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Springtime in The Bluebell Woods at Yoxall

Creating all kinds of pretty for Field and Forest Weddings

You may have seen some of these beautiful images already, as we’ve getting some wonderful coverage on social media, and I’m not really surprised! If you’ve never been to the Bluebell Woods at Yoxall (I hadn’t until this shoot) you won’t believe your eyes. It really is something quite spectacular. There is literally a carpet of bluebells are far as the eye can see in pretty much every direction.

New beginnings

Ben and Han, from HBA Photography were contacted by Field and Forest Weddings to see if they would be able to create a set of images to start the promotional ball rolling on their new wedding space – suited to tipi and outdoor weddings and blessings. Ben asked if I would like to join them for the day, and I of course never turn down a chance to work with the master so happily accepted. You can read Ben’s take on the day here.

I, however, will just use this as gallery space to show off some beautiful images, of beautiful people and beautiful flowers, in a beautiful location. I hope you enjoy…

 

Can you guess it was snowing literally 2 minutes before this picture was taken?

Nom

I love a good tablescape, and will you look at that cake by Hannah from Bake Ashbourne

Ink and flowers

Here’s Suki rocking her flower crown and tats in equal measure.

 

Kudos to Scampi for being the least demanding model of the day!

There was a real dream team going on here…

The PhotographyHBA Photography Venue Field & Forest Weddings Flowers/Styling Nadia Di Tullio Hair Air Hairdressing Makeup Rochelle O’Brien Cake Bake…Ashbourne Video Our Wedding Videographers Dresses
Lori G Bridal Bow Ties Lauren Vickers Props Love In My Life Confetti Shropshire Petals Smoke Machine GC Events General all round awesome helper, dog sitter, prop mannequin and co-ordinator!! Hannah Appleby Lighting Assistant Charlie James Models Sophie & George and Suki

And just so you know, it ain’t all that glam on a shoot :o)

Helen and Jonnys rock n roll wedding The West Mill

Skulls – Check. Feathers – Check.  Hot bride – Check.

Helen and Jonnys rock n roll wedding too place in the early throws of spring at The ever popular West Mill Venue, here in Derbyshire.

After driving to two different locations for our first consultation ( – quite literally they were in one location I was in another – long story!) we finally got to sit down and talk all things wedding flowers, and it was apparent we were most certainly on the same page. Phew! This couple had a very clear brief to follow, ‘we want a skulls head with a floral crown’ ‘a trailing bouquet with pheasant feathers’ and ‘floral wreaths at the bottom of manzanita trees – but nothing naff!’ No problemo!

Chic unique

After Helen showed me a photograph of her beautiful dress and described the kind of look she was going for we decided that we would create a one of a kind bouquet for her to carry. With a nod to the long line trailing bouquets of the 30’s created a base from aspi ferns, then added direction and a new texture with pheasant feathers. To make the design seasonal and feminine we added peony, and then used a lovely selection of hellebores, astilbe, delphs, and veronica to finish the look. It really worked well and Helen was totally thrilled. Helens gals carried single stem posies, backed with lots of foliages and feathers to carry through the design quirks. Jonny’s bout was a gathered style bunch, with lots of textures, finished with copper binding.

Aren’t they just the sweetest? And all this was captured by the very lovely Natalie of Natalie J Weddings

(We worked together once before – you can see that wedding here)

And I love Helen’s ability to scale a fence in the name of a good snap – what a sport!

Pine needles in your mince pies – Christmas wreath making with me!

Christmas comes but once a year – but the workshops are a plenty!

So I am in the process of finalising dates for the Christmas wreath sessions for the festive season 2017! Can you actual believe I’m writing this post in July?

But there you go. I have this week filled three daytime sessions without any advertising, so I figured its time to get the diary out and schedule some dates.

I’m currently thinking of hosting the wreath making in the last week of November, as some of my December dates are already full. Would this work for you? Email me if you have any dates that work well for you to attend and I’ll bear that in mind while writing the schedule.

Looking forwards to seeing you soon!

Santa hat optional.

Kudos – Kind words from past couples

More than words?

Kudos. I was thrilled and humbled by the kind words so many of my wonderful couples wrote about me for my nomination in The Wedding Industry Awards 2017.  The awards tag line is ‘Recognising and Rewarding Excellence in the Wedding Industry’ and simply being recognised as achieving excellence in my work is an amazing thing. It makes the late nights, early mornings, standing in the cold and missing all sorts of personal events worth it when people take the time to tell you what you did meant something to them. So thanks to all those that took the time to vote for me, it means the world.

If you’d like to read a little of what was said, and view my average voter scores (out of 10) then scroll down…

You can view some of the weddings here, here and here

 

London Calling – Three days at Brixton East with The Chapel Designers

 

 

The pilgrimage to the chapel

Around 8 years ago I came spied a bouquet online that blew me away. It was voluptuous and had all the right curves in all the right places. I was in love. I became a flower stalker and had to know all about the creative behind this dream design. This was my first flower crush and it was the work of Holly Chapple, and internationally renowned designer from the US. I subsequently followed Holly’s blog and her honest words became a bit of a salvation for me, she wrote so frankly about her floral adventures and experiences that I was great to know I wasn’t the only one in the world woking on designs into the wee small hours, long after the rest of the family was tucked up in bed.

Never meet your hero

Along with Holly’s blog I would also read other floristry blogs and was thrilled to have one of my designs featured on the blog where I first discovered Holly! I knew it was a really good week, when following the mention I then received an email from Holly herself, just messaging to say she’d seen my name via Amy that wrote the blog, and thought she’d say ‘hi!’ Best. Day. Ever. From that day forward Holly and I had a lose but warm online friendship. I’d ask if she’ come and teach here and she would say she’d love to but doubted she’d have the following to fill a course. Forward to 2016. And I find myself sitting in pub (The Rose – obvs) with Holly and Evan Chapple, Nick Priestly and a whole host of other fabulous florist from all over the UK and Ireland, having welcome drinks before the first 3 day conference for The Chapel Designers. (read more about us right here) That first year we were 13. Roll forwards to 2017 and we were 30!

The 3 day event involves all sorts of floristry stuff, business information and hands on skills. It’s really been quite phenomenal and I’m so pleased I did get the chance to meet my hero, but she’s now also a good friend who Skypes when you have a dilemma, doesn’t allow distance to be a barrier and makes the time during busy her wedding weekend to make sure she wishes you congratulations on your actual wedding day! She truly is the best!

The conference this year was great fun and we had some really amazing demos from world class designers.

Nick Priestly, Holly Chapple, Robbie Honey and the ever so dapper Simon Lycett.

Go big or go home

The highlight of this years event was the chance to create some really stunning large scale designs, that we use to decorate the venue for our conference dinner on the second evening. In door trees, floral runners and the most stunning flower wall ever. I also created a bouquet for our model bride. You can see the amazing designs we created below. Its a joy to work on such a large scale, and boy did it create a WOW.

 

My beautiful bridal bouquet.

 

The flower wall.

 

How about that for a dinner party?

Planes, trains and automobiles

The question is, whaddayado with all those flowers???? We’d mostly arrived at the event via public transport and a had long trips back home. It’s not the best way to transport flowers. So, as in previous years, we turned these designs into literally hundreds of Lonely Bouquets (and the creator of the Lonely Bouquet concept, Emily Everson, joined us to talk though the process of paying it forward with flowers via The Lonely Bouquet movement – she was an absolute doll)

The bouquets were then distribute around Brixton, ready for folks to pick up, take home and enjoy. It was the perfect end to a really inspiring few days, with some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Looking forwards to CD2018!

Special thanks to Dasha Caffery Photography for the great memories she captured from the conference .

Ali and Karl’s super stylish wedding at The West Mill

You say you’d like a big bouquet…Okey Dokey!

I met Karl and Ali over coffee on a what was a dirty raining winter day. It felt like meeting old friends and I loved the fact they chattered over each other, excited about all the “tat’ (their words) they’d been collecting – including old film reel cases to stand their table flowers on. Karl is a camera man and it was a really nice nod to his profession – and kinda cool in the West Mill’s urban industrial environment.

Size does matter

Ali had a beautiful selection of inspiration images for me to view, and was keen to use what I like to call a ‘moody’ palette for her flowers. The wedding took place in late winter so she was keen to keep it seasonal, but not drab. She was also keen to have a fabulous, showstopper bouquet. Shame. Oh no, not a shame at all, my fav kinda bouquets! So I set to work with the most darling mix of David Austin roses, pink and white O’hara roses, and a regal colour palette of anemones and ranunculus. I LOVED this bouquet.  I then created smaller, but no less wow versions for Ali’s best girls to carry. The buttonholes were a cute mix and match variety working from the same colour scheme, bound with copper binding.

Hangin’ at The West Mill

I also created a ceremony hanging, a floating arch if you like, to frame the couple as they exchanged their vows. It was proper lush. The tables were an eclectic mix of all of their ‘tat’, decanters of blooms, brass trinkets with planted succulents all complete with table-name frames filled with images of their favourite films, places and of course their beloved Mr Pig!

I don’t think there is anything about this wedding I don’t adore. Including that masterpiece of a cake by Nat at Yummy Little Cakes and of course these stunning images are the work of HBA Photography, working the chiaroscuro like a Renaissance master there Ben!

You can view other West Mill weddings here, here and here.

Spring time shoot at Beehive Farm with Peaktipis

 

The darling buds styled shoot

Where to being?

There was so much love that went into this shoot, from so many people.

I’ve worked with Peaktipis on numerous projects (see here and here) and this spring I was honoured to be asked to help out again. We were super keen to revisit a back to basics style to reflect the stunning natural setting at Beehive Farm, a stunning collection of fishery lakes just out side Burton.

So we decide to go for a colourful spring styled festival vibe, and really played up the colours and the floral elements.

Stationary

After I gathered an initial colour palette, I discussed a spring florals style stationary suite with the babe that is Hannah from Yellowstone Paperworks. Hannah is a whizz at water colours, and a whizz at flowers so she was excited by the brief even when I threw her a curve ball and asked if she’d be prepared to design personalised place mat setting for each guest. She agreed but whoaaaaaaa I did not expect the beauty she created and let out an audible squeak when she sent me the proof to view. That girl got skills!!!

I was also keen to get Hannah’s help decorating a huge welcome board I requested and the capable boys at Peaktipis made. I had a vision of huge  florals gracing an old school style blackboard, ready to welcome the guests to the tipi entrance. Between Hannah’s chalk, my blooms and the teams carpentry I’d say we pulled it off!

Cake

Another key player was Hannah from Bake Ashbourne, a baker extraordinaire, who despite being fully booked, and actually attending a wedding the day of the shoot, still managed to knock up two of the most fancy cakes I every did see. She managed to replicate hannah’s water colour stationary on one of the cakes, and finished each with hand made guided bee’s – a nod to the venues name. Sweet!

Flowers and Styling

I decided to keep the table flowers pretty simple this time round, and filled literally hundreds of bottles with single stems. It’s pretty much been my rule since I started flowering to not use gerbs in my work, they just don’t float my boat. BUT I spied some crazy-ass double gerbs at market and knew they’d be best friend with the even crazier-ass Houdini roses I’d ordered specially for the weekend. I created a focal hoop for the peak of one of the tipis and a floating arch to sit behind the head table and the happy couple! these both featured the same blooms we’d used on the tables and were an instant hit over the whole weekend.

I love a balloon and we opted for hundreds of multi coloured ones to add an extra pop (!) of colour to the table decor. Lynne from Tickety Boo Bunting helped finish the look with swathes of in keeping bunting, and Festival Flags helped create drama at the entrance with their stunning dragon tail flags.

Behind the lens

For the shoot part of the day Kim, from The Gribbons Photography, kept a calm and gentle vibe going on while he quietly and thoughtfully captured the breathtaking and etherial images you see here. Seriously, he is a delight to be around.

Claire Lowe make up artist was a dream as always, and indulged me by creating two looks for our bride. I totally was in love with the festival style make up for that later chill out part of the day. And our groom rocked his dreads and piercing but was just so sweet.

Something I was really keen to use for our bride was a two part bridal combination. Lorraine from Lori G very kindly sourced us the two piece gown from True Bride and I absolutely LOVED it.

All in all it felt like we pulled this out the bag, and really realised the brief.

Special thanks to Kim C and Dani who co-ordinated the weekend in spectacular style.

Sophie and Sam’s alternative autumn wedding at The West Mill

Sophie’s timeless beauty with contemporary twists

I start most of my relationships with couples via email, and most of the time I get a good sense of what they’re like from the very first message. Sophie was no different. Her messages were sweet, friendly and full of enthusiasm – just like she is!

The couple knew exactly the direction they wanted the wedding designs to go in and as you can see by these images from the super cool Red on Blonde Photography team, that direction was stylish and considered, with just the right amount of quirk!

We were thrilled for everyone to see this featured on the prestigious Rock My Wedding blog in June 2017.

 

Jennie and Kyle’s English Irish Spring Wedding at The Ashes Barns

Rustic chic green and white – and gasp – no roses!

I first met Jennie and Kyle over coffee in a beauts cafe in my home town of Ashbourne. They’d travel over on a Sunday morning for breakfast to discuss their forth coming spring wedding at The Ashes Barns, Stafforshire. Something that Jennie said very early on was that she was keen for the wedding to contain no roses, but to have clover somewhere present to represent Kyle’s Irish roots. We discussed a full scheme and the most important elements we decided were lush white and green florals, texture and wood.

First Flush of Spring

Spring has such bounty that it’s not hard to work to this brief. Parrot tulips and hellebores are abundant, as are rannuncs and hyacinths, as well as the first flush of new season hydrangeas, that often come tinged with green, so they were just perfect. We curated bouquets from this selection, as well as adding some grey brunia, astilbe and stock into the mix. The tables were simple, stylish eco vases full of frothy white hydrangea and pussy willow, and Jennie purchase some super cute grey wood crates for the top table decor. I filled these with my signature ‘growing style’ designs, and created a moss table runner for them to sit on to finish the look. I also created alternative pedestal designs for the entrance to the barns. I used my 2 foot tall tree trunk stumps to give heigh and interest to two beautiful statement designs, they really did create the wow as you approached the barn doors!

Look of the Irish

Remember the clover? Well I’m afraid I couldn’t reliably source that, so I purchased some faux clover and incorporated this into the buttonholes. It looked brilliant and you would never have guessed it wasn’t the real McCoy!

Can we just take a moment to say ‘wow’ to Jennie’s two piece wedding gown!

This was a wonderful wedding to work on, and Jennie and Kyle were just the sweetest couple, a pleasure to share breakfast with thats for sure!

See more weddings from The Ashes here and here.

I totally love these images by Stott Wedding Photography

Charley and Bobs and THAT dress at The West Mill

Red dress? Oh yes!

I love a bride with a distinctive sense of style and I knew as soon as I received the emails from Charley saying she had purchased a red dress and wanted a show stopper bouquet for her day that I HAD no choice but to work with her and bring her vision to life. Along with the very dashing Bobs this stylish couple went on to curate a very beautiful and personal mid winter wedding at the stunning West Mill venue right here in Derbyshire.

What should I have?

While Charley, knew she wanted a wow bouquet, she wasn’t quite sure how she wanted it to look. I had an inkling that I could read her style (even via email) and I made a few suggestions on colour, shape, bloom variety and scale. Foruntatly my gut was correct and Charley was totally thrilled with what I created for her and her best gals. With a little one as part of the bridal party we just knew we had to create a dainty fresh foliage and berry circlet to frame that sweet little face, and she even had her very own mini freeform bouquet to carry too! Such a stylish bridal party don’t you think? Each of the grooms men sported a mix n match variation buttonhole, all containing elements from the brides bouquet, but all a little different and individual.

Greenery all around

When it was time for the wedding breakfast to be served the guests were seated at long trestle style tables which we’d filled with a mix of greens, and following through with the finishing touches Charley had even hired black crockery and gold cutlery. acetyl with individual favours of rosemary tied off with gold ribbon, and each table had black dinner candles in slim gold holders. It really did look fab.

The whole day was captured by the beautiful inside and out Emma Case Photography.

Like a coloured wedding dress? Look no further!