Friday 5th October 2018 – Our Wedding Day
This is by far, the best, most exciting and babbling blog I have ever written – I absolutely love writing up about couple’s wedding days that we have had the pleasure to create the flowers for but this time, it’s all about our wedding day back in October. Grab yourself a cuppa (or glass of wine), you’re in for a hefty blog!
P.s: you’ll probably notice, some times it’s our wedding… and sometimes it’s MY wedding, but either way, you get my drift… it’s a strange thing writing a blog up about your own wedding day as opposed to someone elses’!
I cannot count the times somebody asked me, prior to the wedding, ‘are you creating your own wedding flowers?‘ soon after followed by ‘surely not, you’re crazy?!’. Of course I was always going to create our wedding flowers! At times, I sometimes wondered why I had taken on the responsibility stress and hassle leading up to the wedding that creating my own flowers caused but the hard work was beyond worth it and it truly was the best day of our lives.
Being in the wedding industry and around other businesses that are part of the wedding world teaches you a lot about what goes in to a wedding day, the behind the scenes and the hard work. However, creating your own flowers is a little different to the majority of other people in the industry as what I do is solely reliant upon fresh flowers and realistically is quite a last minute job. You have to squeeze a hell of a lot in to a short space of time to make them perfect. Don’t get me wrong, organisation is key and I have been planning what I wanted and how I wanted it for months and months but the flowers only arrived in the shop 72 hours before the wedding, giving them enough to time to open up and just enough time for us to create the designs and get it all over to our venue and in situ looking wonderful.
Everyone kept asking me if I was stressed about the wedding and how the plans were going etc but in all honestly, being in the industry does make life a lot easier. I am pretty organised when it comes to planning events etc – I don’t have a lot of choice as it’s what I do most days with my job – which made life a lot easier and kept the stress levels down.
After we got engaged, back in September 2017 in the gorgeous Lake Como, we discussed eloping and getting married somewhere gorgeous and hot in the sunshine, but reality hit and logistics weren’t as simple as we initially thought. We are both close with our families and have lots of friends and the reality of everyone travelling to Santorini/Antigua, which is where we were planning on having our wedding originally, is a lot to ask of such a large amount of people and especially as we have elderly grandparents who simply wouldn’t have been able to make it.
Bishopstrow House, Warminster
Therefore, we decided to hold our wedding at the beautiful Bishopstrow House Hotel and Spa in Warminster. So many people asked me why we had chosen to hold our ceremony and reception in Warminster as opposed to Bath. I grew up in and around Bath so I know the area like the back of my hand and I do absolutely adore where I grew up and where I now work, it’s a beautiful part of the world. However, due to the nature of my job, I spend most of my weekends in venues in & around Bath so we decided that we wanted to do it somewhere a little more remote and unusual and somewhere that would special and new to the both of us.
We both knew that we wanted to get married in a location where we could hold both the ceremony and reception, mainly to reduce the hassle of our guests having to get transport from A to B. We also knew that we wanted a location that some of our guests could stay to prevent everyone having to sort taxi’s home and not being able to have multiple glasses of bubbly!
We decided that we wanted the night to go on until the early hours as opposed to having a strict deadline to finish the celebrations, so we decided that we would book the hotel exclusively which also meant that other guests weren’t milling around the hotel and we had it all to ourselves which was a real treat. Bishopstrow have 30+ rooms which enabled us to have lots of our family and friends stay and we all had breakfast together the following day which was lovely.
Everyone said to me, so you must know exactly what flowers you want and you’d think so right?! But, it turns out, when it actually comes to it and it’s the time to decide what you’re having, I had NO IDEA. I was between two very different colour pallettes and I seriously could not decide which to go for.. It took me until the week before the wedding to decide – one of the positives of doing your own wedding flowers and not relying on someone else to do them, you can decide last minute! I was ordering the flowers for our wedding the week before the big day and decided there and then that I was somehow going to mix the two colour pallettes that I couldn’t decide between.
I decided to have a netural and natural colour scheme and style for the ceremony room which looked absolutely dreamy and worked really well with the style of the room and the muted grey curtains. For the rest of the flowers, I chose to have more of an Autumnal colour scheme with lots of pinks, greens, peaches and burgundy with heaps of textured foliage.
