Rupert & Emily… Sopley Lake Summer Wedding…

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Emily and Rupert (aka… Mr & Mrs Concker Gin) for many years. As some of you may know my studio is right next door to their distillery here in Southbourne… the scent of gin flowers is a pretty alluring combination I can tell you! I was honoured when they asked me to be their wedding florist, not just because I was close by and they knew me, but because they love all things natural and rustic…

I asked Emily and Rupert about what look they were after?… “We wanted a natural wild, outdoorsy feel with lots of foliage. So often we walk past and see your work, so we knew you were the one”. One of the ingredients used to brew their Gin is Gorse, grown and foraged right here on the cliff tops of Southbourne, so mustard yellow was a big feature in the wedding… Rupert really liked dried, natural seed heads and textured elements like thistles… Emily had  chosen a dusty lavender bridesmaids dress, so she asked for hints of this colour too, and they left the rest to me. Emily’s bouquet was super rustic and wild, I loved it, it represented everything I’m about. Her little girls had super cute bundles of daisy’s to complement their little yellow dresses… floral jars lined the aisle, leading to a wow factor moongate covered in textured foliage, fresh hops and splashes of bright yellow solidago, creating the perfect back drop to the lake where they had the second ceremony of the day. “You produced the showstopping flowers that we adored and it really finished off the day”.

I asked them Why they chose this location… “Sopley Lake is a stunning location Because it’s by the water. The lake was the perfect place for us to say our vows in front of all ours gusts, it felt special. We actually got married at High Cliffe Castle in the morning with just a few family and friends, we wanted the main event to be at the lake.  The best bit was we had the entire place for two days, and all of our friends and family could stay together on site in yurts and camping. It felt secluded and private but also gave us enough space to create an intimate wedding. Even though we invited 120 people!! We had a massive barbecue the following day, which was such good fun, it was nice to have that extra day to soak everything up and relax a little”.

How easy was it to find your dress?… “Well that was REALLY difficult. I struggled to find one that I liked. I was worried about Rupert liking it, I hated the idea of being centre of attention and everyone looking at me. I felt this huge pressure to look beautiful. I ended up taking some buddies with me for support, their help and encouragement helped me confidently find a dress that I liked. I didn’t want anything too flashy and sparkly but still wanted a bit of a show stopper. This one ticked all the boxes, and it complemented my figure”.

How would you sum up your day?… “Every moment was special, being with everyone I absolutely love was amazing. Rupe was such a gent. Kids were absolutely adorable. Everyone was so happy! The food was lush too and so much of it. Dancing was phenomenal and we partied into the night! I just wish we could do it all over again”.

Photographer – Charlotte Razzell 

Sarah & James, Winter Wedding, Sopley Mill….

Sarah and James got married last winter at Sopley Mill… I think there’s something truly magical about winter weddings… you get to embrace the dark wintery afternoons with fairy lights and cosy candles, creating the ultimate enchanted environment. It wouldn’t matter if the rain was battering on the windows, because you’re all tucked up inside, nice and warm with good food and wine, family and friends…


Here’s what Sarah and James had to say about their big day…
We knew we wanted a winter wedding – we got married on our 6 year anniversary and so the date was special to us! However, I really didn’t want the ‘traditional’ winter wedding with a Christmas colour scheme. For us it was important that it was relaxed and informal and Sopley Mill was the perfect setting. We loved the building itself but also loved that we could put our own stamp on it. The beams at Sopley are the main focal point, crying out for some serious decoration… We adopted Clair as she was described to us as ‘The Foliage Queen!’… We wanted to created a magical enchanted forest feel, incorporating the beam decor into the tables themselves so our guests would feel all cosy and warm… we decided on clustering hanging globe tea lights from the beams, creating a central point above each table. This met a medley of cosy candle light styling by the fabulous Linen and Lace… Flowers were really important to me. I love fresh flowers and always have them in the house without fail. I knew from the start that I wanted lots of foliage, rustic yet glam! The flowers and foliage we picked not only looked, but also smelt amazing. I went into the ceremony room just after it had been set-up (still in my dressing gown!) and the smell of the foliage was amazing. I also wanted candles to feature heavily, again I’ve always got candles lit at home. Someone gave me a great tip to have a wedding scent for your candles and so I opted for orange, cinnamon and clove and this combined with the flowers and foliage set the scene beautifully. We had so many comments on how the Mill not only looked amazing but smelt amazing too.
Finding a dress was a lot harder than I expected…I’m fairly petite and vertically challenged and so a lot of dresses swamped me! I therefore opted for something more fitted, however I still wanted a bit of drama and I achieved that through my long train and full length veil…it may not have been the most practical given the winter weather but it did create some stunning photos when the wind picked-up!


