I just had to share with you my latest find on vogue.com of one lucky bride, who not only had her wedding dress designed by the fabulous Tom Ford, but who had the man himself there on the day to style her – every bride’s dream! Senior Accessories Editor of American Vogue, Rickie De Sole has ‘known Tom almost my entire life’ and so there was never any doubt that her dress would be designed by Mr Ford. Having provided flowers for various Tom Ford events over the years, I am a big fan of him and his continual ability to keep creating beautiful pieces every season. This strapless organza-and-lace wedding dress is a fine example of his simple but elegant work and with over 350 people at this New York wedding it was the perfect dress to wow guests. Even the bridesmaids were lucky enough to have their dresses designed by him- how fabulous!
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This last month I have worked on some fabulous weddings, with a couple located out of London in the countryside which always makes for a lovely change of scenery. I will be posting lots of images from the weddings on here next week but until then I couldn’t not share a few sneaky pictures of one of the weddings we worked on at the beginning of September. The reception was held in a marquee at the bride’s parent’s house in the fabulously named village of Six Mile Bottom! Enjoy this sneak peak and look out for the full wedding post next week.
For those who know me, they know that my greatest love in life are dogs; my dogs, other people’s dogs, all dogs! I have four of my own and if I had acres of land in the countryside I would certainly have more. So, when I came across these great images of dogs that have been included in their owners’ weddings, I had to share them with you. I think it is fabulous idea to make your furry friend part of your day and they certainly shouldn’t be forgotten when it comes to carrying flowers…
Now, here is a post for those of you who love a bit of love. I had to share this amazingly romantic proposal as it was such a lovely idea and a pleasure to execute. We were asked to decorate the bandstand in Battersea Park with stunning garlands of eucalyptus, ivy and groupings of roses, in order to create the perfect backdrop to a unique and thoughtful proposal. The florists and I were very excited to transform such a special space and were on tender hooks to hear the outcome…
Here are a few snaps of the florists installing the garlands and the final results. You will be pleased to hear that it was a happy ending and she said ‘Yes!’
I know that planning a wedding can be overwhelming and there are many elements involved that you may never have had to work with before, such as flowers. So, I am here to answer any of your wedding flower questions in a bid to make your wedding planning as stress free as possible.
Louise Hutcheson from London asks: Apart from floral displays on the tables how else can I use flowers to decorate the venue and make it look spectacular?
I believe that there is no limit to where you can use flowers for your wedding reception. Everything from statues to staircases can be adorned with flowers and foliage to create stunning talking points. Even if you are working with a blank space almost anything can be fashioned to transform your venue into your dream space. From a sea of olive trees creating a forest-style divide between your dance floor and your dining space to hanging bundles of foliage and roses above your dance floor, anything is possible. I have included a few ideas of how you could use flowers to make your venue unique and special.
- Create a cascading effect down a staircase with luscious roses and green foliage; wrap garlands around a veranda outdoors to add a glamorous feel to a summer wedding or add delicate garlands of ivy and eucalyptus with groupings of roses to a garden pergola to mirror the outdoor look.
- For a bold and striking look, place large vases and urns filled with an abundance of flowers around your venue to create a statement and a feeling of elegance. Sometimes opting for a few larger arrangements looks better than lots of little floral displays. Keep it simple by using only a few varieties of flowers which in turn will help guests focus on the wow factor which is the size of the arrangement.
- Flowers are a great way to create a focal point, whether it is on the top table or if you want to add a statement piece to your drinks reception, flowers are the perfect way to wow your crowd. For example, I have done several weddings and events where we have created tree-like arrangements which make a great standout feature. One wedding saw the top table have a beautiful weeping tree made of flowers, while another event we built a towering flower tree to be featured during the drinks reception which made an amazing talking point for the evening.
- And don’t forget even the highest of spaces or the obscurest of areas covered in flowers will get the attention of your guests and go towards creating a unique space for your wedding day.
