Tag Archives: Flowers

Creative and unique wedding inspiration

I cover lots of weddings every year, and everyone of them is special. Mostly the people make it memorable. I love sharing the emotion of the day, after all the day you marry your Mr/Mrs right is a very special day indeed, I feel very lucky to be able to see so much love so often. Every now and again a wedding comes my way that is memorable for lots of reasons and not just the obvious warm fuzzy love stuff.

Nathan and Alice got in touch with me in the Spring of last year asking if I might be available to help them out with their wedding flowers. Ceremony venue was yet to be decided, the reception was to be Springfort Hall in Mallow. We met not long after to discuss what they had in mind, just like every couple I work with. As soon as I met with Nathan and Alice it became apparent that they were passionate, creative, inspired and to be honest, a little bit mad! I loved it. They got to talking about their inspiration for the ‘theme’. A Dutch painter Jan Weenix (17th century) famed for his depiction of dead game and hunting scenes. Many of his paintings had fruits and flowers lavished around carcasses of dead game, even insects played a role. Gold and bronze added depth to paintings, the flowers were natural, not forced or arranged, just thrown or perched. Colours of burgundys, reds, oranges and soft pinks. These paintings were immense. Can you imagine my reaction? I seem to remember trying to play it cool, but I know that I was very excited, very very excited. This was massive scope for me to let out my inner ‘mad badger’ as Nathan later called me.

Some weddings, most actually, are easy enough. I have a stock of props that I can use that cover most clients requests. There are some weddings that require me to do a lot of research including sourcing of props and this was one! I certainly didn’t have a treasure trove of taxidermy to whip out. Luckily though I did have quite a lot of copper and brass vases and vessels that we could use (thanks mum!) and a few skulls and antlers. My prop hunt was for taxidermy, seems an easy enough right? Not so, taxidermy and especially the sort I needed was not that easy to find, eBay helped, but lord there is quite an amount of crap taxidermy out there, even a Facebook page dedicated to it I found! I did manage to acquire some lovely pieces, 2 of my favorites were Barry the rabbit and Stewart the mouse. When Barry arrived in the post with his broken ear (I glued it back on!!) he was accompanied by a note from his previous owner. Barry was his name and he had lived sat on a desk for 35 years and was much loved and hoped that he would go on to be much loved. Yes he did- yes he did!

Stewart (as he became known) was a little white mouse. Stewart was the very definition of crap taxidermy. Not until he arrived did I realise he was a bit thin and his tummy wasn’t quite sewn together, poor Stewart. Stewart had the last laugh though, as he had an entire barrel of apples on his table and even won the hearts of many of the guests at the wedding as he got ‘rescued’ many times!

Besides Barry and Stewart, there were many more, none so fortunate to be named, we had squirrels, black birds, owls, quails and slugs and ants and an assortment of skulls, all arranged with flowers and fruits strewn as though set for Jan Weenix to get out his paint brush.

Some of my favorite table pieces were the ‘Granny friendly’ ones, the ones that were just floral, after all flowers are my thing!

The tables in Springfort Hall were the easy part for Alice and Nathan, they had delegated that to me. When I originally met with Nathan and Alice they were talking about having their ceremony in a warehouse beside the Cavalry Cork. They showed me photos on their phone and I was in disbelief that the wreckage yard of a warehouse that I was looking at could possibly be turned into a wedding ceremony venue…But they did. Possibly the best wedding ceremony venue ever! I cannot imagine the work that went into getting it all together- the result was truly reflective of the work they put in. I went up the night before to set up the garland and antlers for the ‘chuppah’ and when I walked in, even without lighting and music, I was just blown away. It was magical.

Alice’s choice of flowers for the bridal party were reflective of the Jan Weenix theme of flowers, don’t worry, no dead animals! Rich tones, natural, wild quite boho. Everything tied together so well. My personal favorite was Alice’s head band, I made it under severe pressure as I was running late and it was my last piece to do, you often keep the best for last!

