide green contrast. Finally the jars were finished off with ribbon that matched the ribbon used in the place settings and in the bouquet and posies. All the jars were a bit different, but with a common feel to them all. Here are a few examples:
Here is how they looked in relation to everything else on the table:
There were 12 tables in the barn and this picture tries to give a feel of how the whole room looked:
Finally, Lisa and Simon asked me to decorate their ‘cheese cake’. This was made up of layers of round cheeses placed on top of each other. Again, they wanted a natural look. I made little mini posies of box, lavender, rosemary and parsley (all from our garden) tied with lace and string (to match the men’s buttonholes). Then I added a few fresh strawberries and blueberries….it all looked good enough to eat!
At the end of the evening the kilner jars were given away to wedding guests to take home….What a lovely touch to end a perfect day.