When the flowers were all delivered on the Tuesday before our wedding day on the Friday, I do not exaggerate when I say, I genuinely could not step foot in the shop. I opened the shop door, so excited, a little apprehensive with how many flowers would be in there to condition and sort.. To get in the shop, I had to pull the crates outside and edge my way in to the shop pulling them back in behind me. I had anticipated a similar amount of crates to what I tend to have in over the crazy Mother’s Day period, but oh no, how wrong was I. I’d gone a bit OTT but I was SO excited to see it all come together over the next 48 hours.
When we first got engaged I was considering asking another florist that I love the work of to create my bridal bouquet however after a bit of thought and decision making, I decided that I was going to make it.
I wanted my bridesmaids’ to have something similar to my bouquet but with a slight difference so I decided to incorporate the burgundy in to my bouquet but keep theirs just the peach, purple, pink and green.
I contacted Kate Cullen who is based fairly local, just 20 miles from the shop. Kate creates the most gorgeous plant dyed silk ribbons of which I decided to use on our bouquets. I had trails on my bouquet whereas I kept the bridesmaids a little more subtle with silk ribbon underhand. As you all know, I am really keen to support other local independent businesses so using Kate’s ribbons was a special touch and they are just so unique and dreamy!
Creating your own wedding flowers, of course, comes with its’ stresses.. I had a great team of florists working together at the venue for days running up to the wedding to make the flowers so special for our big day. I knew I wanted to make a couple of statement floral designs and one of those, was our floral aisle.
It was so special to create and although I had a lot of help for all of the rest of the designs, the aisle was actually created by myself and my husband (eeek! Still sounds strange saying husband!!) two days before the wedding. I wanted to walk through a meadow of flowers with my dad to meet my husband at the end of the aisle and I decided to go for all white and green flowers with lots of textured and locally grown foliage (Pipley Flowers).
There were lots of things that ran through my mind when considering what I wanted to create for our wedding day flower wise, I wanted something WOW that our guests could have photos in front of. I initially considered a flower wall but there wasn’t anywhere suitable and obvious for it to be situated so I had a re-think.. I ended up getting our iron moon gate hoop made by a local ironmonger in Larkhall, Iron Art. We positioned the moon gate just as everyone came in the main entrance to the big hallway and lots of guests posed for shots in front of it which was so lovely.
In our ceremony room, there was the perfect opportunity to create copper hoop floral displays and hang them from the wall lights. A little last minute decision, the day before the wedding, but it added a bit of interest to the room and meant there were flowers wherever you looked throughout the ceremony.. the aisle, the jars on the chair ends, a garland over our unplugged ceremony board, the two big displays by the registry table, hoops on the walls and flowers on the table – it turned out to be just as I had envisioned it and full of flowers.
I sourced our naturally dried petals for our confetti from Shropshire Petals, bio-degradable and handpicked from their flower farm, obviously, based in Shropshire. A company I had heard great things about and sticking to my ‘shop local and shop indie’, they seemed like the best people to contact. I wanted to incorporate the burgundy in to the confetti as I had incorporated a touch in to my bouquet so I wanted to tie it all in together and when it I arrived, I was super chuffed – plus it smelt great!
An hour later and still covered in confetti!
I wanted to ensure that our tables weren’t too cluttered with stuff dotted all over the place, so I kept it simple.. I went for tall grey metal frames with large displays on the top of the stands, to ensure our guests weren’t obstructed when chatting across the table and it meant that as soon as you walked in the room you were greeted by lots of big beautiful displays of fresh flowers.
I used a variety of different silver candle sticks and grey candles to match our table cloths and napkins and it all came together so beautifully.. Plus I am a sucker for candles and fairy lights so as you can imagine… they were everywhere!
THE FLOWER TYPES:
I have put together a list of all of the flowers incorporated in to my wedding flowers below.
