A Day in the Life of Bride and Bloom: crafting wedding flowers from Worcestershire fields to beautiful seasonal bouquets
Charlie / 8 December 2016
I am always so delighted when our flower farmers get in touch to say they have a set of A Day in the Life photos to share with our readers. Bride and Bloom are one of our newest additions to our eco wedding directory, and whilst I do get to visit a number of our recommended suppliers, it’s always nice to find out more in these kind of features.
You can see ‘behind the scenes’ with a number of our other flower farmers by visiting our A Day in the Life archives, or for similar posts check out our Meet the Maker series. What I particularly love about today’s feature, is that fellow mum and flower farmer Hannah, had her little girl along to help her pick flowers for the wedding.
What’s also special about this feature, is that at the end of the post we’ve shared photos from the wedding that Hannah of Bride and Bloom was working on in her A Day in the Life. Over to Hannah to share her day in the life at Bride and Bloom…
Cutting flowers for a bright summer picnic wedding
From late spring right through to October and sometimes November I’m able to hand cut my couples wedding flowers straight from the cutting patch. This is such a lovely aspect for my clients as they know I’ll be personally selecting and cutting their wedding flowers a matter of days before they say “I do”.
I use several local growers in Worcestershire – all within about a 30 minute drive from my workshop so am able to use a wide range of varieties not found in your usual high-street florists.
The following pictures were taken back in August by my good friend Samm of Paper Angel Photography for Tess and Gareth’s wedding, whose “floral brief” was for a relaxed and bright summer picnic to reflect their informal and close-knit wedding day.
Identifying key flowers and building the colour palette
Arriving at Carol’s cutting patch in Eckington is heaven – awesome views and a heap of flowers to chop. As you can see, it was a belter of a day, in fact even at 8am it was probably a little too hot for cutting the flowers. I could have done with an earlier start to be honest but my trusty assistant Olive was in tow with a poorly tummy.
Whenever I go to cut for my couples weddings, I like to first identify my key flowers and “must-haves”, building the colour palette and overall look as I continue to cut. With Tess and Gareth’s design brief in mind I headed straight for “Dahia Avenue” – the variety and colours are so intense and I knew Tess loved Pom Pom dahlias in particular.
Childhoods picking cow parsley
Ami Visnaga was also high on my list to cut and works so well for a more relaxed style – I think it reminds a lot of my brides of picking cow parsley as a kid. Thankfully however, Ami doesn’t smell like cow parsley.
Deep in the cutting garden
Below you’ll see me cutting key blooms including Gaura Lindheimeri, Nepeta Nuda (cat mint), Echinops (for the buttonholes) and Cosmos. Other fab additions included Verbena Bonariensis, Roses and Scabious.
Floristry is an equal mix of love, stress and physical strength
Once I have my main ingredients I’ll add in with the fillers and interest flowers – I love giving my arrangements a wealth of texture and variety.
I’ll check over the buckets several times to make sure I’m happy with quantities – this can be a bit stressful – too much and you’ve spent profit and too little you risk missing something critical. Floristry is an equal mix of love, stress and physical strength. Lugging buckets full of flowers and water is hard work.
Thankfully Carol does have a trolly up at the cutting patch and once I’m happy it’s loaded up and the car filled, lunch happens at some point if there’s time. But I am usually itching to get the flowers back to my workshop so I can get them fully conditioned and stored in the cool and dark.
Conditioning the flowers
Conditioning the flowers is a key part for any florist, it’s a process that helps prolong the life of the flowers. Of course, when I cut at the patch the flowers go straight into water but once back at the workshop I systematically go through every stem, removing lower foliage (preventing water pollution from rotting leaves) and re-cutting stems at an angle to enhance water up-take. Off shoot stems are also cut in order to maximise overall stem count.
Allocating the flowers – the bride is always first
Once conditioned (ideally for 12 hours), I allocate the flowers according to the quote. I divvy out the flowers – the brides bucket is ALWAYS done first, then those for the bridesmaids, table arrangements, thank you bouquets, buttonholes, etc. This is quite a critical process as it ensures that the wedding flowers have an overall balance.
Laying out all the flowers and foliage ready to be used
Once I’ve divvied up the flowers I can set about creating. I set out all the possible ingredients – this makes creating a lot easier as the prepped flowers and foliages are there ready to be used.
Creating the wedding bouquets and arrangements
Every designer works differently, but for me I like to create a base shape using minimal foliage, adding focal flowers and then building on the overall look by threading in with transitional and textural elements until complete.
Pending the size of the wedding I’ll cut on a Wednesday or Thursday morning, any earlier and I’d risk the flowers not looking their best for the big day.
The mess is left for later
It’s then all hands on deck to turn the cut flowers into floral creations. I hide myself away in my workshop with coffee and 6 music until everything is done, sometimes working solidly up until the morning of the wedding when I finish bouquets with ribbon and buttonholes with labels and pins. The mess is left for later.
Delivering the brides bouquet
Delivering the brides bouquet on the wedding morning is the most exciting but nerve-wrecking bit. If they’re happy then I’m happy and thankfully, to date, all my brides have loved their flowers. It’s so special being a part of someone’s wedding day, I’m a little bit of their history and that’s a huge honour and privilege for me.
What beautiful bouquets Hannah created for Tess and her bridesmaids – I love the pops of summer colours combined with the green ferns and clematis tendrils. A big thank you to Tess and her wedding photographer Emma Case for allowing us to share these precious pictures.
Bride & Bloom (seasonal wedding flowers Worcestershire) is one of our recommended suppliers on The Natural Wedding Company directory so do go and check them out and if you’re a bride-to-be add them to your list of favourites by clicking the ‘heart’ icon next to their listing.
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