All photos credited to White Cat Studio. Egle is one of the most passionate and talented photographers I know, check her out www.whitecatstudio.ie

I cover lots of weddings every year, and everyone of them is special. Mostly the people make it memorable. I love sharing the emotion of the day, after all the day you marry your Mr/Mrs right is a very special day indeed, I feel very lucky to be able to see so much love so often. Every now and again a wedding comes my way that is memorable for lots of reasons and not just the obvious warm fuzzy love stuff.

Nathan and Alice got in touch with me in the Spring of last year asking if I might be available to help them out with their wedding flowers. Ceremony venue was yet to be decided, the reception was to be Springfort Hall in Mallow. We met not long after to discuss what they had in mind, just like every couple I work with. As soon as I met with Nathan and Alice it became apparent that they were passionate, creative, inspired and to be honest, a little bit mad! I loved it. They got to talking about their inspiration for the ‘theme’. A Dutch painter Jan Weenix (17th century) famed for his depiction of dead game and hunting scenes. Many of his paintings had fruits and flowers lavished around carcasses of dead game, even insects played a role. Gold and bronze added depth to paintings, the flowers were natural, not forced or arranged, just thrown or perched. Colours of burgundys, reds, oranges and soft pinks. These paintings were immense. Can you imagine my reaction? I seem to remember trying to play it cool, but I know that I was very excited, very very excited. This was massive scope for me to let out my inner ‘mad badger’ as Nathan later called me.

Some weddings, most actually, are easy enough. I have a stock of props that I can use that cover most clients requests. There are some weddings that require me to do a lot of research including sourcing of props and this was one! I certainly didn’t have a treasure trove of taxidermy to whip out. Luckily though I did have quite a lot of copper and brass vases and vessels that we could use (thanks mum!) and a few skulls and antlers. My prop hunt was for taxidermy, seems an easy enough right? Not so, taxidermy and especially the sort I needed was not that easy to find, eBay helped, but lord there is quite an amount of crap taxidermy out there, even a Facebook page dedicated to it I found! I did manage to acquire some lovely pieces, 2 of my favorites were Barry the rabbit and Stewart the mouse. When Barry arrived in the post with his broken ear (I glued it back on!!) he was accompanied by a note from his previous owner. Barry was his name and he had lived sat on a desk for 35 years and was much loved and hoped that he would go on to be much loved. Yes he did- yes he did!

Stewart (as he became known) was a little white mouse. Stewart was the very definition of crap taxidermy. Not until he arrived did I realise he was a bit thin and his tummy wasn’t quite sewn together, poor Stewart. Stewart had the last laugh though, as he had an entire barrel of apples on his table and even won the hearts of many of the guests at the wedding as he got ‘rescued’ many times!

Besides Barry and Stewart, there were many more, none so fortunate to be named, we had squirrels, black birds, owls, quails and slugs and ants and an assortment of skulls, all arranged with flowers and fruits strewn as though set for Jan Weenix to get out his paint brush.

Some of my favorite table pieces were the ‘Granny friendly’ ones, the ones that were just floral, after all flowers are my thing!

The tables in Springfort Hall were the easy part for Alice and Nathan, they had delegated that to me. When I originally met with Nathan and Alice they were talking about having their ceremony in a warehouse beside the Cavalry Cork. They showed me photos on their phone and I was in disbelief that the wreckage yard of a warehouse that I was looking at could possibly be turned into a wedding ceremony venue…But they did. Possibly the best wedding ceremony venue ever! I cannot imagine the work that went into getting it all together- the result was truly reflective of the work they put in. I went up the night before to set up the garland and antlers for the ‘chuppah’ and when I walked in, even without lighting and music, I was just blown away. It was magical.

Alice’s choice of flowers for the bridal party were reflective of the Jan Weenix theme of flowers, don’t worry, no dead animals! Rich tones, natural, wild quite boho. Everything tied together so well. My personal favorite was Alice’s head band, I made it under severe pressure as I was running late and it was my last piece to do, you often keep the best for last!

