Discover the best seasonal flowers to use for your Autumn wedding
So how did you celebrate May Day?
Did you dress up in white and dance around a maypole?
Did you bathe in the morning dew??
Folklore suggests anyone who ‘bathed’ in the May Day dew would have beautiful complexion for the following year. Rolling around in the dew would bring flawless skin and protect the person from freckles, sunburn, wrinkles, pimples and spots!
Who doesn’t love spring? After the dark, cold wetness of winter we all love the fist glimpse of the sun, the first feeling of warmth and the first sighting of roadside daffodils.
Spring flowers. They are just so god-dam cheerful. Bright cheery daffodils, bobbing bright tulips, scented hyacinths and the delicate ranunculous. What’s not to love. Put them altogether and they really are everyone’s favourite flowers.
So take a bouquet of spring flowers, a sunny day, a beautiful ‘bride’ and (best of all) a cute four day old lamb and you get the happiest photoshoot ever! Or actually as we had the brilliant Katie on board it was the “best day ever”
The Big Sheep were our hosts of the shoot and had built a brilliant straw and hay backdrop. The best.day.ever styling van turns up and like a Mary Poppins carpet bag, produces the most spot on props and styling. Add a good sprinkling of spring flowers and the result is the perfect setting for our star of the show: “Lottie the lamb”. He really was the most chilled out cuddly lamb ever. Stole the show with not a spot of lippy required.
We were especially blessed to have Gavin Warland on board to capture all of this spring sensationalism.
There's not a lot more I can say but just let these fabulous images do the talking.
Blue Monday: the day (allegedly) that we are supposed to feel at our lowest in the year. Lack of pay check, grim weather, festive adrenaline died out, diets and resolutions boring, the list goes on. But if this is the worst day then let's get it out of the way and enjoy the rest of the year!
Nancy Lublin says that her dream was the ice cream booth in Australia. Mine was that I always wanted to be that sho sho florist in the south of France. Painted in shabby chic Farrow and Ball colours with vintage pails full of frothy flowers in the never ending sunshine. Chic people buying armfuls of flowers and putting them in their wicker bike baskets as they pedal away. A pipe dream? Or an aspiration?
Okay so there may not be wall to wall sunshine (especially today) or fancy paint effects. The pails are black plastic and not all my customers are necessarily 'chic' but I'm still living the dream. Maybe the parameters just needed to be moved a little.
There is nothing wrong in dreaming big, many a time in a soulless office I would daydream where I would rather be and how I would tell my boss exactly what I thought of them. It helps you get through the bad days and then other days would be 'wow' days. Everyone has bad days, some more than others, but if we can dream our way through them then all the better.
Now this pipe dream of mine is not all a bed of roses (excuse the pun). There have been plenty of compromises and sacrifices along the way. January is not a good month for a flower grower or florist. My to do list is all about admin and accounts. Income is minimal. Motivation is scarce. But I know in the coming months the flowers will start to grow, the weddings will continue to build. There will be sunshine. And maybe I could paint the door of my very shabby but not necessary chic workshop a hue of Farrow and Ball.
So what will you aspire to this 'Blue Monday' ?
oh and some lovely pictures of 'blue' flowers to lift the mood......
Flower crowns - I love them! They are so pretty, so delicate, so individual. Don't think of them as purely for flowergirls, they look equally stunning on a bride.
There is a real trend currently growing for the bridal crown. This has been taken from the custom of wearing them at festivals where they are worn to symbolise the carefree nature of the countryside, the music, the relaxed vibe. And why shouldn't you take this relaxed - some may say bohemian - look into your wedding.
Of course flower crowns are not a new thing. Julius Caesar rocked a pretty good laurel crown back in the day. The Chinese had their own version using orange blossom which, as it blossoms and fruits at the same time, symbolises fertility. Queen Victoria borrowed this idea and wore an orange blossom flower crown for her wedding to the hunky Prince Albert. But I guess it's the hippy 60's we most associate with the flower crown and it's from there it transferred to mainstream fashion and weddings of today.
So wear your crown with pride. Whether small and dainty or bold and beautiful, you can wear flowers in your hair and celebrate being 'you'
A simple thank you is the best investment to give and the best dividend to receive. How often do you yearn for a straightforward thank you from your boss, your partner, your children? I've spent countless opportunities encouraging my children to say thank you from the moment they make their first baby noises. Ta They still need a prod from time to time but hopefully it will become an automatic response.
A thank you is not just a sign of good manners but can really make a difference to someone's self esteem and boost confidence.
In a previous office based life I could spend days swearing at technology and grappling with spreadsheets and data to produce a report that would be checked and double checked before sending off to a boss at an increasingly tightened deadline. Of course I would never receive a financial bonus or promotion for doing it - but a simple thank you and recognition of my efforts would have gone a long way. Likewise when hours have been spent in the kitchen preparing a new recipe for dinner a simple thank you when served makes it all worth while.
In my current business Thank you's are just as important. I love to receive emails from my 'brides' saying thank you for their flowers. Even after countless weddings I still get terrible butterflies hoping the flowers meet the brides often high expectations. To receive a little thank you just reassures and boosts moral the for the next one.
