Tag Archives: wedding

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

Baby’s Breath….The alternatives.

Babys breath, or to use its proper title Gypsophila. I have to confess……I hate it. Natasha will verify this!

Now having said that, forgive my brutal honesty, I do understand its popularity. It is a people pleaser, brides love it because it is ‘cheap’ and delicate and neutral. Florists love it because it is cheap and indestructible (I mean seriously. You cant kill it!). But just because it is cheap and indestructible, does that mean we have to use it?

Gypsophila has been done to death, every second wedding has got Gypsophila somewhere and some weddings ONLY have it! It lacks any imagination or creativity and it stinks…literally…stinks, hence the name ‘Baby’s Breath. Who wants their bridal bouquet to smell like bad breath?

Ok so maybe the smell isn’t that pungent, but put enough of it together and you’ll be looking over your shoulder to see whos looking while you check your breath!

I go to great lengths to persuade my clients that they really don’t want Gypsophila. Not least of which they are coming to me for 2 reasons, 1- I am a creative genius (trumpet fanfare!) and 2- is I grow my own flowers. ( I don’t grow Gypsophila). I offer alternatives to ‘Gyp’, as if its the delicate tiny flowers that is your buzz there are lots of alternatives, and best of all these alternatives give me the scope to get my creative genius out! So here are my alternatives, all of which I grow.

 Achillea The Pearl. Just like Gypsophila, it is almost indestructible. Elegant sprays of pure white double blooms, slightly larger flower size than Gyp, but only slightly. Available all summer long.

 Omphalodes, This is one of my most treasured little plants. Very similar to Gypsophila, tiny pure white flowers in large sprays, unlike Gyp, Omphalodes smells so sweet! Unfortunately though Omphalodes is not indestructible and needs to be minded slightly, but that’s not to say that it cant be used just as for Gyp. Available May-August

 Ammi Magus, Who couldn’t love these little umbrellas of tiny white delicate flowers, sweet smelling and tough as old boots. Fantastic for creative arrangements. Available April-Oct.

 Thalictrum. So not white, but other than that it really is so very similar to Gypsophila. Completely indestructible, large clusters of  teeny tiny flowers. No bad smells and you couldn’t get a more delicate flower. Available July/August.

 

 

Babys breath, or to use its proper title Gypsophila. I have to confess……I hate it. Natasha will verify this!

Now having said that, forgive my brutal honesty, I do understand its popularity. It is a people pleaser, brides love it because it is ‘cheap’ and delicate and neutral. Florists love it because it is cheap and indestructible (I mean seriously. You cant kill it!). But just because it is cheap and indestructible, does that mean we have to use it?

Gypsophila has been done to death, every second wedding has got Gypsophila somewhere and some weddings ONLY have it! It lacks any imagination or creativity and it stinks…literally…stinks, hence the name ‘Baby’s Breath. Who wants their bridal bouquet to smell like bad breath?

Ok so maybe the smell isn’t that pungent, but put enough of it together and you’ll be looking over your shoulder to see whos looking while you check your breath!

I go to great lengths to persuade my clients that they really don’t want Gypsophila. Not least of which they are coming to me for 2 reasons, 1- I am a creative genius (trumpet fanfare!) and 2- is I grow my own flowers. ( I don’t grow Gypsophila). I offer alternatives to ‘Gyp’, as if its the delicate tiny flowers that is your buzz there are lots of alternatives, and best of all these alternatives give me the scope to get my creative genius out! So here are my alternatives, all of which I grow.

 Achillea The Pearl. Just like Gypsophila, it is almost indestructible. Elegant sprays of pure white double blooms, slightly larger flower size than Gyp, but only slightly. Available all summer long.

 Omphalodes, This is one of my most treasured little plants. Very similar to Gypsophila, tiny pure white flowers in large sprays, unlike Gyp, Omphalodes smells so sweet! Unfortunately though Omphalodes is not indestructible and needs to be minded slightly, but that’s not to say that it cant be used just as for Gyp. Available May-August

 Ammi Magus, Who couldn’t love these little umbrellas of tiny white delicate flowers, sweet smelling and tough as old boots. Fantastic for creative arrangements. Available April-Oct.