All photos credited to White Cat Studio. Egle is one of the most passionate and talented photographers I know, check her out www.whitecatstudio.ie

Trends- drama, drama, drama!

As a wedding florist ,I have always said that your wedding day is the biggest fashion show and photoshoot that you will ever attend…unless you are Kate moss that is! With that in mind, most couples are conscious to put on the best show they can, and are keen to make their day unique, special and unforgettable for their guests. Most couples have been to many weddings prior to planning their own and take on the task to both emulate the weddings they enjoyed and make their day unique…..introducing the Wedding Trend. Our wedding trends are usually inherited from the USA, and take a little while to get to Ireland and filter down to Cork.

When I meet with my clients, I try to make the meeting as informal as I can, chit chat, small talk and anecdotal stories all help to put couples at ease, all the while I pay attention to the adjectives they unconsciously use to describe their likes and dislikes. Most people find it difficult to pin down their vision when asked directly so I find it is best to let it just evolve organically through our conversations on flowers and décor.

An adjective that has recurred frequently in recent meetings is DRAMA! Lots and lots of drama, not the ‘my sister snogged the waiter’ kind of drama, but the big, bold, show off kind of drama. I feel this is a back lash to the recession weddings of understated, minimal and budget conscious floral décor. We had several years of cutting cloth to suit the measure, colours were understated, lots of pastels and wild/natural looks. Whilst pastels will never go away, the couples looking for drama are keen to make a statement with both big bold colours and statement arrangements.  A colour that keeps cropping up is ‘Marsala’ ( an Americanism for burgundy/wine), usually a colour kept for autumn in all its finery. But not this year…this year it is a feature colour right throughout the year, and I have to say I am delighted. I love this colour, its rich and deep and surprisingly works well with an enormous spectrum of other colours. Spring and summer brides are lifting the depth of Marsala with corals and pinks and creams and to add an extra layer of opulence I am seeing lots of gold being thrown into the mix. A far cry from the jam jar pastels of a couple years ago!

 

Another trend that is apparent following the DRAMA theme, is the types of arrangements requested. Of times recent, the trend was milk churns, chalk boards and jam jars and before that bay trees and pedestals. Now though, irrelevant of whether you are going for moody marsala or pretty pastels, the arrangements are BIG, big flowers, big scope. Flower walls, something unheard of before (budget reasons alone!) are now a feature piece in many of my up and coming weddings

.

Where previously we had jam jars on tables we now have pedestal (gold) bowl vases filled to exploding point.

Where we had milk churns we now have huge urns dripping in flowers.        

There really is no stopping the drama! I personally love it..I love the colour choices, and for someone who struggles with ‘understated’ I love the opportunity to create some DRAMA!

As a wedding florist ,I have always said that your wedding day is the biggest fashion show and photoshoot that you will ever attend…unless you are Kate moss that is! With that in mind, most couples are conscious to put on the best show they can, and are keen to make their day unique, special and unforgettable for their guests. Most couples have been to many weddings prior to planning their own and take on the task to both emulate the weddings they enjoyed and make their day unique…..introducing the Wedding Trend. Our wedding trends are usually inherited from the USA, and take a little while to get to Ireland and filter down to Cork.

When I meet with my clients, I try to make the meeting as informal as I can, chit chat, small talk and anecdotal stories all help to put couples at ease, all the while I pay attention to the adjectives they unconsciously use to describe their likes and dislikes. Most people find it difficult to pin down their vision when asked directly so I find it is best to let it just evolve organically through our conversations on flowers and décor.

