When Gemma came to see me in February this year, she had a really clear concept for her October wedding. She wanted it to feel autumnal, not frothy and summery, and she had a precise colour scheme - dark purple, light purple and white. Lovely, but a bit of a challenge as she was hoping for purple roses. I had never seen any purple roses at the flower market, and when I asked I was told that only light purple roses existed and a rose called 'Purple Haze' would be easy to get hold of. Gemma's husband to be, Ian, liked the idea of Purple Haze because it's the title of a Jimi Hendrix song. Here is a picture of it - looks like it would do the job.
Well, I tried ordering this a few times over the year to see if it was true and could be obtained easily. The first time a bright cerise rose arrived! The second time an OK-ish rose called 'New Orleans' arrived, but it was a bit pink and not best quality. Then I spied a beautiful rose called 'Ocean Song' in someone else's order. This is just exquisite and it even has a bit of a rose fragrance. I got it - 100 stems.
Then, the dark purple came from lisyanthus and the white from glorious avalanche roses and gypsophila.
Gemma bought gorgeous metallic glass vases for the welcome vase and the table centres. Here they are in my workshop.
I made small vase arrangements for moving around the venue - from the registrar's table and window sills to the top table. The ladies' buttonholes had a little gypsophila and lisyanthus added to the rose and the foliage. They were finished off with lace and purple ribbon. The men's buttonholes were simpler and finished off with silver wire.
Everybody tells me how important it is to take photos of wedding flowers - but mostly there isn`t enough time. On the day of the wedding everything needs to be packed up safely and off we go. I ran out of time to take photos of Gemma's bouquet and the bridesmaids' posies - just managed to snap them in the back of the car before we set off to the venue.
Ian's interest in Jimi Hendrix became clear as we got to the venue. The clue starts with the sheet music you can see on the right of the welcome table.
Every table had a record placed in the middle. The centres of the records were purple and there were purple petals scattered on the wood slices where I placed the flowers. It looked wonderful.
Whilst I was setting up, the lady with the cake arrived. I couldn`t believe it - she had made icing sugar flowers in exactly the same colours as the real flowers.
What a gorgeous October wedding. Finally, on the subject of purple roses. During one of my workshops when I was talking about purple roses, and the difficulty in getting hold of them, one of the participants, Christine, told me she had seen a bush of purple roses for sale at a local garden centre. The rose is called 'Rhapsody in Blue' and it is a fantastic deep purple - so dark purple roses do exist!