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