An adjective that has recurred frequently in recent meetings is DRAMA! Lots and lots of drama, not the ‘my sister snogged the waiter’ kind of drama, but the big, bold, show off kind of drama. I feel this is a back lash to the recession weddings of understated, minimal and budget conscious floral décor. We had several years of cutting cloth to suit the measure, colours were understated, lots of pastels and wild/natural looks. Whilst pastels will never go away, the couples looking for drama are keen to make a statement with both big bold colours and statement arrangements.  A colour that keeps cropping up is ‘Marsala’ ( an Americanism for burgundy/wine), usually a colour kept for autumn in all its finery. But not this year…this year it is a feature colour right throughout the year, and I have to say I am delighted. I love this colour, its rich and deep and surprisingly works well with an enormous spectrum of other colours. Spring and summer brides are lifting the depth of Marsala with corals and pinks and creams and to add an extra layer of opulence I am seeing lots of gold being thrown into the mix. A far cry from the jam jar pastels of a couple years ago!

 

Another trend that is apparent following the DRAMA theme, is the types of arrangements requested. Of times recent, the trend was milk churns, chalk boards and jam jars and before that bay trees and pedestals. Now though, irrelevant of whether you are going for moody marsala or pretty pastels, the arrangements are BIG, big flowers, big scope. Flower walls, something unheard of before (budget reasons alone!) are now a feature piece in many of my up and coming weddings

.

Where previously we had jam jars on tables we now have pedestal (gold) bowl vases filled to exploding point.

Where we had milk churns we now have huge urns dripping in flowers.        

There really is no stopping the drama! I personally love it..I love the colour choices, and for someone who struggles with ‘understated’ I love the opportunity to create some DRAMA!

Irish A-Z of Storms!

Ok so we all like to moan about the weather…it’s a national past time. We are all used to the Irish winter’s barrage of storms, sometimes feeling relentless and unforgiving. But now we have a new talking point on our winters storms….introducing…Abigale, Barney, Clodagh, Desmond, Eva, Frank(I wont forget him!), Gertrude, Henry and Imogen. I find this rather entertaining, a comparative of storms…’oh, desmond was very bad’ as a passer by might mention whilst making small talk….It gives us a focus point for our sh*t weather. Without the naming of these storms it would be harder to reference the dramatic storm stories….there is less effect to…’do you remember the storm we had there a few weeks ago?’ where as, as soon as you say with confidence…’remember storm frank’…it somehow has more Spielberg effect…..As an avid story teller…I love the Spielberg effect! However despite my love of a Spielberg story, I now have had enough of Abigail, Barney and all their friends. Frank especially challenged me…he arrived right on time for 4 Christmas weddings…leaving me in a panic, waiting for flowers to arrive from cancelled ferrys and power cuts in the night…leaving me arranging by torch light whilst the roof was trying its damnedest to cling on….and even trying to get delivered was like mission impossible….if there was a reality T.V show on extreme flower arranging…it would have being a nail biting episode!

I just spent the weekend with my dear friend and colleague Samantha Harding. We spent most of the weekend sheltering from Imogen…Who happend to be the latest storm bully in the playground. Samantha and I had much to catch up on…..weddings, flowers, wedding fairs and maybe a little gossip too! Samantha being the hardy Canadian she is and using her uber organisational skills(Sams a wedding planner!) she had Me and Edie along with the mutts Percy and Cougar packed into the car and down to the beach just as Imogen was pushing her weight around….It was bracing to say the least! That kind of soaking through to your undies, needle skin piercing kinda bracing. Even the hairy mutts thought getting back to the car was the best part of the walk. I was then convinced by my companions that it would be a fantastic idea if I made cup cakes….I..?! So whilst dashing around the supermarket…sopping wet and probably looking homeless, Samantha picked up a mindfulness February edition magazine….and on the cover…tips for February mindfulness. 1. A bracing Beach walk. 2. Making Cup cakes 3. A random act of kindness……Samantha looked so smug….”SEE” she says….pointed excitedly to the 3 point tip. So having bought our ingredients so …..I…. can make everyone cup cakes…(see I told you she has uber organisational skills) and heading home to get dry and cosy…I think to myself to complete the 3 points…I needed a random act of kindness…..So whilst all are drying off and getting cosy…I find myself yet again out fending off Imogen….looking to see what spring can offer me in the way of flowers. Spring never fails to amaze me….even though the garden is nearly floating, and everything has been either beaten to death or is suffocating under a blanket of winter rot…spring is there for anyone wishing to see….snowdrops and narcissus, crocus and anemones, these little faces of pure joy and brilliance ….almost giving ‘the bird’ to the likes of Imogen and her friends. So I picked a little posy …and made my cup cakes, brewed some coffee and sat to watch the rugby. And despite Imogen trying to spoil the fun…she made it better some how. I took such huge pleasure in finding my Spring flower friends in this playground called winter ….I’ve had enough of bully storms….i’ll pick spring stories over Spielberg storm stories any day.