 Thalictrum. So not white, but other than that it really is so very similar to Gypsophila. Completely indestructible, large clusters of  teeny tiny flowers. No bad smells and you couldn’t get a more delicate flower. Available July/August.

 

 

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!

Lows and Highs!

So Last week I did wedding flowers in west Cork for two weddings, one on Thursday, a lovely humanist ceremony in the Dunmore House hotel, and one on Friday a wild colourful affair in Ardfield Church, with the reception also in the Dunmore. Now I pride myself on attention to detail, but last Thursday I learnt a valuable lesson! The bride to be, Ruth, an absolute pet of a woman, relaxed and charming, is an Australian emigrant, so our communications had being through emails up until the previous Sunday when she came to meet me and have a look around the gardens with a view as to her flowers for the day. As always I take notes, and compile a list of what I’m doing. So I did what I do for any wedding, I picked Ruths flowers on the Wednesday and got up bright and breezy on Thursday morning and started arranging, what I had to do was simple enough, we had vases of flowers on each dining table, plus a few scattered around the hotel. I also had bouquets for the girls and buttonholes for the boys, all in a colourful array. I had on my list ‘3 b/m-b’ To me this is 3 Bridesmaids bouquets, so I arrange my bouquets, wrap them up, load up and head off. The Ceremony was at 3pm (love late weddings!), so I got to the Hotel at 1.15pm, as I am parking, I noticed on my notes in a different note book, the 3 b/m-b…. as per yours…… I had forgotten the brides bouquet!!!!!!!! All at once I wanted to vomit/cry/scream, my heart stopped. Luckily I had time to rectify my total c**k-up. I had plenty of flowers to play with as I had over 25 bouquets for the tables. My mind was going so fast, I think I stopped breathing. My issue then became, well how will I tie the bouquet? I didn’t have enough time to go home to get ribbon and other accessories. Eeek! I frequently get told (mostly by my teenage son) that my van needs cleaning out, but I tell you, never to be cleaned out again. In my blind panic, I thought I might have something in the van….I found…stem wrap, navy ribbon(bridesmaids were wearing navy) and pins! Thank you little van for being my savior! Luckily I was able to put together a perfect Bridal bouquet, though I have to say the experience aged me. The lessons learnt, always read your notes 50 times….and never tidy your van. It has never happened to me before that I have forgotten an arrangement, least of all the brides. It is no excuse, but I think the distance of communication and the last minute meeting meant I didn’t have time to put together a final brief for the bride to approve, which is what I always do. Still, lesson learnt, mistake never to be repeated. The ceremony looked fabulous, and Ruth was delighted with her flowers, commenting, they were better than she could have ever imagined. Phew!

So from that confidence knocking low point, I went home and had to get straight on picking flowers for Fridays wedding…this time with a concise brief pre approved by Kate the bride, I read and re read and read some more the notes. The brief was ‘ country, relaxed, just picked, colourful,nothing matching.’ Ardfield Church is a sweet church, I am quite familiar with it as I have had a couple weddings there. Kate really had put so much effort into the decoration of the church, it really looked like a pin from Pintrest. Enamel jugs, jars with flowers for pews. No alter arrangement just vases of flowers, lots of colour.

autumn-20140905_104327---Copy(sm)

Even a black board and over 50meters of bunting! (I believe her mum tirelessly made the bunting). It really did look fabulous. I was proud of my part in Kate and Brian’s wedding, the flowers really did steal the show.

autumn-20140905_105417(sm)     autumn-20140905_105037---Copy(sm)

The bouquets…of which I had all of them, were along the same lines, wild and a colour explosion, along with the buttonholes, all to be different. It really did look fab!

autumn-20140905_100838[1](sm)     autumn-20140905_100920---Copy(sm)

So once I had set up the church which was no mean feat, a quick dash down to Dunmore again, (which is where I caught up with Ruth from the previous day, to find her delighted with her wedding.) to add a splash of colour to Kate’s cake.

autumn-20140905_122827[1](sm)

I was fit to drop……home for a nap then….I ended on a high, though even as I write this I can feel that pang of O.M.G!!!!