To continue the relaxed feel to the day we had canapes of sausage & mash, mini cheeseburgers and halloumi fries served with craft beer alongside prosecco. We wanted our wedding breakfast to be informal too and so we opted for sharing starters followed by host a roast where each table nominated their head of the table who was given a chefs hat and apron before a turkey crown was placed before them for carving! Next came the speeches followed by dessert and sparklers on the terrace. We completed our informal wintery fare with a Pimp your mac ‘n cheese in the evening! the entire day was just magical, we were absolutely thrilled and can’t stop looking at our wedding images, reminiscing about our very special day.

Image by – Peppermint Love

Styling by – Linen & Lace

Must Have Flowers For Spring Weddings 2019…

As a wedding florist I get so excited about every season change… but there is something I truly miss about spring flowers during the wedding season… I thinks it’s because some have a natural cascading flow to them, which is essential in my work, to give that natural flowing look! In no particular order here are my must have flowers for spring weddings…


Dicentra… bleeding heart…
These little beauties have such a short season, just two months. They come in pink and white, I have both growing in my garden. I love them so much I have them tattooed on my foot, and featured in my own wedding flowers. For me it’s the natural curve with it’s dainty little heart shape flowers that almost drip from stem. They look just stunning trailing from bridal bouquets and table centrepieces…

Syringa… Scented lilac…
Don’t be fooled by their delicate little flowers, this is a statement flower and rivals the very much loved Hydrangea, in fact I think I will name this the winter Hydrangea! They mainly come in white, and of course lilac! I love to team these with delicate focal flowers and textured foliage, while they soften into the background creating lots of texture and depth. These beauties also featured at my wedding…

Ranunculus…
Seriously, who doesn’t love them! These blousy delicate blooms come in such a wide variety of colours and sizes, and the season can stretch as far as 5 months starting from late November to late April. They’re the perfect way to create texture within floral designs with their thousands of layers and petals….


Hellebore…
My heart flutters just a little when I see these little fellas. The season is pretty long for these guys too, some flower in my garden from December until June. Again I love to use these for their bendy, curving stems with heavy heads that create perfect natural flowing shapes to bridal bouquets and shorter wild looking arrangements such as urns. They make a cracking button hole too. The colour range is so unusual, always muted tones, moody hues, and speckled finishes.

Tulips…
Every year I say to my husband ‘please don’t buy me roses, grab a bunch of tulips’. I love nothing better than a vase packed with tulips and nothing else! They don’t need it. They’re a flower that just keep giving, they grow and change right before your eyes, even when you think they really should go in the bin they’ll gently curl over the side of the vase with their last breath of life looking as beautiful as ever! The variety of textures, shapes and colours make these an awesome product to play with too.

Fritillaria meleagris… Snake’s head…
There are many varieties of fritillaria that all have their own beauty, however meleagris is the one! Slender delicate stems push through the soil, tipping into a plum, or white bell shaped head, that has most intricate pattern I’ve ever seen… It resembles snake skin, hence its nickname… Sadly they don’t last very long. I get ever so excited when I see them pushing through in the garden. I love to use them in close up work and bridal bouquets where they can really be seen.

So go on girls… get a little inspiration from this blog and start planning your spring wedding flowers!

Why are wedding flowers so expensive?

So… why are wedding flowers so expensive!

Friends, family and brides are often shocked when I tell them the cost of wedding flowers… my mum simply couldn’t understand it, until during a visit she listened in on a couple of phone conversations regarding a client’s wedding… when I came off the phone she said, ‘gosh now I understand!’…

Being a florist is not only skilled, you have to be very knowledgeable in all aspects of the job, especially when it comes to wedding flowers… It’s all about the planning and preparation, being able to rescue a situation when life throws a curve ball at you and staying calm under pressure. I can honestly say it’s happened more than once, that a couple have increased the number of guests and tables at the last minute, completely forgetting to order more flowers! leaving me to seriously think outside the box to remedy the situation…

Let me walk you through a typical client journey…Most couples book a year or more in advance… during this whole time I’ll be hand’s on, there for your every need, helping turn a blank canvas into your dream wedding, within your budget…
Ok so you’ve filled in the contact form on my website and pressed send… my working hours start from this point…. I’ll analyse the Pinterest board you’ve provided prior to your consultation so I can prepare ideas and generally get a gist of the vibe you’re going for, along with checking out locations, venues and logistics… your consultation will generally be an hour long, after which I’ll type a detailed quote with mood boards, on average these take around 2 hours…

Usually during the course of the year I’ll respond an average of 10 emails per client, sometimes more, happily giving you my professional opinion on tablecloth colours, invite designs, flower tweaks, hair flowers and styles, dresses, amendments of quotes and much much more…

If you have chosen complex designs, floral installations and lengthy set ups, prior liaising with marquee companies, venues and perhaps even site visits will be require to discuss potential risks, plan setups and hanging of any unique items. I’ll even contact your caterers to make sure tablecloths will be laid out prior to my arrival so I can crack on with setting things in place, timing is key… briefing of set up teams and liaising with styling company’s is also a huge part of my job… making sure a slick operation is in place on the day…

Then there’s the actual wedding flowers… a week prior to your wedding I’ll prepare an extensive flower and sundries spreadsheet, these can easily take an hour or more… then the flower ordering itself can we quite time consuming, if flower types are unavailable I’ll go back to the drawing board, choosing suitable alternatives, amending the buying sheets, then heading back to the web shop to secure your new option for delivery the following week…
If your wedding is on a Saturday I’ll start work on Tuesday prepping flower buckets, wrapping boxes for delivery of bouquets and buttonholes, cleaning vases and candle wax from candlesticks, along with popping to the wholesaler to purchase ribbons and any other sundries required…

Wednesday your flowers will arrive… these will be conditioned (removing excess foliage, stems cut, put in water) and left to drink up fresh water for a few hours before being used… if the wedding is rather large, conditioning can be a morning’s work, if any damages have occurred during transit, refunds will be actioned and fresh flowers ordered for the following day… the afternoon, leading into a long working day Thursday, designs will be created, skilfully turning all the flowers into wow factor, bespoke arrangements…

The big day… flowers will be carefully loaded ready for transport… this takes a huge amount of planning and is an art in itself… I’ve had many sleepless nights worrying about getting a couples wedding flowers to the venue in pristine condition…
On arrival, bouquets and flower crowns will be whisked off the the bridal suite, along with tutorials on how to handle the flowers and take them out of water…
Ceremony flowers will be the first port of call along with any large floral installations. I always attached all the ladies and gents buttonholes and corsages as standard practise, I want them to look good on you…
Table centrepieces and wedding breakfast styling is always done last, if running late finishing touches can be completed during the ceremony….
After the ceremony, all florals will be quickly dispersed around the venue, making the most of everything, all sneakily done during your drinks reception as if by magic…

The following morning while you’re soaking up the previous days excitement over breakfast, my team and I will arrive early doors to collect all the hired items, and remove any floral installations or unwanted flowers…
You may think it ends there… everything will be taken back to my studio and unloaded, putting everything away ready for the following Tuesday when I’ll arrive to start the prep for the following weeks wedding…