http://www.samanthahardingevents.com

 

IMG_20160207_153255

 

Ok so we all like to moan about the weather…it’s a national past time. We are all used to the Irish winter’s barrage of storms, sometimes feeling relentless and unforgiving. But now we have a new talking point on our winters storms….introducing…Abigale, Barney, Clodagh, Desmond, Eva, Frank(I wont forget him!), Gertrude, Henry and Imogen. I find this rather entertaining, a comparative of storms…’oh, desmond was very bad’ as a passer by might mention whilst making small talk….It gives us a focus point for our sh*t weather. Without the naming of these storms it would be harder to reference the dramatic storm stories….there is less effect to…’do you remember the storm we had there a few weeks ago?’ where as, as soon as you say with confidence…’remember storm frank’…it somehow has more Spielberg effect…..As an avid story teller…I love the Spielberg effect! However despite my love of a Spielberg story, I now have had enough of Abigail, Barney and all their friends. Frank especially challenged me…he arrived right on time for 4 Christmas weddings…leaving me in a panic, waiting for flowers to arrive from cancelled ferrys and power cuts in the night…leaving me arranging by torch light whilst the roof was trying its damnedest to cling on….and even trying to get delivered was like mission impossible….if there was a reality T.V show on extreme flower arranging…it would have being a nail biting episode!

I just spent the weekend with my dear friend and colleague Samantha Harding. We spent most of the weekend sheltering from Imogen…Who happend to be the latest storm bully in the playground. Samantha and I had much to catch up on…..weddings, flowers, wedding fairs and maybe a little gossip too! Samantha being the hardy Canadian she is and using her uber organisational skills(Sams a wedding planner!) she had Me and Edie along with the mutts Percy and Cougar packed into the car and down to the beach just as Imogen was pushing her weight around….It was bracing to say the least! That kind of soaking through to your undies, needle skin piercing kinda bracing. Even the hairy mutts thought getting back to the car was the best part of the walk. I was then convinced by my companions that it would be a fantastic idea if I made cup cakes….I..?! So whilst dashing around the supermarket…sopping wet and probably looking homeless, Samantha picked up a mindfulness February edition magazine….and on the cover…tips for February mindfulness. 1. A bracing Beach walk. 2. Making Cup cakes 3. A random act of kindness……Samantha looked so smug….”SEE” she says….pointed excitedly to the 3 point tip. So having bought our ingredients so …..I…. can make everyone cup cakes…(see I told you she has uber organisational skills) and heading home to get dry and cosy…I think to myself to complete the 3 points…I needed a random act of kindness…..So whilst all are drying off and getting cosy…I find myself yet again out fending off Imogen….looking to see what spring can offer me in the way of flowers. Spring never fails to amaze me….even though the garden is nearly floating, and everything has been either beaten to death or is suffocating under a blanket of winter rot…spring is there for anyone wishing to see….snowdrops and narcissus, crocus and anemones, these little faces of pure joy and brilliance ….almost giving ‘the bird’ to the likes of Imogen and her friends. So I picked a little posy …and made my cup cakes, brewed some coffee and sat to watch the rugby. And despite Imogen trying to spoil the fun…she made it better some how. I took such huge pleasure in finding my Spring flower friends in this playground called winter ….I’ve had enough of bully storms….i’ll pick spring stories over Spielberg storm stories any day.

http://www.samanthahardingevents.com

 

IMG_20160207_153255