 

So Last week I did wedding flowers in west Cork for two weddings, one on Thursday, a lovely humanist ceremony in the Dunmore House hotel, and one on Friday a wild colourful affair in Ardfield Church, with the reception also in the Dunmore. Now I pride myself on attention to detail, but last Thursday I learnt a valuable lesson! The bride to be, Ruth, an absolute pet of a woman, relaxed and charming, is an Australian emigrant, so our communications had being through emails up until the previous Sunday when she came to meet me and have a look around the gardens with a view as to her flowers for the day. As always I take notes, and compile a list of what I’m doing. So I did what I do for any wedding, I picked Ruths flowers on the Wednesday and got up bright and breezy on Thursday morning and started arranging, what I had to do was simple enough, we had vases of flowers on each dining table, plus a few scattered around the hotel. I also had bouquets for the girls and buttonholes for the boys, all in a colourful array. I had on my list ‘3 b/m-b’ To me this is 3 Bridesmaids bouquets, so I arrange my bouquets, wrap them up, load up and head off. The Ceremony was at 3pm (love late weddings!), so I got to the Hotel at 1.15pm, as I am parking, I noticed on my notes in a different note book, the 3 b/m-b…. as per yours…… I had forgotten the brides bouquet!!!!!!!! All at once I wanted to vomit/cry/scream, my heart stopped. Luckily I had time to rectify my total c**k-up. I had plenty of flowers to play with as I had over 25 bouquets for the tables. My mind was going so fast, I think I stopped breathing. My issue then became, well how will I tie the bouquet? I didn’t have enough time to go home to get ribbon and other accessories. Eeek! I frequently get told (mostly by my teenage son) that my van needs cleaning out, but I tell you, never to be cleaned out again. In my blind panic, I thought I might have something in the van….I found…stem wrap, navy ribbon(bridesmaids were wearing navy) and pins! Thank you little van for being my savior! Luckily I was able to put together a perfect Bridal bouquet, though I have to say the experience aged me. The lessons learnt, always read your notes 50 times….and never tidy your van. It has never happened to me before that I have forgotten an arrangement, least of all the brides. It is no excuse, but I think the distance of communication and the last minute meeting meant I didn’t have time to put together a final brief for the bride to approve, which is what I always do. Still, lesson learnt, mistake never to be repeated. The ceremony looked fabulous, and Ruth was delighted with her flowers, commenting, they were better than she could have ever imagined. Phew!

So from that confidence knocking low point, I went home and had to get straight on picking flowers for Fridays wedding…this time with a concise brief pre approved by Kate the bride, I read and re read and read some more the notes. The brief was ‘ country, relaxed, just picked, colourful,nothing matching.’ Ardfield Church is a sweet church, I am quite familiar with it as I have had a couple weddings there. Kate really had put so much effort into the decoration of the church, it really looked like a pin from Pintrest. Enamel jugs, jars with flowers for pews. No alter arrangement just vases of flowers, lots of colour.

autumn-20140905_104327---Copy(sm)

Even a black board and over 50meters of bunting! (I believe her mum tirelessly made the bunting). It really did look fabulous. I was proud of my part in Kate and Brian’s wedding, the flowers really did steal the show.

autumn-20140905_105417(sm)     autumn-20140905_105037---Copy(sm)

The bouquets…of which I had all of them, were along the same lines, wild and a colour explosion, along with the buttonholes, all to be different. It really did look fab!

autumn-20140905_100838[1](sm)     autumn-20140905_100920---Copy(sm)

So once I had set up the church which was no mean feat, a quick dash down to Dunmore again, (which is where I caught up with Ruth from the previous day, to find her delighted with her wedding.) to add a splash of colour to Kate’s cake.

autumn-20140905_122827[1](sm)

I was fit to drop……home for a nap then….I ended on a high, though even as I write this I can feel that pang of O.M.G!!!!