And I should say a huge thank you to you - For reading this blog, for following me on social media and liking and sharing my work and images. I say thank you for taking the time to be interested in Church Park Flowers, for giving me the encouragement and for helping me reach new audiences. Without you my business would not be what it is - so genuinely - thank you
But who else should we be thanking? Is there someone that needs recognition this summer. Thank you for feeding the fish, helping with the childcare, watering the tomatoes.... A simple thank you you may go a long way but imagine how much better it could be with a locally grown British flower bouquet. So order yours today (with delivery available in the area) and make sure you say thank you in style
Now I'm not one for actually even listening to Donald Trump but I was rather surprised to come across this quote and find myself, heaven a bid, agreeing. But I'm pretty sure he was not referring to the oversized wedding bouquet.
Sometimes, just sometimes, big is better and I for one am loving the trend for these bold and beautiful oversized wedding bouquets.
With a wild asymmetrical structure of flowing foliage and statement flowers they truly make a wow factor as you walk down that aisle.
Now you don't need to go too mad - after all you will be holding it for quite a while during the day and you don't want a sprained wrist by the end of it. But actually stem wise they are not a lot heavier than a standard bouquet and also won't break the bank either!
Of course it's not for everyone, you need the confidence to carry it off so you still 'own' the look rather than the bouquet taking over. Wear a simple fitted dress and this beauty will finish the look.
So, let's say it together, big is beautiful!
Cornish Scillas: the cut flower growers Bluebell. With thicker and stronger stems than traditional bluebells, these beauties stand upright and behave themselves in vases and bouquets rather than flopping around everywhere.
These vibrant blue blooms were grown at Clowance Wood Nurseries in Praze, Cornwall (Flowers by Clowance) And you too can enjoy these in your home as they are featured this week in Church Park Flowers at Johns of Appledore
I love Pinterest, I waste many an hour browsing through pictures of .... well just about anything. From gardens to kids crafts, campervans to wedding bouquets. It's an amazing source of images and articles in an easy accessible form that can be organised and kept for future instant recap
I also use it lots when I'm meeting and speaking with brides to be. It's a perfect way to get across pictorially the bouquets they like, their style, theme and thinking behind the wedding.
But is it realistic? Is it achievable? And rather than giving ideas is it not just copying others ideas rather than encouraging original thought?
Images on Pinterest are the 'best of the best'. A majority of them are taken by professional photographers during photo shoots where the lighting is perfect, the models are beautiful, the budgets are astronomical and it all comes together to make an amazing 'wow' image that we fall in love with. But do we stop and think how that image captured in Southern California, in near perfect weather after hours of set up, make up artists and photo editing will look when recreated in wet windy north Devon?
We all want a fairytale wedding with towering cakes, 5ft high floral arrangements and designer gowns but unless we have a real 'prince' charming to finance it we have to be more realistic. Of course there are some great budget conscious ideas on Pinterest but are they your ideas or someone else's?
I'm often sent the same images from brides to be of wannabe bouquets, centrepieces and arches. So how unique is your one special day going to be if you are merely copying ideas of others.
Does your intended really love burlap and bunting? Yes it creates a beautiful rustic charm, but does it truly reflect what you and your partner are really about? Does it show your own individuality? Does it reflect your personality?
Of course use Pinterest to capture those great ideas and photos. But make sure they are reflecting what you truly love rather than poster pin ups of the best.
Take inspiration from other things around you. That garden you pass everyday on the way to work that always catches your eye, your favourite dress at the back of the wardrobe that doesn't fit any more, but you can't throw away because the colour is delicious. That restaurant you went to with your fiancé last year on holiday that you still talk about. All these things are a true reflection of you and your fiancés personalities and loves and they should help shape the wedding of your dreams.
After all, do you want your guests to come to your wedding and look at your set up and say 'lovely - it looks just like that picture I saw on Pinterest' or do you want them to take one look and say 'wow' that is so 'you'!
Six ways to make the most of Pinterest when planning your wedding:
1 Manage your expectations
We can all be guilty of champagne taste with a sparkling water budget. Keep your budget in mind when your start pinning images. And don't forget seasonality - peonies may look beautiful but are very expensive out of season.
2. Leave room for own style and ideas
Upload your own images rather than just repinning other people's images. You can add a Pinterest option to your uploads direct from your photo library
3. Use non wedding related Pinterest boards
Variety is key. Take inspiration from other streams such as travel, interior design or fashion.
4. Include your offline life
You do have an offline life don't you?! Do you and your partner have a shared interest in theatre or 80's music or even rugby? Try and incorporate these shared interests into your wedding to make it truly unique.
5. Narrow it down
It's very easy to get carried away and find you have hundreds of images. You need to get strict and delete, delete, delete. Hone the images down to less than, say, twenty and then you will have a clear vision of what you are wanting to achieve
6. Stick to it
Once you have your board - stop pinning! Move on to planning and physically doing else there won't be a real wedding to enjoy!
I like tidy. I border a little on OCD when it comes to my workspaces. But when there is a big job coming up my workshop seems to shrink and bursts at the seems with buckets, blooms and bouquets.
This is the unorganised chaos of colour and scent that is currently filling my workshop ahead of a busy floral weekend. Check out the social media channels of Church Park Flowers over the next couple of weeks to see what "spectacular achievement" was created out of this "unspectacular preparation"