As venues go Kensington Palace is probably one of the most glamorous and elegant and this recent wedding that we worked on there had all these elements and more. Opting for shades of pinks and purple, I designed arrangements that were simple but effective. Large clear urns filled with purple delphiniums made an impact inside The Orangery, creating the illusion that the flowers were floating in midair. Outside, delphiniums in white urns on tall plinths framed the entrance into the beautiful building.
Inside, silver goldfish bowls with Blue Curiosa roses were dotted around the white leather sofa area, making the chill out zone look stylish. I opted for more roses in the other arrangements, using the Blue Curiosa and Memeory Lane roses for their gorgeous purple/pink shades. Domes of roses were created and placed on small clear cylinder pillars, again conjuring up the illusion that the flowers were floating.
To add a unique element to the dessert table, we used cloches and cakes stands filled with domes of roses – I love the effect that this creates and it is always a talking point for guests. What I enjoyed about this wedding is that all the arrangements were all so simple but they looked so spectacular and chic.
To celebrate the launch of my new wedding blog I am running a competition for you to win a beautiful Summer Peony bouquet simply by taking a look at previous posts on the wedding blog and answering this simple question: What is the name of the venue that hosted our beautiful Jubilee wedding?
If you know the answer then please email it to email@example.com with your name and contact details and the winner will be annouced next week.
It is no secret that I am fan of visual artist Rob Ryan, who is especially famous for his detailed paper cut outs. Having always followed his work I was so pleased to meet him at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show when I invited him to come see the Stylist front cover we had created completely out of flowers, after he kindly emailed to say how much he loved the cover. Having honed his craft at the Royal College of Art, Rob’s extremely intricate, detailed work is simply awe inspiring. So, this is why I had to share this stunning ‘wedding’ dress that Rob created for Vogue (a little while back) – I just think is absolutely fabulous!
And it seems that Rob loves a good wedding having created several pieces, such as this charming handkerchief with the idea that the bride could give it to her bridesmaids as a gift on her wedding day or vice versa. The cotton hankie is hand printed in blue (something blue!) and comes in a little hand-printed box, reading ‘Forever my dearest friend, you shall always be…’
And never restricting himself to paper, this lucky bride got Rob to design part of her wedding dress with this lazercut that was then lovingly sewn on by the bride’s mother giving her dress a unique design personal to the bride.
I adore everything about Karen Nicol, the embroidery and mix media artist who is a genius when it comes to creating fabulous and unique fashion and interior pieces. I have been collaborating with her for a few years now and she has never let me down when it comes to creating beautiful, bespoke pieces for events that I have worked on.
As well as creating stunning made to order cushions and throws for the Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart online shop, I often call upon her services to help me create a personal touch to weddings which I have been asked to style.
Exclusive, personalised hand embroided napkins are an element that I think brings a real personal touch to a wedding breakfast and something which Karen does beautifully. Not only does having your guest’s initials displayed on the corner of their napkin look thoughtful but it makes a divine gift that they will want cherish and take away with them.
For a previous wedding that Karen and I worked on together, we not only incorporated the guest’s initials but brought in the element of flowers with Karen creating single blooms out of material and attaching them onto the napkin. Using the flowers in the arrangements as inspiration, Karen created beautiful and simple blooms that matched the decor and added an elegant finishing touch.
Karen’s work transcends across the border of fashion and interiors, so not only can she create luscious pieces to enhance your decor but why not give guests Pashminas which are hand embroided with the flower choice of your wedding – it really is all about the personal touches that make your day that extra special for you and your guests.
There was something truly magical about the recent Jubilee weekend. The excitement of a four day weekend was combined with a festive atmosphere up and down the country, with millions hanging bunting and waving Union Jack flags. However, there was no doubt that London was the place to be with crowds flocking to the capital, the city awash with red, white and blue, and a mood of true jubilation and a desire to have a good time. So, working on a wedding the Saturday of the Jubilee weekend was always going to be that little bit special and certainly one to remember for the bride and groom and all those who attended.
Held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, the wedding flowed from the Ballroom to the loggia to the terrace and back to the Ballroom for a fabulous wedding breakfast. Housed in a historic, Edwardian-style building, the Mandarin Oriental is one of my favourite places to work in with its ornate chandeliers and gold cornice detailing on the walls and ceiling. It really is a magnificent place to hold a chic city wedding.
Working with the fantastic Atelier London, who made sure that every element of the wedding went accordingly, we agreed that there should be a vintage moment with fabulous crystal and silver vases and beautiful traditional English flowers used in varying sized arrangements to convey the different parts of the day.
Sara, Director of Atelier says, “The client’s brief was to create a very elegant wedding. The primary colours were ivory and gold, so in the Mandarin Oriental Ballroom we overlaid the floor with ivory carpet and dressed the tables in ivory silk. This gave a blank canvas effect which was offset by the gold wall decorations in the ballroom, the gold rimmed glasses and plates, the gold sequinned napkin ties and the pastel colours of the roses. On the day of the wedding this elegant backdrop was enhanced by many of the guests wearing brightly coloured jewelled Saris.”
Arriving at the hotel at 6.30am with my team of florists, we were lucky enough to see the spectacular rehearsal of the Queen’s troopers on horseback processing from Parliament to Buckingham Palace, as we unloaded everything – a really wonderful treat. Once inside we began with the ballroom, flanking the aisle with six seven foot olive trees which we underplanted with flowering lavender in elegant versailles tubs. The lavender added a beautiful aroma to the room, so when the guests walked in they were greeted with the gorgeous, garden smell.
As the ballroom is such a grand space, I wanted to create arrangements that would work with the scale of the room. So, I opted for four striking urn arrangements where there was an illusion of flowers exploding out of the containers and filling the room with beautiful blooms. Cloud-like hydrangeas in white and purple, mixed with peonies and purple and pink stock surrounded by an array of O’Hara, Sweet Avalanche and Secret Garden roses with a hint of eucalyptus, created the four main focal points of the room – two at the back of the room and two at the front where the wedding took place. A crystal bowl filled with beautiful roses adorned the registrars table.
Despite the unpredictable June whether, the rain held out and for the terrace I wanted to create a tranquil and delightful place to enjoy drinks and canapés after the ceremony. The ceremony was at 4pm and so although still fairly light I was able to create an atmosphere by covering the area and space in between the white sofas with 30 silver framed storm lanterns of differing heights. These storm lanterns also framed the bride’s entrance as she walked through the very exclusive gates from Hyde Park into the Mandarin Oriental – normally these are only opened for The Queen!
At the top of the staircase and to create an entrance onto the main terrace we placed stems of stock, delphiniums, guelder rose and roses all filling white urns that were placed on plinths. Clear crystal vases were place on the occasional tables and filled to the brim with luscious roses. Bespoke poseur tables were made to feature seven foot olive trees in the middle of them.
Conjuring up the vintage feel, we continued to use the crystal stem vases inside on the landing area using elegant shades of roses. As my favourite flower, roses are a must for me when it comes to creating memorable arrangements for weddings as they are classic and will never date when you look back at your photographs.
Back in the ballroom, we had a short time to turn the space into an elegant space ready for the evening festivities and a big team of florists and staff worked hard to transform the room in time.
I created two table centre designs so that the tables varied in their look and feel. The first design had a large raised crystal candelabra surround by crystal and silver vases filled with roses and peonies and crystal hurricane lamps, while the second design saw low crystal vases with different height candlesticks and tea lights. By the time we finished setting up the room I believe that we had more than met the client’s brief of creating an elegant feel. There was the perfect mix of colour, texture and candle light which enhanced the beautiful ballroom and created a simply gorgeous setting for a beautiful day.