So as you’ll see, it’s not just about ordering some flowers and Turning up on the day… it’s months, sometimes years of planning and preparation, along with skill and excellence in creating and delivering… so much of what a lot of us wedding suppliers do is all done in the background, away from the public eye… if you broke down the overall cost of your flowers into hours worked from your very first email you’d be shocked by the hourly rate… and this is why wedding flowers are costed at a higher rate than a beautiful thank you or gift bouquet from your local florist…

Images by – Charlotte Bryer-ash

2019 Hottest Wedding Flower Trends…

Planning for the next wedding season is super important, I have to know what the latest trends are for this year, it takes a lot of reading and research and here it is guys, this years colours…

It’s all about peach, moody browns, coral and neutral creams…
Blousy peach blooms, grasses, houseplants and copper are all seriously in right now! One of the things I’m being asked for the most is pampas grass… yes this dried, natural, large feathery plume is what every bride wants, and I gotta be honest, it’s in short supply… I’m bulk buying wherever I can find it, stocks piling for the coming season!

Last year British Flowers where a huge hit with everyone, that natural wild look of hand picked cottage garden favourites, is always so popular and we’ll still be be seeing a lot of this look this season too!

Varieties…
Carnations…
Carnations are sneaking up big time in a wide variety of colours.
Peonies…
The beautiful large headed scented blooms never fail to please and bring the wow factor… every bride wants these, but with the short season from mid May to mid July, they tend to cause a lot of disappointment!
Ranunculus…
These are one of my favorites with their thousands of layers and petals.
Dahlias…
These beauties were the biggest asked for flower last year and it’s followed through this year too… they’re so versatile with so many different shapes, sizes and beautiful colours.
Hydrangeas…
Again I’m a huge fan of these, they just never fail to please. The season is really long lasting, almost all year, and the colour varieties are out of the world. I especially love the autumn ones with antique two tone shades, plus you can dry them too. They really do bring the wow factor!
And finally delphiniums…
These beauties are just so striking with there 1 metre plus tall stems with delicate papery petals… I had these on mass for my own wedding years ago, and I’m still loving them!

Grasses…
As you all know I’m A huge lover of grasses and the textures they create… I’m thrilled to see they’re as popular as ever this season… Bunny’s tail grass, Fountain grass, Chasmanthium and Miscanthus create that wild floaty look of unstructured, garden-inspired style floristry.

FOLIAGE! Well as you all know I’m the foliage queen and simply can’t live without it! The colour and texture variety as insane, it brings my work to life. This seasons favourites are…

Asparagus Fern…
Soft fine and feathery….
Beech…
I love this and can’t get enough of it! Moody browns and fresh green!
Senecio…
This silver beauty is such a life saver during the summer months when eucalyptus is out of season… Olive is also great for this too.
Berried eucalyptus…
In all honesty I don’t think this will ever go out of fashion and quite right too… the look it creates is second to none!
Honeysuckle & Jasmine…
These are fabulous for creating a soft floaty look. They also look great with grasses to, injecting a real boho vibe into a wedding!

House plants…
We’ll most certainly be seeing a lot of house plants this season… Boho inspired weddings with textured ferns plants, moroccan style carpets, macrame hangings and pampas grass is the hottest look right now… New plants coming onto the scene are the good old fashioned Geraniums… they smell so good and I’m looking forward to featuring these very soon!

And lets not forget the styling… wedding flowers wouldn’t be the same with out the styling! metal copper and golds are still massive trends this year… terrariums, candlesticks, hoops, arch’s and moongates…It’s going to be an exciting year!

An excellent creator of floral masterpieces

Clair instinctively knew what flowers to use based upon my brief... She is calm, relaxed, professional and discrete... An excellent creator of floral masterpieces which brought tears of joy to my eyes.

We met Clair and clicked immediately

We met Clair and just clicked immediately with her. She had prepared ideas based on our description of the wedding and she was one of the few suppliers we met who genuinely tailored her approach as soon as she got the brief.

Exactly what every bride needs

Clair is knowledgeable & friendly which is exactly what every bride needs. Her work looks like it's out of an East London photoshoot with oodles of style... All of my bridesmaids want Clair to be there florist. She is exceptional!