Juliet, David Austin Roses – I have always adored these, the layers and ruffles in the blooms is just beautiful. The changing of the colours from pink through to peach fitted just perfectly for the colour scheme I went for and I knew these beauties would be a part of the flowers. Although they are costly, they are so unique in comparison to the traditional Rose but I knew I wanted a combination of the two.
Verena Hydrangea – these were so beautiful incorporated in to the table flowers (over 300 of them!!) & are so gorgeous dried! They’ve been hanging since the wedding and I plan to use them in some way in our house for Christmas and keep them going for as long as possible as a little memory from our wedding day!
White O’hara Rose – These are somewhere in between the traditional rose and the Juliet Rose is shape and style. The centres are still ruffled and the heads are huge. These were incorporated everywhere in the wedding flowers and they smell divine.
Cosmos – The prettiest little blooms – a deep burgundy shade that closely resemble velvet. These little ones add a pop of Autumn in my eyes when combined with contrasting colours and I incorporated these in to my bouquet and the bridesmaids.
Viburnum – I wanted to incorporate some lime green to contrast with the other tones I had in the wedding flowers. Viburnum reminds me of my grandparents garden and seeing their HUGE Viburnum tree gradually change from the lime green through to the white snow balls and shower the ground in what looked like snow when I was younger.
Delphiniums – When I ordered the flowers for our wedding, I stated that I wanted BIG, FAT and DREAMY white Delphiniums and my gosh, did I get that! They were HUGE. Perfect for the aisle flowers and besides the ceremony table.
Snapdragon – I hadn’t anticipated incorporating Snapdragons in to the wedding flowers however I needed some tall stemmed flowers to give the aisle some height as opposed to just incorporating the Delphiniums. These worked really well and I surprisingly loved them in the design.
Veronica – I ADORE Veronica. I knew for certain that I’d sneak these beauties in to all of the wedding flowers, both white and pale pink were incorporated.
Lisianthus – I incorporated both Alessi, the more ivory/lemony coloured Lisianthus and white double Eustoma. I regularly use White double Lisianthus in the shop and incorporate it in to bouquets however I have only recently starting using Alessi. It’s so lovely and it’s more of a ruffled/larger headed flowers.
Astrantia – I wanted to add some texture and natural shape/style to the wedding flowers and Astrantia did just that. I incorporated both green and burgundy Astrantia and some of those that I used was sourced from a local flower farm in Keynsham.
Stocks – Everybody commented about how amazing the ceremony room smelt and I’m sure a lot of the thanks goes to these beauts. Stocks are just so lovely and although they don’t have the longest life, the time that they are looking fresh is so worth it for the sweet scent. Being a florist, you almost become immune to the overall scent of working in a flower shop, but when I have a bucket or two in of Stocks, I am sure to smell it!
Cafe Au Lait Dahlia – Timeless and beautiful blooms, the size of my head! I’ve always loved these from day one of becoming a florist, all those years ago so these were a definite yes for the wedding! As the season of Cafe Au Lait progresses, the colour of these beauties changes slightly, starting off at more of an ivory/lemony tone and then towards the end of their availability, they turn more blush/pink.
Burgundy Dahlia – Oh I do love a Dahlia! There is something so satisfying and perfect about a pom pom Dahlia, especially when they are grown just 15 minutes away from the shop!
Astillbe – I incorporated both pink and cream Astillbe in to our wedding flowers. The cream flowers stayed in the ceremony room and a couple throughout our bouquets and the pink Astillbe was kept to the reception and entrance flowers/hoop.
Clematis – Blue Pirouette. Such a naturally beautiful flower that is certainly one of my favourites. No scent but still so pretty. I only wanted to incorporate a touch of purple in to the flowers so these did the job just perfectly.
Cappucino Rose – I knew for sure that whatever wedding flowers I decided on, these simply HAD to be incorporated. Being a florist, it’s hard for your partner to buy you something as a surprise.. or a sorry every now and again.. but when we went out to Lake Como and the whole proposal took place, Jonathan had a beautiful bouquet of Cappucino Roses in our room when we arrived so they’ve always been a special bloom to us both and they take me straight back to Italy.
