Here are Eleanor and Aurelien looking really happy just after they were married. It was a sunny summer’s day in Wales on the last Sunday in August. The wedding took place at St Maelog’s Church, Llandefaelog. The church is just a few miles along the road from Cilhowey, the farmhouse where Eleanor was brought up. Aurelien is French – so the wedding had a wonderful trilingual atmosphere – French, English and Welsh were all spoken and sung throughout the day. This was a joyous country wedding and the flowers were designed to reflect this – I wanted them to look natural, informal and fresh as a daisy. Eleanor chose a colour scheme of white and pink.
To start with the men - I made striking, uninhibited buttonholes. These featured a white rose set off with a little piece of vibrant pink statice and white gypsophila, and backed up with small pieces of box and eucalyptus (parvifolia). I finished them off with lace and string. I hot footed it down to the church to pin the button holes on to Aurelien and the accompanying French men. Here he is, and here are two of the ushers outside the church. Dishy or what!
St Maelog’s is a pretty little church nestling in the countryside and it was full to bursting with happy and excited people. Eleanor wore a beautiful classic white dress and her five grown-up bridesmaids wore pretty pink full-length dresses. There were also two young flower girls in white dresses. I made Eleanor’s bouquet with lots of white flowers – phlox, roses, alstroemeria, spiky veronica and gypsophila – contrasted with pink sweet william (particularly delicate and easy on the eye), pink carnations and pink dahlias. Because the bouquet was predominantly white I added in a bit of green eucalyptus to add some contrast with Eleanor’s dress. I put more of the pink flowers into the bridesmaids’ posies so that they would stand out from their dresses and look different to Eleanor’s bouquet. I also added some stronger coloured asters, statice and pink alstroemeria. Most of the flowers were supplied by my English flower wholesaler. Here are some pictures of Eleanor and her bridesmaids looking absolutely lovely:
And here they are setting off from the church after the ceremony:
They were all heading for the hay wain which would take them to the reception. A hay wain is a kind of cart for conveying hay from one place to another and usually it is drawn by a horse. But in this case it was conveying people and it was drawn by a tractor! The hay wain was made comfortable with bales of hay to sit on and it had been decorated with bunting and flowers. Here are the bridal party getting onto the hay wain and then enjoying a glass of champagne as Trevor gets ready to drive the tractor up the road to Cilhowey:
The wedding guests arrived at Cilhowey first of all for a reception of bubbly and wedding cake. Cilhowey sits under rolling hills, and two marquees had been erected on the lawns – a gorgeous green setting. Guests were entertained first with welsh singing (Eleanor’s father, Michael, is the singer in the first picture with the buttonhole), then with French singing:
I was pleased to capture these lovely pictures of Emily (one of the flower girls) who is Eleanor’s niece, her mother Clare (Eleanor’s sister)with her brother Daniel and her father Dave. Daniel and Dave are both sporting their very handsome buttonholes. Clare seems to have picked up Emily’s posy at some stage!
Then here are a few pictures picking out the bridesmaids’ posies and Eleanor’s bouquet:
Later in the evening the guests moved along to the second marquee where the dinner was served. Tables were set up in long lines and Eleanor asked me to decorate them with jam jars filled with flowers. I painted the jam jars with a pretty pattern and tied them with string. Readers of my blog may remember that I developed this design in France last year – it seemed just right for the country wedding style and very fitting that the painted jam jar idea was born in France! I filled the jars with a mix of the same flowers that I used in the bouquet and the posies but added lots of flowers and foliage from our garden – mainly scabious, snapdragons, astrantia, box and rosemary. Here is a sample of the jam jars:
Then here is how they looked set up on one table:
The tables had all been given the names of French and Welsh cheeses (so guests could find their seats), for example Caerphilly and Roquefort:
It was a really big marquee and I made 26 flower filled jam jars! This picture tries to give a sense of how the whole marquee looked:
Finally, the main point of a wedding is to celebrate the glorious union of one woman with one man, and in the process they are surrounded by other attractive (and maybe marriageable!) young men and women. So, boys will be boys: