English country wedding flowers
Pic on this post by Dave Watts.
Here at Common Farm Flowers between Bruton and Wincanton in Somerset it is wedding flowers planning season.
Whissh! In come the enquiries: pastel shades for a registry office mid-week wedding in June, bright cactus dahlias for a garden reception in September, rich, moody colours for a spring wedding in April.
And whisssh! Go my replies. Yes, we can work to any budget. Yes we supply only the very best, seasonally-grown, freshly-cut, English country wedding flowers. Yes we grow most of the flowers we use in our floristry ourselves, and when we buy in extra we only buy from other British flowers growers. Yes, the English country garden look is exactly what we do. And yes, we absolutely agree that the way forward is flower-foam free floristry.
It's a fun time of year when the board across the office from my desk fills up with dates booked for weddings and events. The diary has to be carefully managed so that there's sti...
HAPPY NEW YEAR everybody. So what do we get up to in January? Well, along with many of you, January for us is a time for planning, especially flowers for weddings and events in the summer. So I thought I’d focus this update on top tips for you if you’re planning flowers for any kind of event throughout 2019.
If you’re planning on having flowers for your event, whether you’re growing them yourself or buying in (we do buckets of mixed flowers cut fresh from our gardens to order throughout the season by the way,) the first thing I suggest you do is make up an example of what you plan to have on your table, or to carry. It doesn’t matter whether you have exactly the kinds of flowers you plan to have at your event to hand (if you like only British grown flowers in your arrangements, then you certainly won’t!) Using flowers with the same kind of weight as you’d like at your do, will give you an idea very quickly of both how ma...
The last of our big weddings for this year over, we're making our little recipe for the file which we make after each event we do. This means we've got a good record of what went well, what we liked, what we felt could have been improved upon. We do this for all the events we work with and it's really helpful in informing how we plan for the following season, and especially in advising our clients going forward.
There are lots of things you, as the giver of the wedding reception or party, might not think to ask a venue. And I think sometimes venues don't think to tell you a lot of what you need to know unless you ask.
These questions may feel very unromantic when all you want to do is imagine how lovely you can make the place look while you swish about in your beautiful silks, but a little hard nosed organisation can make all the difference to the smooth running of your special day.
What time can you get into the venue, and by what time do you have to have left?
This is a more complicated question than you might assume. You need writ...
You may have been planning your wedding since you were five years old, or you may be totally surprised to find you're getting married at all. Either way, there are masses of people out there whose business it is to help you create your perfect day. Your job is to define what you'd like on the day, be careful to choose a budget you can afford. And find the people who can best translate your dreams for you according to that budget.
Of course, you may decide to do the whole thing DIY - friends bringing lasagnes and salads, holding the reception at home, dress from a vintage shop, and a play list booming out of a laptop somewhere.
But if you're not going to do that you're going to need a:
You'll need a venue both for ceremony and reception. They might be the same place in the end, but both incurr costs which you need to include in your budget. In this part of south east Somerset we have lots of great venues nearby: from North Cadbury Court and East Pennard House, both of which have churches associated with the houses, through Sparkford Ha...
Top tips if you're planning a really big wedding:
Really big weddings cost a fortune. If you're determined to have 250+ people to your do it's going to cost a great deal of money. This is fine if you acknowledge the fact early on and give yourself a good, fat budget. If you want to throw a huge party on a tight budget you'll end up in a foul temper having found you had to spend the money anyway.
It's very hard to create an 'intimate' feel at a huge wedding. To seat 250+ people down for dinner you're going to need a marquee approaching the size of an aircraft hanger. If you love pictures of a single table for eight nestled under trees in an orchard, dressed with masses of flowers, in a very Midsummer Night's Dream sort of way, then maybe go for a more intimate day where you can recreate such a look. if you're looking for what I call the full Fragonard look in an aircraft hangar sized marquee, then you're going to need a budget to match a full Fragonard itself.
To make things go smoothly on the day make somebody in charge of running the day and ke...
Lots of good reasons. Here's a little list.
- Fresh petal confetti is totally biodegradable and will soon disappear from grounds/church paths/any outside areas where it's thrown.