Super Bubble Spray Rose – These are the fullest, fattest, dreamiest Spray Roses you can get (in my opinion!). Throughout the year and depending upon where they are grown depends upon the colour. Similar to the Cafe au Lait, they can sometimes come through as more of an ivory/white colour throughout the blooms, whereas a few weeks later you can source them and they be more blush/pink in the centre. I adore the Super Bubble when they have the warmer pinky centres and thank goodness, on the day, this is exactly what they were like.
White Schneeball Hydrangea – I ordered hundreds of these beauts and had planned to incorporate them in to the aisle design however when it got to it, I had a change of heart. The aisle flowers were looking really natural and country like and walking through it was like walking through a meadow of flowers and textured foliage but when I sampled the Hydrangeas in the aisle, I felt it changed the whole look/style of the ceremony room. It almost made it
Darcey – David Austin Rose. The beautifully velvety (don’t think that’s a word but you know what I mean!) deep cerise Rose. Again, with the most gorgeous scent.
Sweet Avalanche Spray Rose – These are a gorgeous soft pink with lots of buds and generally one large rose in the centre. I’ve always loved these flowers and looking back I wish I combined the Ivory Avalanche Spray Rose too as they looked so fabulous incorporated in to our wedding flowers.
I was so excited to go and try dresses on and ended up visiting 4/5 different bridal shops across Bath and Bradford on Avon.. until I ended up in the most gorgeous dress shop in Bristol – Lace and Grace.
Not long after we got engaged, I followed Lace and Grace on Instagram (because that’s what you do when you get engaged right?! Head to Instagram and follow every wedding related page possible!) I absolutely adored the dresses so I decided to book an appointment and headed over with my bridesmaids.
I tried on 6/7 dresses, I picked 3 of those and I let my bridesmaids’ choose the rest. I loved all of the dresses that I tried on however when I tried my dress on it just blew all of the rest out of the window. I had no idea what I really wanted, I knew more about what I didn’t want that what I actually wanted, which is helpful in a way however it makes the pickings a little slimmer when you go in knowing more about what you don’t want to wear on your wedding day than do!
I knew I wanted a bit of lace, with a low-ish back but I had no intentions on the sleeves! I fell in love with it as soon as I tried it on, it felt like the perfect dress for an Autumn wedding and it felt like it was a shape that suited my figure. I had to have a few alterations made to the dress, which I was a little nervous about as you never know how different it’ll make the dress when you try it on when the alterations have been done.. however Carol, the seamstress, worked wonders! I wanted the sleeves making smaller around my wrists as I felt they were just too loose and the shoulders were a little tight, the joys of having a long body, so she managed to change the dress slightly to improve how the dress sat. If you are in the process of trying to find your dream dress and you adore lace, pearls and classic/timeless dresses – you have to take a visit to L&G!
When I chose my dress, I decided that I wanted some very plain and elegant pearl earrings with a slight drop with a necklace to match. I knew that I wouldn’t necessarily need a bracelet as I had long lace sleeves, so it wasn’t a must have.
Having the low v-back on my dress meant that I could have the dream back necklace that I’ve always loved seeing on other brides. However, I looked continuously for months and to no avail, I ended up having a bespoke piece created by the amazingly talented Miranda Templeton which I was so pleased with.
I hadn’t anticipated wearing a bracelet until around an hour before we left my parents house and headed to Bishopstrow.. at which time my best friend comes in to the kitchen with a gift for me from Jonathan, a little blue box – always exciting!! Jonathan bought me the most gorgeous fine silver bracelet with my new initials on. My bracelet wasn’t on show the whole day as I had long sleeves however it felt really special wearing it on our wedding day and it was a real surprise to receive on the morning as I was having my make up done.
So much for ‘I don’t think I want a veil’! That went out of the window as soon as I stepped in to my dress at the gorgeous Britten in Bradford on Avon to try on jewellery and veils. I knew that if I were to have a veil I didn’t want to go OTT as we were not having a church ceremony or anything too traditional.. but as soon as I tried on ‘Adeline’ with my dress I HAD to have it.
The veil had a very subtle lace edge to it and the colour of the veil worked perfectly with my off white lace on the dress and the latte lining.
I wasn’t planning to wear it all day however when I had it on, I didn’t want to take it off! I ended up wearing my veil up until our first dance in the evening.
Britten is a small shop but my gosh, it has the most beautiful bridal accessories in. Myself, my mum and one of my bridesmaids took a trip to Bradford on Avon with me to see how the veils looked with my dress as we all fell in love – a great addition to my outfit for our wedding day that I am SO pleased that I went for.
I also ended up getting my earrings from Britten too, which I hadn’t planned upon before we visited the boutique but I left feeling so excited and pleased with my veil and earrings! My earrings were handmade and ivory pearls drops on sterling silver. I’m not usually a fancy drop earring type of person but these felt special and I knew I was having my hair up for the day so I wanted to have something special jewellery wise.
MAKE UP AND HAIR
All I knew was that I wanted to look like me and I didn’t want heavy make up for our wedding day. I think this is the main part whereby Jonathan got involved and expressed his thoughts, he wanted me to look like me. I don’t wear much make up daily, if any, so having my make up done felt strange but wonderful.
I had a trial back in August with Christy at her beautiful home in the countryside to trial the sort of thing I wanted for our day. I explained to Christy that I wanted to look fairly natural and I didn’t want the make up caked on my face as it’s just not me! Christy waited until she had worked her magic and finished doing my trial to show me the look.. I loved it!
Christy is a very talented artist and I would highly recommend her to anyone getting married that is looking to have their make up done. Thank you Christy, you’re amazing.
Over the years, Abi has worked alongside myself with brides on their wedding day, making their wedding hair dreams come true. My hair is quite fine and only in recent months has it really grown so I was unsure when we got engaged how I would have my hair. However, Abi somehow did the most incredible job I could have ever have wished for.
I was pretty vague about what I wanted during our trial but just explained that I want some sort of plait and a middle fringe and I have a middle parting day to day so it still looked like me and I did have any extreme changes on the day to how I usually look.
I am always amazed at wedding hair artists, it’s such a talent and Abi exceeded all my expectation for my hair and my bridesmaids on the day so thank you Abi, you are wonderful.
THE FINISHING TOUCHES
Who doesn’t love a Krispy Kreme? We couldn’t decide between a wedding cake or doughnuts.. so we decided to do both! My talented brother made our wedding cake, he’s a keen baker in his spare time and is a perfectionist when it comes to creating things.. in fact anything.. My absolute favourite cake is banana so it was only right to have this as a part of our cake. My brother, Sam, makes the most delicious banana and Cadbury cake which we had as our top tier. For the middle tier, we went for chocolate and the bottom tier, classic Victoria Sponge – can’t go wrong with a traditional Vicky Sponge! The cake tasted incredible and looked wonderful. A real special touch to have your own brother make your wedding cake!
Being a florist means that I am regularly at wedding venues setting up for other couples’ big day and the more often you do, the more often you notice the little extra details that have been considered. So.. with that in mind, there were a few things I wanted to do for our wedding that just made it that extra bit special.
I hired the most gorgeous gold beaded glass charger plates from a company based in Bristol (Prestige) who delivered and collected them from the hotel. These made such a difference to the overall look of the tables and reception and I am so pleased that we went for it as it really lifted the tables and made each setting that bit more special.
We are both big Gin fans so we made mint and cucumber gin for our guests to have and we also set up a gin bar at our wedding so there was plenty of tonic and extra gin around for our guests to enjoy.
I also decided that I didn’t want to have the traditional white cloths and seat covers for our wedding so after hunting for weeks and weeks for a linen hire company locally, I ended up contacting 365 Linen Hire and ended up with the perfect linen. On each napkin, a few days prior to the wedding, we tied a ribbon and bow on each napkin and on the day, Nicola, our fabulous wedding planner, put a white Veronica on each place setting for us.
For the tables in both the ceremony and reception room, we had pale grey table cloths. For the reception table we had the same pale grey cloths and then dark grey napkins to contrast with the table linen. It brought so much warmth to the room and just looked that little more personal and styled to our wedding with the mix of greys’ we had elsewhere for the day. The day before the wedding, two of my wonderfully helpful bridesmaids spent the day tying a mix of ribbons on to the ceremony chairs. I decided to do this instead of having bows tied on the backs of the chairs as it’s just something slightly different to a lot of weddings and I have never seen it at a wedding.