- Fresh petal confetti has weight to it, or at least more weight than dried. This means that when it's thrown it actually falls in the general area where it's thrown, rather than being blown away out of the photograph.
- The weight of it means that if you give little pages and bridesmaids baskets of fresh confetti then it'll stay in the basket until it's time to throw it.
- It's a brilliant way to make more of your table centres etc. A circle of fresh confetti, or a sprinkling of it down a trestle table is very pretty and only takes a minute to arrange.
- You can ask your florist to provide fresh petal confetti by all means. But if you have a garden, and time, then this is where the fresh confetti idea really comes into its own. A wedding day is a blurr of activity and rushing about and answering questions and being ready on time and ...
Choosing bold colours for your wedding flowers can feel counter intuitive. It's true that most of the wedding flowers we do are based on a pale colour palette, and most of the year this works well, especially when we're installing flowers in a church which can be very dark, and where the flowers then glow.
But if you're being married in high summer then do think about colour. And not just any colour! Look at these! I call this a sherbet feel, really zingy, gingery colours which seem to be lit from the inside and glow with their own light.
In high summer the sunlight can be incredibly harsh: a flat, white heat draining colour from everything it touches. Except from these flowers. White, or pale flowers on a boiling summer's day, will just fade into the background. If we'd had white flowers in the garland over the church porch at this wedding, you'd have barely been able to see them against the bleached stone of the church.
These zinging colours, for a country wedding in a Somerset church and afterwards at a garden reception however, really ...
So tomorrow we're creating garlanding to arch over a church porch, wiillow circles of flowers and foliage, more garlanding for the lych gate, three big pedestals, pew ends, bride's bouquet, bridesmaids' flowers, fresh petal confetti, buttonholes, a fresh flower wreath for the reception front door, and the clever bride, her mama and her sisters are going to be making the table centres for the reception out of buckets of fresh cut flowers they're collecting from us in the morning.
It's a classic Somerset country wedding, with a church service in the afternoon, and a marquee in the garden of the bride's home for the reception afterwards. It's a beautiful marquee lined with block printed fabric by Apex marquees. There'll be food by the inimitable Victoria Blashford Snell, and all British flowers created by us.
So we'll all be up to our ears in flowers tomorrow. And I'm looking forward to it. Though the forecast is damned hot! And I flake in the heat. You should see me now after a long day when it's been sweltering! To put it mildly, I need a bath!...
There is a great fashion for putting fresh flowers on cakes. And what an attractive fashion it is!
However, there are a few things to think about before arranging flowers directly on cakes which you're going to eat.
- Make sure the flowers are edible. If I see one more picture of larkspur or delphiniums with their stems pushed into cakes I'll have a fit! Sooner or later someone's going to be really ill from eating something seriously inedible. Off the top of my head I can list larkspur, delphinium, sweet peas and monks hood, daffodils, buttercup, hyacinth and foxglove as flowers never to have any where near a cake. This list is but the tip of the poisonous flower compost heap. So if you want to dress your cake with flowers please make sure the flowers are edible first.
- If you're growing flowers you've checked are edible yourself for your cake, then you can be sure they haven't been sprayed with anything which might not suit your digestion. Flowers bought from florists, supermarkets, flower markets, and so on, are not food grade...
In the same way that there's no point in trying to make a small room look larger by paining it a light colour, there's no point in trying to compete with a massive empty space by stuffing it with flowers. A massive empty space is a massive empty space. However, an intimate ceremony happening inside a massive empty space can be framed carefully with flowers - though I still say don't fight with the space, don't compete with it. Make lovely flowers to frame the ceremony and let the space be what it is.
And so it is with the Radic Pavillion in the Piet Oudolf garden at Hauser and Wirth just outside Bruton in somerset. The Radic Pavillion is like a giant, empty dinosoar egg at the top of the garden, a huge, hollowed out space with nothing in it but rows of chairs for your wedding ceremony, and maybe a table if you ask for one. The view faces through trees and over hedges towards the little Somerset town of Bruton, and the sun sets in the view, as wedding ceremonies always happen there towards the end of the day (the garden being open to the public until 4pm.)