Following so many wedding related Instagram/Pinterest accounts resulted in me having to organise a sparkler tunnel! My dad made us an oak sparkler holder so everyone could help themselves to a sparkler which worked well however.. I’d be lying if I didn’t mention it was a little scary.. especially with a veil on that with the touch of a sparkler on it, felt like it would go up in flames.. Luckily, that didn’t happen but I think our faces show how we felt… ha!
I treated myself to another beautiful scent from my favourite, Jo Malone for our wedding day. I’ve worn it a couple of times since and every time I catch the scent, it takes me straight back to our wedding day..
We did something slightly different for our ceremony.. we wanted to keep the ceremony really intimate and special and meaningful to the both of us so we wrote our ceremony ourselves from scratch. We also read our promises during the ceremony which were a surprise to each other until there and then which was so lovely but so emotional!
We decided that instead of having a reading that we randomly chose out of the blue because we felt we should, we decided to have a song, a song that means a lot to us both and that we both love.
We are both huge Coldplay fans and saw them back in the Summer so we had everyone singing ‘Yellow’ which was amazing, it felt so special and now everytime we hear it on the radio, it gives us both goosebumps!
Our First Dance
Well.. it’s safe to say neither of us are quite up to Darcey Bussell standards but I decided that as we were only going to do it once, we had to do it the best we possibly could. So.. after a lot of persuading and begging.. I managed to convince him to go for dance lessons at the Assembly Rooms with me and have a few private lessons. We decided on our song(s) and gradually learnt the routine that our dance teacher had put together for us and although we were nervous at the thought of doing it on our big day in front of everyone, which may I add, we didn’t tell a single person about and kept it a surprise for on the night, but it went well and I am so pleased that we did it!
The song we chose was McFly, ‘all about you’ which we then mixed in to Earth, Wind and Fire. Both songs we love and now whenever I hear them on the radio, it makes me grin as I begin moving my feet to our routine.
Our classic black and white cheque dance floor was provided and set up by Groovy Floors who were wonderful. I would highly recommend them to you if you are on the hunt for a dance floor for an upcoming event.
Our balloon installation – We have had so many amazing comments about the balloon installation at the front of the hotel on the pillars as you enter into Bishopstrow and I am SO glad that we went ahead with this. All of the balloons are biodegradeable and NightJar events are a local decor company who set up balloon installations in and around Bath. They did an amazing job of creating the balloon cluster in my colour scheme and I adored the copper leaf clear balloons that were incorporated.
The Grooms Attire
Jonathan knew he wanted a blue suit for the wedding so we headed to T M Lewin in Bath who made him a suit to his requirements and size. He ended up going for more of a blue suit than navy with a burgundy wool tie and it looked so lovely. Didn’t he scrub up well?!
Being a typical man, he left the hunt for his wedding shoes until weeks before the wedding, despite me badgering him about it for months before. I ended up heading to Loakes and found the most beautiful Brown ‘Foley’ brogues which, even if I do say so myself, looked amazing with his suit.
And for now, that pretty much sums up our incredible wedding day and all of those people who made our wedding day the most memorable and special day. I cannot wait to re-live it and watch our wedding video soon.
Make up – Christy Waterfall
Hair – Abi Constanza
Necklace – Miranda Templeton
Bracelet – Tiffany and co
Groom’s suit – T M Lewin
Groom’s shoes – Loakes
Videographer – Nigel, Ever after films
Venue – Bishopstrow House
Engagement and wedding ring – Orton, Bradford on Avon
Veil – Britten, Bradford on Avon
Table linen – 365 Linen Hire
Charger plates – Prestige Event Equiptment Hire
Flowers – Us, of course!
Dance floor – Groovy Floors
Perfume – Jo Malone
Confetti: Shropshire Petals
Bridal and bridesmaids ribbon: Kate Cullen
Balloons: NightJar Events
Doughnut Wall and Cinema Style Sign: The Hire Supplier
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